Swank Farms' Monthly Dinner Event is Back for the Season

Categories: On the Farm

Brickhouse PR
Unless you strive to shop solely at farmers markets, chances are you have no idea where your food comes from.

Even with all the farms we have in South Florida -- Palm Beach is actually the largest agricultural county east of the Mississippi River -- most of our produce is flown in from far off areas like California or Chile.

While "local" and "farm-to-table" have become quite the buzzwords over the past few years, there's no substitute for getting to know your farmer, seeing where he or she grows the food you're going to eat.

Starting again this Sunday, Swank Farms is starting up the season for its Swank Table Events.

Resident chef Lindsay Autry will be working together with numerous local chefs for the al fresco lunches.

See Also: Executive Chef Lindsay Autry, Pastry Chef Sarah Sipe Leave Sundy House

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Oakland Park's New Weekly Farmers' Market Kicked Off Tuesday, Rain or Shine

Categories: On the Farm

All photos taken by Jess Swanson
The nimbus clouds hung low and dark. They loomed over the the local merchants' tents as their tarps flapped violently with each gust of wind. At 5 p.m. the main downpour had passed or, at least, everyone hoped it had. It was the first night of the Tuesday Oakland Park Farmers' Market.

As part of newly launched Oakland Park Culinary District, the Urban Farming Institute and the City of Oakland Park have teamed together to host the farmers' market from 3 to 8 p.m. every Tuesday in the lot on the southwest corner of NE 38th Street and Dixie Highway.

The tablecloths were soaked, the ground was wet, but everyone stayed optimistic. The vendors lined up, rearranged their unique locally sourced foods, and kept a smile as the people of Oakland Park strolled in.

See also: Urban Farmer Opens Farmers Market in Jaco Pastorius Park

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Urban Farmer Opens Farmers Market in Jaco Pastorius Park

Categories: News, On the Farm

Photo courtesy the Urban Farmer
Since the opening of Oakland Park's highly lauded Funky Buddha Brewery, we've been eagerly awaiting more news of culinary progress.

Fortunately, that moment has come. The first step of the urban farm park has recently been implemented; the Urban Farmer has set up its farmers market in Jaco Pastorius Park, just steps from the brewery.

See Also: Oakland Park City Commission Approves Urban Farm in Jaco Pastorius Park

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Edible Gardening Gal Teaching Free Classes at Marando Farms Starting Next Month

Photo via Marando Farms facebook page
We hear it all the time, "The only way to solve our food problems is to start gardening at home."

That's great and all, but we live in Florida: our soil sucks, it's hotter than hell, and we have pests that could eat a small dog.

That being said, there are local gardening experts who are willing to help novices and those of us who possess black thumbs.

Starting next month, Karin Fields (a.k.a. the Edible Gardening Gal) will be bringing her classes and free advice to Marando Farms.

See Also:
- Enlightened Aquaponics at Marando Farms: Truly Sustainable Farm Raised Fish (Photos)
- The Edible Gardening Gal Talks Suspicious Neighbors and Rookie Mistakes
- Five Things Needed in the Fort Lauderdale Food Scene

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Fort Lauderdale Vegetables Expanding to 110 Tower in Downtown Fort Lauderdale

Categories: On the Farm

Fort Lauderdale Vegetables' Facebook page.
There once was a day in which the majority of our food was produced on a local farm.

Now, most people are lucky if they can keep a basil plant alive. (Note: They don't die easily.)

Most edible material in the store has been grown thousands of miles away, processed in one way or another, and shipped to major grocery chains. So much for the local economy.

Over the past few years, many individuals have grown tired of the mass-produced, unsustainable, monoculture farming. And many local food advocates have been fighting tooth and nail to localize the food system. Michael Madfis of Fort Lauderdale Vegetables is one of them. After years of decentralized farming in urban settings, he set up a farm on a plot of land right smack dab on downtown Fort Lauderdale's Andrews Avenue about six months back.

Now he's planning to expand with a second farm on the terrace of 110 Tower, a high-rise across the street.

See Also:
- Andrews Farm: New Urban Farm to Provide Cheap Organic Produce in Downtown Fort Lauderdale
- Fort Lauderdale Vegetables' Michael Madfis: We Need a Food Policy Council

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Shots Fired at Farmer Jay, Allegedly by Landlord

Farmer Jay Pure Organics facebook page
Farmer Jay with the kids from the Delray Achievement Center -- the last group to visit the farm
Farming is not considered to be the safest career field. Exposure to chemicals, snake bites, wasp stings, and heat exhaustion are all potential dangers of the job.

Getting shot at, however, is not. Usually.

Jason 'Farmer Jay' McCobb claims his landlord fired shots at him while he was feeding his chickens and pig, Pearl.

We spoke to McCobb about the incident and the events that led up to the shooting.

See Also:
- Farmer Jay to Speak About Local Food at TEDx Jupiter Conference
- Sequestration Cuts Budget for Senior Services: Broward Meals on Wheels Loses $207,000

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Oakland Park City Commission Approves Urban Farm in Jaco Pastorius Park

oakland park culinary logog.jpg
South Florida is about to see its newest urban farm.

On Wednesday, Oakland Park City Commissioners unanimously voted to to accept a contract for the Urban Farmer's farm park, in the northern part of Jaco Pastorius Park

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Yagnapurus Farms in Loxahatchee: Thai Bananas and Lychees

All photos by Nicole Danna
Shreya Patal holding a freshly harvested bunch of Thai bananas.
You never really think of bananas as "exotic" -- that is, until you try a Thai banana. 

Although there are literally hundreds of varieties, one of the more versatile is known as a Hawaiian apple banana for its sweet-tart taste, similar to that of an apple. 

But where can you find them here in South Florida? Typically found at your local specialty or Asian market, if you buy any in the area, they may be from the Patal family's Yagnapurus Farm. 

Over a canal, down a winding, narrow dirt path and past an old, iron gate in the backwoods of Loxahatchee you'll find Yagnapurus Farm. 

Well, if you're lucky you'll find it. With nothing but GPS you'll wind up clear across town (the address often diverts customers to another address a few miles north), or debating whether or not you'll go down the near-hidden path that leads into a seeming uninhabited property. 

However, once inside the 20-acre tropical fruit farm you will find the warm, smiling faces of the Patal family, who recently bought the farm in March. Here, they offer the bounty of the farm's main crop: lychee -- but also seasonally available pomelos, jack fruit, kaffir limes and --  harvested year round -- Thai bananas.

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Meet your Meat: Free-Range Thanksgiving Turkeys Raised at Scooby's Organic Farm in Davie

Categories: On the Farm
Sara Ventiera

Many people dream of one day owning a farm, but few take the plunge into the pastoral lifestyle. Husband and wife Motty Katzir and Enat Halperin-Katzir were two such people dreaming of starting a farm in retirement. Motty, who grew up farming in Israel, then later on worked as a manager of Hudson Valley in New York, came to a realization one day; "I'm never going to retire". In September 2011, he went out and bought 3 goats, 20 ducklings, and 10 chickens. This was the beginning of Scooby's Organic Farm in Davie.

One year later, the Katzir's have 140 layers, 25 ducks, 9 goats, a sheep, and a whole bunch of broad-breasted chickens. And their newest edition: Thanksgiving turkeys.

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Moonlit Farmers' Market in Boca is Closing! Farmer Jay Explains.

Categories: On the Farm
Ellenville Farmers Market Resizr.jpg
Ellenville Garden Center
In the not -too-distant past, evening farmers' markets were nonexistent in Palm Beach County. That was until Farmer Jay McCobb and Ellenville Garden Center teamed up to invent the Moonlit Farmers' Market in Boca Raton once a week.

Now Palm Beach County hosts two others: one newly opened at Florida Atlantic University every Thursday from 4 to 8 pm; the Sunset Green Market at Glades Plaza Wednesdays from 3 to 7 pm; and the almost finished-- on September 19--- Summer Thyme Green Market which ran from 5 to 8 pm at Waterfront Commons in West Palm Beach.  

So what is happening to the original Palm Beach County evening market? 

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