Margie Pikarsky Honored by Dade Farm Bureau
Groundhog Day, step aside: February 2 is officially Margie Pikarsky Day in Homestead, Florida. Government officials proclaimed the special day in honor of Pikarsky, who runs the five-acre organic Bee Heaven Farm with husband Nick, daughter Rachel and permanent and seasonal employees.
At the 13th annual Women in Agriculture Luncheon at Schnebly Redland's Winery and Brewery, Pikarsky was honored by state, county and local leaders, including state senator Denise Grimsley; Carol Harris of the Dade County Farm Bureau; UF/IFAS Miami-Dade County Extension director Teresa Olczyk and Miami-Dade commissioner Daniella Levine-Cava.
"She is a grower in the best sense of the word, not just food, although she and her family grow a lot of it. Margie grows community," notes author and columnist Ellen Kanner. "In 2002, she formed a coalition of local farmers and launched Bee Heaven Farm’s CSA when no one in South Florida even heard of community-supported agriculture."
Born in Cuba, Margie PIkarsky moved to the United States when she was 8. She received her bachelor's degree in biology, an AB in psychology and a master's in management science and systems analysis from the University of Miami. She worked in the UM Medical School while tending to the avocado grove she and her husband bought in 1995, and began farming full-time in 2000. Partnering with other local organic growers, Pikarsky formed Redland Organics, which contribute to the CSA boxes. She also started the annual GrowFest at Fruit and Spice Park, a hyperlocal celebration kicking off the South Florida growing season.
Pikarsky was named Florida Innovative Farmer at the 2013 Florida Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference; honored by Slow Food Miami in 2015 as a local food pioneer of the farm-to-table movement; and was recognized at Vizcaya's and edible South Florida's Dinner for Farmers in 2016 and 2017 for innovative and sustainable farming practices.
During the growing season, Bee Heaven Farm is a regular vendor at the Pinecrest Gardens farmers market on Sundays.