Verde Community Farm and Market: Back in Action
It’s taken a while, but the shiny revamped kitchen and cafe at Verde Community Farm and Market in Homestead is now open for business – that is, many businesses. They’re a cafe and juice bar serving dishes made from organically grown produce from their farm, a year-round market selling produce, a nursery selling plants, a commercial kitchen, even a cut-flower market.
“We’ve signed on chef Adri Garcia to create a lunch menu using produce grown on the farm for the restaurant,” says Bill Squire, market manager. One of her creations is Sunshine Rolls, tangy buns packed with citrus zest, a healthy take on sticky buns. The cafe, open for lunch Tues. through Sat., also features pizza, sliders and juices, smoothies and fruit pops made with local mango, coconut, dragonfruit, and other fruits. Dishes are made with an eye toward healthy eating – but, also, tastiness. “We’re hiding the healthy element behind delicious,” says Squire. It’s a true farm-to-table atmosphere in the cafe – communal picnic tables at the breezy cafe surrounded by crates of freshly picked produce and nursery plants.
Even in the summer heat, farm manager Chuck Lyons is growing produce at Verde’s fields a few blocks away, including okra, eggplant, melons and squash, plus sprouts and greens under cover. He’s also growing cut flowers – Verde Flore – and plant starts to sell at the market. The farm has been supplying fresh produce year-round to Urban Oasis Project farmers markets and also has a CSA for the fall/winter growing season. To make healthy produce accessible to more people. Their CSA also offers an EBT matching option.
Behind the scenes, the commercial kitchen serves local suppliers as a certified organic production facility. Here, an organic buying club uses the space as a packing facility. Vendors can rent the space to make preserves or jellies, for example, from what they grow.
Supporting the market means more than getting freshly harvest organic produce, says Squire. “The dollars you spend go toward hiring and training at-risk community members who work here.” These include residents of the neighboring Carrfour Supportive Housing Verde Gardens community, making this a truly sustainable project.
TIME FOR CSA /BUYING CLUB SIGNUP
These farms and business are offering fall/winter produce shares:
Bee Heaven Farm
Farm Fresh Miami
Flagler Village Farm
Harpke Family Farm
Little River Cooperative
Once Upon a Carrot
Out of the Ashes
Scooby’s Organic Farm
Seasons Farm Fresh
Teena’s Pride CSA
Urban GreenWorks Facebook
Verde Community Farm CSA