In honor of the Super Bowl and permanently nice weather, today’s guest farmers market update is from sunny Miami, Florida.
Brilliant and irreverent, Holly Hickman is one of my favorite healthy eating bloggers. Definitely check out (and subscribe to) her blog and follow her on Twitter @Holly_Hickman. You will not regret it.
Holly is also the author of Healthy Eats Here, a guide to local, sustainable restaurants across America. If you like good, healthy food and have done any traveling you know how difficult it can be to find a decent meal on the road. Holly has figured it all out for us and organized an easy to use, state-by-state guide. I’m very proud to be an affiliate for such awesomeness.
I hope you enjoy Holly’s adventures at the farmers market as much as I did. And be sure to listen to the audio clip at the bottom of the post!
Farmers Market Update: South Beach (Pinecrest)
by Holly Hickman
Greetings from South Beach, or, as I like to call it, The Fanny Parade.
The locusts football fans are in town this week for the Super Bowl–otherwise known in Cocaine Cowboy Country as the Super Blow–and I am in need of escape. Normally, escaping from Miami simply requires that you grab your typical fanny parader off the street and use her as a human floatation device. (As I told Darya, she might live near Silicon Valley, but I live surrounded by Silicone Valleys.) However, our lovely ladies are busy partying, so I’m heading to my other –real– escape: the local farmers market.
You might think from the above paragraph that I do not love my adopted town. I do; I just like to tease it. And the great source of my love for this town is not the ocean or insistently happy weather or even the proximity to phenomenal Cuban coffee: it is, ladies and gents, the Pinecrest farmers market.
We have a number of markets here but Pinecrest, although a 30-minute drive from my house, is my go-to haven. My favorite farmers are all there: Margie Pikarsky of Redland Organics; resident goat whisperer Hani Khouri of Hani’s Organics; and Gabrielle Berryer of Gaby’s Farm.
Behold why they are my favorites:
Tomatoes from Margie's stand
If you’re reading this from Iowa, I am sorry. Those are–apologies again, this time to Darya–summer tomatoes. Only they burst forth in JANUARY ’round these parts. Yes! And go through about April. Yes. And Margie grows the best of them.
“Do you know the differences among all these?” she asked me.
“These are the green zebra. This is the Cherokee Purple, kind of a dusky rose. Ooh! Yellow Pear. And then these kind start off pale but will blush into a beautiful mahogany on your counter. Look at the the heirlooms. Beautiful, no?”
I bought two packs.
Farmer Margie & her nearly sold-out broccoli
This is Margie trimming her magical swirling broccoli. OK, so they only taste like magic.
“It’s because of the frost,” she said. “Makes ‘em sweeter.”
She was also selling (clockwise from top left of main photo): freshly-dug potatoes and beets. (She digs beets.) Beautiful Florida avocado, which are not as creamy as the California kind, but which are as large as footballs and make a fine game-time guacamole. Local wild honey, assorted cabbages, herbs such as lemon grass and Syrian oregano (“the only kind”), turnips and luffa. Yes, for scrubbing your skin; it’s a plant that grows beautifully here in subrtropical climes. She also sells those mulit-colored carrots, plus Asian greens such as tatsoi (perfect for stir-fries), several kinds of organic Florida citrus and some gorgeous eggplant. Anything that grows well in Thailand grows well here.
I could spend all day at this stand, but I am hungry for falafel. Time to go see Hani and his wife, Mary Lee.
Hani and Mary Lee Khouri of Hanisorganics.com
Hani is the only goat farmer around, and, luckily for us, his goat milk, goat ice cream and goat cheese are all exquisite. That is why I call him the goat whisperer. He’s originally from Lebanon and sells Mediterranean delights such as fattoush (a pita and tomato salad that won’t make you fattoush); fool (a delightful legume-based dish which, again, won’t make you into one); and fantastic hummus and falafel.
Left from top: fattoush, fool & lupini beans
Hani made me a gorgeous falafel sandwich with his home-pickled turnips while I asked Mary Lee about their beautiful goat’s milk ice cream. There was none, she said, because the goats are “kidding,” and she doesn’t want to take their milk. Sane and humane.
Hani Khouri makes sure Holly isn't cranky
So, no ice cream from Hani, but I know where I can get some: Gaby’s Farm.
The aptly named Gaby Berryer
Gabrielle Berryer is originally from Haiti and spent years working as a psychologist. One day, she decided to buy a farm south of Miami so that she could grow tropical fruits. And she does–oh how she does! Starfruit, canistel (a creamy, custardy fruit), mamey (which I wrote a post about, since I love it so) passion fruit and myriad other delights.
Gaby's Ice Creams
If you have never tasted any of these fruits, buy a ticket here. NOW. And then go see Gaby. She not only grows these delectable paens to tropical love; she makes ice cream out of them. People. Sit. They have a teensy bit of corn syrup in them to keep them creamy and give them good consistency, but other than that, they are perfect. You can find them at Whole Foods throughout the southeast, but I think she should go national.
Here’s a wee interview with my favorite farmers where we learn about kidding, tropical fruits, and why eating stone crabs is sustainable:
Holly at the South FL Farmers Market
And here is the result of my purchases–homemade pizza that we ate topped with an arugula salad, plus an eggplant/tomato riff on baba ganoush. Dessert? Gaby’s ice cream, of course. Darya, you must come to South Florida; they make the magic happen here. And I’m not talking about Mickey.
Dinner with my purchases
- Salad Greens
- Asian Greens
- Savoy Cabbage
- Fattoush salad
- Lupini beans — eat ‘em like peanuts
- Fool salad
- Falafel wrap
From Darya: Are any more of you holding out on me with winter tomatoes? Time to fess up!