Roots in the City Farmers’ Market Opens for Season

By | December 8th, 2010 | 4 Comments
The Curative Powers of Aloe

Students of Troy Community Academy, a conditional release program for juvenile detainees, talk up the curative powers of aloe.

The Roots in the City farmers’ market, on the corner of NW 2nd Avenue and 10th Street in Overtown, opened for the season today. Operated entirely by local farmers, the market offers cheap and healthy produce to a community stuck in the middle of a food desert without a Publix or Winn-Dixie supermarket nearby. It accepts food stamps, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) dollars, and actually matches them dollar for dollar up to $20 per day. While the market’s core mission is to give Overtown affordable access to healthy food, its assortment of hard-to-find produce — from callaloo, or Jamaican spinach, to Asian eggplant — also draws foodies from around the city. The market is every Wednesday and Friday, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and definitely worth a visit.

Here are a few pics from the opening.

Chef Michael Schwartz and Gerald
Chef Michael Schwartz, of the Design District’s Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, serves up some rosemary chicken salad to Gerald, a Phillis Wheatley Elementary School student who created the dish for the USDA’s “Recipes for Healthy Kids” challenge. Schwartz and fellow chef Michel Nischan (long hair), founder of the Wholesome Wave Foundation, are both partners of the Roots in the City market.

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New Liberty City Local Farmers’ Market Opens Thursday

By | November 30th, 2010 | 3 Comments
Liberty City Farmers' Market flier

Click to enlarge the Liberty City Farmers' Market promo. (Drawing Michele Obama as a customer is an aspiration, not a certainty.)

This Thursday the first ever Liberty City Farmers’ Market will convene at TACOLCY Park (6161 NW 9th Avenue) (see comment section for new location!) from noon to 6 p.m. A partnership between several local organizations, the market aims to be a much-needed source of healthy, mostly local food in the middle of the Liberty City food desert. Today I spoke to Melissa Contreras, market manager and founder of the Urban Oasis Project, about the mission of the market and the bounty of exquisite local produce that will be on sale there.

Where does all the produce that will be at the market come from?

Melissa Contreras: It’s all local except yesterday morning we made a decision to accept produce that is coming from small African-American-owned farms in Georgia. It’s things we don’t have here anyway, like peanuts and pecans. We’re doing it to support those farmers because that’s consistent with our mission. Other than that, it is entirely local. It’s all South Florida, nothing from wholesalers, nothing that you could buy at the [supermarket], nothing from big growers. It’s all from small local farms with the one exception of the two folks in Georgia. [Ed. note: The farms include Bee Heaven Farm, Worden Farm, Three Sisters Farm — which are all certified organic — and Teena’s Pride.]

What is the core mission of the Liberty City Farmers’ Market?

Melissa Contreras: The core mission is to actually bring more healthy food options to a food desert, which is Liberty City and the Little Haiti area, where there just aren’t that many healthy food options or many grocery stores. Most people get their food at corner stores, which is generally processed food. There’s just not enough access to fresh food.

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