South Florida’s vegetable growing season is from October through May. Many vegetable farms are getting back into the swing of things right now, and many are gearing up for their CSA programs to relaunch. Although we support many farms in South Florida, Teena’s Pride, one of our Essensia farmer vendors, is unique in that they also offer a CSA program so that the general public can enjoy their produce at home.
We are grateful to Teena for her ongoing support of our own “little farm”- our onsite Chef’s garden – where Teena offers continual advice, guidance, and donates many plants to our garden project. She also supports our community outreach efforts, like when she donated 500 tomato plants to our adopted school, North Beach Elementary, last Monday, to supplement Chef Julie’s nutrition talks. She is always ready and willing to give to the community if it means educating people about farming, healthy eating, and sustainability.
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It is a practice that farms use to share their weekly harvests with the community. It is important to support local farms and agribusiness, no matter what part of the country, or world, that you live in. By supporting local family farms, you are contributing to local economy, sustainable practice, and you are helping the environment by supporting farms that don’t use harmful sprays or pollute our water supply and soil. You also avoid long distance shipping, which positively impacts fossil fuel consumption and air pollution.
There are many other advantages to eating fresh, locally grown produce. Produce is picked the day you receive it. It contains more living enzymes and vital nutrients than produce that is industrially grown, shipped, and sitting on store shelves for goodness knows how long. It tastes better, is more nutritious, and lasts longer in your refrigerator. A good rule to live by…. more product from the farm means less product from the Pharmacy. It’s true.
Right now, you can become a member of Teena’s Pride CSA, which has been going for over 20 years in South Florida, and pick up your weekly box of fresh produce every week, starting Nov 5. They have a number of pick up points, you can choose the one most convenient for you.
Essensia Chef, Julie, mother of 2, says “This will be my family’s 3rd season eating Teena’s produce. I can attest to it’s amazing quality, and how great this program is. My kids love opening the box each week to see what goodies we have in store.” Teena’s always sends at least 4 recipes for the produce inside the box, in case you are new to some of the items. They also have countless recipes on their website. The program will broaden your horizons of what you have cooked or tasted, and your family will have the opportunity to enjoy a lot of new things.
There are several sizes to choose from. The farm hosts open houses each month, open to the public. Take your friends or family to see where and how the food is grown. There are tours of the greenhouses and farmland, and they offer tastes and chef demos so you can learn new things. Our own Chef Julie will be the visiting chef on January 5th, showing how to use the more obscure produce in ways that everyone can enjoy.
If you want to meet Teena, a wonderful woman and community leader, she will be at The Palms Hotel for a special Slow Foods Happy Hour on October 28 from 6-8. We will be offering some light bites made with Teena’s produce, and offer a featured cocktail. All other food and drinks will be offered at happy hour special pricing.
Joining is really easy. Chef Julie says “You will absolutely love this produce and this program, and will be benefiting local family farms, sustainable and environmentally helpful practices, and your own family will be healthier and more knowledgable about veggies!”