By Jan NorrisThe locavore movement — that group that espouses eating foods produced closer to home — is catching on, with the benefits to farmers, cooks and the environment. Reducing the travel time between harvest and market means fresher and more nutritious foods. Shortening the transport means cleaner air. And farmers, ranchers, and small food producers who get an enthusiastic response for their products are more likely to grow more and expand — so it’s a winning proposition for all. South Palm Beach County is lucky to have a number of outlets for fresh foods, including greenmarkets and U-picks, the unique Oceanside Greenmarket Café (where locals cook and produce foods unique to their kitchens in a business incubator program), and the community farms where the foods are packed and delivered to residents in a subscription sale. In its 11th year, the Delray Greenmarket continues to offer a whole meal’s worth of foods at one-stop shopping on Saturdays. Held in the street on Southeast Fourth Avenue off Atlantic Avenue, it provides cooks with fresh seafoods,vegetables, produce and flowers for the tables. The second edition of the
Greenmarket cookbook is out ($14.95, available at the Community Redevelopment
offices), with recipes that use the products at the market.
people here,” said Sherry Johnson, Community Caring Center director, who
shepherded the project that gives a leg up to locals wanting to start a small
food business or begin a culinary career. “Phillip Herman is our amazing Sunday
brunch chef. Allison Zimmer does the best gourmet cookies … Athena Holmes is
our resident vegan chef, Cherl Anderson has just started her juice bar and is
squeezing fresh wheatgrass and others,” Johnson said. There’s Italian foods
from Patty and Larry Korn, Marcia and Jim Tong are behind “Mia Cosina” — a
Peruvian and Brazilian cuisine served in the café.
As for fresh produce, the market supports the organic farm behind the Greenmarket, and they buy from local growers like Aldeman Farms, a backyard organic farmer.
“We have organic tomatoes, bok choy, green peppers — a number of other
vegetables right now,” she said.
At Lake Worth's Oceanside Farmer's Market, vendors sell everything from cookies to cucumbers, honey to honeybells — all produced locally. A focus on "artisan" foods is here, with local bakers, growers and florists selling their products. The Saturday market continues through May in the parking lot behind John G's in Lake Worth at A1A.
They’ve made it convenient and family friendly — the beds are raised and
everyone’s given a pail and pair of scissors to clip berries neatly. The paths
are lined with clean gravel, a bench-filled area is available for those who
don’t want to pick and there’s plenty to see in the small park surrounding the
rows of edibles.
It’s a Community Supported Agriculture project run by Nancy Roe. Residents who want fresh produce delivered buy a share of the farm in August. For 34 weeks, they benefit from her harvests at the west Boynton farm. Boxes of mixed vegetables are delivered to your home or office. The popular program sells out every season, however, so you must reserve a subscription in August before the farm is planted. There’s no guarantee; you are partnering with Roe and whatever happens at her farm happens to your subscription (i.e., a hurricane). It’s a unique way to participate in local farming.The latest food program is the Rise and Shine produce and grocery project run by the Boys & Girls Club in Delray Beach. For $30, those in need can pick up bags of fresh produce, staples and prepared foods twice a month. Rorabeck’s Produce supports the program that kicked off in early March with a grant from the Quantum Foundation. Lottie Gatewood, director of development for the youth
group, says teens from the Boys and Girls Club help run it, with adult support.
“Our goal is to give a hand up — not a hand out,” she said.
Jan Norris is a freelance writer and editor. For more recipes for seasonal produce, log on to JanNorris.com
Here's a recipe for Very Berry Strawberry Syrup
If You Go
Delray Beach Greenmarket: Along Southeast Fourth Avenue, south of Atlantic Avenue, Saturdays, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. through MayOcean Avenue Green Market and Café: 129 E. Ocean Ave., Boynton Beach. Greenmarket open Friday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Café and marketplace open for lunch and dinner, Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, brunch only, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Green Gourmet: 16950 Jog Road (Shoppes of Addison Place), Delray Beach. (561) 455-2466. Open Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Greenmarke, Sundayt: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Green Cay Farms: Subscription farm information at www.veggies4u.com; (561) 638-2755. New subscriptions taken beginning Aug. 2, 2010.
Rise and Shine Food Co-Op: Naoma Donnelly Boys and Girls Club, 1451 SW. Seventh St., Delray Beach. Food distribution first and third Saturdays of the month; orders due Thursday before Saturday pick-up. For information: (561) 279-0251.
Oceanside Farmer's Market: A1A at Lake Avenue (behind John G's), Lake Worth. Hours: Saturdays, 8 am - 1 pm.