Category: Featured

FFF on the Road: Fireside Restaurant in Hendersonville Displays Five Farming Methods

Gary Crist was pulling the seeds off a spent cilantro plant when we found him outside his restaurant, Fireside Restaurant and Pancake Inn. He explained he was preparing his garden, which abuts the restaurant, for next season, putting up seeds from herbs and tomatoes that are beginning to bolt. In little more than the length of the house-like building that is the main restaurant, he shows off the garden and explains that it’s a teaching exhibit with the benefits of supplying some fresh food for the restaurant. “Eventually, I want to grow everything for the restaurant,” he said. “I’m a beekeeper, and I want to get some free-range chickens. We have a farm, too, nearby, along with the greenhouses.”   The garden next to the restaurant is meant to explain five farming techniques, he said. He started it only last year, but it’s a hit with customers, and already produced a bounty of cherry tomatoes, salad greens, squash and beans, several varieties of herbs, fennel bulbs with greens that he juices – even horseradish that someone gave him to try. “Here’s the bale method,” he said, pointing out tomatoes and beans growing from the centers of bales of straw. “You don’t use hay- use straw,” he said. The bales are first heat-treated by dousing with nitrogen and soaking them to kill the harmful organisms; the plants with soil are...

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Continuing a Family Tradition, Distiller Brings Florida Flavors to Miami Club Rum

Although the Magic City’s history includes tales of pirates and rum-runners, Miami never had its own distillery – until now. “We’re the first distillery in the history of Miami, and the only one,” says Matt Malone, proprietor of Miami Club Rum. A platinum rum of his own recipe was the first libation he began selling to the public, in 2013. The liquor won a Gold Medal for World’s Best White Rum at the 2013 San Francisco World Spirits  Competition. “That’s the Academy Awards for our industry, so it was huge,” he says. He’s on to another rum already: “I have añejo aging in barrels right now, which we will produce in very limited release this holiday season.” Local sourcing is important. “We use molasses and sugar cane from South Florida. We also use oils and extracts from fruits grown here. I use a dropper to flavor 200 liters at a time with citrus and a couple of other fruits native to Florida, so the rum literally tastes like Florida,” he explains. His wife, Joan, represents the fifth generation of rum distillers in Puerto Rico; her family made Ron Kaneka from 1911 until the ’90s. Her grandfather’s story, which Malone learned at the man’s funeral 10years ago, inspired him to start Miami Club Rum. He also bought the family label and original recipes and will revisit them, but Malone’s current priority...

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A Sneak Peek of Our Spring 2015 Issue

Ever wonder about beekeeping? It’s a growing interest for both commercial and backyard hobbyists as the importance of bees becomes a global concern. Florida, one of the leading honey-producing states in the U.S., is seeing a large growth in production – even as citrus greening hurts the apiarists. Worm farming, known as vermiculture, also is growing. A new worm farm in Indiantown is run by a restaurateur who hopes to change the way restaurants deal with food and paper waste from their kitchens. These farm stories, along with our favorite local product picks, a trip to a popular fruit...

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Inaugural Issue of Florida Food & Farm Now on Stands

Florida Food & Farm is now available in print! Chock full of information, the magazine debuted Jan. 26, 2015 in numerous Publix and Whole Foods markets, at green and farmers markets, produce markets, farms and shops around South Florida. “Our magazine will be a tool for sourcing local food that is healthy for families and individuals  — and a boost for the local economy,” said Daphne Weaver, CEO and new farm owner. With a circulation of 100,000, the quarterly, free magazine serves readers in most of Southeast and South Central Florida, from Sebastian around Lake Okeechobee to the Keys....

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