Farm to Kitchen: A visit to Teena’s Pride
Farms in Florida?
Sometimes you just have to take a break from the "Magic City" and get your fix of farmland. Many restaurants in Miami source with locally grown produce. Teena's Pride in Homestead being one of them. Teena Borek's heirloom tomatoes and produce are found in CSA's, farmers markets and restaurants.
At her monthly, seasonal free open houses you can tour the farm, try and taste dishes made by top local chefs. These open houses are held the first Sunday of the month and showcase a local chef. In my case, we were fortunate and had dishes made by Chef Julie Frans of Essensia, at The Palms Hotel & Spa. Using the fresh produce of the farm, Julie prepared, along with students from Robert Morgan Educational Center, Kale Caesar salad with strawberries, tomatoes with tarragon pesto and ricotta and Quinoa tabouli.
While Julie was preparing the dishes we were able to take a 45 minute tour with Michael Borek, a third generation grower/owner and son of Teena Borek. Teena came to South Florida in the 1970's where she met her husband, Steven Borek, a Homestead vegetable farmer. After Steven’s untimely death at the age of 24, Teena took on the challenge of running the 500-acre vegetable farm knowing very little about farming or farm management having grown up in the Canadian maritime province of Newfoundland. Her passion and commitment for sustainably grown produce has made Teena's Pride something to be proud of!
We literally ate our way through the tour eating as many tomatoes and greens as you could possibly manage which are grown hydroponically. Michael Borek admittedly says that tomatoes grown in the field are more delicious and by using the hydroponic method it allows vegetables to grow without pesticides and a little less expensively.
We left the farm with a huge carton of fresh, organic vegetables such as peppers, squash, tomatoes, lettuces, berries and much more. We had a fun, fulfilling day and a full stomach of freshly prepared food and recipes that Chef Julie Frans prepared for us.
Chef Julie shared with us that she incorporates many of Teena’s produce into dishes on her menu at Essensia ( see MIAbites feature on Chef Julie Frans here ) She also hosts along with Green Monkey Yoga a monthly Yoga and Garden-to-Table Supper the second Wednesday of every month( including this Wednesday 3/11 ) at The Palms Hotel featuring an hour long yoga class followed by a vegetarian buffet supper. The class and supper are priced at $35 and registration is online at http://www.essensiarestaurant.com/specials/
Touring the farm is a wonderful way for children and adults to realize where their food comes from and all of the hard work it takes to grow organic vegetables that are so vital to healthy minds and bodies.
20025 SW 270th Street
Homestead, FL 33031