#TNTShowdown benefits Urban Oasis Project and Verde Community Gardens

As we countdown to Sunday’s Taco & Tequila Showdown( Eventbrite link here ), MIAbites wanted to share a little about Urban Oasis Project, the wonderful Miami non-profit we are proud and honored to be supporting.

Urban Oasis Project and Verde Community Garden and Café have made a commitment to the Miami area farm community and residents to provide fresh, local, produce, fruit, organic meats and poultry thru their Farmers Markets and Community Garden.  Each week, the Farmer’s Markets are abuzz with local purveyors, farmers, chefs and shoppers in search of Miami’s bounty.  Urban Oasis hosts the weekly Saturday Upper East Side Market, The Farmers Market at the Arsht Center on Mondays, the SW Market in Tropical Park in addition to a number of other local Farmer's Markets. 

One of the programs the TNTShowdown is supporting is the UOP initiative started by national non-profit, Wholesome Wave and its CEO and 2015 James Beard Humanitarian, Michel Nischan, which provides double value for food stamps when used to purchase fresh produce at local Farmer’s Markets, thereby encouraging Miami’s food insecure to choose fresh rather than frozen or processed and maintain a healthier lifestyle.

Urban Oasis Project believes that good, clean, healthy food should be accessible to all. 

In Homestead, the Verde Community Farm has been enjoying the cool October weather, and many crops have been coming in stronger than expected.  UOP President, Art Friedrich and Verde Manager, Bill Squire report that there’s an explosion of fresh cilantro, gorgeous heirloom striped zucchinis, and the sweetest sugar baby watermelons you've ever had. Summer crops of yuca, nopales and sweet potatoes have been keeping our bellies full, balancing the last of the seasons dragonfruit and starfruit sweetness. 

In addition, as Verde Farm crops continue to come in, the Community Supported Agriculture program, CSA for short, begins on Nov 20th. 

CSA is a wonderful program that anyone can sign up for that guarantees the best and the first of each harvest from Verde Farm. By signing up for 10 or 20 weeks, you get a fun box of veggies each week, as well as a newsletter to give you cooking tips and explain some of the weird and wonderful items that you'll get to try. Most of the vegetables are your traditional staples, although you will likely get heirloom varieties and special versions of things like eggplant, cabbage, tomatoes, broccoli and so much more.  Members pick up their CSA share at any Urban Oasis Project Farmers Market, or directly at Verde Cafe in Homestead, where of course you can also have a full farm-to-fork lunch, a smoothie, and locally made goods from many artisans utilizing the commercial kitchen. 

Verde Farm and Market all work in partnership with Carrfour Supportive housing and the Homeless Trust, employing many formerly homeless folks, giving them good food access, job skills and a paycheck in exchange for their hard work.  You can really tell that these relationships have really paid off when you see the delicious foods abundantly coming out of this place! Verde Cafe, helmed by the talented Chef Adri Garcia ( and one the TNT judges! ), is in the first year of what will be a long story of growth and expansion and becoming a must-do stop for anyone driving to the Keys, touring through Homestead, or just wanting to have a fun and eye opening farm experience right here in Miami!.

So, if you haven’t bought your tickets yet to TNTShowdown, consider joining us Sunday November 8th at The Vagabond or if you can’t make the event, consider making a donation, visiting Verde Community Garden and Café, or stop in to any of the Farmer’s Markets to revel in what makes Miami farms so special. 

Upper East Side Farmers' Market

Saturdays 9:00 A.M. - 2:00 P.M. (year round)
Legion Park
Biscayne Blvd at NE 66th Street
Parking available from 64th St. 

EBT benefits doubled up to $20 for fruits and veggies to help make fresh produce accessible to all! 

Las Olas Farmers' Market 

Sundays 9:00 A.M. - 2:00 P.M. (year round)
Ft. Lauderdale
333 E. Las Olas Blvd

SW Community Farmers' Market

Saturdays 9:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M. (year round)
Tropical Park
7900 SW 40th Street

 EBT benefits doubled up to $20 for fruits and veggies to help make fresh produce accessible to all! 

Adrienne Arsht Center Farmers' Market

Mondays 4:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M. 
Biscayne Blvd. 
Between NE 13th Street and 14th Street 

Amelia Earhart Farmers' Market (closed for the summer, check back for opening)

Sundays 11:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. 
401 E 65th Street
Hialeah, FL 33013

Miami Springs Farmers' Market (closed for the summer, check for opening)

Saturdays 9:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M. (until April 4th, 2015)
On Curtiss Parkway Median

Bakehouse Arts Complex (closed for the summer, check for opening)

Sundays 11:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M. (See select dates)
561 NW 32nd Street