Shop Local at Urban Oasis Projects Farmers Markets
Celebrate local farmers and shop farmers markets for fresh fruit and produce in South Florida. On a recent Saturday, the fresh fruit and vegetable enthusiast that I am, ventured down to the Southwest Farmers Market at Tropical Park (open year-round, Saturdays from 9 am - 3 pm) to experience what they had to offer.
The Urban Oasis Project local produce farm stand was the main draw for me but there were other vendors to see as well. There were fresh eggs from Homestead, Arrowhead beef and pork and more local purveyors.
Miami has many Farmers Markets to choose from but most provide produce that is bought from the same distributors that sell to Whole Foods, Publix and Fresh Market and may even be imported from outside of the US.
The Urban Oasis Project hosts three markets each week. The Arsht on Mondays, the Upper East Side at Legion Park and Southwest Market at Tropical Park on Saturdays, and offer only locally grown produce, grass-fed beef and pork, free-range organically fed eggs and more.
Many farms in South Florida pride themselves by offering organic and pesticide free fruits and vegetables .
Do you know what time they have to be up to pick the produce? The answer is 2 am, because of the heat as the day progresses. Now, that is dedication and hard work. It is the least we can do to “shop local” besides eating organic and fresh food.
The Urban Oasis Project, a non-profit that believes “good, clean, healthy food should be accessible to all” is run by Art Friedrich and a slew of committed volunteers. In fact, Urban Oasis has accepted EBT/SNAP, formerly known as food stamps for a number of years. Urban Oasis offers double the value up to $20 of SNAP to encourage those on limited budget to choose nutrition and develop better eating habits.
This time of year, it is all about local fruits like Mangoes and Papaya. I arrived at this market on Saturday early afternoon and by then they were almost wiped out. So get there early if you want the best selection!
Just in time to stock up for some July 4th festivities, Donnie Avocados have come into season. Also available is some Organic corn, and they are stocked up on Portabello Caps- great for grilling. Ever grilled some green mango? Grilled avocado with a drizzle of balsamic is also an alternative to making guacamole.
And the last of the lychees- so it's your last chance to fill your freezer and your martini glasses with them.
This week at market will also have Jackfruit, White Sapote, Sapodilla, Mamey, Bananas, Passionfruit, Graviola, Kale, Hot Peppers, Okra and of course, MANGOES!
So, stop by this weekend or on Monday at The Arsht ( Named Miami New Times Best Farmers Market ) to stock up on fresh fruits and produce and support South Florida’s local farms and farmers.
Every Saturday: Markets at Tropical Park 9-3PM, 7900 SW 40th St, Miami, FL 33155 Bus lines 40 and 82.
Upper Eastside Farmers Market at Legion Park, 9-2PM, 6601 Biscayne Blvd. Bus lines 3, 51 and 62.
Every Monday: Market Mondays at Arsht Center, 4-8:30 PM, NW 13th St and Biscayne Blvd. Free parking at 13th and Biscayne parking lot.