Beneath a crisp blue sky on Feb. 13 a crowd gathered to sample fresh food grown locally at the weekly Coral Gables Farmer’s Market.
Biltmore Way was closed in the area in front of the City Hall to accommodate the sprawling market. There was considerably more to the event than vegetables and fruit, although they could be found in gorgeous abundance, too.
Tai-Chi classes took place in the area, and there were cooking demonstrations and gardening workshops, plus fun face-painting for the children.
Sporting a Denver Bronco’s cap, Octavio and his wife Lucy were inspecting the honey provided by local beekeeper, Miguel Bode.
“I have faith in the honey,” he said when asked about how he kept himself healthy.
Carrie, the beekeeper’s wife, was standing in as cashier at their booth. They have a new product to battle colds. It is an infusion of honey and garlic. It is their first infusion.
“I turn to honey and lemon whenever I have a cold,” Miami resident Jane Allen said when asked why she liked honey so much.
Another unusual, but spectacular find at the market were the pickles provided by Doctor Pickle. Not only were they kosher and organic, but they were simply delicious in all their varieties. There were sweet dills and spicy peppery blends. There also were pickled beets and pickled ginger. Matt who stood at the booth selling the pickles for his uncle, the owner, said that it takes about six weeks for the pickling process to complete.
Local shopper, Jose “Pepe” Colombo enjoyed the samples and said that the he always enjoyed the variety at the market.
Susan Gerrisa, a resident of Coral Gables enjoys all of the organically grown produce at the Farmer’s Market. When asked what she especially liked about the market, she responded quickly, “The innovation; there is a lot of creativity on display here today. Also, it’s a chance to get outdoors.”
She is the owner and operator of a business named Mind, Body, Weight and was purchasing organic tomatoes at Mr. Green Deans’ booth where Cris was cutting up samples.
Although the tomatoes looked wonderfully red and juicy and tasted crisp, Cris mentioned that it had been a difficult year for local growers because of the weather.
As Gerrisa mentioned, the innovation was on display at another booth from a new company called Perla. University of Miami grads Paul Massard and Cris Nolte started their business roasting coffee about two months ago and their custom coffee roasts are all organic and responsibly harvested.
Serving up organic vegetables along with a smile, Rosa Parada spoke of the uses for one of the herbs that she was selling at her booth.
“Place the dill on top of the fish before you place it in the oven. Cover and let the herb soak into the fish as it cooks. It’s delicious,” she said.
The association that she represents operates in Homestead.
Finally, the air was filled with the smell of fresh bread. JC’s Daily Bread’s booth was manned by Emily who provided samples of freshly baked artisan breads.
The Farmer’s Market is being sponsored by the City of Coral Gables and will continue every Saturday, from 8 a.m. until noon, through Mar. 26.