Friday, May 14, 2010

Small Local Produce Farms vs. Organic Farms in South Florida

Which do you support?
It is a pretty hard life as a farmer whether its producing conventional or organic crop.  And while it is better to consume organic produce over conventional, it can be a challenge to buy locally grown certified organic produce in south Florida, as there are many more conventional farms here than organic.  Most certified organic produce comes from outside the state of Florida.

Of the conventional farms in South Florida, the smaller they are the better when it comes to using organic growing methods on their property.  They vary in size from one acre hydroponic operations to 200 acre soil based farms.  Many are CSAs--Community Supported Agriculture (Co-Ops)--that cater to both the individual consumer and restaurants.  The small based farmer is open to more suggestions on improving thier produce to please their customers than thier larger commercial based farms and so supporting them is the first step towards supporting future organic farms.

In South Florida some conventional small farms to check out are: Farris Farm (hydroponic) in Palm Beach Gardens; The Girls (hydroponic) in Delray; Swank Specialty Produce (hydroponic, CSA) in Loxahatchee; Green Cay Farm (CSA) in Boynton Beach; D&D Farms (CSA) in Palm City; Erickson Farm in Canal Point; Bedner's Farm in Boynton Beach; and Varri Green Farm in Port St. Lucie.

Some organic farms: Paradise Farm in Redlands; Sea Breeze Farm in Ft. Pierce; Lady Moon Farms in Punta Gorda; Somerset Farm in Naples.

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