As many of you know we moved to a property called the PLK Estate in the Redland last summer. We did this in partnership with AgriTrace Institute, a local non profit that aims to protect historic farmland by partnering with organic farms to rehabilitate and activate them, and our old friend French Farms, who is farming the land around our nursery. This unique piece of property is technically located in "Silver Palm" which is an older historic district built around Andersons General Store (currently derelict and for sale) and Silver Palm Schoolhouse, both located on the corner of 157th Avenue and 232nd street.
Our nursery is open to the public every Saturday and we are always shocked by how many people come visit us and tell us that they've either never been to the Redland or haven't come down to explore in years. Even when our farm was in Little River or Allapattah we would come to this area often to source plants, pick fruit, visit other farms and buy supplies, so we have always nurtured a connection to this unique and beautiful agricultural area. Now that we are located down here and we seem to be acting as a draw for city folks to come down for the day we thought we would put together a list of some of our favorite neighbors for you to visit and explore.
Little River Coop Nursery
The Fields of French Farms
Little River Coop & French Farms at AgriTrace Institute
is located at 22305 SW 157th avenue, and we are open every Saturday from 10am - 5pm. We sell edible plants & farm grown produce. please note, we are not a U pick farm, we are a working farm thats quite primitive. Dogs are welcome.
Patch of Heaven Sanctuary
is our neighbor just across the street at 21900 SW 157th Avenue, and its an absolute hidden gem. It's a non profit dedicated to preserving hammock forest, supporting wildlife diversity and so much more. The property, open to visitors every Thursday - Sunday from 8am till 4pm boasts 16 acres of hammock preserve, multiple historic homes, a zen garden, an impressive collection of antiques, horse stables, butterfly greenhouses, and one of the most impressive grottos we've ever seen. And they have jade vines, which flower in the spring... read more about this amazing jewel here.
Castellow Hammock Preserve & Nature Center
22301 SW 162nd Avenue. Our farm is actually surrounded by this incredibly special wild nature preserve, which has a visitor center and half mile interpretive trail on 162nd Avenue, just a few blocks east of us. The Castellow Hammock is a rare 112 acre preserve that shows us what this area of South Florida used to look like before we came along and had our way with it. Its full of unique geological formations like solution holes and beautiful forest trees. The nature center also does lots of family friendly programming.
Isaac Farms & Succulent World are two nurseries owned by the same family and they are the masters of succulents and cacti growing. Isaac Farms (18800 SW 177th Ave) is where you'll want to go for small plants, and Succulent World (23650 SW 177th Avenue) is where we source nice large pots for various projects, but they are getting into selling more hanging hoya vines, agaves and more there too. Both properties are really decked out in decorative and ornamental accents, water features and Koi ponds, and inspiration for working on your home succulent garden.
While succulents are cool our favorite type of plants are natives, and theres a handful of cool native nurseries down here that are growing beautiful plants that are native to South Florida and are thusly low maintenance, pollinator and habitat friendly, and climate appropriate. Heres a list of our favorite native nurseries. Make sure to check on their opening information before heading out to shop since many nurseries have quirky opening hours (just like us!).
Vebers Jungle Garden
Muni Farms (not regularly open to the public)
Native Tree Nursery (not regularly open to the public)
Doug Ingram & Sons Nursery (not regularly open to the public)
For buying locally grown produce even though Homestead & the Redland are agricultural areas it can be quite tough. Many of the farms grow tomatoes, zucchini, green beans and tropical fruit and send them straight to distributors who put them on trains and 18 wheelers to be distributed throughout the northeast. Even smaller diversified farms tend to take their product into the city to sell it because the customers are more densely populated. If you stop at a roadside attraction selling produce the likelihood that it was grown here is slim (especially if its selling things like haas avocados and oranges!) and the likely hood that it was grown organically is even lower, so always make sure to ask where the produce is from and consider going out of your way to shop from one of these smaller diversified organic farms that all offer on farm produce order pickup or the farmers market!
Bee Heaven Farm
Aloha Redland is a magical female owned farm just south of us in the Redland and they have just started hosting lots of weekend yoga and meditation retreats. The property also boasts a gorgeous natural aquifer-fed grotto pool that you can only swim in during one of their retreats, so consider signing up for one asap!
The Fruit & Spice Park (24801 SW 187th Avenue) is the only tropical botanic garden in the continental US, and it's a great place to explore the unique tropical fruits and spices that we can grow in our special climate. Since many of the tropical fruit farms in the area are private this is the best place to go to see a showcase of mature fruit specimens many of which you have likely never seen before. Their general rule for tasting is that if a fruit is on the ground its fair game, so if you go during the summer (beware, its going to be hot hot hot) you will be rewarded with some tropical fruit snacks.
Fowey Rocks is a newer addition to the area and we couldn't be more excited to watch this inspiring project grow and expand. Hosanna and Michael own a beautiful property that used to be an orchid nursery and is now the magical homebase of their skincare & perfume line, called Fowey Rocks. Visit them to explore their distillery, learn about the distillation process, or purchase one of their skincare or home care items every Saturday or Sunday from 11am till 4pm. (22585 sw 187th Avenue)
Last but not least we need to talk about Mexican food... which is what you'll want to be eating while in Homestead and the Redland. Our favorite spots are as follows:
Taqueria Las Chavelas (this food truck is the closest one on the list to our farm)
Taqueria Cinco Hermanos (this is our number one, so good!)
Taqueria Morelia (way further south, has the best salsa bar)
Moreno Tortilla (this is a tiny marketplace that sells fresh tortillas and some food)