Photo by Gesi Schilling
Little River Cooperative is a multidisciplinary farming project based in the Redland agricultural district of Miami, and owned by growers Tiffany Noe & Muriel Olivares. Since we started on this growing journey over 8 years ago our farming project has taken on many forms based on the needs of our community & ourselves. In the past we focused on growing vegetables on a small residential property in North Miami, which sustained a modest CSA and one farmers market stand. Over the years our CSA grew into a "multi-farm CSA" providing 150 families with locally grown produce on a weekly basis. Four years ago we transformed our farming property into a "farmer incubator" project, carving up our fields into parcels tended by future farmers that, with our guidance, used their spaces to learn about small scale market gardening by doing. Now, we are happy to say that the incubator participants have taken over the stewardship of that land and formed "Semillas Coop".
While one aspect of our business was always the practice of farming for production the other one was growing veggie seedlings and using those to install & tend private gardens throughout the city. We start each growing season with a huge heirloom tomato & fall veggie seedling sale and from then on we grow a spectacular selection of veggie seedlings, culinary herbs, medicinal plants, cut flower varieties, butterfly host plants, native species & tropical fruit trees. In past years our edible plant nursery was based in Allapattah, however as of this summer we have moved our nursery to the Redland! We are happy to announce that we have partnered with agricultural nonprofit AgriTrace Institute alongside our friends French Farms. We will all be working on location at the The PLK Estate, nestled in the center of Redland, FL. Affectionately called Miami's back yard, the Redland offers crops that are not grown commercially elsewhere in the continental U.S. The largest of which are avocados that cover nearly 8,000 acres of the community’s agricultural land. The goal of AgriTrace Institute and its farm partners (thats us!) is to develop the space into a site where organic & community based agriculture can grow and thrive in the heart of the Redland agricultural district. We will be growing lots of produce & happy seedlings and together with AgriTrace Institute we will be organizing educational opportunities, cultural events & specialty crop trials.
We are particularly excited about serving as a link between our urban community and this historical agricultural area. We are hoping that our presence in the Redland will open up exploration of that area to you all. There are lots of beautiful places to visit nearby and the PLK Estate is open to visitors every Saturday through May. For more information check out our "visit us" page. We also have a shared booth with French Farms at the Legion Park Farmers Market this season, also through May.
Empowered people through connections with food and ecology.
Our Mission statement:
We are a female led team of farmers, growers & educators, a.k.a. “Plant Nerds”, focused on sharing our love of and passion for useful plants with our community. Over the last 7 years we have become a central resource for all things relating to growing food in South Florida. We strive to be examples of how individuals can make a difference in their urban environment by sharing resources on composting, suburban backyard food gardening, growing & making plant medicine and becoming more resilient community members in the process.
Whether it's through an educational workshop, a quick stop at our farmers market booth, or a visit to our edible plant nursery we strive to always be empowering our customers to grow their own food & medicine at home through education & exposure to farming in an urban environment.
Our customers are sustainability minded city dwellers who are interested in getting their hands dirty, and deepening their relationship with the sacred art of growing food. They are people who see the value in teaching the next generation of earthlings about the importance of organic farming & caring for the environment. They are community members who see the magic in watching a seed turn into a plant which then turns into a tomato and wants to share it just like we do.
We teach people about growing & gardening in our tropical climate in a clear and approachable way so that they can easily digest large complex ideas about the environment and integrate those lessons into their gardens and lives. Our expertise is focused on this special climate and its challenges and complexities, making us as unique in the gardening world as our climate is in the continental US.
A Selection of Press:
New York Times, How Farmers Got Florida to Swipe Right
Fusion TV: Project Earth. Sustain us: a look at Little River Cooperative
Miami New Times, Best Of: Food and Drink: BEST CSA
Miami Herald, South Florida Food 50: 2016 batch of South Florida Food 50 winners among best in the business
Evan S. Benn, February 2016
Garden Collage, Tips While at Art Basel Miami Beach
Ruthie Abel, December 2015
Miami New Times, Little River Co-Op Launches Chef CSA for Local Restaurants
Hannah Sentenac, August 2015
Miami New Times, "Little River Summer Plant Sale: Pigeon Peas, Marigolds and Spearmint"
Hannah Sentenac, April 2015
Miami New Times, "Miami People, 2014"
Tim Elfrink, November 2014
Miami New Times, "Little River Co-Op Plant Sale This Weekend: Better Than Home Depot"
Hannah Sentenac, October 2014
Miami New Times, Five Reasons to Join a CSA for Fall
Hannah Sentenac, August 2014
Ocean Drive, "Behind Miamis Farm to Table Craze"
Bill Kearney, July 2014
Miami Herald, "Edible Miami: Foraging for something to eat in the south florida landscape"
Deborah S. Hartz-Seeley, April 2014
Miami New Times, "2013 Tastemakers of Miami"
Zachary Fagenson, May 2013