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A Sip of the Sun at Paradise Farms


Today was a good day. I got to visit a farm. This time it was Paradise Farms in Homestead, FL. We took a farm tour and ate a brunch made of all the goodies from the farm. In addition to being organic, owner Gabriele Marewski told us that the farm follows biodynamic principles. Paradise Farms is a supplier of baby greens, microgreens, and flowers to some of South Florida’s finest restaurants.

This is what I like about farms. They let you run around in the sun and eat things. Like flowers. We ate all sorts of flowers — not only peppery nasturtium like at Ballymaloe, but sunn hemp,

wild petunia,

arugula flowers (tastes like arugula),

and mizuna flowers. Who knew? Mizuna flowers taste like broccoli!

Also of note was a cotton candy tree that produces red berries that taste like cotton candy. A little willy wonka, right? Gabriele also showed us a room with a dehydrator that she obtained through what she dubbed, “decision-making by synchronicity”. A guy called her up when a nearby factory was closing down and wanted to sell her a dehydrator for a bargain price. Now Paradise Farms is in the process of dehydrating edible flowers (for possible sale at Whole Foods) and oyster mushrooms (their variety is 25% protein), so a dried one would be like a mushroomy-protein chip.

Okay, now take a look at these mimosas. Think they are sparkling wine and OJ, right?

Nope. It’s carambola juice. (TROPICAL FRUIT REFRESHER: Carambola = star fruit).

Someone sitting near me at my brunch table sipped the carambola juice, paused, and said, “This tastes like the sun.” Kind of poetic, right? I have to say though, there is a particular taste to carambola. It’s tart and can be refreshing, but there is also a tire-like aftertaste. I’m not kidding. There is something a little rubber about star fruit. I guess I would amend the statement to say carambola juice is refreshing, but with an aftertaste of sun-kissed tires. In the best possible way!! (Remember when I mentioned the plant that smells like gasoline — I welcome it all.)

The brunch included homemade yogurt (thick, slightly sour, creamy),

fresh strawberries and sliced oranges, honey from the farm, a salad of wild greens and flowers,

an egg strada made of local eggs (Gabriele is okay with using eggs, “as long as I know the chickens”) and this waxy spinach known as malabar spinach (When I was growing up my mother often made what I think of as a “swamp soup” because there was so much of this type of spinach in each bowl).

There were also condiments of homemade pesto and marinated, chopped up yellow heirloom tomatoes. For dessert, shortbread cookies made with pecans from Northern Florida, lemon zest, coarse sea salt, and a tiny bit of fresh-from-the-farm rosemary.

Another thing I like about farms is that you always see some incredible example of wild beauty. Like take a look at this…Gabriele called this simply, “mustard greens gone wild.”


One Response to “A Sip of the Sun at Paradise Farms”

  1. cake poker says:

    Oh gosh, I disagree, but, nonetheless, it’s an interesting experience, RRS subscribed!

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