Despite the fact that bountiful Broward County farms supply some of the area's best eateries, most diners will never see tomatoes, kale, or sweet potatoes anywhere other than on their plate. Or wrapped in plastic at Publix.
But this Saturday, Growing Broward's first Farm to Table Bus Tour will give foodies a glimpse of where their edibles originate while feeding, educating, and entertaining them along the way.
See also: Fort Lauderdale Vegetables' Michael Madfis: We Need a Food Policy Council
Michael Madfis, the man behind Fort Lauderdale Vegetables, is a cofounder of Growing Broward and one of the driving forces behind the inaugural bus tour.
"The purpose of the tour is to expose as many people as we can to the new developing infrastructure of farm-to-table agriculture in Broward County," Madfis says.
Plus, they're raising funds for Growing Broward, the brand name for Broward Food System Cooperative Inc., a 250-plus-strong group of people working to support the development of a local sustainable environment and economy based on the food industry.
The bus tour will give people a firsthand look at local food production, plus feed them and school them on how to grow their own edibles. They'll pop into Treehuggers, Harpke Family, and Flagler Village farms.
As far as food, the five-course, locally sourced vegetarian menu, whipped up by "Nina Raw Chef" (with help from chef Linda Macedo, Mario Moring, Hila Rubinstein, and Stewart Karrigan) will include:
Open faced ravioli: sweet potato and sunflower cheez (flavored with fresh herbs and citrus zest; lightened w/ zucchini cores)
Green papaya kimchee-topped tempeh rafts
Island Fusion (bar of chows, sambas, and salsas)
Sweet potato and pear gazpacho
Cornucopia of freshly harvested local greens (whites reds and purples, too!), featuring *moringa, *purslane, *sprouts, *cranberry hibiscus, *amaranth, and *edible flowers
Zucchini spirals with pesto toppings bar -- i.e. carrot and daikon top greens, kale, arugula, fresh tomato
Crispy polenta topped with braised mushroom medley (excepting shiitake and oyster mushrooms)
Desserts (choice of):
Caramelized and roasted pears with wine reduction
Roasted plantains with local honey and coconut crème
In addition to the dinner and tours, Madfis will give a talk on cultivating a home garden.
"I will be presenting a brief discussion of fast-growing Florida specialty crops that anyone can grow at home in a variety of seasons but concentrating on our current winter season," he explains. "I will also focus on the uniqueness of our climate zone, its advantages and limitations related to food production and backyard growing."
A meal, a lesson, farm tours, live music, a goody bag, and more -- your chance to get on board the locavore express.
Tickets run $65 for nonmembers including the tour with dinner, presentations, entertainment and a stuffed gift bag; $60 for members and $35 for dinner and entertainment only, starting at 6:30 p.m. The tour kicks off at 3 p.m. (boarding) at Eucalyptus Gardens, 2430 NE 13th Ave, Wilton Manors, FL 33305. Reservations are a must. Call 954-914-5441 to book or buy tickets online. Attendees can use the hashtag #GBF2Tfall14.
Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahgetshappy.