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Locavore Scene: Fort Lauderdale Vegetables

It's finally happening. For the longest time, it seemed there were virtually no options for local food in Broward County -- but those days are finally ending. 

There are some pretty exciting things going on in the Broward County locavore scene. This is all the more amazing when you consider that Broward is one of two counties in Florida that's technically "built out," meaning there's no more land left to develop. So instead of big farms, we're seeing small urban farms that rely on hydroponics and other advanced growing techniques to get as many vegetables as possible from small patches of substandard soil.

One of the newest of these is Fort Lauderdale Vegetables. Not quite a CSA and not quite a community garden, Fort Lauderdale Vegetables is somewhere in between. It's a "decentralized farm." Basically, this means you pay a fee for a CSA-style weekly supply of fresh vegetables, but you also get to help choose the crop. And instead of working on the farm like a community garden, your weekly fees help fund the hiring of two employees at living wages (although you can work in the garden if you want).

According to architect Michael Madfis, who designed the garden, it offers the best of all worlds: container culture with drip irrigation, all-natural growing methods with natural compost and seaweed fertilizer, increased productivity, and support for the community by providing both jobs and fresh vegetables. The garden also donates 25 percent of the gross production to nonprofit food banks and pantries.

You can find out more about Fort Lauderdale Vegetables by checking out the website or calling 954-854-8788.

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Jon Van Zile

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