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February 18, 2015

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Gretchen Schmidt

Hi Mark,
Thanks for talking with one of the most articulate folks helping promote local foods in South Florida. As Art points out, South Florida faces some unique issues, and we are late to the local food movement party. That said, we're making up for it, thanks to Urban Oasis Project and other farmers in both urban areas (Little Haiti, Fort Lauderdale, Dania Beach) and in Homestead/Redland, our major agricultural district. Many markets do indeed include resellers or a local farm/reseller model, and some small market farmers have landed on creative solutions for their produce offerings, especially during summer months when the bulk of local offerings are tropical fruits. For example, some send mangos up to markets in North Carolina in return for their local produce. Keep in mind that we are still trying to educate consumers why there are no local strawberries in Florida in the middle of July.

Our Edible South Florida farmers market list has grown from about a dozen markets in our winter 2010 issue to about 60 today, at the height of the season: http://ediblesouthflorida.com/farmers-markets/farmers-markets/
Now, the question becomes one of having enough produce to serve all those markets.

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