Little River Co-Op Plant Sale This Weekend: Better Than Home Depot

Courtesy of Little River Cooperative
Since blessed fall has finally arrived, now's the time to start prepping that patio or backyard garden for planting. Play your cards right, and you'll have plenty of produce to pick from for the next couple months -- instead of being forced to buy plastic-wrapped crap at Publix.

The Little River Cooperative Nursery. is hosting its Heirloom Tomato Seedling Sale this weekend. While the sale is in its fourth year, this is its first at the newly built nursery. But it's not just about tomatoes. This is a gardener's dream come true. They'll have everything from Cubanelle peppers to Garden Peach tomatoes to Red Veined Sorrel -- and lots more.

See also: Five Reasons to Join a CSA for Fall

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Proper Sausages Celebrates Its Year-and-a-Half Anniversary

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Proper Sausages' Freddy and Danielle Kaufmann make a "proper" sausage in Miami.
It's a little hard to believe, but the Proper Sausages shop is turning 1-and-a-half today. The Miami Shores meat boutique opened March 23, 2013, after Freddy and Danielle Kaufmann's sausages, sold mostly at farmers' markets, caused a sensation in Miami.

The couple began making sausages, partly out of necessity, about three years ago, not really intending it to lead to a career. Freddy Kaufman explains, "I was moving back to Miami after being in New York for culinary school. It was right around Obama's inauguration, and I met Danielle. We were both working in restaurants -- she in the front of the house, me in the back. I was working at Michy's. I ate there all the time, and I considered it a dream to get to work there. But it's a bit of a bittersweet thing, because it's a business like any other and the reality of cooking is that sometimes it can be thankless and anonymous and you start to lose a connection to the food.

"Danielle and I would eat around town, and she was continually remarking that the sausage wasn't as good as it was in England. It was just that the quality there was something you take for granted, and it just wasn't present here. Danielle said we should be making our own, and we did and got a really good response from friends. We started selling them at farmers' markets, and we took pride in the quality of the meat and in breaking all these sausage-making traditions. Before you knew it, we were opening a shop that sells meat and bacon and wine and beer. But it all starts with Danielle being attuned to the fact that there wasn't a proper sausage in town."

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Miami Forager Juan Rochaix Wants to Give You Better Meat

Image courtesy of Seriously Organics
Seriously Organics' delivery truck, "Fred."
Finding locally grown, organic produce in Miami is easier these days, particularly during Florida's whacky winter harvest season. Finding protein on par with it, however, is a whole different game that requires more time and research to ensure you get what you pay for.

Forager Juan Rochaix, owner of Seriously Organics, scours the state for produce for many of Miami's favorite restaurants. He's trying to set up a protein-buying club to help South Floridians snag pastured proteins, pastured eggs, and fresh butter at reasonable prices.

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Slow Food Miami Accepting Nominations for Snail of Approval Awards

Photo by Laine Doss
Michael Schwartz won the first Snail of Approval in Miami.
Just a few short years ago, Miami's food scene wasn't exactly known as a thriving mecca of locavore cuisine.

Even with its proximity to oceans teeming with fish and farms that raised everything from tropical fruit to cattle, South Florida establishments ordered more from Sysco than farmer Joe.

See also: Slow Food Miami Snail of Approval Tasting Party: Clean Bites on the Beach

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The Ménage à Trois Raw Vegan Doughnuts from Jugofresh Will Leave You Stuffed

Photos by Carina Ost
The threesome.
There's a certain person (El Jefe) who likes to visit local doughnut shops whenever he travels to different cities. Unfortunately, in Miami you have to leave the city and head to Mojo in Pembroke Pines for that special round sweetness with a hole in the middle.

It's unclear why this Magic City is lacking a special doughnut, but surely this healthful population is partially responsible. Perhaps that is why the juice masters at Jugofresh brought us raw, vegan donuts in a three-pack to satisfy our pie doughnut holes.

See also: Jugofresh Hires In-House Health Expert to Educate Customers

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Five Reasons to Join a CSA for Fall

Courtesy of Tiffany Noé
Everyone knows they should eat local. But when faced with a busy schedule and the convenience of the Publix produce aisle, it can be tough to commit to a locavore lifestyle.

But that's what CSAs are for. Community Supported Agriculture means someone else does your shopping for you and you're supporting local farmers. Now's the time to get on board with a fall share.

See also: Tastemakers: 16. Muriel Olivares of Little River Market Garden

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As Sugar-Apple Season Starts, There's Another Super Fruit to Try

Photo by Carina Ost
Break it open.
At last Sunday's farmers market on Lincoln Road, our favorite vendor who bags and boxes our bounty of produce broke off a bit of something green and mysterious. It looked like something that dinosaurs would munch on or like their scales.

The piece was white and creamy in the middle, like a soft pear with the graininess of an Asian pear. It reminded us a bit of a lychee without the floral notes and had the same vessel and pull-apart, seed-heavy structure as a pomegranate.

It was a sugar-apple and it was exceptional.

See also: Mangoes to Share Looks to Bring Tropical Fruit to Those Less Fortunate

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Colony1: Bulk Food Store, Organic Garden, and Vegan Kitchen Coming to Wynwood

Courtesy of Ricardo Trevino
Homemade edibles by the Colony1 team, on display at the Grassroots Music Festival.
Picture this green-living dream: A marketplace where Miamians can buy locally grown produce and bulk goods, then carry them home in reusable containers; a kitchen where locals can learn to cook healthy, vegan meals for themselves and their families; a lush community garden where people can donate time in exchange for a share of fresh produce.

Believe it or not, all of the above is coming to Wynwood.

Known as Colony1, the living building and its lot will serve as a bulk food store, organic garden, and vegan kitchen, among a community classroom and other things. It's the vision of Nando and Blair Jaramillo, the couple behind local nonprofit the Art of Cultural Evolution (ACE).

See also: Colony1 Eco-Friendly Community to Build Sustainable "Living Building" in Wynwood

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Slow Foods Miami Snail of Approval Awards: Huahua's, Edge Steak & Bar Have Best Bites

All photos by Laine Doss
Frederick Kaufmann, Julie Frans, Louis Aguirre, Todd Erickson, and Aleric Constantin celebrate the slow food movement.
It was a beautiful, balmy evening at the Raleigh Hotel, as hundreds of fans of slow food and renowned chefs gathered poolside for Slow Food Miami's 2014 Snail of Approval Awards party.

Nineteen of South Florida's best restaurants and shops, each committed to providing food from the most local sources possible worked overtime to present amazing dishes to the locavores who gathered at their tables for a bite and the opportunity to vote for their most delicious dish.

See also: Slow Food Miami Snail of Approval Tasting Party: Clean Bites on the Beach

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Slow Food Miami Snail of Approval Tasting Party: Clean Bites on the Beach

Hannah Sentenac
Chef Todd Erickson embraces the slow food movement.
On a recent weekend trip to Grand Cayman, I was pleasantly surprised to notice how many restaurants participate in the slow food movement. Even on an island that's not known for its lush, rainforest environment, farmers are successfully growing everything from eggplant to guava. During the island's recent Slow Food Day at Camana Bay, Alan Markoff, president of Slow Food South Sound, noted the island's farmers got a significant push when local restaurants, including the outpost of Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, served fresh, clean foods on their menus.

It comes as no surprise that Michael Schwartz's reach extends to the Caribbean. After all, his flagship Miami restaurant has embraced the farm-to-table movement since its inception, and Schwartz was the first chef to be given Slow Food Miami's Snail of Approval award, back in 2010.

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