17. Margie Pikarsky of Bee Heaven Farm
Margie Pikarsky coordinates Redland Organics, a local organization of South Florida growers, It supplies sustainable vegetables, herbs, honey, and eggs to Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Broward counties, and is among the best communiity supported agriculture programs around.
Few farmers in South Florida have sufficient time to attend markets, but Pikarsky, who is also the farmer behind Bee Heaven Farm, can be found at Pinecrest Farmers' Market December through April. There, she oversees the largest stand of organic, locally-grown produce. (It's also perhaps the biggest farmer's stand of organic and local produce in the city.)
Pikarsky's presence at market signifies an important connection between Miamians and farmers. For backing South Florida's organics, Margie Pikarsky is a Tastemaker.
The most influential person in my career has been:
Probably my father, who would let me "drive" the tractor, sitting on his knee, in our weekend escape hobby farm in El Wajay, in the near countryside of Havana, Cuba, when I was a wee thing. He started my love affair with plants, especially tropical fruit. We spent every possible weekend and a good part of every summer at the farm, until I was 8 years old and we fled to the U.S.
When I'm alone and in need of comfort (and no one is there to watch or judge) the one food or drink I turn to is:
Dark chocolate-covered candied ginger
What does Miami need more of?
Locally-grown (and organic) food. Staying local!
You get to vote one food or beverage trend off the island forever -- what is it?
You have unlimited funds to open a restaurant or bar -- what's the name and what do you serve?
The Java Plum Café: serving 100% truly locally-grown (within South Florida), organic food, simply prepared (food your grandma would recognize), with many choices of seasonal vegetables and seasonal local fruit, accompanied by a very small selection of meats/dairy proteins (again, truly locally-grown), and (of course, locally-grown) tropical fruit items for dessert.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Perhaps transitioning towards retirement, or perhaps just shifting gears to another aspect of farming and farm-to-table awareness education.
Dream dinner party for six: Who (living or dead) are you inviting?
Oh my. That's a hard one. First, my immediate family: my husband, my daughter, and my Parisian brother and his partner, who appreciate food as only the French can. Then, maybe the Bizarre Foods dude, Andrew Zimmern, because I'm adventurous about food (though I love life too much to play Russian Roulette with pufferfish!), or maybe... geez, my brain has come to a screeching halt -- so many people... so few seats.
New Times' Best of Miami 2013 issue arrives June 13. To celebrate, Short Order is serving up the top 30 tastemakers in the 305. These people have helped shape the Miami food scene into what it is today. We began with number 30 and will lead up to the county's number one. A Q&A session is included in each post.
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