If you've got a personal day coming to you, now is a good time to use it.
Knaus Berry Farm opens for season today, October 27. That, of course, means warm cinnamon rolls and strawberry shakes are here!
The farm traditionally opens in November but for the past few seasons has been pushing the big day up a few weeks early. This comes as good news to giddy Miamians willing and eager to make the 45-minute trek to Miami-Dade's farm country for a taste of old Florida tradition. Each day, carloads of tourists and locals arrive, with people standing in line for more than an hour on a Saturday morning for the warm buns (Knaus is closed Sundays).
The Redland bakery/farm stand was founded in 1956, when brothers Ray and Russell Knaus sold berries from a roadside stand not far from where the current Knaus Berry Farm is today. The brothers expanded to pies and breads when a fruit broker tasted Ray's wife Barbara's cookies and deemed them delicious enough to sell.
This year, however, the farm opens for the new season with a heavy heart and the loss of its patriarch, Ray Knaus, who died at the age of 85 this past August 28 in the Redland. Management of the farm won't change much, though, because most of the business operation had already been taken on by Ray and Barbara's children.
There's also talk of renaming the stretch of SW 248th Street that the farm is on to Knaus Brothers Street in honor of the two men who brought joy to generations of South Floridians who have made a day trip to Knaus a time-honored family tradition.
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Progress is slow at this old-timey farm, but this season brings some changes. The Knaus family has installed new bakery ovens and a new menu board. Prices have increased slightly, with a dozen cinnamon rolls now selling for $9 (last year a dozen sold for $8.65). Pecan pies are $11.50, key lime and guava cream pies cost $10.50, and breads range from $3.55 to $4.30 a loaf.
But the more things change, the more they stay the same, so remember to bring cash, because the farm store still doesn't accept credit cards.
Knaus also offers a host of local produce grown onsite and at neighboring farms. You can also pick your own strawberries and tomatoes out back — a good way to burn off calories from that extra cinnamon roll you devoured.
Knaus Berry Farm is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and season runs through mid-April. Knaus is closed Sunday.