Healthy Eating

Muriel Olivares Talks Sustainable Farming at Lester's Tomorrow

A wise sage once told her young grasshopper, "If you plant something every day, you'll have something every day."

Actually, it was more like Muriel Olivares, founder and farmer of the Little River Market Garden, telling us her personal philosophy over the phone. But we'll take it as good advice nonetheless.

This Saturday at 4 p.m., Olivares is sharing her wisdom with community members at Wynwood coffee shop Lester's.

"She's local and the way she sells or provides people with her product is local as well. So it's a double local thing going there," says Dan Milewski, who opened Lester's in order to provide the community with a space for sharing ideas.

Milewski, who is friends with Olivares, says the two were talking about sustainable farming in South Florida, when the idea came up to educate others about Miami's growing conditions.

"We realized that a lot of the major literature out there is from other parts of the country. With the exception of Hawaii, there's no other climate that's similar to here in the States, so most of the literature is not pertinent."

Olivares will talk about her experiences growing fruit in South Florida. She says that one of the biggest mistakes people make when planting is getting the timing wrong. "Our climate is so unique here. It causes confusion sometimes."

She began growing her own food as a way to get more diversity and better quality in what she eats. In her Little River Market Garden, Olivares has two small vegetable, cut flower and herb gardens. She grows a variety of seasonal crops and tropical fruit, from heirloom tomatoes to bok choy to passion fruit.

Although the CSA, short for community supported agriculture, is not yet certified, it only uses organic and sustainable practices of farming.

"With how popular sustainability and local environments are as they pertain to food, this is a good conversation to have," says Milewski.

Saturday's Q&A will only be an introductory discussion to a three-part series. Olivares plans to time the last two parts of the series according to the growing season in Florida. In the second part, she hopes to cover planting in South Florida (most likely in October) and in the third, harvesting and cooking (most likely in January).

Olivares wants to emphasize that the event is more of a discussion than a lecture. "When I talk about this type of stuff, people usually have a lot of questions. This is definitely the place to bring those questions."

Follow Short Order on Facebook and Twitter @Short_Order.

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Alexandra Leon
Contact: Alexandra Leon