Even if you've never heard of a food "desert," you can probably guess it isn't a good thing. The term refers to an area where affordable, healthful food is difficult to obtain -- and parts of Wynwood fall into that category.
But this Sunday's inaugural Wynwood Green & Art Market is looking to change that. The concept, dreamed up by folks at the Bakehouse Art Complex for last year's Our Miami Public Space Challenge, is designed to meet the needs of the local community with affordable farm-to-table produce, artisanal items, curated art, and other products.
An array of organizations are on board as vendors, including the Urban Oasis Project's Verde Farms, selling local, seasonal organic produce. This week they'll harvest a wide variety of fresh edibles, such as red and green cabbage, kohlrabi, mizuna, dandelion greens, curly and lacinato kale, rainbow chard, parsley, cilantro, salanova heads, butter leaf lettuces, baby arugula and mizuna, organic corn, organic romanesco broccoli/cauliflower, organic celery, organic mini sweet peppers, organic green peppers, organic jalapeño peppers, organic green beans, organic French breakfast radishes, and daikon radishes.
As far as pricing, the Urban Oasis Project works to make its inventory accessible to everyone, offering produce from its own organic Verde Farm and others, as well as running an EBT-doubling program called "Fresh Access Bucks," which allows people with food stamps to buy twice as much Florida-grown produce.
"Locally produced food from smaller farms sometimes does cost more, although often it costs less," says Art Friedrich, president of the Urban Oasis Project. "You can always be assured that local produce is the best value for your money, though, because you get the best-quality produce, the farmers and workers are usually getting paid better wages, and care for the environment is included in the price."
Other participants include Reeny's Butterflies, Bees & Blooms, selling honey and other bee products; the Green Bar, offering fresh fruit and vegetable smoothies; Greencrafters Inc., peddling kombucha tea; Soy Naturals, proffering hand-poured soy candles and essential oils; and Quinoa Corner, selling locally prepared quinoa salads with vegan and vegetarian options.
Throughout the year, the market will also host activities such as artist booths, performances, crafts for kids, and free yoga.
The first market will run Sunday, March 1, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bakehouse Art Complex, 561 NW 32nd St., Miami. Admission is free. Future dates are scheduled March 15, 22, and 29; April 12 and 26; May 10 and 24; and June 14 and 28.
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