Contents tagged with Orlando

  • First Florida Local Food Summit, Orlando, 2014

    Orlando, Fla.—This was the first year of the Florida Local Food Summit. It was held last month, on the upper floor of the East End Market in Orlando. The summit brought together people from all over Florida, the United States and even Canada. It was designed to educate, energize, and promote change in the local food movement.


    There were 150 people in attendance from farms, grocery stores, local governments and the public. Keynote speakers like Canadian farmer Jean-Martin Fortier and chef/farmer Matthew Raidford, of Georgia, spoke about local food systems.


    The summit was hosted by Earth Learning, East End Market, Local Roots Distribution and the Florida Organic Growers. The first day was all about education and was broken into three categories: organic farming, entrepreneurship, and permaculture.


    The second day was about building communities through several breakout session workshops.


    This two-day event allowed conventional farmers to meet organic, sustainable and permaculture farmers. It was a huge success.


    To find out about future events contact East End Market , 3201 Corrine Dr., Orlando, FL 32803 (321) 236-3316 

  • Florida's Sand Pear

    Autumn is here and it's pear season again. It means, if you’re lucky, that you might find some old timey Florida varieties called Sand pears. They are the descendants of a Chinese hybrid pear that was bred in the 1880s.


    You’ll find them growing in some backyards and some farms around Ocala and Central Florida. But you won’t find many because of their fruit characteristics that don’t make them very good for raw eating. They are small, hard, pear with tough skin and grainy flesh. But despite these drawbacks they are very delicious when cooked.


    The first time I encountered them was in 2009 at a farm-to-table dinner held at the Seminole Inn in Indiantown, Fla. The pears had been grown and were harvested in Ocala. The chef poached the pears in some Florida wine and they were delicious albeit a bit gritty.


    Recently, I came across them again, this time in Orlando, at Local Roots Distribution store in the East End Market. They were selling for $4 a pound. I bought seven pears.


    When I got home I poached them in wine and water for 60 minutes. The results produced a delicious, flavorful dessert.


    If you want to buy some sand pears you can contact Local Roots Distribution or find someone in Ocala that might sell you the fruit from their old timey tree.



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