Just as snow blanketing fields in a monochrome corduroy signals the start of winter up north, bursts of bright green rows mean growing season is well underway in South Florida. Early crops – Asian greens, French breakfast radishes, cucumbers, green beans – are already in the farmers markets, while strawberries and tomatoes take in the November sun, working on their size and sweetness.
There are other signs of the season in Homestead and the Redland. Robert Is Here – the sprawling produce stand at the crossroads leading to Everglades National Park – is a fixture for locals and tourists, famed for their fruit shakes as much as their local fruits and vegetables and fresh-from-Florida products, including jams, jellies, honey, sauces, condiments and baked goods. Robert himself – who started selling cucumbers from this spot when he was 6 – is holding court with regulars. They’re talking about the qualities of the guanabana (grown in Key Largo) and the size of the pommelos (massive). In the rear, Robert’s son Brandon is coordinating a shipment of sweet Mysore bananas piled in the back of a battered pickup. Other family members are making tubs of guacamole. There’s already a line at the shake … Read More