Jaded in Miami? World weary? Poor baby!
Try jade in Redlands as a charm. Jade as in greenery. As in soft
greenery; leafy greenery; pervasive, persuasive, persistent,
insistent greenery. The sweet, soft, surprising Redlands area
lies an hour south away from Miami. It's probably half an hour
away from Miami Airport. And it's an hour north of Key Largo.
So, it's a great day or half-day trip from Miami or Miami Beach,
and it's a wonderful recess during a trip to or from Key West.
Driving around the area (Redlands, Homestead and Florida City)
soon will restore you to sanity and happiness.
You'll not see greener greens, more fragrant fruits, more
bouncy, juicy, rubbery, healthy-looking plants and foods
anywhere on earth.
The area is a green machine, generating some of the most
remarkable plant life in the world. And a lot of it, you can
The effect is salubrious, calming, and invigorating: as you spin
past rows of palms and pineapple trees, you might even start
bubbling over with... joy.
For here is where the baby palm trees are born, and the limes
and the bananas and every good thing from the garden...This is
where you can just drive down a country road, pull over, and
grab a cold coconut, big as your head, or a warm tomato, fresh
from the field. The Redlands area is a portal to wonder. And you
can still make it back to South Beach for a siesta before going
clubbing again at midnight.
Getting to the Redlands
Among the farms
One More (Refreshing)
Here is some of what you can discover in the Redlands area.
Fruit and Spice Park
Don’t miss this little Shangri-La: there’s nothing remotely like
it anywhere. It’s a 30-acre living plant zoo, and centre for
learning about our favourite fragrant gifts from the earth.
Enter through the gift shop and before you can say hello,
they’ll give you samples of spooky fruits you’ve never seen or
heard of, like
Black Sapote(“chocolate pudding fruit”),
Wax Jambu, which is rather like a gnarly pear,
and the monster-like
Jackfruit, a heavenly condominium of custard.
Heaven knows what you’ll run into when you actually start
walking around the gorgeous, lush and juicy park…there are well
over 500 varieties of herbs, nuts, spices and weird tropical
fruits out there. You can get guided tours, borrow a wheelchair,
or have a picnic in there, too. But some of the fruits look
rather too much like Godzillas: you may not want to turn your
back on them.
Fruit and Spice Park
24801 SW 187th Ave
Homestead, FL 33170
Tel. 305.247.5727 or click
Robert is Here Fruit Stand
Pick your own strawberries,
visit the turtles and iguanas out back, do your fruit and
vegetable shopping, and select your milkshake from a variety of
flavours including guanabana, key lime pie, coconut, mamey,
strawberry and mango. The fruits and vegetables are stupendous --
lush, meaty tomatoes; the afore described jackfruits; carambola,
lychee; papaya and a stunning, stellar, stirring sampling of
citrus stalwarts. There's more to Robert Is Here than fresh
produce. The stand offers a great variety in the each of the
following categories: salad dressings (just how many things can
you do with Vidalia onions, anyway?); marinades and grilling
sauces three flavours of chiplote pepper sauce); mustards;
chutneys; salsas; preserves, jams, jellies, marmalades
and fruit butters; hot sauces; syrup and a megarainbow of honeys.
Fruteria Los Girasoles
A small stand with
excellent produce and simple but exotic delights: for $2, the
gracious proprietor will chop a hole in an enormous, icy chilled
coconut for you; stick in your straw and caramba: coco frio!
Haven't had one that good since last in Tahiti, and these are
25500 Krome Ave.
not far from the Fruit and Spice Park.
Redland Market Village
A cornucopia of stunning
stands selling exotic tropical fruit, vegetables, shops, taco,
flowers and plants and trees, and mucho more...there's a food
24420 S. Dixie Highway (U.S.1)
Princeton, FL 33032
(cross street is Coconut Palm Drive)
Florida City State Farmers Market
During the growing season,
which is November through May, stop in for samples of fresh
produce; open all year round, this is a wonderful place to find
out all about Florida's agriculture, hit the restaurant and get
300 N. Krome Ave.
Florida City, FL 33034