Traveler's USA Notebook
Miami? World weary? Poor baby!
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 eat.
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
Getting to the
Among the farms
One More (Refreshing) Thing
Here is some of what you can discover in
the Redlands area.
Fruit and Spice Park
Dont miss this little Shangri-La: theres nothing remotely
like it anywhere. Its 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,
theyll give you samples of spooky fruits youve never seen or
heard of, like Black
Sapote(chocolate pudding fruit), Cecropia(snake
Jambu, which is rather like a gnarly pear, and the
a heavenly condominium of custard. Heaven knows what youll run
into when you actually start walking around the gorgeous, lush and
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 here
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
||One More (Refreshing) Thing|
At the end of your visit, just before you return to your regular
programming, stop for a cup of freshly brewed coffee at the Main
Street Cafe. It's a coffee shop, restaurant, performance space,
internet cafe. Abrim with gentle, amiable Bohemian vibes, it's got
Brownies, all kinds of tofu sandwiches, freshly squooshed-for-you
juices, a conga line of at least six different soups of the day
(including at least two vegan soups) and the usual, more conventional
foodstuffs. Live music at night showcases nationally known artists
(Richard Shindell, par example) and local favourites.
128 N. Krome Avenue
Homestead, FL 33030
305.245.7575 or click here
Among the farms that invite your presence are
20075 SW 180th Ave.
Miami, FL 33187
By appointment only
Burr's Berry Farm
Open December through May only, this is strawberry heaven. And
there's fresh strawberry ice cream.
12741 SW 216th St.
Miami, FL 33177
Impact Orchids and Exotics
'Ere you go, Guv. Lots of seedlings and blooming orchids for your
viewing pleasure Tues.-Sat.
14400 SW 248th St.
Princeton FL 33032
Miami Water Lilies and Orchids
Like the name says, aquatic floral wonders as well as bursting
with beauty orchids
22150 SW 147th Ave
Homestead, FL 33170
And let's not forget
Traveler especially looked forward to seeing this endless ocean of
banana trees. We turned left. We turned right. We pulled over for
tailgating pickup trucks and weaved in and out; at last---we saw the
sign; up we rumbled the lo-o-o-o-ong, narrow, rocky, one-way
driveway leading to the gate. CLOSED. And that's when we understood
why they call it Going Bananas.
(Had it been open, we know we would have had a wonderful time. Don't
you slip on a banana peel. Call before you go here or anywhere
22150 SW 197th Ave
Homestead, FL 33031
305.247.0397 or click here.
Getting to the Redlands:
Hidden away on the tip
of Floridas toenail, just a few
blocks parallel to and west of
Highway U.S. 1 (also known
as the Dixie Highway) is Krome
Avenue (also known as SW 177th Avenue). Krome is the main road
in the Redlands; if you keep
following it South it will take you
past the antique shops of
Homestead and the unforgettable Farmers Market in Florida City,
and thats where mainland Florida
ends and the road to the Keys begins. Find Krome and youre set.
Traveler's USA Notebook