I sometimes think of South Florida as a vast wasteland of chain stores and  gated communities filled with identical homes. There’s certainly more than that, if you delve deeper, and you have to know where to look. The other day, we visited two little farms, hidden in suburbia. I’ve driven past each of them dozens of times, and never knew they were there.

First, we met some friends at a tropical fruit farm that’s basically in somebody’s front yard. As we drove up the driveway through the orchard, we saw the owner’s friend playing with a dog. The woman told us that she was filling in for her friend, and showed us the boxes of fruit on the front patio: three varieties of mangoes plus carambola, sugar apples and longan. We sampled the longan, but the kids didn’t like them, so we bought some sugar apples and some mangoes. The bag we were given to bring our fruit home in came from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

We also rode on a mossy but sturdy swing hanging from a big, old mango tree.

Next, we went to another farm we’ve just heard about, which sells honey, eggs, butter, yogurt and raw milk, among other things. This one was just as rustic-looking as the first, with geese, ducks, goats, chickens and little girls running free, and bees pollinating the sweet pea vines that curled over the hen house. Like the mango farm, this one is only open on Saturday mornings, and we were happy to run into two families we know. We hadn’t pre-ordered, so we weren’t able to take anything home, but I did get a business card. At first glance, it looked homemade, but I’m sure it was created by the same designer who made the farm’s website.

What have you found hidden in your neighborhood lately? Comment here and share your secrets!


© Victoria Green and Sunflower Creative Arts, 2011