Blog | January 9, 2007

Glenda visits a Florida farm

What I did on Christmas vacation

We get a lot of lovely holiday cookies and treats in our Somerville office from our many Farm Aid friends. But one day we got an unusual holiday package with vacuum packed organic fresh from Florida green beans, slivered almonds, and a dandy dressing. We steamed them up immediately, and passed the bowl of the greenest beans—ever!. See Laura cook! See Jeni enjoy!

Since I was heading to Florida to see my family, I determined to track down the source of these delicious beans.

In a town north of Orlando, Florida, Kim Buchheit and Mike Robinson work a plot of land once farmed by the inimitable Joe McKenna, who died of cancer in 2003. Joe was a great friend to Farm Aid. He was Neil Young’s bus driver for 25 years. Joe loved this sandy Florida soil, and he built it up and got it certified for organic farming. After he died, Kim and Mike picked up the challenge and joys of these beautiful 20 acres.

I gathered up some family–my sister, sister-in-law, niece and nephew to join me for a field trip to the farm. We brought a picnic supper, and camped happily by the roaring bonfire. The next morning we investigated the gopher tortoise holes that dot the property, and hiked in the scrub and pine forest. What we all loved best was harvesting the vegetables, the lovely heirloom carrots, green beans, daikon and turnips. Well, really what we loved best was the taste of those vegetables!

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