(Miami-Dade County, FL) -- During the October 4, 2011 Miami-Dade Commission meeting, Commissioner Javier D. Souto presented a resolution which was co-sponsored by Commissioners Sally A. Heyman and Dennis and unanimously approved by the Commission, directing the Mayor to coordinate with The Dade County Farm Bureau in order to identify which County parks could feasibly be used as venues for Farmers' Markets in an effort to benefit the community. Alice Peña, the recently elected Cuban-American to serve as president of the Dade County Farm Bureau, is very excited and looks forward in working closely with the county in bringing these resources to benefit and increase the quality of life to the residents of the community.
Farmers' Markets provide a source of fresh and organic produce and have the potential to be cultural programming for our community. Miami-Dade produces 54% of the state's beans, 55% of the squash and 97% of the sweet potatoes. Sweet corn, tomatoes, malanga, okra, eggplant and herbs are other significant crops. Of these, Miami-Dade produces 70% of the state's okra crop and 99% of the malanga. The total value of this sector was over $100 million in 2002. Over 90% of Miami-Dade's vegetables are exported out of Florida. With the exception of tropical sweet potato and tanier, which are grown year-round, most vegetables are produced from September to May.
"I believe that Farmers' Markets can bring the community together by facilitating social interaction in our County Parks," said Commissioner Souto. "We can educate our residents, at County venues, on food production and its effect on our environment."
For more information, please contact Commissioner Souto's office at 305-222-2116.