Thanks to enterprising local farmers like Bee Heaven’s Margie Pikarsky, who also acts as forager and distributor, we can access beautiful product from farms so small that they might otherwise escape our radar.
Margie has carved out a central Florida spice route of sorts, sending her truck up to Punta Gorda once a week to tap the sporadic yet luscious bounty of producers like Virgina of Broken J Ranch. You won’t find her on Google, but thanks to a partnership with Eva and Chris Worden of Worden Farm, her no-input (spray) ruby grapefruits, tangelos, navel oranges, and ponkans are picked for both CSA and restaurant use.
No sooner had Michael and I tasted Virginia’s juicy sweet grapefruit yesterday at Roots in the City Farmers Market (where Bee Heaven Farm is a vendor on Wednesdays from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.,) than a 30 pound box landed in the back seat of Chef’s Jeep on its way to the restaurant.
Warm Florida Shrimp with Broken J Ranch ruby grapefruit, Florida avocado & chives (small/13) hit the dinner menu last night and today’s dessert special is Grapefruit Meringue Tart with goat’s milk sherbet, blackberry & kumquat (dessert/10,) with more new items in the pipeline for the next few days.
Farmer partnerships at work, work for us!