Earth & Sea Farm is an aspiring permaculture farm located in the Florida Keys managed by two wise elder farmers who have been providing naturally harvested sea sponge, sea salt, vegetable produce and value added products to a local and national niche market for many years. Using barrier filtration, evaporation trays and long handled rakes, these insightful farmers sustainably harvest two naturally occurring products and may actually be the only salt farmers in Florida.
Earth & Sea is looking to expand the scope of their business by expanding the salt and vegetable farm and also by introducing more Florida residents to the concepts of sustainable farming and permaculture through a co-op like trade system. This dynamic couple has several ideas about how to sharing their knowledge and resources, and they are seeking input from the LiFE design team on how to choose the best path for their next stage of growth in a way that will provide the greatest positive impact on our community.
Local Roots Distribution
At the northern tip of the Greater Everglades food shed, Local Roots, an Orlando based local food distribution company works to bring mostly naturally grown produce, humanly raised meats and sustainably caught seafood to restaurants, markets and its farm store. Local Roots is looking to expand from its current South Florida region to become a state wide food hub for aggregation and distribution of natural, local ingredients to Restaurants and Markets throughout Florida.
With a vision to “have the permaculture ethos woven through our business which is proven and ready to go to the next scale,” owner Emily Rankin believes that “co-creating an authentic and healthy community can serve as a model… for reaching economic, environmental and social prosperity.” Emily’s hope is that by participating in this project, “we are able to slow down and really look at building Local Roots as a bridge, helping to create a connected, hyper-local, permaculture food system so that we all have the food we need to eat in our communities of the future.”
We welcome Local Roots as a Design Client at the Local Food Enterprise Summit where we will work together to develop a business model that will help guide their planned growth using the principles of financial permaculture.
Help Yourself is a neighborhood hub of sustainable, healthy living that started out as an organic food café in Key West five years ago. When patrons began asking for access to local veggies, grown sustainably, without harmful pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers, Help Yourself expanded and opened an accessible organic produce market which they stock strategically with items that their clients use.
In stocking their market, the folks at Help Yourself realized that there really wasn’t a good way to physically move the most local organic produce from the mainland to the tiny sand and limestone islands that make up the Florida Keys, so a distribution component for local organic produce was developed out of necessity.
In addition to its non-GMO, as-organic-as-possible, equal voice, and living wage policies, Help Yourself brings the added value of an old school neighborhood store to it’s operations, serving the needed role of creating a space in which residents and visitors can come together, learn, share and participate in the much needed work of growing a cohesive local food community here in South Florida.
Knowing how much of that growing community work we have still to do here in South Florida, and in support of the developing organic produce distribution network, Help Yourself is looking at the possibilities of expanding their reach and distribution throughout the Florida Keys.