We arrived at the Wynwood Green Market & Tomato Festival just barely in time for a complementary yoga class and were greeted from around the corner by excited shouting and clanging drums. When we entered the festival grounds, our yoga instructor gave us a more formal welcome to Wynwood’s very first farmers market.
Miami’s local food trend keeps passing the torch, and the Arts + Entertainment District (A+E) wasted no time picking it up and running. On Februrary 8, 2015, A+E partnered with The Market Company to host the first of what they plan to make their monthly Green Market.
A+E is a new district that recently emerged from a collective of nine properties in the immediate neighborhood, all owned by the same real estate developer. “They built the filling station, the lofts… and they want to do neighborly things,” says Claire Tomlin, owner of The Market Company.
According to A+E program coordinator Isabella Acker, the young neighborhood needed ways to glue a new community together.
“I think it’s important to ask the question: What brings together community?”
Plus, she says,”the residences… don’t really have any place that they can come and get local produce.” So A+E reached out to The Market Company to produce the area’s first farmers market.
The A+E side is activities: local live music, yoga, and a beer garden. The Market Company is in charge of the farmers market side, attracting vendors and producers.
“We did tomato fest because it is actually the produce that’s in season right now.”
The Market Company reached out to local heirloom tomato farmer Tina Borek to feature her produce at Wynwood’s first Green Market. Her farm produces dozens of tomato varieties and came to answer any questions people had about tomatoes and heirloom farming. She also runs a local CSA program that partners with Whole Foods to sell boxes of her Florida-grown tomatoes in- store. Tomlin says it’s thanks to people like Tina that there’s a regenerated interest in farmers markets among local farmers and producers.
Both Acker and Tomlin are positive about the future of local food in Miami. “The thing is there’s a hunger for it… everybody’s so excited about it,” says Acker. A+E and The Market Company plan to continue their joint Green Markets monthly, choosing different themes based on the seasons.