MIAMI (CBS4) – A very unique South Florida Farmer’s Market will re-open for business in Overtown Wednesday afternoon.

The Roots in the City Farmers Market debuted to national attention in April 2010 as the only wholly local farmer-operated market in Miami and the first urban farmers market in Florida.

Founded by author and academic Marvin Dunn, Roots in the City Farmers Market, located at the corner of NW 2nd Avenue and 10th Street, is unique because it offers lower-income consumers the opportunity to eat healthy by using their food stamps to make subsidized purchases. For every $1 in food stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) dollars, they get $2 worth of fresh fruits and vegetables. The limit: $20 per day of free produce.

Heirloom tomatoes, collard greens, squash, eggplants, bees and even fresh sugarcane juice.

“The concept was to bring vendors of organic fresh food and vegetables as well as show people hot to grow their own fruits and vegetables right here in the inner city,” said Dunn.

Among those taking part in the Farmers Market are Hanis Mediterranean Organics, with fresh Mediterranean style food, Marguarite which provides fresh cheese and Tina’s Pride from the Redland who says its all about education.

“I think it’s important to show kids that they can eat and grow fresh fruits and vegetables, how great it tastes when it’s fresh,” said Amanda from Tina’s Pride.

Chef Michael Schwartz from Michael’s Genuine, who has always been a supporter of the local growers, helped bring the market to fruition.

“It’s double the value of food stamps for people, it’s great for the community, it’s great for the growers, it was like we got to do this,” said Schwartz.

During Wednesday’s kick off students from Phillis Wheatley Elementary served a nutritious dish that they will submit to the USDA’s “Recipes for Healthy Kids Competition”. The Booker T. Washington High School Band performed and its afterschool culinary program students sold copies of the school’s Overtown Community Cookbook.

New reusable shopping bags were also available for free to customers who use their EBT cards, while supplies last.

The Roots in the City Farmers Market is part of a national movement called “Nourishing Neighborhoods.” The market is led by the non-profit organization, Wholesome Wave Foundation, which has sponsored 160 markets like the one in Overtown in 20 states.

South Florida partners include Miami Dade County’s Human Services Coalition, Roots in the City, and Chef Michael Schwartz of Michaels Genuine Food & Drink in Miami.
It’ll be open to the public every Wednesday and Friday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. through early summer 2011.


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