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By Rady Ananda
Food Freedom

Just got back from the much-anticipated opening of South Florida’s largest market, Yellow Green Farmers Market, in Hollywood. Even with 100,000 square feet of space inside, the place was packed. Parking overflowed onto the grassy knolls, while cops directed traffic on Taft Street. The Jay Blues Band kept us entertained in the outside shelter where folks ate some of the scrumptious offerings.

I spent around $75 on conventional and organic produce, including coffee from Colombia. The conventional produce (grown with chemicals) was cheaper than local grocery-chain prices, and it’s locally grown.

Veronica Niebur runs Ms. V’s Organics, and she rented six stalls for her produce. She plans on bringing in meat from grass fed cows soon. I was shocked at the size of her acorn squash. I’ll cut them in half, clean out the center and fill it with butter, walnuts, cranberries and brown sugar, then bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Each half is a sweet, wholesome meal in itself, but I usually serve it as a side dish to rock cornish hens.

I also bought a jar of the World’s Finest Raw Honey, which they do not heat, filter, process or artificially flavor. Richard offers his products in glass or plastic bottles.

I even got a line on local raw milk which I have to follow up on. (Hey, raw milk drinkers, what’s the difference in taste, benefit, etc., between goat’s milk and cow’s milk?) Hani’s Mediterranean Organics comes highly recommended. Here’s a March 2010 article about the goatherder.

Hani Khouri and his goats in Miami

The longest line in the entire open air shelter was at the organic dairy stand. It cost me $5.50 for a dozen free range organic eggs and $7 for a pound of organic butter. Well, you can either pay your farmer more for healthy food or spend your savings from “conventional” food on doctor’s visits to deal with the problems that genetically-altered and chemically-grown food cause. I’m no purist — living as I am on unemployment — so for me, buying organic is a special treat.

The fish stands smelled delicious – not kidding. The piscean fare was fresh. We didn’t get any this time, but we saw a lot of shrimp, crab and bass.

Most of the stalls offered arts and crafts, and a few stands stood empty. As word spreads, I imagine there’ll be competition for those booths.

YG was to have opened last November, but some city code issues had to be corrected, we’re told. It’s now open year round:

And here’s a map: