Locally grown produce is fresher and tastes better, uses less fuel and generates less pollution. Why not take advantage of the vital food treasures that are close-by?
By Brenda Benoit
I first heard about Teena’s Pride Farm because of a visit to a restaurant in Miami Beach called Essensia. I also learned that many restaurants in Miami use this farm as a supplier for their produce. I was fortunate enough to meet Teena Borek in person and ask her a few questions: When I talked to Teena, her voice spoke volumes….
Tell me about Teena’s Pride and about yourself.
I was a Housewife and Mother who took over the farm when my husband died in a farm accident when our sons were one (Michael) and two (Steven).
How did you come up with the name Teena’s Pride for your farm?
It was my term for my sons; all the time in growing up they never caused me an ounce of heartbreak. I was very proud of them. Later we decided to use the name on our vegetables because we felt we produced a superior product and wanted to brand it so people knew where it was grown.
There are many farms in Homestead, what makes Teena’s Pride different?
We have very good family sustainable farms in Homestead and I would consider us one of them. We however, have decided to dedicate part of our farm to growing safe, local and healthy produce for Miami families rather than have them go to farmers markets or stores where the produce is not always local or fresh!
Who are your customers?
Our customers are Miami Dade-County families who want their loved ones to eat fresh, safe and nutritious food. They want to know their growers and be able to visit where their food is grown and see for themselves how sustainable the growing methods are. They want their children to have the experience of watching vegetables grow rather than having the supermarket produce aisle being their only food knowledge.
How did you come up with the idea for the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)? Are other farms doing this?
CSA is a well-known produce worldwide program. Many farms have CSA. Over the last 20 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer.
It was Ariana Kumpis (Les Dames d’Escoffier Miami President) and Mike Bittel (owner of Sunset Corners Wine Store) that came to me and asked our farm to test the veggie program with their clients. The rest is history: we went from a 40 family trail to over 300 CSA member families this year.
My son, Michael Borek, is the grower responsible for most of our CSA vegetables on Michael Borek Farms. It has taken 30 years for me to be ” just the Mother ” again.
Plans for the future?
To expand the types of vegetables we can provide our CSA members. To do YouTube recipe clips and a simple cookbook about how to use herbs – they are nature’s medicine and most do not know how to use them. To grow our program to help more Miami families eat healthier. We would also like to find a way to be able to allow food stamp families to buy direct from the farm. Their children deserve the freshest food also.
What is your favorite dish and how do you prepare it?
Whatever anyone brings to me! I really do not cook and that is why I started my “Teenaspride CSA No Brainer Recipes” for those of us who never learnt how to cook and have no time or desire to do so now. I know there must be a lot of people out there like me. I have about 30 recipes like that now.
Teena is a dynamo, a very warm and hospitable person who is inspired by the passion to share the wonderful produce that comes from the land and to spread the green message of sustainability; all this within 18 miles from where I live.
There is a very full farm history on the website which has recipes and suggestions about what to do with the produce. Teena’s Pride also offers tours of the farm on certain days. This a a great way to teach everyone about the riches of the earth and all it has to give.
We need more people like Teena Borek and her team who are dedicated to spreading a simple missive:
“Lead a healthier lifestyle.”
TEENA’s Pride Farm
All Locally Grown Produce, LLC
20025 SW 270th Street?Homestead, FL 33031
Brenda Benoit was born in the city of St. George’s in Grenada and grew up in Caracas, Venezuela. She has been living in Miami for over 20 years, loves to cook, eat and to try new restaurants & cuisines - always with her camera as a companion. She's a dedicated cookbook collector and is in the process of writing one of her own.