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Slow Food News December 2023

Seasonal News for Slow Food Miami Chefs & Members

ISSUE 53, December '23

Tis the Season!

As another year comes to an end, the Slow Food Miami Board would like to extend our appreciation to our chefs, farmers and purveyors, our teachers and you our members who generously support our "Snail of Approval family" of locally sourced,  food restaurants and businesses.

We feel especially blessed for sharing your donations on Give Miami Day, as we can now extend beyond the 800 school gardens built over the past 16 years for the dozens planned for '24.

Please check out our feature interview for this month with the inspiring story from Jodi D Swank , Owner, Swank Farms, a family business which grows over 350 varieties of produce, including wild flowers and high quality CBD (hemp) and offers a plethora of opportunities to eat and enjoy local fresh food.

And yes it's time to get your nominations in, Time is running out!

Who do you think should win a Snail of Approval Award '24.

WE are looking for the next generation of chefs, restaurants, farmers, and beverage and food companies who ascribe to the Slow Food Mission.

Visit our website for applications or email our President, Michele Baker Benesch by January 15th. Link to applications:

And if you feel inspired to be more involved next year, join our core of volunteers in any way you feel inspired whether that's assisting with Community Events, Snail Socials, PR/Marketing or getting dirty in our school gardens.

Send an email to our amazing backbone of the Board, Secretary Marilyn Perret-Gentil

Have a Happy Holiday Season chock full of with love, joy and peace.

Lisa Dorfman, MS, RD, LMHC, Chef Alliance Director


Meet  Jodi D Swank , Owner, Swank Farms

How did you get into the farming business? Family/upbringing? Education/career path?

Darrin Swank is the Owner/Farmer/Partner with me.  Darrin comes from a farming background.  His fathers family were corn and hay farmers in Pennsylvania.  He was inspired to grow food after visiting the opening of The Land exhibit in Epcot (Orlando) in 1982.  He knew then, that is how the  future of food will be grown.  He then studied hydroponic farming in 1983 when the internet become his world of knowledge  - He studied for 8 years

What is swank farms, history, what do you grow?   

Swank Farm started in 2002 growing just 3 products;  basil, arugula and baby lettuce. 

Today, we grow over 350 varieties of produce, including wild flowers and high quality CBD (hemp) 

What other activities /events does the farm do? tours? dinners? catering?  

Swank Farm offers 10 dinners during season, bringing in local and national chefs to cook multi course dinners for up to 200 guests under our 8500 square foot pole barn.  We invite local bands, local brewers, sommelier, and mixologist all while benefiting small local charites.  In addition, we offer Swank Farmhouse Wine dinners - A 6 course wine pairing dinner with a chef and somm for 24 guests.  Very personal  and great for large groups. 

Where is the produce available? CSA? restaurants? stores?   

Swank Farm has a boutique CSA for only 40 members - We share everything we grow.  Our CSA runs from October thru May seasonally. 

In addition, we've been working with local chefs and restaurants in the Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties for 23 seasons.   

During Covid, we started our own Swank Farmers Market under our pole barn with 10 vendors - We just entered Season 4 of Swank Farmers Market with 30 incredible local vendors (no art, no jewelry, no crafts)


Upcoming events?

Our next dinner is January 21, 2024

"Running with the Bulls," A night in Spain which is almost sold out!   

Contact info:   

Jodi and Darrin Swank, 14311 North Road, Loxahatchee FL  33470   561-202-5648   Insta;  Swank Specialty Produce 


Florida Organic Growers’ new statewide initiative, the Florida Local Food Project, is connecting key local food actors to increase access and availability to locally grown food. We are thrilled to announce that our virtual network is launching this January

This network will serve as a dynamic hub, addressing specific needs and fostering meaningful business to business connections between farmers, restaurants, local food entrepreneurs, and other pivotal players in the Florida food scene! You will be able to access a growing member directory, event invitations, trainings, key resources, and more.

Join us on this journey to promote local, sustainable food in the Sunshine State! Learn more about becoming a member at: If you are interested in early onboarding in December, please contact to receive further information.


In The School Garden, We're Growing!



Exclusive Invitation to Participate

Chef Allen Susser, Slow Fish Miami Chairperson

Slow Fish Collab Series '24

Event Overview:

What: Slow Fish Collab Series 2024

When: Four dinners throughout 2024 (specific dates to be provided upon confirmation)

Where: [TBD], Miami

Objective: To raise awareness about sustainable seafood choices and inspire our local community to make informed decisions when it comes to their seafood consumption.

Why Participate?

1. Showcase Your Expertise: Share your culinary mastery and creativity with an engaged audience passionate about sustainable dining.

2. Community Impact: Contribute to a meaningful cause by educating Miami locals about the significance of sustainable seafood choices.

3. Networking Opportunities: Connect with like-minded chefs, local influencers, and industry professionals who share a commitment to sustainability.

What's in Store:

- Collaborate with fellow renowned chefs in designing a menu that highlights sustainable seafood practices.

- Engage in panel discussions and Q&A sessions to share insights on the importance of responsible sourcing.

- Feature your signature dishes, emphasizing the use of sustainable seafood ingredients.

Confirming Your Participation:

We understand the demands on your time and talent, and we would be honored to have you as a key participant in the Slow Fish Collab Series.

Kindly confirm your interest by December 15, 2023, and we will provide you with further details regarding the event logistics and collaboration opportunities.

We look forward to the possibility of working together to promote sustainability, one delicious dish at a time.


Florida Farms and Foragers and Local Resources

Aloha Redland

Martina Or Alicia

(786) 316-2461

Bee Heaven Farm

Margie Pikarsky

Blue Horizon Farm

Laura Sutton (786)510-1587

Empower Farms

Nick Miller

phone : 305-496-8190

Florida Pure Sea Salt

Maureen Cacioppo

(727) 350-1827

French Farms

Chris French

Fresh Gardens

Robert Petrucci

Going Bananas Tropical Plant Nursery

Don & Kate Chafin


Hammock Greens

Aaron Dreilinger

Harpke Farms

Tamer & Claire

Little River Cooperative

Muriel Olivares & Tiffany Noe

LNB Groves

Walter (305) 222-7676

Local Roots- Forager

Emily Rankin

PG Tropicals - Guavonia Guava Grove 305-349-3035

Sunshine Organic Farms

Matt Snow MD

Teena's Pride

Order online, pickup curbside at farm.

Farmers market every Sat &Sun (12-4pm)

Swank Farms

Jodi and Darren Swank

Mr Green Dean's

Dean Richardson

LNB Groves

Adena Ellenby

Seasons Farm Fresh- Forager

Gabe & Nick Bernal

Urban Oasis

Art Friedrich

Chef Alliance Director contact:

Lisa Dorfman, MS, RD, CSSD, CCMS, LMHC, FAND


Don't underestimate the power you hold in the culinary industry. Whether you are a cook, a chef, a farmer, a forager, an artisan, a caterer, or other industry member or leader... you have the power to impact positive change through food. Be an active participant for change! Join Slow Food to change the menu and change the world.

Please share this email with your friends and colleagues- spread the love!

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