While the benefits of visiting Florida mid-winter may not be entirely evident, I’d like to share with you why us northern Illinois residents might find inspiration in such a trip. (PS. This was a working trip for Nate, and I just came along for moral support. Seriously.)
- Market research. While in Florida, Nate and I visited one fine example of a lovely Farmers’ Market in Coconut Grove (in the southern part of Miami). There were several family vendors selling locally crafted tasty and largely vegan items like tropical fruit preserves and raw, vegan sandwiches. I, for one, am a sucker for both things and so ate one for lunch and brought the other home. Anyone who would like to come over for toast with Mango or Passion Fruit jam is welcome. We also saw a few good examples of how not to behave as a market vendor. This was unfortunate but always better to learn by observation than by first hand experience.
- Mid-winter exercise of the arms and upper body. These activities simulate pulling weeds or the stretching and reaching involved in harvesting. For this exercise, we rented a tandem kayak in the Everglade National Park, way down south by Everglade City. We spent about 2 & 1/2 hours paddling a short waterway through the mangroves, which in fact was a little more than taxing on my wee arms, that are unfortunately out of shape in January. (yeah, yeah. You just wait until August and y’all gonna need some tickets to the gun show!)
- Local source of vitamin D vs. supplements. Personally, I appreciate authentically sourced anything, and just couldn’t say no when Nate wondered aloud if I wanted to hang out this weekend with him south Florida and gather up some sunshine.