By: Sue DeWerff
Malabar farm offers “Beyond Organic” alternative food choices
“You are what you eat” were words Jan Pence’s mother always told her when she was growing up.
Though she admits these words sounded strange to her back then, today the co-owner of Malabar’s Florida Fields to Forks Community Supported Agricultural (CSA) farm says she believes that no truer words could have ever been spoken.
Since 2011, Jan and her son and business partner, Brock Hall, have been providing the opportunity for their members, (currently more than 700 from six counties) to reap the benefits of eating wholesome and nutrient rich alternative foods, while additionally offering education about their products.
“Our farm is not designed to feed the masses, just those who truly care about eating healthy and realize the immeasurable benefits,” said Jan.
For a one-time $35 membership fee (with no minimum ordering requirements) customers can purchase everything from 100 percent grass-fed Angus beef, Berkshire pork, local wild caught fresh seafood, Katahdin lamb, goat and raw milk and dairy products, poultry, free-range eggs, seasonal produce and more. The farm even has recently connected with several Alaskan fisher families who provide wild caught salmon which they now offer to local customers.
Since no middlemen or grocery stores are involved; customers can benefit from surprisingly affordable prices as well as having a direct relationship with the farmer — something Jan says is worth the fee in itself according to most of their members.
The 20-acre Florida Fields to Forks farm is one they consider “beyond organic,” Jan said.
“While most folks have no idea that the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) national organic standards (NOS) have pages of exemptions for every product imaginable, our farm and CSA partners take this a step further,” Jan said. “It’s all about building healthy nutrient rich soils; since our bodies utilize 90 trace minerals, our goal is to form soils that include as many of these as possible.”
The pastures and gardens at Field to Forks Farm are nourished with Australian Sea salt, fish bones and emulsion, seaweed, and horse and elephant manure.
“We incorporate the principles of biodynamic farming which recognizes that the earth is a single, multi-dimensional ecosystem,” said Jan.
Both Florida Fields to Forks farm and other CSA farms they partner with are committed to guaranteeing customers no hormones or antibiotics are used when raising their animals.
Members of the farm, which now include customers from Orlando, Palm Beach and several other surrounding counties, have grown ten-fold since the farm opened three years ago. Customers have the convenience of ordering from the website twice monthly and can pick up orders at the farm or other scheduled drop-off locations.
Chef Jack Garrison, the farm’s resident chef, currently offers monthly recipes on the website. One of his specialties, artisanal farm sausage, made from the farm’s pasture raised Berkshire/Mangalista pork, is one of the most popular among members. He is also known at the farm for his homemade spices.
One of the farm’s short-term goals is to host a “Farm to Table” event, featuring local area chefs, while a store-front location is being considered as a long-term venture.
Florida Field to Forks Farm, 1200 Corey Road, Malabar
(321) 431-7259 | FloridaFieldstoForks.com