Brevard’s Biggest ‘Farm to Forks’ Event Set Today
By Space Coast Daily // May 31, 2014
Florida Fields to Forks, Matt’s Casbah Team Up For Brevard’s Biggest Ever ‘Farm To Forks’ Event
BREVARD COUNTY • MALABAR, FLORIDA – For Jan Pence and her son Brock Hall, the art and science of producing the most healthy food possible from their farm in Malabar is a passion that drives them to excellence.
The mother and son team, along with Matt’s Casbah restaurant, will present their organic excellence when they open their unique farm to the public on the evening of Saturday, May 31, when they host Brevard’s biggest and most comprehensive “Farm To Forks” event in the history of the county at Florida Fields to Forks.
Florida Fields to Forks is a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm, owned and operated by Pence and Hall.
Located in Malabar, Florida Fields to Forks offers an alternative food source for people looking for real, not perceived, nutritional value.
“We are a community of members who pledge to support local Florida farmers, who raise their livestock and foods with beyond organic principals, and whose foods offer the health and nutrition benefits not found in of todays commercial foods,” said Pence.
“We are a member-only farm, with members in Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Orange and Palm Beach counties. We are not open to the general public, and do not sell at farmers markets.”
LIVE COOKING STATION, PAIRED WITH PERFECT WINE
In typical dynamic Matt’s Casbah fashion, get ready for this one-of-a-kind event. Matt, and his team of chefs, will prepare the delicious menu at live cooking stations, with each portion paired with the perfect wine.
The menu will feature local, pasture-raised Katahdin lamb; Berkshire pork and grass-fed and finished Angus beef; and local, farm fresh seasonal vegetables, fruits, berries, and desserts.
The event will include many all-you-can-eat sumptuous food stations, skillfully paired with wines. All the culinary creations will be made using only the freshest and most delicious totally organic food – all prepared by the expert chefs from On The Move Catering from Matt’s Casbah restaurant.
“Our guests will enjoy whole Katahdin lamb from the Florida Panhandle – all forage fed, mild and very tasty, the kind that you get in New York or New Zealand, which cannot be bought in the grocery store,” said Pence.
“We will have delicious menu items prepared by Matt’s including Berkshire Pork a heritage breed, which is what you eat when you are out in Jackson Hole Wyoming, New York or San Francisco. This is not like anything anybody sells or gets around here. No other restaurant has that quality, which Matt’s will bring to the event here on May 31.”
Matt’s will prepare an incredible array of all-you-can-eat, delicious foods, all from the farm fresh beyond organic products. “This is so new and fresh. Matt and his chefs will prepare the items based on what is super fresh and available that week.”
Florida Fields To Forks’ farm location at 1200 Corey Road in Malabar will also provide the venue.
“Located in Malabar, Florida Fields to Forks offers an alternative food source for those of us looking for real, not perceived, nutritional value that we deserve in our foods,” says the farm’s website, FloridaFieldstoForks.com.
LIVE ENTERTAINMENT, SILENT AUCTION TO BENEFIT TO SAVE THE LAGOON
There will be live dance music by Red Tide, as well as a silent auction to benefit the Save The Indian River Lagoon. Visitors to the event will meet the newest baby chicks at the farm, just a few days old, and the last batch for spring.
The event is sponsored by SpaceCoastDaily.com, Space Coast Medicine & Active Living magazine, Florida Institute of Technology and Ameristar.
The cost is $85.00 per person and reservations can be made by calling Matt’s Casbah at 321-574-1099.
FLORIDA FIELD TO FORKS, A LABOR OF LOVE
Pence ’s high energy and outgoing personality compliment her passion for good health and nutrition.
A graduate of University of Florida, she has worked in both the public and private sectors. As a former chief of staff for a state senator, corporate lobbyist and director of marketing, her career is very diverse.
“I beleive that our bodies are designed by God to function most efficiently on food sources raised and grown the way God intended,” said Pence.
“Since the inception of Florida Fields to Forks, she has never worked harder, made less money and enjoyed her work more.”
She feels so blessed to be partners with her son Brock in this business.
“My son and I decided that we both had a real passion for health and nutrition and that we would do something about it,” said Pence.
Brock’s love of people, strong work ethic and organizational skills make him the perfect farm manager.
He is driven to provide the most nutritious and delicious foods available for the farm’s members, and finds working with other farmers throughout Florida very rewarding. He says he learns something new everyday, and some days are a little too long.
The mother and son partnership are a strong force and together they began looking for the best growers and high quality farmers.
“Our friend Lee Wyndham owns a large grass-fed cattle ranch in Citra, Florida, and we both sat down with her and mapped out our plan,” said Pence.
“We now provide everything that people need from the grocery store – all from local Florida farms. We traveled all around the state to find and taste all the best meats and produce and we developed partnerships with the very best ranch growers to send us what we need for our members. We make sure their standards are always up to ours.”
Under the USGA there is an exemption that allows “certified organic” growers to feed cattle with grain during the last four months of their lives.
“That defeats the whole purpose,” says Pence, whose cattle are fed purely grass from rich healthy soils. “We are part of the “Beyond Organic” movement where our lambs and cows are all forage fed from a variety of seasons and get no grains.
Another example of a loophole in the “certified organic” requirements are free range eggs.
“As long as they are free ranging on a concrete floor with no sunshine and 10 percent of the birds can get outside on concrete, then they can call their products certified organic. That’s another USGA standard exemption. For me that is just smoke and mirrors. When we say beyond organic its about rebuilding soils, grass farming, planting a variety of produce, so you don’t take all the same nutrients out of the soils all the time.
“A commercial grower will spray chemicals every time they get a chance as they don’t want to take any chances of losing products. For us and the farmers that we work with, we only spray when we have to spray (chemicals). We also don’t support hydroponic growing as we don’t believe that you can grow in water unless you add synthetic chemicals to make the items grow. Hydroponic can never be truly organic.”
The member-only farm includes people from Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Orange and Palm Beach counties. The farm is not open to the general public and do not sell at farmers markets.
Farm membership is a one -time $35 fee, and currently has more than 800 members. There are no ordering requirements, just healthy, nutrition filled, beyond organically grown and raised, farm fresh local foods, for those people who care about their health and nutrition.
Members pay $35 each to join the club and can pick up their shares each week. Each member can choose how much they receive.
“We use what’s in season within a 200 mile radius,” said Pence. “We serve people who want truly healthy farm grown products we are here for them. We serve a wide variety of people including cancer patients who want that extra nutrition.”
For more information about Florida Fields to Forks log on to FloridaFieldsToForks.com
Directions to Florida Fields to Forks: From I-95 take the Palm Bay/Malabar Exit and go east on Malabar Road. Follow Malabar Road to Corey Road (you will go past Palm Bay Hospital on the left). Turn north, left, on Corey Road and go to 1200. The farm is on the left, look for a rock driveway and the black metal gates.
THE FARM IS OPEN TO MEMBERS ON THURSDAYS BETWEEN 2:30 – 6 p.m. VISITORS ARE WELCOME TO STOP BY AT THIS SAME TIME TO LEARN MORE ABOUT US.
From US 1 go south to Malabar Road. Turn right, west, on Malabar road (go past the post office on the right). Turn north, right, on Corey Road and follow to 1200. The farm is on the left, look for the rock driveway and black metal gates.