Built in 1916 to make Vizcaya self-sufficient, the 12-acre Vizcaya Village included staff quarters, a garage and workshops, barns, greenhouses, fields and a farm operation that produced flowers, fruit and vegetables, fresh milk and eggs. A farm stand sold the surplus to the community.
An old idea is new again
Four years ago, Vizcaya entered into a partnership with edible South Florida to present an annual Dinner for Farmers, a progressive farm-to-table meal in the Village designed to honor farmers and the work they do to feed our community.
Farm to fork
Local chefs prepare the meal onsite using produce donated by local farms, Taste of Redland and harvested from Vizcaya’s kitchen garden. Dinner begins with cocktails and appetizers in the Garage Forecourt, followed by the main course at the Staff Residence, awards in the Farm Quad and finally dessert adjacent to Vizcaya’s kitchen garden on the Superintendent’s House Lawn.
A community partnership
Embedded in this partnership is deeper recognition for the ongoing issues that surface in the local agricultural community, particularly concerning small, independent farms. Response to these issues serve as the catalyst to confer awards. A selection of agricultural partners join Vizcaya and edible staff to recommend award recipients based on community nominations.
Serving the greater good
In January 2019, Vizcaya and edible South Florida honored South Florida farms leading the way in innovation and inclusivity. By using farming to serve other needs within the community – whether by providing opportunities to people coming out of homelessness and those with disabilities or making use of any land available from donated backyards to shipping containers – these farms challenge us to reconsider what a farm looks like.
And the winners are…
Growing the future
Plans to restore the Village will create new classrooms, greenhouses and urban farming models to transform and expand Vizcaya as a community hub.
Connecting past, present and future is at the core of experiencing Vizcaya. Dinner for Farmers is just one example. Launched in 2016, Dinner for Farmers has developed a community that recognizes, celebrates and supports Vizcaya’s original owner James Deering’s impact on agriculture locally, nationally and internationally. Today, these local farmers provide produce to their community, helping reduce carbon-footprints by producing, selling and buying locally.