|Right: Vegetable fields along Redland's Krome Avenue.|
Redland, named for its potholes of red clay, which grows improbably atop a massive layer of oolite rock, similar to coral, is nourished by an aquifer of pure water. It has been a source of amazement to agriculturalists, botanists and naturalists around the world, including Audobon and Fairchild.
The secrets of the Tequesta and their Paleolithic forebearers remain locked within the ancient oolite, where early man left his tracks 10,000 years ago, along with the wooly mammoth and the ever-persistant mosquito.
|Right: December's summer squash being picked.|
Eco-tourism and agri-tourism have given rise to exotic taste sensations, such as a mamey sapote, passion fruit, lychee nut and atamoya, which can be sampled at the Fruit and Spice Park on SW 187 Avenue and 248 Street. Known chefs in the area have begun to adopt this unique fresh produce into their cuisine, starting with Harvest House Restaurant, which served a menu of the freshest
regional ingredients, but unfortunately succumbed to Hurricane Andrew in '92. To sample some
|Right: Florida is the only place where tomatoes are grown in the winter.|
The modern-day settlers are not unlike the original ones. Most have come with means, though many of the newcomers are Cuban. According to Bob Jensen, Vice President of First National Bank of Homestead, "they are coming form everywhere: Detroit, Milwaulkee, New York. They are coming from all the places where they went to make their money." With state ordinanaces limiting new purchases to a minuum of 5 acres, starting at $100,000, only those of a certain income can afford to build here. Some are calling it the New Hamptons.
|Right: A historical site of the pioneers, Anderson Corner, which includes Harvest House, still awaits renovation after Hurricane Andrew.|
And now another type of storm has Redland under seige: the developers. Newcomers and old-timers alike are passionately concerned with keeping the developers at bay. Connecting like thunderclouds at every town meeting, they dance a war dance that echoes the pioneer spirit that brought them there - the will to preserve the continuum of this magical, lush and bountiful region. "People don't really realize just how special and economically important this agricuiltural area is to the region," said Ann Morts of the Redlands Citizens Association, one of the oldest homeowner's associations in the Miami area. "Preserving the agricultural way of life is tremendously important."
Left: Peacocks live abundantly and freely within the many groves. Redland has also been designated a Wild Bird Sanctaury.|
Right: Burr's is the place for anything in strawberry.
Some of the fun places to visit while in Redland:
Monkey Jungle, 305/235-1611, 14805 SW 216th Street.
Fruit and Spice Park, 24801 S.W. 187thAve., Homestead, FL 33031; 305/ 247-5727
Coral Castle, 305/248-6344, 28655 S. Federal Hwy.
Cauley Square, antique shops, 305/258-3543, 22400 Old Dixie Hwy.