Growing season is here, and there’s no better time to gather your own greens straight from the source. Luckily we have no shortage of operational farms that welcome visitors.
Rosy Tomorrows Heritage Farm (rosy-tomorrows.com): If a farm ever deserved to be labeled “high-end,” this would be it. Longhorn cattle graze freely, and a rainbow of heirloom crops paints a beautiful landscape in North Fort Myers. Members can buy the grass-fed meats, unusual veggies (think: purple spinach) and gourmet prepared foods on Saturdays. Anyone can reserve guided tours, tables at weekly lunches and tickets for celebrity chef dinners in the elegant barn.
Farmer Mike’s U Pick (farmermikesupick.com): It’s the most accessible of the bunch, just east of Interstate 75 in Bonita Springs. You can swing by and harvest your own tomatoes and strawberries by the pound—or purchase conventionally grown crops in a market.
Buckingham Farms (buckinghamfarmsonline.com): The market stocks its own and other local products, and a counter-service café serves breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Saturday. There are no tours, per se, but people are welcome to stroll the grounds to see the hydroponic growing system (a futuristic technique that uses water in place of soil).
Inyoni Organic Farm (chefkristina.com): Chances are you’ve eaten farmer Nick Batty’s USDA-certified organic vegetables in a number of local restaurants. He’s now partnered with chef Kristina San Filippo to offer a structured experience at his property off Immokalee Road. A walk through the fields is followed by a vegetable cooking demo and three-course lunch, plus a take-home bag of veggies.
Three Suns Ranch (threesunsranch.com): Known for its certified organic bison, the farm also breeds cracker cattle (descendants of the first cattle to roam the state), chickens, heritage hogs and more. It’s quite far—north of Babcock Ranch—but the covered- wagon tours through the sprawling grounds end in the gift shop that sells the omega-3-loaded lean meats.
Worden Farm (wordenfarm.com): Another organic farm, this one is run by a married couple who both hold Ph.D.s in agricultural science. They host tours and classes on subjects like pickling and organic gardening by reservation only—and their special event Outstanding in the Field returned Jan. 31 with a dinner from The Local’s chef Jeff Mitchell.