Text and photographs are © by Ellen Spector Platt & Ellen Zachos, all rights reserved.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


With daughter Jen, on our way to see the alligators,the birds,the rivers of saw-grass in the Shark River Slough,the Bromelia, all in Everglades National Park. But a person's got to eat, and we understood from the Park website that there is no food offered in the park. Not true but what's a park without a picnic?We ate at the Market Restaurant at the wholesale food market, but the real find in Homestead FL, between our historic hotel and the Park entrance is the Robert is Here fruit stand.
So we buy an avocado, a ripe mango, little tomatoes, a grapefruit, a huge bag of shelled pecans, and more. The lovely woman at the checkout, asked when we were planning to eat the fruit and then exchanged our avocado for a perfectly ripe one. She also asked if she could cut the mango for us; I learned from the master how best to do that.
How can one not come back each day to a market that's growing it's own sunflowers and cabbages adjoining the stand? And where they have the "southernmost purple martin houses in the USA".
Robert's story is unforgettable. When he was six his father helped him set out a table by the road to sell extra cukes from the garden. Not one sold. Father guessed that perhaps Robert was too easy to miss from a speeding car, so he painted signs with large red letters annoucing "Robert is Here". He posted them before and aft. Robert sold out. Robert maintained the stand after school and weekends using an honor pay system during the times he was required to be in school. By age 9 he could afford to hire someone to run the stand during school hours and by age 14 bought his first land and planted an avocado grove. For the complete story visit Robertishere.com, and they ship everywhere.


Shady Gardener said...

What a wonderful time you had! I've never been to Florida. You were so fortunate to find a person that could not only sell you perfect fruit, but tell you how to tell the difference and how to best eat it! :-)

Unknown said...

Wow looks great, but HELP, it just snowed here! I seeded radishes, carrots, arugula, kale, and mustard greens last week.

What will happen to the seeds? I don't think that anything was up. Should I reseed after the snow is gone or just wait it out?

Ellen Spector Platt said...

Mary Ellen, You've selected well, all those seeds should do well in cool weather with some frost. In fact St. Patrick's Day around NYC is usually the calendar marker for planting your selection.
Last night I was caught in a burst of pelting hale, so if your seeds had already germinated they might have been damaged. But it sounds like this is not the case.
I'm betting you'll be fine. Please give us a later report.

JHopkins said...

great pics from a great trip. love from "the daughter"

Anonymous said...

Our family is headed to FL and Robert's in 1 month and we are in possession of Jen's guidebook! Your writing and photos have inspired us! Thank you! The Simoes Family of Concord

Ellen Spector Platt said...

Hi Simoes Family, Just finished up the last of my Robert Is Here trail mix. I'm sure Jen also told you to miss the hotel we stayed in, charming but about to go under. Locals say it's haunted.

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