Farm hook up
Today, more than half of Honeyside's produce ends up on Gecko's plates.
This is Honeyside Farms, a seven- to acre hunk of land set aside for farm hook up in a piece of land mostly dedicated to growing sod. It's a dry, windy day out east of I, and dust is swirling. Bailey's short-term goal is to work out similar deals with other area restaurants, but the farm also sells its goods at two farmers' markets: She meets with kitchen managers to talk about what they want six months before the food is ready. Still, there's been a lot of trial and error.
Improving Life On Your Land Since 1945.
The stuff is gorgeous. The strawberries aren't quite there yet -- Honeyside will open for its second U-Pick season in mid-February -- and squash, watermelon and zucchini have just wrapped up for the year. A fourth-generation Sarasotan, Bailey grew up right here on the farm. Set on my kitchen counter, the taut, shiny eggplant looks ready for a glossy magazine photo shoot.
Bailey's sister, Shauna Bispham, farms hook up that side of the business. Such detailed planning negates some of the uncertainty involved in the growing season, and helps ensure that Bailey has somewhere to send her food during the "very small window" when it is at its freshest.
Hook Up a Hat
Farm, Gecko's hook up. This is the 15th entry in Eat Near, a regular column dedicated to all the lovely food that folks on the Suncoast grow, raise, kill or craft. As we walk the Honeyside field, Bailey snaps off a wide range of vegetables: Honeyside Farms is at Ibis St.
Bailey shows me onion sprouts, Swiss chard, Romaine and leaf lettuces, Brussels sprouts, cabbage. When the sod business declined due to the construction slump that followed the real estate crash, Bailey decided to try her hand at farming, putting to use her University of Florida horticulture degree, as well as her many years on the land under our feet. Bailey calls her practices "sustainable," but not organic.
Digital access or digital and print delivery. Bailey says Gecko's management wanted to get in on the local food movement and reached out to Honeyside through her father.
But after four years, things seem to be going well. Honeyside has inked a deal with Gecko's to provide the Sarasota mini-chain with fresh fruits and vegetables.