Last year, I wrote a profile of Chef Giovanni Rocchio for Venice magazine, which wound up taking us to Harpke Family Farm in Dania Beach. A farm? In east Broward County? By the airport?
Yup, it’s the ultimate urban farm.
Rocchio was in a chef’s paradise, wading through the rows of greenery and digging his face into all the aromatic herbs and vegetables that just smelled so damn fresh! So, I was excited to hear that the farm was hosting an outdoor yoga practice on the farm — I don’t get on the mat nearly as much as I should. South Florida was in the midst of a week of pouring rain, but luckily that Sunday morning the skies cleared up, the temperature was in the 70s, and a light breeze topped off the perfect day to be outside.
Stephanie Diaz, a runner and yoga instructor, lead the class through a vigorous vinyasa flow. One might think the occasional airplane flying overhead might be distracting, but it became a part of the rhythm of the practice — push yourself to stay in that uncomfortable position until it passes. The class was filled with people of all kinds and different levels — some were human pretzels while others took it slow with floor stretching. At the end of the hour practice, laying in shivasana (dead man’s pose, aka, laying on the ground) was divine — the sound of the leaves rustling and the breeze sweeping over your sweaty face made the hard work worth it.
After, Basil Park in Sunny Isles Beach brought gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free sweets. It sounds like a mouthful, but it reminded me of the treats my Chinese family likes to nosh on. Kombulicious brought plenty of kombucha (a bubbly tea I’ve recently started loving) for everyone to cool down with. The owners of the farm also gave tours of the fresh vegetables and microgreens they have growing over the property.
The farm, owned by Tamer and Claire Harpke, provides fresh greens to restaurants across South Florida — and those at home can get in on the action too. They have CSA membership programs, giving you a hearty box of their broccoli, cabbage, kale, red amaranth, radish, and other veggies every week, according to the harvest season.
I’m hoping with the success of this yoga on the farm event, they’ll consider doing it again. And I’m going to have to seriously consider buying my veggies from the Harpkes from now on.