Nestled away in a small corner of north west Hillsborough County there sits an unassuming yet amazing place called Urban Oasis. Just off of Linebough Avenue, Urban Oasis takes up perhaps an acre of land where owners Dave and Cathy Hume have developed a very practical form of growing vegetables: organic hydroponic farming.
I drive by this almost hidden treasure a dozen times a day and have always told my self I would stop to see what it was all about. Today I did.
I talked to John Carminati who manages the farm and who has had an incredibly interesting career (more about John a little later.) John explained the workings of the farm and the methods used in their hydroponic system. He showed me the many varieties of vegetables they grow; from egg plant to okra to tomatoes to Genovese basil and the list just goes on. He even showed my where the bees work that make their honey!
Now just a little about John. In reading his website, Chef on The Farm, you learn that he is a classically trained chef, having graduated with honors from Le Cordon Blue College of Culinary Arts in Orlando, who has worked literally all over the world in his search for, as he put it, "...something new." Learn more about Johns fascinating life and career at his website by clicking here.
Now back to Urban Oasis. I was very impressed with the concept of Urban Oasis. They offer fresh, local organically grown vegetables as well as grass fed beef, fresh milk, eggs, and honey harvested right there on their urban farm. They offer a "farm share" program which gives you a share in the harvest. They have a full season harvest share and an 8 week harvest share. Either way, if you love to cook with truly fresh organic ingredients or you are concerned about your families consumption of pesticides found on vegetables from your local big market retailer, you will really appreciate Urban Oasis. You can also just walk right up and shop just as you would a farmers market.
Expect to pay a little more for products offered at Urban Oasis; but then again, you are getting so much more. There really is no comparison between vegetables that are grown organically and naturally and those that need a layer of wax just to make them attractive.
You can visit their website but better yet, just go there, I guarantee you will find something you like. Urban Oasis is located at 5416 West Linebaugh Avenue, Tampa, FL 33624 : 813-293-FARM (3276)
What is hydroponic farming?
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without using soil. Urban Oasis uses a coconut fiber growing medium to hold the plant roots while using natural fertilizers to provide plant nutrition.
If you visit the farm be sure to tell John you heard of them from me! Thanks.
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