Ground Floor Farm: A Renaissance of Business and Life in the City of Stuart, SLR/IRL

Making cheese at Ground Floor Farm in Stuart with hostess Lindsey Donigan, guests, and owner Jackie Vitale.
Learning how to make cheese at Ground Floor Farm in Downtown Stuart with hostess Lindsey Donigan, guests, and owner Jackie Vitale.
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Located at 100 SE MLK Blvd. Stuart, FL 34994.
Owners Jackie Vitale, Micah Hartman, Mike Meier.
Owners of Ground Floor Farm: Jackie Vitale, Micah Hartman, Mike Meier.
The entrance.
The entrance to “the farm….”
Ed learning about growing greens.
Inside, my husband ,Ed, learning about growing greens with minimal and non-synthetic fertilizers.
Hydroponics is one of the uses on the farm.
Hydroponics teaches recycling and re-use of  water and how to avoid use of pesticides.
Busy Bees!
Busy Bees!

Over the past year, I have watched this new City of Stuart icon grow from the ground up, but not until yesterday did I enter. It is located right across the street from my father and brother’s law offices, Thurlow and Thurlow, so I have seen it many times. A large parcel that was formerly the Salvation Army is now painted green, fenced, and having a rebirth as the new urban chic “Ground Floor Farm.”

Yes, urban agriculture is hip and bringing a healthy, and community business minded spirit to the St Lucie/Indian River Lagoon Region. Words like homesteading, self-reliance, chickens, and  interdependence ring with new meaning and inspiration. Making and growing your own food is cool. Hydroponics teaches about water quality, conservation, and re-use and no pesticides.

Learning how easy it is to make cheese from owner Jackie Vitale —the process of “curds and whey,” was the beginning of real understanding for me!

Link to video “Making Ricotta Cheese:” taken by Julia Kelly: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MF0WQrC5PpwVISION)

The event was hosted by Sewall’s Point residents Dean MacMillian and Lindsey Donigan. They invited about sixty of their closest friends to “Come Down on the Farm,” to showcase and help people learn about Ground Floor Farm. Owners Jackie Vitale, Micah Hartman, and Mike Meier shared their story of Ground Floor Farm and their vision for a hip and sustainable future for the City of Stuart, and for Martin County.

It was an amazing evening seeing the younger generation teach and inspire the older generation.  As population continues to grow, and resources become more precious,  a sustainable path to the future is finding its place.  Such a path will continue to revitalize the City of Stuart, bring us all closer to home, and to each other. Kudos Jackie, Micah, and Mike for your creative business model and for your leadership!

To learn more about Ground Floor Farms if you have not visited stop by Wednesdays 3-7pm, October-May, and visit their farmstand. Their address is 100 SE MLK Blvd. in Downtown Stuart. To learn how to visit or become part: (http://www.groundfloorfarm.com)
Like them on Facebook: (https://www.facebook.com/groundfloorfarm/?fref=ts)

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THEIR VISION:“We want Ground Floor Farm to be a part of a hometown renaissance, in which individuals focus their energy and creativity on the places they come from and through which the importance of a vibrant community center is reclaimed and revitalized.
THEIR MISSION “Grow and produce delicious food and give others the tools and resources to do so themselves. Show that productive agriculture can take place in small spaces in urban centers and that it can be economically sustainable.
Provide the space and resources for others to use their talents, skills, and interests to engage their community.Curate an exciting and diverse program of cultural and social events that engage the hearts and minds of our community.” GFF

Touring the farm.
Touring the farm.
Ricotta cheese the group made all by itself was eaten along with other fresh foods for dinner.
Ricotta cheese the group made all by itself was eaten along with other fresh foods for dinner.
Deane MacMillan with Mark and Nancy Perry. Deane served as the chair of Florida Oceanographic.
Deane MacMillan with Mark and Nancy Perry. Deane served as the chair of Florida Oceanographic.
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Jackie Vitale, Micha Hartman, JTL, Mike Meier.
...http://www.groundfloorfarm.com/makesharedotickets/
Interested? Attend the Make. Share. Do. Summit:(http://www.groundfloorfarm.com/makesharedotickets/)

 

2 thoughts on “Ground Floor Farm: A Renaissance of Business and Life in the City of Stuart, SLR/IRL

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