3 Great Stops in Homestead
10 -12 Taste Some Very Rare Fruits at the Fruit & Spice Park:
The Fruit & Spice Park is the only tropical botanical garden of its kind in the United States. The unique 37-acre public facility is owned and operated by the Miami-Dade County Park and Recreation Department. Located in South Florida.The Park's tropical climate can be found nowhere else in the continental U.S. and hosts over 500 varieties of fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs, and nuts, and other commercially important plant specimens from around the world. The Park showcases 150 varieties of mango, 75 varieties of bananas, 70 bamboo varieties, and numerous other exotic edibles. Visitors are invited to munch at our tasting counter inside our Park Store or enjoy lunch at the Mango Cafe.
Perhaps brunch at the Mango Cafe: http://www.fruitandspicepark.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=25&Itemid=7
1 - 3:30 Tropical Fruit Wine Tasting at Schnebly Redland's Winery & Brewery:
Come check out our large tasting room. It features a strikingly beautiful tasting bar, shadowed by a tree-like glass rack. When you begin to appreciate the architecture of the new tasting room, you will catch a glimpse of the detailed mural located on the ceiling, as well. As you enter the grandiose double doors of Schnebly winery, the lush courtyard and natural coral waterfalls will provide a great backdrop for a great afternoon wine tasting.
The owners Peter and Denisse Schnebly have been living and working in South Florida for over 25 years. They are dedicated to improving South Florida and especially the Redland's area. Peter and Denisse Schnebly set a goal for themselves of starting an agro-tourism business based from their farms in the Redlands of South Florida. Their vision was to provide tours to visitors of their 96 acres of exotic tropical fruits and gourmet vegetables that they grow and market fresh through their produce company Fresh King, Inc.
In the spring of 2003 the couple invited Peter’s friend, Bill Wagner the owner of Wagner Winery (Lodi, New York) for a visit. Wagner Winery was the second small farm winery founded in 1977 when New York State changed the laws permitting wineries with production of up to 250,000 gallons of wine. During the visit Wagner inspired the Schnebly’s to start a winery with wine made from exotic fruit. This provided the answer to their longing for agro-tourism.
In the fall of 2003, the Schnebly’s began experimenting with the fruits, making wine out of their garage in the evenings. Friendship played a strong force once again when Doug Knapp, a friend for more than 2 decades and the former owner of Knapp Winery (Finger Lakes of New York) provided guidance in the process of making wine from tropical fruits.
Sustainable farming became a top priority as Schnebly wines are made from only the finest fruit. Each mango, lychee, guava, passion fruit and Carambola is personally picked for fermentation.
3:30-4:30 Rare Tropical Fruit Shakes at Robert Is Here:
Robert Is Here Fruit Stand was established by Robert in the late fall of 1959.
At that time, six-year-old Robert was set on this very corner with some of his father’s cucumber crop and told to “Sell ‘em!” Robert sat all day that Saturday and no one even stopped. That evening, Robert’s father decided that “there can’t be that many people who don’t like cucumbers; they must not see this little boy standing here on the corner.”
The next day, Robert’s father placed a sign on each side of the table proclaiming in big red letters “Robert Is Here.” By noon Robert had sold all of the cucumbers and walked home. The following weekend, a neighboring farmer added tomatoes to Robert’s display and a fruit stand was born. Robert was out here on the corner every day during Christmas break with his little sister, Rose, helping him. When school started again in January of 1960, Robert’s mother made arrangements for the bus to pick him up and drop him off at the fruit stand. Robert and his mother would set up each morning and leave a coffee can on the table. Customers paid by leaving the money in the can using the honor system. The bus would drop Robert off after school and he would work his stand until it got dark and his mother took him home for his bath and supper. By the time Robert was nine years old, he had hired a neighbor lady to work for him while he was in school. Robert bought his first ten-acres of property when he was fourteen. He planted an avocado grove on it and rented out the house.
As a farmer specializing in tropical fruits, Robert has been featured on NBC’s “Today Show”, “World News Tonight”, and in newspapers and magazines across the country. He’ll happily tell you how to get to the airboat rides, where to get a great meal, and what that strange plant was you saw in Everglades National Park. But don’t bet on leaving his fruit stand empty-handed; you’d have a hard time resisting the wonderful aroma of fresh fruits and vegetables. Fruits like Monstera Deliciosa, which looks like a giant green ear of corn but tastes like banana and pineapple; Carambola, or “Star Fruit”; Mamey; Lychee; Atemoya; Papaya; and in the summer Robert’s pride and joy – MANGOES! He’ll even cut them up for you to eat as you wander through the jars of jellies and preserves, many from his mother’s recipes.
Over on the other side of the stand you’ll notice lots of activity. People line up for the fresh fruit milkshakes and homemade key lime pies. For a truly delicious treat, try our key lime milkshake.
During the winter, you can also enjoy live music on the weekends, performed by local musicians, while you pick out big, happy sunflowers or delicate snapdragons to remind you of your visit to Robert Is Here.