Cocoa Green Market and 12 Palms Farm
4880 Coconut Avenue,
Cocoa, FL 32926
I am enamored with living a simple way of life.
Fresh fruit and veggies from the farm…
Milk from happy cows…
Eggs that are produced by healthy hens that rule the roost…Clean Wholesome Simplicity.
Full Disclosure: I am typing this on my iPhone while scarfing down a brown sugar PopTart and a Diet Coke.
This is my lifelong inner turmoil. An acute, bone-deep longing for a sane way of living and the lure of Pop Tarts. Add in the fact that in an urban setting it’s unusual to find a place that offers these “luxuries”.
Yes! Natural wholesome food and goods are officially a luxury! Crazy, right?
About 2 months ago, I stumbled across a video of a Cocoa, Florida farmer lovingly feeding homemade sourdough bread to her rooster, Elvis. I watched this beautiful bird peck the morsel from her hand, take a few steps away, and leave his bounty on the ground for his “lady” hen.
Charming and endearingly sweet… especially after viewing the atrocities on the documentary,Food Inc., with my boys a few days before. I was determined to go there even though their business hours typically coincided with mine.
What I expected was a farm that had a table set up with some vegetables. What I discovered was a bevy of creative people living the dream.
Well…MY dream anyway.
The property is sectioned off with different pens for goats, pigs, ducks, a horse and a llama. The hens, however, were not confined. Everywhere you went little hens roamed the property, undisturbed by the comings and goings of visitors.
Uncertain which building to enter, we followed a brood of hens (we are pretty sure they were escorting us) towards a lovely archway. We were delightfully surprised by a garden bordered with upended wine bottles and adorned with polka dotted boots and brightly painted chair frames.
Repurposed Pop Art ….in the middle of a farm.
The little vegetable stand that I expected, gave way to an outdoor room with refrigerators smartly painted with chalkboard paint filled with quality farm fresh meats, woven baskets filled with brightly colored produce and a hen who made herself comfortable in a basket in the corner.
When I stepped inside their air conditioned retail space I was warmly greeted by the owner, Judith McKenna. When asked, she spoke of the farm and the participants of the cooperative with both pride and affection. She was keen to point out that they were not a farmers market. This was a group of small farms and businesses that have a shared vision of healthy living, humane practices and of being good stewards of the enviroment. This is evident by their approval from The Animal Welfare Institute.
“Animal Welfare Approved has the most rigorous standards for farm animal welfare currently in use by any United States organization. Its
standards were developed in collaboration with scientists, veterinarians, researchers, and farmers across the globe to maximize practicable, high-welfare farm management. Animal Welfare Approved’s standards incorporate best practices and recent research and have been adopted only after rigorous review.” (see full statement about accreditation on their webpage)
Have I mentioned the happy animals?
My boys begged for some of their homemade ice cream, which they devoured while I perused their wide variety of crafts and goods. I want to give proper credit and description of all the products but there was so much I will surely forget someone. Freshly baked goods, hand sewn bags cleverly made from recycled materials, beautiful soaps and lotions, loose tea in glass jars…It makes a girl think its REALLY possible to live this way. It’s so accessible!
Wendy, one of the artisans that make the clever bags, was kind enough to take my boys outside and introduce them to Tony the llama while I made my purchases. Most items were comparable to regular supermarket prices. Some items I was pleasantly surprised by how inexpensive.
A carton of eggs, unpasteurized milk, homemade yogurt in a mason jar, local wildflower honey and a promise to return weekly.
If you haven’t yet, subscribe to their facebook page to see some great videos and pictures and go visit!