Green Paradise Eco Farm grows sustainable crops

CLEWISTON — Surrounded by wild passion fruits, juicy mandarin oranges, teardrop-shaped tomatoes, bright yellow sweet peppers and leafy greens in every hue you can imagine, is a lovely permaculture farm in Hendry County.

Paradise Eco Farm, in the Pioneer Plantation community of Clewiston, is run by the farm’s manager, Roselyn Romaguera, and her family. She is also the mother of an infant and a toddler.

This attentive, busy mama spends hours taking care of her children while planning crops, ordering and starting seeds, and managing the rest of the family and staff. She also assists with the harvest each week. Working tirelessly, this local family is on a mission to grow a variety of healthy, organic, and sustainable fruits and vegetables.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/Paradise Eco Farm
Roselyn Romaguera and her two daughters make their way in from checking the microgreens in the greenhouse.

Running a permaculture farm, such as Green Paradise Eco Farm, means that every method of food production is symbiotic with the surrounding natural resources. This requires both planning and flexibility as the weather is unpredictable and the seasons change drastically. Implementing both old-school, traditional permaculture methods for growing produce, as well as seeking out newer inventive methods, gives high yields with a low energy input. They also use quite a few innovative tools on their farm, from a small drill-powered harvesting tool that cuts the tops of the greens to a large bubble bath that cleans the produce before it’s packed up and sold to local restaurants and farmers markets. Even their method of growing tomatoes, with an intricate system of hanging and dropping the plants with pulleys and cables, is ingenious.

While visiting the farm, I was able to sample some of their freshly harvested fruits and veggies. I sampled a green papaya kimchi that was delightfully tart and slightly spicy. The savory papaya salad had me going for seconds and even thirds. Everything was so juicy and flavor-packed, it was all absolutely wonderful.

They do currently offer a limited supply of CSA boxes (community supported agriculture) for $25 each week, that contain a variety of the current harvest. Their beautiful leafy greens and other vegetables are also served at the Quart House, an awesome eatery in LaBelle.

To support these local farmers, or to find out more about what Green Paradise Eco Farm is growing, you can visit them on Facebook or their website

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