Summer Adventures in the Redlands
By Jody Steele
Looking for a journey nearby this summer? The Redland area is just a short drive away up Card Sound Road. This historic area was first settled in 1898 by pioneers homesteading the land and remains today as a large farming community. Named for its iron rich red clay that covers limestone, the Redlands were challenging for the early settlers who used steam tractors and even dynamite to prepare the land for planting. After Henry Flagler’s East Coast Railway arrived in 1905, the farmers were able to send their produce throughout the country. And now, over 100 years later, we can still venture to this rich farming destination.
Depending on your interest, there are a number of fascinating sites to visit in the Redlands, but all should culminate with a stop at “Robert is Here”, an open air produce market featuring local and tropical fruits that began in 1959 when Robert Moehling was six years old. No trip is complete without one of their delicious tropical fruit shakes. (19200 SW 344th Street, 305-246-1592)
Our own R.F. Orchids is another worthy destination. In 1912, the property was purchased and now Robert Fuchs, the president, is the talented third generation orchid grower. Thousands of exotic orchids grow in a lushly landscaped hammock with paths to lovely greenhouses. It is open daily except for Mondays and tours are given on the weekends. (28100 SW 182nd Avenue, 305-245-4570)
Everglades National Park, a World Heritage Site that is only 29 miles away, is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. A drive through the park is probably the best way to visit during the wet season with short walks to marked viewing areas to view wildlife or be more adventurous and take a boat tour out of Flamingo. (40001 State Road 9336, 305-242-7700)
Cauley Square Historic Village is a ten-acre site that was a railroad depot in the early 1900’s and now is a delightful assortment of antique and specialty shops, gardens, and a tea room. (22400 Old Dixie Highway, 305-258-3543)
Michael Borek Farms supplies delicious Teena’s Pride tomatoes and other select produce to Ocean Reef Club, but they are also a wonderful destination on Saturdays throughout the summer. A market sells herbs, lettuces, and vegetables that are mostly grown on their property or a weekly produce box can also be ordered for pick up by calling 305-322-2139 or online at nanasgreenecsa.com. (19101 SW 147th Avenue).
So if you would like to add any of these excursions to your summer calendar, please call and check the provided phone numbers for the most recent information on hours and activities. Convenient and entertaining, these nearby historic sites can add some excitement to your staycation at Ocean Reef Club.