Edible Education Experience

Say that five times fast and you've got a tongue twister.  The Edible Education Experience has a mission of "connecting students with seed-to-table learning experiences to build a healthy future."  And they do just that.  I took a walk with Garden Coordinator, Brad Jones who helped explain the mission further.  He really knows his stuff. 

As Garden Coordinator of Edible Education Experience, Jones handles everything related to the 1,500 sq.ft. Culinary Garden, from planning the crops and coordinating edible lessons with teachers to providing hands-on experiences for garden visitors and harvesting the garden’s produce.

Edible Education Experience 

26 E. King Street, Orlando, FL 32804
info@EdibleEd.org
http://instagram.com/EdibleEdExp
http://edibleed.org

 

Want to help out?

Edible Education Experience is always looking for a few good volunteers.  If this mission appeals to you and you'd like to get involved, you can click here.  

LOOKING FOR:

  • Committed volunteer gardeners to help cultivate the Culinary Garden.

  • Committed volunteer kitchen helpers.

  • Volunteer Chefs to be involved, leading a variety of sessions for a range of programs.

  • Educational liaisons to help build the foundation for field trips; to connect interested educators with our Edible Schoolyard Teacher Academy.

 

Explore Historic 'Green Gables' and Melbourne, Florida

If you haven't ventured south to Melbourne, Florida you need to put it on your day-trip list.  It's about an hour and a half south of Orlando on the Atlantic Coast and I was amazed by what I found there.  First, let's talk about a visit to Green Gables

Green Gables was the winter home of William T. Wells and his family.  Wells was a metallurgist who was known for his patent on the manufacturing of rustless iron.  In 1894 Wells and his wife Nora, sons Stanford and Prescott, and daughter Gladys traveled from New York to find a healthier climate for Nora's health issues. 

Melbourne was the perfect mix of friendly neighbors, great fishing, and outdoor activities.  In 1896 Green Gables was completed on the high bluff facing the river just north of town. 

This Queen Anne style house was the first of its kind and unique to a property like this, the house has remained family-owned to this day.  However, after the 2004 hurricane season it was deemed uninhabitable. 

The house is now used for events and parties but needs extensive repairs and restoration. You'll see some damage in the photos. 

The Wells family contributed to the expansion of Melbourne both architecturally and culturally.  Mrs. Wells built the first auditorium in the region and stage boasted perfect acoustics.  She arranged the Chautauqua of the Tropics and had musicians, actors, poets, and lecturers come to visit and perform.  The Wells' dedicated a portion of their land to the public which became Wells Park and the main branch of the Melbourne Public Library.  They also provided the means for the first pubic high school.  They were generous and progressive and left a legacy that remains today.

This 122 year old structure is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has an unparalleled view of the Indian River.  What a spot to experience the beauty and history of Brevard County.

Green Gables 

To arrange a tour or visit, reach out by email at the address below.

Mail: P.O. Box 1086, Melbourne, FL 32902

Address: 1501 South Harbor City Blvd, Melbourne, FL
info@GreenGables.com
http://SaveGreenGables.org

 

Click below to watch the Townie Tourist walk through Green Gables. 👇👇

Fill Your Life with Flair from Craft & Common

Craft & Common is a new coffee and retail combo in downtown Orlando filled with ferns, femininity, funky trinkets, and plenty of fabulous photo ops.

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Craft & Common lives up to its name with a full craft coffee and espresso bar, including pastries and other baked goods.  Pictured here is a very satisfying everything croissant that caught my eye.  They also make a cheddar jalapeno croissant and store a selection of vegan breakfast sandwiches in the cooler.

Shelves upon shelves of brightly colored gifts and dainty knick-knacks line the walls of Craft & Common's spacious layout.

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You can't have a storefront these days without a super cute backdrop to take fun photos with while you peruse the goods. Craft & Common does not disappoint with the Biggie Smalls reference, "It was all a dream."

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Parking is in the back of the building and there's plenty of seating and table space for bigger groups for hanging out with friends or holding meetings.

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Craft & Common

47 E Robinson Street, Ste 100
Orlando, FL 32801

www.craftandcommon.com
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Tina Fleming is a partner at Townie Tourist and an Orlando-based travel and lifestyle blogger at Tina In The Sun. She's a cat mom, self-proclaimed foodie, and moonlight singer in an a cappella group called Geekapella.

Instagram | Twitter 

Daytrip - Exploring Melbourne, Florida

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Melbourne is an easy hour and fifteen minutes from downtown Orlando, and tolls and highways make the trip simple.  (The alternative is a longer scenic route takes you through Fort Christmas which is another great stop on Hwy 50.)

Get to town and head first to the Historic Downtown area.  Drive slowly over the railroad tracks and park.  You won't want to miss the following:

Jacqueline's Bakery - 906 E. New Haven Ave, Melbourne, FL 32901 

This is a family-owned, French bakery and cafe. Chef Jacqueline uses European style butter, French traditional flour and American artisan flour (both non-GMO) and everything is baked from scratch.

Things to try:

  • Continental Breakfast - tartine, croissant, orange juice, coffee

  • Apple turnover

  • Quiche Duxelles

  • Vegetarian Baguette (ask for it with butter instead of hummus) Trust me.

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Russian House - 822 E. New Haven Ave, Melbourne, FL 32901

You might not realize this but there's a very large Russian population in Melbourne. Perhaps because of its proximity to the Space Coast.  Scientists maybe?  Who knows.  All I know is that a visit to the Russian House can take an hour just listening to stories from the old country and playing with nesting dolls.  The food, drink, trinkets, art, books, posters, and more are worth a visit.

Walking up and down this Main Street area is a good start. If you've got your fill of this first stop, hop back in the car and head a little closer to the coast.

EGAD - Eau Gallie Arts District - About a half-mile down the road is the Eau Gallie Arts District (EGAD) which is full of art, galleries, murals, and so much inspiration. Also...pie.

 

Joan's Perfect Pie - 1478B Highland Ave, Melbourne, FL 32935

Fresh pies, baked daily.  Joan runs a tight ship and her pies are hefty and delicious.  Choose savory or sweet and you won't be disappointed.  All of the fillings and dough are handmade and the crust is an all butter crust; brown and flakey. 

Outdoor Mural Installs - Be sure to check out all the public art murals around this district.  You can find a list here.

Foosaner Art Museum - 1463 Highland Ave. Melbourne, FL 32935

This free museum is a complex that contains three buildings: a 15,000sq ft gallery space; the Renee Foosaner Education Center with spaces for drawing, painting, pottery, and printmaking; and the Harris Community Auditorium for lectures, meetings, and performances. 

The permanent collection is over 5,000 works on paper, paintings, sculpture, and industrial design of the Modern and Contemporary periods.  Click here for the hours and installation details.

Hungry for more?

Chez Quan's - 1470 Aurora Road, Melbourne, FL. (321) 622-6979

This place has to top your list for what to eat for lunch or dinner.  What happens when you mix Thai and American and Latin all together?  Chef Adam can show you.  And you want him to.  A simple cement floor and bowls full of love.  It's always a good idea to show up for Wu Tang Wednesday. 

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There's so much more to explore so look for a second installment happening Fall 2018.

Have you been to Bronze Kingdom?

Probably one of Orlando's best kept secrets is Bronze Kingdom.  It's located in the Fashion Square Mall and is one of the most unique finds I've come across.  Over 16,000 square feet of space has been converted into a gallery-museum with 2,000 pieces of African art. 

The bronze, beaded, and wooden sculptures, some of which date back thousands of years, are truly impressive.  This is the largest collection of rare African bronze sculpture in the world and represents so many countries from across the continent like Nigeria, Mali, Ghana, Senegal, Cameroon, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

Along with a historic collection rivaling the British Museum, are local and international contemporary artists.  This is a tour you won't want to miss!

Bronze Kingdom 

Bronze Kingdom
3201 E. Colonia Drive, Suite M16
Orlando, Florida 32803
407-203-8864
http://bronzekingdom.com

Greenwood Cemetery: An Orlando History Lesson

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Greenwood Cemetery is one of the most unique places to visit in Orlando.  It's close to downtown and in a neighborhood full of brick streets and historic residential homes.  The area is loaded with trees and wetlands and the air here is thick and humid.  Bring bug spray and sunscreen.  (I should just add that in my bio since I say it all the time.)

If you're looking for history and a tour like no other, then add Greenwood to your list of places to visit in Central Florida.  Never have I experienced a more informative, unique, and humorous walk through a city's history. 

Don Price is Orlando's Sexton.  Historically, a sexton is someone who looked after a church graveyard.  The meaning has changed a bit and this cemetery isn't affiliated with one specific church.  Don is a record-keeper, a historian, the story-saver of our region. 

His tour covers Orlando history from the beginning up to modern day.  We got him out on a Saturday morning to share an abbreviated tour with us. You can walk along with us at the bottom of this post. 

History of Greenwood Cemetery Up until the 1880s, the people of Orlando had no permanent burial location, leading to many lost graves and confusion. After a heady newspaper campaign, by publisher Mahlon Gore, eight Orlando residents pulled together $1,800 to buy 26 acres of land and the cemetery was created. 

The original layout of Greenwood Cemetery was designed by Samuel A. Robinson and is laid out in a unique circular pattern. It's true that you can't get lost. Just keep going left and you'll end up at the beginning. 

There are free walking tours available throughout the year, but your best bet is to send an email or call Don's office at the number below to be sure you can secure a date/time. In October he hosts night time haunted tours that are a hoot! Also kind of creepy. Be ready to walk about a mile and wear sturdy shoes. Maybe consider bringing a flashlight to that one.

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Greenwood Cemetery 

Greenwood Cemetery
1603 Greenwood St.
Orlando, Florida 32801
407-246-2616
greenwood@cityoforlando.net

For information in Spanish: Click Here!

 

Directions to Greenwood Cemetery

Coming from 408 East (Oviedo/UCF area):

  • Travel west on 408

  • Exit on 11B toward East South Street

  • Merge onto East South Street

  • Turn left on Mills Avenue

  • Take 3rd left onto Greenwood Street

Coming from 408 West (I-4/Downtown):

  • Travel east on 408 to exit 11B toward Mills Avenue

  • Merge onto East Anderson Street

  • Turn right on Mills Avenue

  • Take 3rd left onto Greenwood Street

 
 

Watch the Townie Tourist tour with Brendan from Bungalower and Don Price.👇

Drink Your Vegetables: New Moon Market

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I'm going to be honest for a minute and tell you that I hate vegetables.  I am not a great cook so they end up mushy or nearly raw and I just don't like dealing with them.  I end up throwing a salad together and calling it a meal.  What I learned at New Moon Market though is that I don't actually have to eat them...I can drink them. 

*disclaimer* You really do have to eat vegetables.  I'm just being silly.  Read on...

New Moon Market is in the heart of College Park in Orlando. It's on Edgewater Drive which is the main drag through that Orlando neighborhood's center. 

Jennifer Moon-Huggett, a Central Florida native herself, and her husband Paul have perfected the art of squeezing every delicious nutritious drop out of fruits and veggies.  Not only that but they've got an expanded menu of toasts and grab and go salads that are rich and yummy and so so good for you.

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College Park is made up of young professionals, families and dogs and kids and lots of bikes and people walking and yoga-ing.  It's chill.  If you're looking for a healthy stop in the middle of chill-town, this is it. 

You can call ahead to place an order or just grab made-fresh-daily items from the cooler.  You can also order from the menu and even set up a consultation for a juice cleanse with Jennifer herself. 

What are some of my favorites?

  • Green Eyed Lady - kale, spinach, cucumber, parsley, romaine, celery, lemon, ginger
  • Luna Lemonade - coconut water, lemon, maple syrup, activated charcoal
  • Rainbow Pad Thai Salad - Spiral zucchini with a medley of red cabbage, carrots, and bell pepper with seasoned quinoa.  Served with Thai peanut dressing on the side. 
  • Chickpea Salad Toast and the Sweet Toast with almond butter and banana.

Jennifer loves her Power Shot.

  • Power Shot - beets, ginger, lemon, tumeric

Paul goes for Wheatgrass every single day. 

  • Wheatgrass Shot - 100% wheatgrass
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New Moon Market 

(407) 440-8147
2314 Edgewater Drive, Orlando, FL 32804
@newmoonmarket
http://newmoonmarket.com

Note: Bring back the glass bottles and they'll recycle them for you.  All juices are made with 100% organic ingredients and have not been pasteurized (No HPP). No additives or preservatives. 

Watch our interview and visit to the kitchen below on Townie Tourist! 👇👇👇

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Visit Mini Animals at Lil' Bit of Life Farm

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Lil’ Bit of Life Farm’s message is "Healing with a little help from our friends".  Owner Tracey Rinehart has poured her heart and soul into developing her mission to provide healing with four-legged friends.  "Horses train us to have balance, feelings of strength, coordination, confidence, grace, and peace." Tracey’s first horse, Bailey, taught her these very things, and she wants to share.

Also home to the G.R.I.T.S. 4-H Club, the organization is service oriented assisting living facilities and businesses in the Lake County area.  Our visit to Lil Bit of Life Farm was timed with a few events in mind.  Tracey had just gotten some ducks, there were new baby pigs, and the goats were about to give birth.  We saw it all in our tour.

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Check out these activities held at the farm:

  • Horsemanship - No riding involved. The experience is a hands-on course in learning how to care for your mini friend. You will bathe, groom, hoof care, and walk them while building a friendship relationship. Memory, fine motor skills, judgment, and focus are improved.

  • Obstacle Course - No riding involved. Designed with obstacles and patterns with you and your mini leading the way. Build relationship and trust. Learn positive leadership skills, team building skills, and build self-confidence.

  • Teaching Kindness - This program focuses on teaching empathy and compassion through interaction with small animals. The lesson plans are based not the principles of Humane Education. You will work with small farm animals, including goats, bunnies, and minis.

“There is something good about the outside of a horse that’s good for the inside of a man.”

The benefit to Lil Bit of Life Farm is so much more than just the experience of meeting Tracey and her animals.  It’s the difference that they make in Mount Dora and Lake County. 

Schedule a visit to the farm:

Groups large and small are welcome!  There’s plenty of parking and the farm is easy to navigate. 

  • Birthday Party entertainment

  • Day Camps for Youth (5-13) on scheduled days

  • Photos for daycare and pre-school with a miniature horse

  • Schedule an hour of quality family time with a mini

Lil' Bit of Life 

(407) 461-3091
Mount Dora, FL
@lil_bit_of_life
http://lilbitoflife.com

Lake Eola: Orlando's Central Park

Lake Eola was originally part of a 200 acre plot of land purchased by the 'Cattle King of Florida' Jacob Summerlin. On the south side of that land was a sinkhole, combined with the aquifer underneath, the body of water that formed was Lake Eola. 

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In 1888 Lake Eola was recognized as a park after being donated to the public in 1883. 

There are five types of swans you'll see: Black Neck swans, Whooper swans, Royal Mute swans, Trumpeter swans, and Australian Black swans. There's an annual round-up each year where they're checked out by a swan veterinarian, vaccinated, catalogued and returned to the lake. 

Swan Tip: Remember to only feed the swans spinach, lettuces, or duck pellets. 

The Linton E. Allen fountain spews out 6500 gallons of water every minute. It was built in 1957 and patterned after fountains of Europe. Struck by lightning in 2009, it underwent a renovation and has been completely restored. Did you know you can actually go INSIDE the fountain? Maybe we could do that for Townie Tourist. Wouldn't that be cool?

The Sperry Fountain is actually the second fountain. The original is now located in Greenwood Cemetery. The fountain is made of wrought iron and has a duck base and water flows from an acanthus leaf. 

The Band Shell was built in 1886 and originally placed on the south side of the lake. It was completely moved and reconstructed on the west side and now sits at the foot of Washington Street near the main entrance to the park.  

Escape the Florida Heat in Winter Park's Indoor Ski Park

We can all agree that being outside during summer in Florida is pretty much the worst. What if I told you there is a place you can go that would place you right in the middle of the Swiss Alps, skiing down the slopes like a total pro? That place is real and its name is WinterClub Indoor Ski & Snowboard.

The facilities at WinterClub include two different ways you can participate in winter sports in a region like Central Florida where there are absolutely no mountains to be found.

  • The ski simulator

  • The infinite slopes

The ski simulator combines virtual reality and movement to make you feel the real physical forces you would experience when skiing or snowboarding. I decided to try out one of the infinite slopes, which is basically a giant treadmill covered in white, spongy turf and made to look like snow. Up to three skiers or snowboarders can ride the slope at once and the instructors control how steep the slope is and how quickly it moves.

I spoke with the owner, Michelle Farah, about the origin story of WinterClub and she explained that they brought the infinite slope technology from overseas when they saw there was nothing similar in Florida. Farah clarified, "No one in Europe learns on the real slopes. They all start out on one of these."

I have to warn you—snowboarding is no joke. It's a pretty intense workout if you have no experience with it. Luckily, the instructors know this so they split the hour up into alternating segments of 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off the slope. You'll learn the basics slowly and gradually move up into more complicated moves based on how quickly you catch on.

Farah says, "it's much easier to learn this way rather than on a mountain."

This was my first time ever trying to snowboard and my instructor Austin was completely comfortable working with beginners. "I've taught skiing to a two-year-old and snowboarding to a four-year-old. We even have people over 80 come in here and do just fine," he said.

Bonus: WinterClub has a $10 off promotion for introductory hour-long lessons, making them only $39.

If getting out of the heat and into the slopes isn't enough to convince you to check out WinterClub, they also have 24 flavors of gelato made in-house at their cafe. They worked with an Italian chef to engineer the flavors and the multi-talented ski instructors make it themselves. I tried the birthday cake flavor and it was both colorful and tasted amazing.

Their multi-hall venue and catering kitchen allows for hosting birthday parties, conferences and even weddings.

Their multi-hall venue and catering kitchen allows for hosting birthday parties, conferences and even weddings.

WinterClub Indoor Ski & Snowboard
2950 Aloma Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32792
407-618-1123

Tina Fleming is a partner at Townie Tourist and an Orlando-based travel and lifestyle blogger at Tina In The Sun. She's a cat mom, self-proclaimed foodie, and moonlight singer in an a cappella group called Geekapella.

Instagram  |  Twitter

Virginia Drive Links Ivanhoe Village to Mills50

The Townie Tourist crew took a walking tour from Ivanhoe to the end of Virginia and talked about walking and biking in our city. This stretch of road connects two vibrant Main Street districts, Ivanhoe Village and Mills50. Along the way, we stopped at some pretty cool spots. 

Have you ever hit up brunch at Santiago's Bodega? It's unbelievable. Ever considered having a flag made with your family crest on it? Wild! We stop in a couple of breweries, swing by Project 7 Yoga, and talk about the fairy door that's hidden on a light post. (Of course, Brendan would know where it is exactly.)