Florida Heritage Foods

Florida Heritage Foods
Project Vita and Outcomes

2024 Florida Heritage Gardens: cultivating a sense of belonging on the college campus

Heritage gardens reflect the unique histories and cultures of the college community by integrating educational tools, art and interactive activities into the landscape and the built environment. By linking culture to the classroom and the environment, heritage gardens provide interdisciplinary opportunities to foster learning outside the classroom and promote multicultural, civic and social engagement.This place-based project offers outdoor pedagogical tools to foster connection, empowerment and community-building among students, faculty and staff on campus.

2021-2024 Florida Heritage Foods Initiative: linking local food and local culture in Florida Farmers Markets ​

Funding for the Florida Heritage Foods Initiative: Connecting Local Food with Local Culture in Florida Farmers Markets was made possible by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service through grant Agreement Number 21FMPPFL1026-00. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA.

2021-2024 Executive summary:

Heritage foods represent one of the fastest-growing sectors of the food industry in Florida as an increasingly diverse population is fueling demand for foods that embody social, cultural, and historical value. Yet, farmers in Florida farmers’ markets face difficulties selling heritage foods because current customers are usually unfamiliar with new food varieties, and knowledge barriers prevent customers from accessing heritage foods for sale at farmers’ markets. Farmers’ market customers need information about heritage foods, and farmers’ markets need inclusive multicultural outreach to the diverse population of consumers driving the heritage food industry in Florida. The purpose of the Florida Heritage Foods Initiative: Connecting Local Food with Local Culture in Florida Farmers Markets is to stimulate the heritage food economy in Florida farmers markets by providing education about heritage foods for consumers and providing farmers markets with tools to reach culturally diverse communities already purchasing heritage food. View Project Narrative and Outcomes. 

project goals:

  1. increase access to heritage foods in farmers markets with educational marketing materials for farmers, consumers, and K-12 students that provide information about the cultural, historical, nutritional, and culinary value of heritage foods. View Heritage Food Gallery and Educator Resources.
  2. expand direct-to-consumer marketing opportunities with a Multicultural Heritage Food Event Planning Tool-Kit for farmers markets. View Toolkit.
  3.  provide training and education on heritage foods to farmers, market managers, and local food stakeholders through three virtual and on-site symposiums. View Events Page.

Project Directors:

Lead Faculty:

Dr. Joshua Braley (Religion), Eva Casanas (Chinese), Dr. Sarah Cervone (Humanities and Religion), Dr. Marcela Murillo-VDB (Spanish and Latin American Humanities), Dan Stepp (Art), and Elizabeth Ziffer (French).

Project Coordinator for Objectives Two and Three:

Dr. Mirian Hay-Roe (Natural Sciences).

Student Assistants:

community partners:

2023-2024 University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS): Dr. Tre Easterly and Dr. Carla Jagger.

2021-2023 Florida Organic Growers and Consumers and the Florida Farmers Market Association: Dr. Juan Carlos Rodriguez, Andi Emrich and
Kathy Anderson.

2021 Food sustainability in and beyond the classroom: the florida foods initiative,

presentation at the 22nd International Conference on Ethics Across the Curriculum October 7-9, 2021.
Faculty Presenters: Dr. Ann Thebaut and Dr. Sarah Cervone.

2020 Africa in Your Garden and On Your Table; connecting food and culture for healthier choices

Trifold color brochure produced by students in HUM2420: African Humanities showcases six crops of African origin grown in Florida: Roselle, Watermelon, Yams, Okra, Pigeon Peas, and Aloe. The brochure was distributed digitally and in print by the University of Florida Healthstreet public education program, the UF Center for African Studies, and Alachua County Farm to School. Lead Faculty: Dr. Sarah Cervone with support from the Matheson Historical Museum, University of Florida Center for African Studies, and Florida Organic Growers and Consumers.

2019 Ethics Slam: Topics on Local Food

The Santa Fe College Ethics Bowl Team convened at the Civic Media Center to provide a public presentation on ethical conversations centered on local food. Lead Faculty: Dr. Ann Thebaut and Dr. Jason Frank with support from Florida Organic Growers and Consumers.

2019 Food and Culture Student Research Poster Contest

A heritage food-themed student poster competition highlighted the relationship between food and culture in humanities courses. Lead Faculty: Dr. Marcela Murillo (Spanish and Latin American Humanities), Eva Casanas (Chinese), and Elizabeth Ziffer (French) with support from Florida Organic Growers
and Consumers.

2018 Florida Folk Life Project

A web-based platform designed to highlight multicultural themes and international contributions to Florida folk life that include food, art, literature, music, and more. Lead Faculty: Dr. Sarah Cervone with support from Santa Fe College Sustainability Grant.