Muriel Olivares was born in Cordoba Argentina and moved to South Florida as a child with her family. She grew up in Miami studying art and eventually went on to the San Francisco Art Institute on a full scholarship. To support herself during collage she took a part time job at a flower shop, where the world of plants began to peak her interest. Becoming more interested in the horticultural and botanical side of flower arranging she enrolled in horticulture classes at San Francisco City Collage. Her career in floral design lasted 5 more years, eventually landing her jobs at the top design studios in New York City. Upon moving back to Miami in 2005 she was concerned about the liberal use of pesticides in the commercial cut flower industry and in an attempt to educate herself about organic alternatives she did her first internship on an organic farm. Growing food and sustainable land stewardship soon became the focus of her life and she went on to finish three years of apprenticeships on organic farms in Homestead, FL and upstate New York. In the summer of 2010 Muriel acquired a small plot of land in Miami and opened the Little River Market Garden, an urban farm with a small CSA as well as vegetables, herbs and flowers for sale to restaurants, food trucks and farmers markets. Although the gardens are not certified yet, she uses only organic and sustainable practices of agriculture. She believes that the health of the soil is directly related to the quality of the harvest so she takes as much care of the soil as she does any of the crops with a focus on composting, cover-cropping and no-till to sustain the micro-organisms and organic matter in the fields. Since the first growing season the garden has expanded and the CSA has sold out every summer. Muriel’s first daughter was born on January 2nd, 2013 so this upcoming season brings new challenges as she gets ready to run the farm with a toddler.
“There seems to be a ball rolling with permaculture. We’re really embracing it and it feels like a good direction for South Florida and Miami. We could really easily have little mini food forests all over the city – they could fill in food gaps [in the area.]” 20:00
–Muriel Aolivares on Greenhorns Radio