CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. — You can find a wide variety of food at the Sunseeker Resort, but did you know some of the ingredients come from a farm in Punta Gorda?
Down a dirt road in Punta Gorda, you will find one home with land, livestock and a small red barn. Inside the barn is something that got the Francis family into the Sunseeker Resort.
"So microgreens are vegetables that are harvested between seven and 14 days of their life-cycle," said Jason Francis, owner of Francis Farm." Packed with nutrition, packed with flavor."
All of that — the microgreens — are packed inside the barn.
You will find radishes, pea tendril, cilantro, rainbow mix and so much more.
"About 40 times more nutrient dense than the full-sized variety plant," Francis said.
The idea started with Jason's wife and soon grew to a business. That business turned into something as simple as a question.
"My wife actually sent them [Sunseeker Resort] the old “contact us” thing and we thought we weren't going to see anything," Francis said.
To their surprise, they heard back from Sunseeker's Executive Chef Kory Foltz. From there, the relationship formed and the microgreens soon made its way to the resort's 11 restaurants.
"We get deliveries every week and the Francis family has been wonderful with us, growing whatever we need and in the volumes that we need," Foltz said.
Foltz helped create the menus and says he knew he wanted to support the locals as much as possible.
"It’s the right thing to do. It’s the freshness," Foltz said. "The price is great. It’s pretty much the exact same price as any other microgreens."
They use the greens on a variety of dishes such as the tuna and beef carpaccios at Stretto, going through about 20 pounds of microgreens a week.
"You eat with your eyes. It’s a little bit of color on the plate, it’s different texture," Foltz said.
It's a local food eaten by people around the world, and grown right here in southwest Florida.
"We're growing together," Foltz said.