I made a turn south on Highway 27. I was now heading due south towards the Keys. Homestead was my next stop…. This was a long straight road with tall Australian pines on the left (east side) on the other side of the canal. They had been there a very long time because the trees were quite tall. I could see off in the distance that a big blow was coming in. The sky was getting dark, and a front was moving across. The wind blowing me along felt good. The land was flat, strangely no fences...it was a pretty sight. There were small truck farms for growing vegetables. Here the canal was crystal clear and I could see the limestone on the sides and bottom. I stopped at a farmer’s roadside stand and bought some tomatoes. I ate some of those tomatoes and some other snacks. Then I walked for a few more miles, saw what appeared to be a real nice area and put up my hammock in the dark. I figured that I had gone at least 22 miles.
In the morning, I was suddenly and rudely awakened to a word called out very loud……. “FORE!”
I jumped out of my hammock. I looked around and guess what? I had camped on a golf course! No wonder it was such a nice place. I heard water sprinklers and mowers cutting grass. I hurriedly packed up my gear and shouldered my pack. No one had seen me. I guessed some people wanted to get on the golf course very early.
I ate breakfast along the side of the road by the golf course. I was sure that I must be just on the outskirts of Homestead. As I hiked along I could see people going to pick vegetables. A lot of the small farms had “pick your own” signs. The soil on these Homestead vegetable farms* looked like it was filled with rocks. The land around Homestead is very flat and the soil is marl, a limestone and shell mixed with sand. In fact, most plants can grow very well in the marl soil around Homestead. It is composed of minerals such as silica and calcium carbonate. Some of this soil which was at first hard limestone had to be made by using giant bulldozers with specially designed blades* that would cut off the rock one inch at a time. This made a mix of soil with rocks in it.
Nearly half of the winter vegetables eaten in the US. are grown in tropical south Florida in the Dade county area…..Some fruits or vegetables that will grow in Homestead will not grow anywhere else in the United States, except possibly Hawaii.
About the Author: After getting out of the Army Bob Kranich backpacked from the Georgia border to Key West in a 40 day adventure walk across Florida. His recently published book A Walk Across Florida is available from his website or Amazon.com