The Go Guide Places, people and life with Ben Crandell

Weekend preview: Spam Allstars and hibiscus wine in Lake Worth

The first thing you see is what you don’t see. There is no outward indication that you’ve arrived at paradise, no sign with its slightly more prosaic name, Sons & Daughters Farm and Winery. There is only a hand-painted gesture, hung low by a nondescript opening in the fence on Lake Worth’s nondescript Fearnley Road. It says: “This Must Be the Place.”

This a wink from proprietor David Bick, the title of a Talking Heads favorite (David Byrne’s most personal love song), which echoes back to a previous life as a South Beach nightclub rebel who ran Lola Bar, the low-profile, locals-oriented, anti-dance-music antithesis of a South Beach nightclub. With no advertising, no sign and no attitude at the door, Lola Bar’s audacious success in the early 2000s confirmed Bick’s belief in a business model based on sincerity and personal connection.

Bick and partner Teal Pfeifer have created another special environment at their 17-acre organic farm, an untamed, bucolic refuge near the busy corner of Jog and Lantana (which seems 1,000 miles away), land that has been in Bick’s New Jersey-based family for decades. It also is home to their three preteen children, dozens of pigs and chickens, miniature donkeys Henry and June, and a blind (since birth) dog named Tommy. Wink, wink.

This weekend, the couple will celebrate the one-year anniversary of their decision to open the farm to the public, serving wine, kombucha and popsicles made from the wild variety of flowers, vegetables, plants and herbs handpicked daily, as well as a dynamic lineup of musicians. On Friday, March 31, the festivities, beginning at 7 p.m. will be highlighted by a performance from Miami’s acclaimed Spam Allstars. The 18-and-older event will include the fresh-baked wonders of their pizza guy, Oliver, and his wood-burning oven. Admission is $7 at the gate. On Saturday, April 1, at 3 p.m., a Family Day celebration will include a performance by guitarist Buffalo Brown’s new trio, Periphyton. Admission is free.

While there, you can take free tours of the property, hang with the accommodating staff in the small tasting room in the front shed or the bar out in the large warehouse. There is beer (lately from Khoffner Brewery in Fort Lauderdale), baked goods, a bocce court, a large fire pit and several covered seating areas, thanks to their recent Bring Your Own Sofa party.

The main draws are the wine and the palpable air of community that Bick and Pfiefer have created. The wine selection is dictated by the daily harvest, and has included hibiscus, star fruit, pomegranate, fig, passionfruit, black sapote, mulberry, raspberry and lemon basil, often combined with honey from bees in their apiary. For the uninitiated, a bright red glass of the effervescent hibiscus wine, its sweetness cut with the bite of Brazilian pepper, may be a revelation.

Bick has trucked his wine down to Miami to sell to such star chefs as Daniel Boulud, but he grew dissatisfied with casting something crafted so personally into a sea of anonymity.

“Here, with every glass of wine, and it’s been around 50,000 glasses of wine so far, we get a connection,” Bick says. “What’s most important to us is to stop and talk and meet and introduce our message.”

Among those who have made a personal connection to the farm is Andrew Yeomanson, also known as DJ Le Spam of the Spam Allstars. Yeomanson, a Miami resident who has known Bick since the DJ first began drawing crowds at Lola Bar, has played several nights on the property in his VW bus, retrofitted as a DJ studio.

“You turn a corner and, all of a sudden, you’re in the country. You’re in the city, but you’re in this little pocket of countryside for a while,” Yeomanson says. “It’s a complete departure from anything else you could choose to do on a Friday or Saturday night.”

This Friday he’ll perform with his full band, Latin Grammy nominees who can crank up a big, brassy funk mix they call “electronic descarga,” or slow it down to suit the mood. Yeomanson says he’ll let the crowd decide.

“There’s a campfire. It’s very romantic. You know, on a date, you don’t even tell them where you are going, and you come in and it’s amazing,” Yeomanson says.

Bick and Pfeifer could speak for hours about organic food, environmental stewardship and broken agricultural systems, but they won’t. Unless you want to.

“People don’t want to be lectured to,” says Pfeifer, an Oregon native. “But when they come here, this place becomes significant to them because of the experience they have and the connection they make to us and our employees, and to the animals. And then people are open, and you can talk to them about what we’re trying to fix.”

Yeomanson can preach, too.

“We still have a few remnants of our old farming industry down here, until real estate [development] finally eats it all up,” he says. “If we get to the point here in South Florida where we don’t have that agriculture around us, we’re in trouble. The fact that we’re sitting on this breadbasket is super important. Farmers are definitely heroes.”

Events at the farm (open to the public weekly 2-10 p.m. Tuesday, 2-11 p.m. Friday, 2-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday) draw a broad variety of visitors, including hirsute young hipsters, prosperous operators of large local farms, and the two ladies who recently took the farm tour using walkers. And there are those who come to the environmental conversation from the opposite direction.

“We have people who totally don’t get it and are happy to say so out loud when they first walk in,” Bick says, with a slight grin. “And then, five or six hours later, they still haven’t left and are calling people to come join them.”

Sons & Daughters Farm and Winery is at 5926 Fearnley Road, in Lake Worth. For more information, call 305-613-8039 or visit SD-Farm.com.

FARM LIVIN’

While we’re on the Green Acres vibe, consider Abandoned Pet Rescue's signature annual fundraiser, the Hugs and Kisses Dinner Auction, taking place 6:30-10 p.m. Saturday at Marando Farms & Ranch in Davie, typically a destination for its organic market, U-pick eggs, pony rides and the Twisted Tomato Café. The gussied-up crowd at the dinner will find a DJ and dancing, an open bar, raffles and games, and live and silent auctions. This year’s theme is Bow Ties & Flip Flops, with special prizes for the funkiest tie and fanciest flip-flops. Tickets cost $75 at 501Auctions.com/BowTiesAndFlipFlops.

TALK HATSUME TO ME

A rite of spring in South Florida, the annual Hatsume Fair brings Japanese games and fashion, martial arts and taiko drumming, and street-food vendors to the typically tranquil Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Come prepared for the costume contest and the sake station. Tickets: $12, $6 ages 4-10; two-day passes $17, $11. Info: Morikami.org.

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT

Reminder: The Art After Dark series at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach will go back to college 5-9 p.m. Thursday (March 30), with turning the space into a coffeehouse programmed by students from Florida Atlantic University and Palm Beach Atlantic University. There will be performances by student poets and musicians, DIY art projects, a phone-aided scavenger hunt and the FAU jazz-rock band Solaris. Along with the Tacos al Carbon food truck, you’ll find free popcorn and free coffee. Admission is free. Info: Norton.org.

WEEKEND LAUGHS

New York native Andrew Schulz is best known to most for appearances on MTV’s “Guy Code” and the Amazon series “Sneaky Pete,” but for me, he’s that guy who starred (with Charlamagne Tha God) in the video “Sneaker Heads,” a pretty damn funny parody of shoe-obsessed guys that was filmed right in front of my old building in New York’s NoHo. Schulz performs through Saturday at the Palm Beach Improv. Tickets: $20. Info: PalmBeachImprov.com.

MUSIC AND CRAWFISH

This weekend’s Crawdebauchery Food and Music Festival, on the grounds of the Pompano Beach Amphitheater, may have things backward. No slight of the crawdads (more than two tons of them) and the rest of the Louisiana-style eats, but this year’s music lineup may deserve top billing. Saturday’s performers include the Revivalists, Chubby Carrier, Roddie Romero and the Hub City All Stars, Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers and bayou temptress Maggie Koerner, among others. On Sunday, it’s the Hip Abduction, the Stooges Brass Band, Darcy Malone and the Tangle, Chubby Carrier, Roddie Romero, the ex-Radiators band Raw Oyster Cult and locals Rodeo Clown. Tickets cost $30 Saturday, $25 Sunday in advance ($40 each day at the gate). Two-day passes cost $45 advance, $60 at the gate. VIP tickets also available. Info: Crawdebauchery.com.

WEEKEND BEER

Beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday, the always dog-friendly LauderAle will host a benefit for Gentle Giants Great Dane Rescue, the nonprofit tasked with trying to “rescue, rehabilitate and rehome” Great Danes. For a $5 donation you get $1 off each beer, Nacho Bizness will be handling your hunger and the esteemed local jazz guitarist Randy Bernsen will peform, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Info: Facebook.com/LauderAle, Facebook.com/GentleGiantsGreatDaneRescue.

THICK AND THIN

Mayor Jack Seiler has proclaimed Saturday as Pizza Day in his city to honor the inaugural Fort Lauderdale Pizza Festival, and, no offense, but that doesn’t carry much weight. He’s too skinny. However, knowing that rock radio station Big 105.9 is one of the sponsors? Now we’re talking. Paul Castronovo knows his way around a pizza. Taking place in and around the War Memorial Auditorium in downtown’s Holiday Park 1-6 p.m. Saturday, the festival will feature the pies of 10 local pizzerias, including Mellow Mushroom, Dough Boys, the Garlic Knot , Pie-Zan’s and Sarpino’s, along with refreshments from the Funky Buddha, Concrete Beach, Bangin’ Banjo, Coppertail Brewing and others. There will be a family-friendly kids’ zone, and Hoffman’s Chocolates will be offering chocolate dessert pizzas. Tickets cost $30 (kids 5 and younger free), and get you four pizza samples and eight alcohol samples. Pizza also will be sold by the slice. A dollar from every ticket sale will go to Feeding South Florida. Info: FortLauderdalePizzaFestival.com. Side note: On Saturday morning at 8, the Junior League of Greater Fort Lauderdale will host its annual downtown Riverwalk Run 5K at Huizenga Plaza. Just sayin’. Info: RiverwalkRun.com.

WEEKEND BURGER

Tucker Duke’s Food Truck will bring the celebrated burgers of the popular Deerfield Beach restaurant to Fort Lauderdale’s Laser Wolf for the first time at 5 p.m. Saturday. Info: Facebook.com/TuckerDukesFoodTruck.

SPY VS. SPY

The iconic Alfred Hitchcock spy thriller “North by Northwest,” starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint, returns to the big screen, with commentary by Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz, in theaters from Royal Palm Beach to Miami Beach. Screenings are 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday, April 2, and Wednesday, April 5. Info: FathomEvents.com.

OTHER VOICES, OTHER ROOMS

Karina Iglesias & the Nu-Thang play a free show at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami 8 pm Friday (MoCANoMi.org) … James Wolf and the Electric Mud play Dada in Delray Beach 11 p.m. Friday (Sub-Culture.org) … The Copper Tones are at CWS Bar + Kitchen in Lake Worth 9 p.m. Saturday (Facebook.com/CWSLW) … DJ Supersede spins the reprogrammed L Bar in the lobby of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood beginning at 11 p.m. Saturday (MyHRL.com) … 56 Ace brings tattooed country-rock to Copper Blues at CityPlace in West Palm Beach 8:30 p.m. Saturday (Facebook.com/56ACEBAND) … Replay performs at the free, monthly Sounds at Sundown concert series 5-10 p.m. Saturday in downtown Margate (MargateFL.com) … Indie duo the Treeswifts play the first-Monday Music at the Monk series at the Blind Monk in West Palm Beach 7:30-10 p.m. (Facebook.com/TreeSwifts) … The Dillard Jazz Ensemble plays a Concert Under the Stars 7 p.m. Thursday (April 6) at Fort Lauderdale’s Bonnet House (BonnetHouse.org) …

bcrandell@sun-sentinel.com

Copyright © 2017, South Florida
67°