Sweetwater Organic Farm (813-887-4066 or sweetwater-organic.org), the subscription-based Community Supported Agriculture tucked into a residential neighborhood in North Tampa, has expanded into Clearwater.

The new farm is at Gateway Nursery, formerly a landscape plant grower, and is owned and operated by Pamela and Hank Sindlinger. Crops will be coming in this year, with about 40 full-year shares available (part-time shares can be had as well). This will allow Sweetwater fans in Pinellas to get their veggies closer to home. According to executive director Rick Martinez, they've sold about 60 percent of the shares so far.

Another interesting point I learned is that Sweetwater took over management of Bern's Steakhouse's famous farm plot in South Tampa last year. Sweetwater has long had a relationship with the restaurant, using some of Bern's land for its own crops, but now the CSA runs the whole shebang.

According to Bern's, this does not exempt its waitstaff from the legendary requirement that all trainees must get their hands dirty. Before they can put on the coveted burgundy tie that makes them almost full servers, they've got to spend at least 40 hours working the fields. Not to mention the other year or two worth of training in the other departments of the steakhouse.

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