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Paradise Farms purchased by Sacred Space owner with plans to expand holistic mission

A handmade sign is near the entrance of Paradise Farms in Homestead. Gabriela Marewski has run the property as a certified organic farm since 1999. The new owner will continue the farm and add more health and wellness programming.
A handmade sign is near the entrance of Paradise Farms in Homestead. Gabriela Marewski has run the property as a certified organic farm since 1999. The new owner will continue the farm and add more health and wellness programming. Miami Herald Staff

Karla Dascal, who transformed a gritty warehouse property in Wynwood into a serene campus of health and wellness called The Sacred Space Miami, now has big plans for a healthy-living oasis far from the urban jungle.

Dascal and Gingi Beltran bought Homestead’s Paradise Farms, one of the state’s first certified organic growers. The pair closed on the $1 million purchase on Tuesday and eventually plan to expand the 7 1/2 acre property into a holistic health and wellness destination. They also lease an additional adjacent acre.

The farm at 19801 SW 320th St. in Homestead was owned by Gabriele Marewski and had been on the market for a couple of years. Marewski, who didn’t allow meat products or smoking on the property, had been running it as a certified organic farm servicing top farm-to-table chefs since 1999 and was well-known for hosting Dinners in Paradise for charity. She will be staying on with the business, Dascal said.

Dascal’s Sacred Space is home to an aclaimed plant-based restaurant, Plant Food + Wine, and culinary institute, and she runs an events business, so the synergies were impossible to ignore.

[READ MORE: The Sacred Space opens a mindful world to Miami and Review: A great reason to go vegan: Plant Food + Wine]

“When this all came about, I thought this would be wonderful for retreats, for further healing, for disconnecting, for getaway, for celebration, all of the things the farm already stands for,” Dascal said in an interview Wednesday. “It’s all divine. I am the right buyer for this property.”

Paradise Farms grows herbs, micro greens, fruits and vegetables for the region’s top farm-to-table chefs including Michael Schwartz, Ingrid Hoffman, Michelle Bernstein and Allen Susse, as well as for Whole Foods. What’s more, the farm is designed to align with the ancient principles of Feng Shui and sacred geometry, Dascal said. “When you are on the farm, the energy, it is like being at the Sacred Space, you are relaxed, you are at peace. It is a very unique property.”

[READ MORE: South Florida Food 50: Gabriele Marewski]

Dascal plans to keep the name, and the farm. Plans include expanding the farming into other delicacies, as well as expand into retreats, holistic gatherings, detoxes, hikes and what she calls digital disconnection. “But it’s 50 minutes away from Miami, you don’t have to get on a plane, you don’t have to go to the Himalayas. I’m enchanted with Homestead and Paradise Farms... It will be an extension of The Sacred Space.”

The $10 million Sacred Space Miami in Wynwood hosts classes and workshops and partners with wellness events, including the Seed Food and Wine Festival, as well as the city’s first Mindfulness Festival. It’s also home to a plant-based restaurant and culinary institute. Part of a growing mindful movement in Miami in which dozens of healthy living startups and small businesses, The Sacred Space opened its doors early last year. “This all really works together,” Dascal said. “All of our efforts are for the people.”

READ MORE: Startups out to build a mindful Miami

Nancy Dahlberg: @ndahlberg

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