Rock the cradle again at this year’s Natural Foods Gala
Jeri Baldwin and her cohorts at Crones’ Cradle Conserve are back after a long hiatus. Celebrate their return during the Natural Foods Gala on Oct. 22.
The country store is shown at Crones’ Cradle Conserve in Citra, Fla. on Monday, July 18, 2022. The 700+ acre farm grows organic vegetables and produces their own honey and numerous other organic jams, jellies and canned goods. Crone’s Cradle is planning on reopening with a Natural Foods Gala on Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. after being closed for a number of years due to flooding caused by Hurricane Irma and the COVID-19 pandemic. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2022.
Lifelong farmer, Marion County native and community activist Jeri Baldwin is back on the farm this fall after a long COVID hiatus and is celebrating with a revival of Crones’ Cradle Conserve’s popular annual celebration, the Natural Foods Gala.The event takes place 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, at the conserve, located at 6411 NE 217th Place, Citra, and will feature educational organic farming presentations, live music, artisan vendors and tapas-style samplings of farm-to-table cuisine.
“We’re going to eat lots and lots of food from the garden and cook it in all kinds of ways, some really special stuff,” Baldwin effused.
Admission is $1 and the food tickets for a 3-ounce portion are $2 each.
“We’re doing small portions so that people can try out a lot of things,” Baldwin said. “No one will have to settle for just one or two things. We priced the tickets so you can buy as much as you wish.”
Food options include southern tomato gravy and homemade biscuits, homemade squash casserole and okra empanadas.
“We’ve got a couple of games for children,” Baldwin said, assuring that the event will be family friendly.
“We will be moving people from the parking lot down to our farm store on a trailer towed by a tractor and the children can ride as often as they wish. They love it. They love riding through the woods,” Baldwin added.
The Natural Foods Gala celebrates four decades of the conserve’s mission to provide pesticide-free produce to North Central Florida. The 756-acre organic farm draws visitors daily to purchase a rotating crop of vegetables.
Baldwin, who turned 83 this year, has helped empower women over the past half-century through education and community support and has reaped the rewards of her efforts by creating a thriving farming community at Crones’ Cradle Conserve.
Find out more about Crones Cradle Conserve at cronescradleconserve.org and the Natural Foods Gala at facebook.com/Crones-Cradle-Conserve-Foundation-278963442184626