Kim Pezza, ‘Old Florida’ Architecture and Foodways Historian | MOTHER EARTH NEWS

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Kim Pezza, ‘Old Florida’ Architecture and Foodways Historian

Residence: Punta Gorda, Fla.

Background: Kim Pezza is the author of a series of popular backyard farming and food books, a recipe developer, and an advocate for preserving the architecture and agriculture of Florida. Growing up in the Finger Lakes region of New York, just a short distance from Lake Ontario, she also learned at an early age how to forage, a skill she continues to learn and hone in Southwest Florida. These days, she also develops recipes and adapts historic recipes for today’s kitchen.

Kim is purchased an historic home in an historic district in Southwest Florida needing restoration, much of which she plans to do herself. She is calling the project “Restoration Kitchen”, and it will be a combination of the house restoration, food, backyard farming, and saving history — her largest and most important project to date.

About Restoration Kitchen: What happens when a backyard farming author, recipe developer, and advocate for Florida’s historic architecture buys a 110-year-old abandoned, historic “Old Florida” Victorian in nearly original condition but needing a lot of TLC? It’s “Restoration Kitchen”, of course! Kim Pezza offers her unique combination of food, gardening, history and DIY restoration all tied up neatly in a fun and informative package.

Restoration Kitchen is not only unique in title, but unique in concept and presentation too! Where else will viewers be able to follow the restoration of an historic “Old Florida” home — where, ironically, the kitchen begins in the worst condition — to discover a home’s written history and the hard work it takes to bring it back to its roots?  Hard work makes a person hungry, so you’ll also learn how to make a quick dish — be it a small meal, snack, dessert or treats —to fit a busy person’s schedule and,  in this case, a house in the midst of organized chaos.

Restoration Kitchen not only is a story about restoring an historic Old Florida home, but also be is a story about advocating saving the history that is being lost in Florida, as it is throughout the South. Restoration Kitchen encourages others to restore or repair these old homes rather than tear them down or “re-muddle” (some would claim “remodel”) them. To look past what people think the houses don’t have, and look at what they do. It will also be a platform for saving our agriculture history, that is rapidly being lost to development, not only here in Florida but elsewhere. (While whipping up a few food tidbits and creating an urban farm on the property.)

Read Kim’s full Restoration Kitchen series here.

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