Farmers markets on a Saturday morning

Farmers markets on a Saturday morning

What are you doing Saturday morning? Here’s an idea – let’s go to the Fernandina Farmers Market, held every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. I like those hours. You don’t have to get up early to get the good stuff. Parking is free and plentiful.

farmers markets - fernandina Beach
farmers market – fernandina Beach
farmers markets -  fernandina beach
farmers market fernandina beach

Located at the corner of Centre Street and 7th Street north, right in the heart of Fernandina Beach’s historic district, on June 6th the blueberry growers are expected to start showing up. Yes, it is blueberry season! One June 13, the Sweet Grass Cow & Goat Cheeses will be one of the booths.

Always there are landscape plants for sale, many native plants and beautiful blooming things that I want to take home with me. You’ll find prepared foods for lunch, Growers Alliance organic shade bean coffee (yes, they give sample coffee drinks!), honey vendors, craft persons and often live music.

Ah, what a great way to start a Saturday morning. In my book “50 Great Walks in Florida”, Chapter 11 is A Stroll Through History: The Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach Centre Street Stroll and Chapter 12 is Nature’s Classroom: Willow Pond Nature Trail, Fort Clinch State Park

Farmers Markets in Gainesville and more

Saturday mornings in Gainesville let’s visit the Alachua County Farmers’ Market, the only Grower’s Only Market in North-Central Florida (that is a lot of “only”). All the produce is grown within 50 miles of the market and you get the meet the farmer.

This is “buy local” taken seriously. The market is in an open-air metal pavilion. Hours are every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. or until the produce is gone, whichever comes first. If you are going to GPS it, the address is 5920 N.W. 13th Street, Gainesville.

Then take a walk in Kanapaha Botanical Gardens (Chapter 16: Wander through a Garden of Eden) and take a gander at the historic buildings on the University of Florida campus (Chapter 15: A Walk on the Gothic Side)

Saturday Summer Market is a big attraction in downtown St. Petersburg, starting Saturday, June 6 and continuing every Saturday through September 16. Hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Location is the Mahaffey Theater parking garage, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg.

What you’ll find: regular and organic produce and fruit, baked goods, plants, flowers orchids, fresh herbs, prepared foods and hand-crafted wares. Fun!

St. Pete is a Bonus Point in Chapter 34: A Walk for Everyone: Fort DeSoto County Park, Tierra Verde.

South over the Skyway bridge and into Sarasota, the downtown Saturday Market takes over two blocks between the hours of 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. A full slate of 70 vendors, from Maggi’s, famous for seafood, to Java Dog, best latte in town, to hand made clothes and plants for your garden, plus great selection of organic produce, all grown locally.
Downtown Market happens in Tallahassee every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March through November. This takes place on the chain of green parks in Park Avenue Historic District, just a few blocks from the capital.
farmers markets - ybor city

This is a lively market. You’ll meet local artisans (I have a piece of fused glass all the more special because I met the artist), see lots of artwork alongside local produce and heaering live music is a given. Don’t have breakfast or lunch before you come – because you’ll find everything from muffins to soup and salad.

The chain of parks are covered in Chapter 2: Step into History: Park Avenue Historic District, Tallahassee.

For a list of community farmer’s markets all over Florida, check out this Web site.

When you go to farmer’s markets, you are supporting your local economy, getting an artistic eyeful and having an adventure.

Who said there was nothing to do in the summertime? Sure there is. Spend your morning at a farmer’s market then open up your copy of my book. Great walks are calling. Enjoy

Lucy Beebe Tobias is the author of “50 Great Walks in Florida”, University Press of Florida, 2008, and the Authentic Florida Expert for VISIT FLORIDA.

 

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Reduce Global Warming – Do These 10 Things Now

Reduce Global Warming – Do These 10 Things Now

Reduce global warming -Here are 10 things you can do right now to  and oh yes, save money on gas and food. This list was first developed for Vacation Bible School this summer at Fort King Presbyterian Church in Ocala. It works!

Reduce global warming with changes in your lifestyle

1. Buy produce grown locally. Get to know your local farmers. Support organic growers. Suggestions: Find the closest Farmer’s Market in Florida and mstop global warming - buy local produce, not stuff that traveled 5000 milesark the day on your calendar. Nothing near you? Talk it up at meetings, at church, at the next gathering of friends and start the ball rolling.

2. Pick one day a week to be car free. Park it. Walk, ride a bike, or, gasp!, stay home and get to know your back yard, front yard, even talk to the neighbors. PS you release nearly a pound of CO2 for every mile driven. Bummer.

3. Plant a vegetable garden. Start with a container or two now in the hot summer (tomatoes, peppers), work the ground for a fall planting. Remember everything you buy grown far away costs energy to deliver it to your door. Break that cycle. Don’t have room? Share a plot with a neighbor who does.

A good book to read: “Food Not Lawns: How to Turn Your Yard into a Garden and Your Neighborhood into a Community”, H.C. Flores, Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 2006. Amazon has it.

4. Shop with a neighbor. Trade off driving to the grocery store once a week.

5. Consider a carpool to church or school or work. Look around the church pews on Sunday. Look around the office or the classroom. See anyone who lives near you?

6. Start a compost pile. Make your own compost. It is richer than dirt. Those bags of topsoil you are buying at Lowes and Home Depot were produced somewhere else and lugged here. That is global warming in action. Break the cycle.

7. Take a rain barrel workshop. Save rainwater. Every drop counts. Just FYI, in Kentucky, they are making rain barrels from oak whiskey barrels. Plants watered with this rainwater are said to be smiling. (just kidding). Water use and global warming go together. The hotter it gets the more water we use. A good book to read: “Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S.”, Cynthia Barnett, University of Michigan Press, 2007. Amazon has this book.

In Florida, the Institute of Food and Agricultural Services at University of Florida in Gainesville, is big into rain barrels. Check out your local Agricultural Extension Service office to see if they offer rain barrel workshops and inexpensive rain barrels. In Marion County, we can get them at the Ag office for $50 and that includes all the hardware you need. See my blog on rain barrels. Have fun!
stop global warming - get a dog, walk more, use the car less
8. Get a dog. Okay, this is a little radical but think of the consequences. Dogs need to be walked. You will be walking the dog. Less time spend running around in the car doing “errands”. Plus, when you are walking the dog, you slow down enough to appreciate natural beauty. Pretty soon you’ll want to spend more time outdoors and less time at the mall. A win win situation for you and the planet, not to mention the dog.

9. Drive the speed limit. Set your cruise control. It is a concept, driving the speed limit. More people are actually doing it with gas prices going up. You will save gas driving slower. Trust me.

10. Turn off your sprinklers. Don’t water your lawn. Let God do it. Plant native plants that are drought tolerant.

To get in the mood, take this test to see the size of your ecological footprint. Ah! Revealing isn’t it, how many planets it takes to support your lifestyle. Now read the list of 10 things you can do again and get started. Good luck!

©2008 Lucy Beebe Tobias, author, artist, authentic Florida expert

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