Click to link to the Farmer's Market Website
Foodie adventures happen all the time...especially when you are least expecting them. Martha's jaunt to the Sarasota (FL) Farmer's Market was supposed to be a quick trip to pick up some produce and it turned out to be quite the foodie adventure. (I just wish I'd known to go on an empty stomach!) Farmer's markets are also a great outing with the family. There's likely to be something for everyone!
Keep in mind this was not a planned adventure...and my pics are taken with my iPhone!
I'm a Jersey girl and our local farmer's markets are all about fresh grown food. Local produce dominates our weekly summer markets, along with artisanal, gourmet and homemade items like gelato, jam and baked goods and perhaps the odd cook stand.
In Sarasota, FL the farmer's market is every Saturday 7am-1pm and year round, thanks to the obvious optimal weather. I was game to go and pick out some good produce for dinner with my mother-in-law and son, but it was a whole lot more than I bargained for.
At the intersection of Main Street and North Lemon Street in Sarasota the Farmer's Market spans 2+ long blocks and it was way more like a street fair filled with booths boasting wears from local shops, a ton of made to order food stands and many crafters. The first thing you notice is the streets are packed with shoppers. The second thing you notice is the dog to people ratio...it's probably 1:2. Everyone who's anyone brings their dog. There are all sizes and breeds...and a lot of folks seem to enjoy dressing up their dogs with hats, sunglasses and some even wear them in baby carriers.
I was bummed that we'd just had a big breakfast and I had very little room left to taste the food items offered for sampling. The crepe stand, a burger tent and an empanada cart would have been top on my list if I'd come to dine. We did sample fresh made guacamole, salsa, bloody mary mix, caramels, scones and fresh pineapple. We also took home a box of pecan brittle from Courto's Katas (a locally made confectioner), and some biscotti and muffins from Sift Bake House (which I think only sells at local farmer's markets.)
My favorite tent was Dee Dee Derenne's eco-friendly "upcycled" clothing. DeeCouture makes fabulous new outfits using old clothes and they also sell on Etsy. I have a feeling I'm going to want a few more pieces from her creative "collection." Check out the fab orange and white dress I picked up: it's a converse brand striped top, Whirlpool t-shirt middle and the bottom's a Home Depot Contractor t-shirt...featuring a pocket made from the striped top shirt and a big Home Depot square on the bum.
Check out (above) the two great froggy towel cover ups I bought for my nieces! The lady who made them started by sewing them as gifts for the little people in her life and the next thing she knew all their friends wanted them too!
My boy was happy with his big bag of kettle corn and drinking coconut water straight from a freshly drilled coconut.My biggest regret was not getting anything from thePop Craft cart (but the line was really long!) They're a family run business that started in 2010 and they make a wide variety of ice pops with amazing flavor combos. They have been big in the FL framer's market scene and their pops are also featured on several local dessert menus. They are opening their first storefront in the next few weeks and I will be sure to pay them a visit on my next trip to Sarasota.
The hardest thing to find at the farmer's market was produce...crazy right? There were a few stands with veggies and fruits, but I actually had to go to Whole Foods (fortunately right next door) to get lettuce and onions.
I may have gone to the Sarasota Farmer's Market accidentally this first time, but it will be a planned occasion the next time I'm in town!
Photo taken atop the Java Dogs Coffee Double decker bus.