A win-win situation with Farmers Markets

Markets provide entertainment and fresh produce throughout the year

Ty Kirkland
Live Music - Local musician Ty Kirkland performs at a recent farmers market on Saturday morning.

Farmers Markets are popular in the Sarasota area. You can find them in most municipalities, concentrating on Saturday mornings. The benefits are wonderful to the local farmers of these nutritious plants and to the buyers who are looking for fresh food at good prices. There is even entertainment and a place to mingle with neighbors. Some are seasonal and others are there every Saturday morning.

When 75% of the farmers in these markets claim they use organic methods of crop production, you can be assured the fruits and vegetables you buy are fresh and nutritious. These markets serve the communities in other ways. They stimulate the local economies and maintain a good cultural atmosphere for farm promotions in rural settings.

Most even have an online presence to promote their events that coincide with the markets. The Sarasota Farmers Market is open year round on Saturdays from 7 AM to 1 PM. The foot traffic generated around Lemon Avenue is a boon for the businesses in the area. Sarasota has grown its market to become one of the largest since it first opened in 1979.

The Sarasota market formed as a non-profit organization in 2009 to focus on local food growers. The non-profit status also allowed this organization to assist other local non-profits and establish educational programs. With this motivation the Earth Day Celebration on April 20 will highlight some of the non-profits. Events for children are also planned with a harp performance and the smooth sounds of the Sarasota Jazz Project.

You can bring sociable pooches to the market in Sarasota as long as the owners abide by basic rules of pet control. Non-expandable short leashes are required and they don’t like it when dogs get their meals from the vendors. Please carry a bag to dispose of dog waste. Service dogs are always welcome.

A second Sarasota market at 4454 S. Beneva Road is open from 8 AM to 1 PM on Saturdays. There are three Detwiler’s Farm Markets including the one at 6100 N. Lockwood Ridge Road. It is a commercial venture open seven days a week from 8 AM to 5 PM, but closed this Sunday for Easter. Bread, fruits and vegetables baked and grown locally are available at the Phillippi Farmhouse Market, open Wednesdays from 9 AM to 2 PM.

Farmers Market in Bradenton
The Bradenton Farmers Market is open every Saturday in season from 9 AM to 2 PM on Old Main Street.

Musicians perform at each end of Old Main Street in Bradenton to welcome guests who visit the Farmers Market there each Saturday from 9 AM to 2 PM. It is season from the first Saturday in October to the last in May. Every third Saturday of each month local artists display their work for sale on Fourth Avenue West, perpendicular to the farmers market. There are other special events throughout the market season to celebrate Halloween, FFA and 4H clubs, artists and young readers. They advertise 35 vendors offering fresh grown food and prepared meals. Dogs are welcome here too, kept on a leash and with other sensible restrictions.

Open for two years, a short life span for farmers markets, the market at Lakewood Ranch has grown to 40 vendors and a wider variety of prepared foods, seafood, fresh grown foods and cooking demonstrations. Since it is close to dusk from 3 PM to 7 PM each Wednesday, the live music is geared toward a later crowd and the sunset yoga is a popular event. There are specialty days with DIY workshops and Bingo. The Lakewood Ranch market is also seasonal from December to April at the polo grounds, 8201 Polo Club Lane.

Another popular farmers market is located at the city hall in Venice year round each Saturday, with winter hours January through April of 8 AM to 1 PM. The Venice Farmers Market closes at noon on other months. The variety is here with cooking demonstrations, fresh food, pastries, baked goods, art and clothing.

The Beach Market at Coquina Beach has a different schedule depending on the season. Excluding holidays the market is open 10 AM to 2 PM each Sunday from November to July and doubles up each week on Wednesdays from the third week of December to the fourth week of May. The South Bradenton Beach is closed August to October. The market atmosphere here is focused on art sales but you can find some fresh food while relaxing on the white Gulf of Mexico sandy beach. Food and drinks are served at the Coquina Café and the AMI String Band plays live music from 10:30 AM to 2:30 PM. It is wheelchair accessible but sorry, only service dogs are welcome.

I listed two waterfront homes last week. The first is a boater’s dream home that overlooks a deep-water canal and mangroves at 705 Jungle Queen Way. The second is a lakefront home in Kentwood Estates at 1555 Eastbrook Drive. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

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705 Jungle Queen Way $1,695,000 Video Photo Slideshow
1555 Eastbrook Drive $799,000   Photo Slideshow

 

Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing