Harvest time has arrived. With the plentiful bounty comes the multitude of markets that make the green lifestyle so much fun. To make shopping a bit easier, here’s a taste of some of Southwest Florida’s green markets that are bringing locally grown goods straight to the community.
Shoppes at Vanderbilt Farmer’s Market
The Shoppes at Vanderbilt is taking the farmers’ market concept—providing a direct line from grower and crafter to buyer and consumer—and turning it into a year-round, almost daily affair. The famed Saturday morning farmers’ market will return to the Shoppes through May 8, setting up shop from 8 a.m.-1 p.m., with more than 40 vendors offering freshly harvested crops, newly jarred honey, fresh-made jams and sauces, handcrafted art and accessories, and more. Expanding on this concept, the offshoot storefront will run concurrently with the green market, and more.
Continuing the co-op fun, the doors to Neighborhood Organics will once again add to the green market offerings this season. The brick and mortar locale at the Galleria Shoppes at Vanderbilt gives local growers and purveyors the opportunity to get their wares to the shopping public six days a week. Open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., the specialty grocery store will offer an array of goods, including organic vegetables and produce, fresh herbs and plants, handmade goods, prepared foods, bath and beauty products, home decor, jewelry, and more – essentially all those farmers’ and crafters’ market favorites, but in a boutique. It’s the perfect place for vendors that might not have a full tent worth of goods to offer, but still want to get their wares to market. It also allows for a larger variety of vendors to bring their goods to the Shoppes – the self-contained and staffed Neighborhood Organics runs the shop, with vendors needing just drop off the goods and pick up their cash.
Calendar Fodder: On November 19, Neighborhood Organics will celebrate its one-year anniversary of business. On Thursday, November 19, the specialty locals’ only shop will celebrate with a daylong party, so be sure to join the fun.
Offerings: organic vegetables and produce; fresh fruit; herbs; plants; just-cut flowers; baked goods and pastries; prepared foods –pickles, jerky, lunch, dinner, breakfast, you name it; fresh-roasted coffee; fresh, local seafood; preserves and jams; jewelry and fashion accessories; handmade bath and beauty products; artisanal home accessories.
- The indoor market, located at the Galleria Shoppes at Vanderbilt (2359 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Ste. 406) is open year-round, Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. The outdoor market will open Saturday, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. through May.
- Location: Shoppes at Vanderbilt
- For more information, visit farmersmarketswfla.com.
Third Street South Farmers Market
As far as fresh markets go, the Third Street South Farmer’s Market is one of the best. From the fab location – Third and Gordon Dr. – to the collection of vendors, the Third Street South Farmer’s Market has become the standard bearer: the market fosters a closer sense of community all the while supporting local growers, cooks and crafters, and healthy lifestyles – you can’t get much better than that.
A year-round affair, the farmers market sets up shop behind Tommy Bahama every Saturday from 7:30-11:30 a.m. with more than 50 vendors on hand, offering an array of goods.
Offerings: Co-op of small growers and farmers with assorted vegetables and fruits, Florida grass-fed beef, dog treats, prepared foods (pastas, cheeses, cured meats, guacamole, baked goods, pastries and more), sauces and preserves, fresh-roasted coffee, raw honey, beauty products, fresh cut flowers, fresh seafood, handmade crafts and goods.
- Year round, every Saturday from 7:30-11:30 a.m.
- Location: Third Street South – Behind Tommy Bahama (intersection of Third Street South and Gordon Dr.), Naples
- For more information, visit thirdstreetsouth.com/farmersmarket.
|A selection of produce from Inyoni Farm at the Third Street South Farmers Market. Photo courtesy of Inyoni Farm.|
From organically grown fruits and vegetables to hearty grass-fed meats and dairy products, these nearby farms have got you covered.
Pine Ridge Road Farmers Market
The Pine Ridge Road Farmers Market returns for 2015-2016, but this time with two locations for a full weekend of local shopping options. Beginning on Saturday, October 31 the Cross Roads Church location (1055 Pine Ridge Road) will welcome shoppers from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., followed by a Sunday Funday shopping spree at the Marquesa Shopping Plaza (3370 Pine Ridge Road), beginning on November 1 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Pine Ridge Road’s double duty farmers market gives shoppers ample opportunity to fill the cupboards with locally grown produce, local crafts and art, as well as natural bath and beauty goods. The weekend fun will run through May with some of the largest growers and purveyors in the area setting up make-shift shop.
Offerings include: fresh, locally grown vegetables, organic produce and fruit; fresh-cut flowers, orchids, fruit trees and plants; baked goods; fresh seafood; prepared foods (salsa, dips, jams and jellies, preserves and pickles); bath and beauty products (handmade soaps, candles and lotions); home goods and artisan wares.
- Saturday Location: Cross Roads Church – 1055 Pine Ridge Rd., Naples – from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
- Sunday Location: The Marquesa Plaza – 3370 Pine Ridge Rd., Naples – from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
- For more information, visit naplesmarketplace.net.
Lee County Rockstars
When it comes to Lee County, the farmers/green market mavens behind Local Roots, Jean Baer and Betsy Ventura, are the people to see for fresh, local goods. Operators of the six largest farmers markets in Lee County, Local Roots sole mission it to connect consumers and shoppers with growers and producers directly, fostering a sense of community while keeping money within the local economy. It’s a tall task, but one they pull off with aplomb.
Of the six markets Local Roots operates, two are fall within our area of coverage: the Coconut Point Farmers Market and the Bonita Springs Farmers Market. If shoppers are up for a drive, the Sanibel Island Farmers Market, also a Local Roots gig, is one of the best fresh markets in Southwest Florida.
Coconut Point Farmers Market
Located at the Coconut Point Mall, this farmers market runs every Thursday at 9 a.m.-2 p.m. from October 1 through April 28, 2016. Vendor offerings include: fresh produce, just-caught seafood, locally raised meat, local raw honey, baked goods, and an assortment of artisan products (handmade soaps and candles, hand-woven basket and hats).
Bonita Springs Farmers Market
Situated at The Promenade at Bonita Bay, the Bonita Springs Farmers Market is Local Roots’ Saturday market place for southern Lee County. Operating every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., beginning October 3 through April 30, 2016, the market offers an array of goods, including: fresh fruits, vegetables, cut flowers, plants, baked goods, seafood, honey, jams, and artisanal goods. As for prepared foods, this is one of the better shopping spots, with a diverse variety of breakfast and lunch options to choose from.
Farmers Market at Collier County Government Complex
With a focus on encouraging a healthy lifestyle, the Farmers Market at the Collier County Government Complex literally brings the shopping to you. Situated on the ground floor covered parking garage, a variety of vendors flock to the shade, selling natural and organic produce, as well as specialty ready-made foodstuffs year-round on Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – it’s a chance to reduce your weekend produce shopping to a lunch break.
- Location: Collier County Government Complex – 3299 Tamiami Trail East, Naples
- For more information, call 239-252-8999.
The City of Marco Island Farmers Market
The seasonal Marco Island Farmers Market will open November 18 and run every Wednesday from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. through April 13. Originally started in 2005 at St. Mark’s Church to raise money for the Guadalupe Center in Immokalee for needy migrant worker families, the market quickly became a local favorite and was taken over by the Marco Island Park and Recreation Department to serve as a seasonal event, with more than 60 vendors making their way through the market during the season.
Offerings: fresh fruits, garden vegetables, herbs, just-cut flowers, fresh seafood, baked goods, raw honey, sauces and preserves, kettle popcorn, chcoclates, handmade soaps, jewelry and crafts from local artisans.
- The market will be open every Wednesday, 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m., beginning November 18 through April 13.
- Location: Veteran’s Community Park – 901 Park Avenue, Marco Island
- For more information, visit cityofmarcoisland.com.