Nocatee Farmer’s Market

OK, I hate to say it…but I think I’m calling it quits. At least for now. I was so gung-ho about the idea of farmer’s markets, I overestimated where I live and the reality of my resources.

The Nocatee Farmer’s Market is held in the town of Nocatee every third Saturday of the month. The past three months I have been unable to attend and I FINALLY got the chance last Saturday.

I excitedly drove (almost 30 miles) to the market with extremely high hopes. Their website is really nice and sleek, and they have a user-friendly, in-depth community calendar. The website’s farmer’s market section said simply, “Come out and enjoy live music and fresh produce from local vendors.”

So I went.

Almost there!

It was 96 degrees and cloudy. I pulled around the parking lot to a large open field stocked with vendor tents.

Hopes, still high.

Walking in I passed:

  • a fresh-baked bread stand,
  • a BBQ vendor,a jewelry maker,
  • an artist,
  • a soap and lotion crafter,
  • a smoothie stand,
  • another jewelry maker,
  • a water crystal gel bead salesman,
  • an orchid salesman
  • and one guy looking for host families for exchange students.

::SIGH:: They call this a *farmer’s* market. Where were the farmers?

I finally came across one tent that had two tables of fruit and veggies–mainly squash, lemons, okra, eggplant and mangoes. But have a look at the mangoes:

Organic. Oh, nope, scratch that.

Don’t they look like some bugs got first bites? And waxed? And, what’s with the scratching out of the “organic” label. They couldn’t just get a new index card? Am I being too hard on them?

The one other “farmer” was a woman from Starke, Fla. who had blueberry pints priced at $4 each. I didn’t even walk any closer. Just last weekend I got a pound for $3 that I picked myself and knew were fresh.

The savior of the day was this little tent for a company called Jammin’ Jelly’s.

Honey coming up on the right.

Their main gig is pure raw honey in several varieties. I bought some gallberry! But they also sold chow chow, jams, preserves, and even something I had never seen before: bee pollen.

Bee pollen is 'the perfect food.'

The owner explained that bee pollen is called the perfect food because it has every nutrient needed to sustain human life. Eating 35 grams of the stuff daily acts as a nutritional supplement and can help everything from athletic endurance to allergy sensitivity (of course, unless you are allergic to bee venom). Read their case here.

Overall, this market wasn’t without merit, but it wasn’t what I was in the market for. So, I’m back to buying fruits and veggies at the grocery store. I try to just wash them well and get organic when I can. Maybe once the growing season picks back up in the fall it’ll be more lively. Or maybe I’ll just become my own farmer! 🙂

Did you try anywhere new lately? Anyone have their own garden, chicken coop or bee colony?

Read about my other attempts at the North Florida “farmer’s market” circuit here, here, here and here.

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