Farmer’s Markets

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    The rain has mostly stopped, mid-90s are in the rearview mirror, hurricane season is nearly over and Farmer’s Markets now again proliferate in Southwest Florida. Two grace Fort Myers Beach, with others in close proximity.

    Santini Sunrise Fresh Market opens its 6th year and kicks off its six-month run on Tuesdays on November 1 through the end of April at 7205 Estero Boulevard rain-or-shine from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. “The Santini Market is all-fresh, home-grown, handmade and homemade,” emphasizes organizer Bonnie Roberts.

    The market features jelly, orchids, pasta, barbeque, German and Italian delicacies, fair trade and bamboo clothing, mushrooms, nuts, handmade musical instruments, guacamole, kettle corn, maple syrup, woodworking, handmade puzzles, jewelry, honey, taffy, peaches, pickles, olives, oils, fresh seasoning, herbal balms, handmade baskets, pottery, beach photography, carved wood art, homemade candles, natural pet treats, handmade soaps and much more.

    Once a month, Santini also hosts a special monthly event with a Fresh Market on a Saturday, with the next on November 5 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Harry Chapin Food Bank is the beneficiary so the theme is “Fill The Pantry.” “Find a Home; Give a Home” Island Pet Rescue will also be on hand accepting donations of dog and cat food. In December, they will host a Community Christmas Celebration on Dec. 17th. For more information, contact Bonnie at 239-443-8810 or bgrsgs@gmail.com.

    Beach Baptist Farmer’s Market is already underway on Wednesdays at 130 Connecticut Street from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. It has fresh produce, seafood, cut flowers, European baked goods, crepes, hotdogs, kielbasa, Guatemalan coffee, local photography, arts-&-crafts, jewelry and beachy things with a portion of proceeds benefiting Beach Baptist Church.

    “Our goal is to offer the best of the best on Fort Myers Beach in a fun, family community atmosphere,” said market manager Linda Miller, “while giving back to the church to support daycare, food bank, church events, free Sunday breakfasts and more.” To obtain additional details, call Linda at 239-289-3786.

    Several more Farmer’s Markets are off-island within easy traveling distance.

    Health Park Farmer’s Market is twice-a-week, on Tuesdays and Fridays beginning November 8 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with an opening day ribbon-cutting at 10 a.m. It is at The Village Shoppes at Health Park at the corner of Bass and Summerlin Roads. This market’s focus is on organic and gluten-free items. Contact founder Lisa Capozio at 239-470-9007.

    Lakes Park Farmer’s Market at 7330 Gladiolus Drive is now on Wednesdays through April from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is a true local outdoor market that sells produce, seafood, plants, cut flowers, artisan foods, organics, and more with over 50 vendors. The Lakes Park Farmer’s Market is one of seven in the countywide BuyLocalLee program established in 2008; for details visit buylocallee.com or email Betsy Ventura at Betsy@BuyLocalLee.com.

    Fort Myers Farmer’s Market at Florida Southwestern State College at 8099 College Parkway is on Fridays from October through April in the parking lot on the corner of College Parkway and Summerlin Road from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; enter on College. Forty vendors offer baked breads, pastries, flowers, plants, raw honey, produce, coffee, pickles, cheese, soup, candles, essential oils and prepared food to take home or eat on-site, among other products.

    Rodes Fish & Fancy Farmer’s Market is Saturdays and Sundays from October to April at 3756 Bonita Beach Road SW from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a large percentage of profits from Saturday markets donated to the Bonita Springs Lions Clubs. For more information call 239-287-0562 or visit 41Markets.com.

     

    Gary Mooney