The next time you shop for fresh produce, you should consider shopping at the Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers market in historic, downtown Fernandina, and see the difference for yourself.
Anytime I slice a tomato, dice up a cucumber or steam up a mess of fresh squash I know I’m feeding my family vegetables from one of the family farmers who set up a booth every Saturday morning on N. 7th Street on Amelia Island.
This week, I’d like to tell you a little about Boatright Farms. The Boatrights have a family farm in Pierce County, Georgia, that Al Boatright’s grandmother purchased in 1945. Al and his wife, Anna, have raised three children on their farm.
Once a tobacco farm, Boatright decided to switch to more traditional crops and focus on produce, growing a variety of vegetables and a few fruits, too. For many years this family farm has continued to provide fresh produce to local stores like IGA, Piggly Wiggly, Mickey’s Food Store and the Pierce County Board of Education.
Driving past their farm you’ll see two interesting options. You can pick the vegetables and fruits yourself, or you can buy from them at a roadside fruit stand that has been there for many years.
With the You-Pick option, customers go out into the field and pick their choice of vegetables, fresh from the ground. The fruit stand sells the vegetables picked by the Boatrights. “It is open from sunrise to sunset,” said Anna, “and some days it’s open from can to can’t. But that don’t matter. We also run it on the honor system. You get what you need and if we’re not there you just put your money in the mailbox we have sitting there.”
The weather this year has hit the farm hard. They lost nearly all their greens and will have to plant later in the season. But they still bring a truckload of their home-grown specialities every Saturday to Amelia Island and we can expect baby Vidalia onions now, with the big ones coming in April. They will also be bringing squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, peas, beans, potatoes, cabbage, nuts and more all year long as it becomes available. Their newest addition to the farm is 29 chickens giving them a constant supply of farm fresh eggs.
We’d like you to join us on March 1, 2014, at the farmers market from 9:00 to 1:00 pm and meet Al and Anna Boatright. We will also have the Bloodmobile in attendance with members of the Fernandina Pirates Club, Inc. and Sam will be entertaining us with vocals and guitar.
The Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers market provides a family and pet friendly environment every Saturday of the year, except for the Saturday of the Shrimp Festival.
For more information about the market, how you can become a vendor, or how we can feature your Fernandina Beach brick and mortar business for FREE, please call (904) 557-8229.
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