You awaken on a Saturday morning and glance at the nearest clock, 9:00 a.m. You feel a rush of adrenaline trigger your fight or flight instinct and jump to your feet. The morning routine is conquered in record time and you notice an elevated pulse rate when you realize your favorite parking space near North Seventh Street, in historic Fernandina Beach, is already taken. Uttering profanity you spy a young family loading their mini van and quickly slap on your turn signal claiming their spot. As you exit your vehicle you exhale an exaggerated sigh of relief. You are so close now you can taste victory, literally, and you lick your lips in anticipation.
The above scenerio is being reported to Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers market Manager Judie Mackie, in record numbers. “Customers tell me they are developing addictions. We have one guy who claims to be addicted to the hydroponic lettuce from Bacon’s Select Produce. My husband is hooked on the semi-sweet chocolate toffee from Topsy Toffee, and I, too, have a standing order for three pounds of local, wild caught shrimp every single Saturday,” Mackie confessed.
Many visitors to the farmers market find themselves surrounded by fresh baked artisan breads and pastries, seasonal produce, and tasty, but possibly habit forming, hand-crafted delicacies. “These temptations are causing friction between couples, and often the entire family is involved.”
These vendors really know what they are doing,” said one man who asked to remain anonymous. “Some of these booths have food prepared by professional chefs, like Lulu’s at the Thompson House and Nana Teresa’s Bake Shop, and their presentation is often, well, irresistible. I just can’t say, ‘No!'”
“Some of our vendors do not come to the Market Place every Saturday and it breaks my heart to see a child cry when they learn we don’t have egg rolls, gluten-free sweet breads, or maple syrup in the market every week,” Mackie continued, “These are hard lessons to learn, even for many adults.”
With all of these temptations, we asked the question: What should a customer do to protect themself?
Mackie suggests coming to the farmers market early, when the selections are abundant. “This helps avoid unwanted withdrawal symptoms, especially if your favorite dealer is known to sell out early.”
“Instead of giving up a delicious dish from Me, Myself and Pie, for example, step down instead. Don’t quit cold turkey! Rather than purchasing the family sized pie, perhaps a mini-pie would satisfy your craving.”
“Trying new products is also a way to break free from your farmers market addiction, but be careful; our friend with the lettuce addiction confided to me that he is afraid the butterhead is just a gateway to carrots or Heaven forbid, beets.”
If you need to talk to someone about your farmers market addiction(s), find Judie at the Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers market every Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Located on North Seventh Street in Fernandina Beach, the Market Place is open rain or shine.
November 12th will see the return of An Unbelievable Egg Roll, Amish Popcorn, and Cohen’s Pecans, a pecan farm vendor who will be joining the market again this year for just two visits in both November and December. This week’s music is provided by Spanish Guitarist Dennis Fermin, and to learn more about a non-profit organization with a mission to build a new skate park in our community, be sure to stop by our Booth with a Cause. The Fernandina Beach Arts Market. located adjacent to the farmers market will also be open and Celebration Church will be offering free face painting for the kids, and a fall scarecrow will be given away at the end of the market.
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