Art and Farmers Markets Open July 9, 2016


The second and fourth Saturdays bring an enthusiasm and vitality to historic Fernandina Beach with both the Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers market and the Fernandina Beach Arts Market open on July 9, 2016. The farmers market is one of downtown’s greatest assets and provides fresh produce and locally grown and produced foods, and when combined with the Arts Market, offers a space for neighbors and friends to come together, cultivating a sense of community.

The Fernandina Beach Arts Market has about 20 talented vendors who specialize in their own unique art or craft. Joanne Connelly is an author and a doctor of veterinary medicine who makes handcrafted memorials for families looking for a dignified way to remember their beloved pets. Her book, “Animal Teachings from Hayley’s Angels Methods”, is a guide to help us make the best medical decisions for all living creatures. Ben Smith is a woodworker who sells unique, painted furniture with shrimp boat scenes, seaside birds, wildlife and other nautical designs. Another popular vendor at the Arts Market is Bowls with Holes. This artistic and useful pottery design is made to bake your breads and rolls, and safe for oven use at any temperature.

In addition to handmade arts and crafts found in the Arts Market, the farmers market offers a wide selection of the finest farm-fresh, local, and homemade items like soy candles, lotions, soaps, plants, toffee, shrimp, herbs, beef, breads, pastries, berries, beans, squash, dairy, cheese, eggs, jams, jellies, freshly roasted coffee, dog treats, refreshing beverages, and more.

Here is a little more about three of our regular vendors:

The Golden Olive Press is a Veteran owned business from St. Mary’s, Georgia. Founded by brothers Omar and Paul, both Paul and his wife, Melanie, were in the U.S. Navy and are both in attendance at their booth at the farmers market in historic, downtown Fernandina Beach. Paul was born in the United States, but he and his brother spent their childhood in Spain where their family still lives. Their oils come from about an hour north of the family homestead. They travel to Spain on a regular basis to select premium olive oils to introduce to American households. Oleo Quiro’s, one of their suppliers, won the New Your International Olive Oil Competition three years in a row. If you ever have a question about olive oils, Paul or Melanie are indeed the ones to ask.

Congaree and Penn is a small farm in Jacksonville, Florida, that grows rice on their flourishing farm of 200 acres. Northeast Florida’s wet weather and clay soil is ideal to flood their rice paddies. Their rice is stone milled and anti-oxidant rich. Varieties include Jupiter Rice in brown, middlins, purple, and grits, and they have a fabulous Jupiter rice fish fry. Also available at the Congaree and Penn booth is “Shrub”. This is a unique, thirst quenching blend of fruit juice, apple cider vinegar, and a pinch of sugar created during the Colonial Era to preserve fruit long after harvest.

Our new Amish Popcorn vendor, from Callahan, Florida, has put together some tips to help you make the best possible popcorn when purchasing their tasty treats. Whether cooking on the stovetop or in the microwave, you can have fabulous popcorn at home by immediately tossing with melted butter first after popping. Because their seasonings are homemade, and free of preservatives, you may need to break them up before adding to popcorn, especially on humid days. Tossing the seasonings, or popcorn salt, after tossing with the melted butter, will help your flavors stick to each delightful bite. Be sure to stop by their booth and pick up their instructions to “Start Popping and Have Fun”.

Alain Le Lait will be providing music this Saturday, and All American Gutter returns as our Market Place Sponsor.

Open rain or shine, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., the markets are located, on and adjacent to, North Seventh Street, between Centre and Alachua, in downtown Fernandina.