It’s a holiday weekend at the Fernandina Beach farmers market and this week we are celebrating Labor Day and the American worker, and few will argue the American farmer is a hard worker!
We invite you to join us this Saturday and visit our produce farmers: Kings Kountry Produce, Boatright Farms, Cabbage Creek Farm, and Bacon’s Select Produce. Farmers are at the mercy of the weather and the industry is constantly changing with new equipment and new technology. What was once considered an industry doomed, the small American farm has began to blossom. Agriculture tends to move in cycles with really low lows, and wonderful peaks of abundant harvest. Having direct access to our local, small property farmers, you can help! Preparing their fields depends largely on their history of supply and demand. Your inquires and suggestions are often seen the following seasons with exciting new crops or perhaps longer seasons for select products. And best of all, you know you are supporting small farms when you make a purchase at your neighborhood farmers market.
Others who labor hard and are found in the Market Place are the ranchers such as A Natural Springs Dairy Farm, and J.D. Beef, an angus beef farm. The fisherman too, have labor intensive jobs such as our friends from Upstream Salmon and Chesser Seafood. The season just ended and Upstream Salmon is bringing a fresh catch of Alaskan scallops, king salmon, and fresh sockeye. Chesser Seafood has promised to bring more local, wild caught shrimp to the market for Labor Day weekend, but you still may want to get arrive early, he always sells out!
This week, long time vendor Sonia, with Blue Planet, has been hard at work re-naming and re-branding her company. In her new “Gaia’s Garden” you will notice she is using more fresh herbs in many of her recipes and all of her offerings continue to be organic, handcrafted, gluten free, and raw. She will still bring sun-dried or low temperature dehydrated (unsulfered) fruits, trail mixes and flavored nuts, granola and muesli, a variety of nut butters, and her popular raw sweets like her cookie drops, flat breads, coconut blondies, and peanut butter cacao drops, will also still be available.
Returning this week after a welcomed family vacation is our Amish popcorn vendor. The entire family works together to bring you a variety of heirloom flavors including caramel corn, chocolate popcorn, and kettle corn. They have a large selection of popcorn seasonings, too.
Who doesn’t want to splurge with an all-American pie on a holiday weekend? Well, you can’t go wrong with a delicious dessert from Me, Myself and Pies. Try a rich chocolate French Silk, a traditional Key Lime, Coconut cream, Derby Pie, or the baker’s specialty Buttermilk Pie. He would mot say much about what is in this popular treat, but he smiled when he told me, “it is in the custard family of pies, and made with a lot of love.”
Percy’s Spice Pantry specializes in flavored salts and after sampling the coffee chipoltle BBQ rub, I took it home and used just under a teaspoon in a small pot of homemade black beans and it was absolutely fabulous. Their sriracha and garlic sea salt flavors are great on (Amish, perhaps) popcorn, and the garlic and ginger sea salt is especially good on grilled vegetables.
Another group that works hard protecting our lives, our freedoms, and the American way, are the members of the armed forces. We welcome having members of the American Legion with us at the Market Place this weekend supporting and greeting donors for the OneBlood bus that will be on-site from 9:00 to 1:00. Appointments can be scheduled by visiting oneblood.org/donate-now/ and entering our local zip-code.
While we picnic with our friends, and enjoy the extra time spent with loved ones this holiday weekend, it is important to remember what we are celebrating. Labor Day is officially the first Monday in September and according to the United States Department of Labor it “is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”
Market Sponsors this week include All American Gutter, and Energy 1 USA, a company that wants to help you live a better life through energy efficient products and the world’s first Probiotic air/surface and object treatment for allergies and healthy environments.
The farmers market is open rain or shine, and of course, your well-behaved, leashed pets are welcome, too. For more information please find us on facebook.
God Bless America!