Each week the Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers’ market has about 30 regular vendors and about ten more that visit only twice or once per month. This week I wanted to introduce you to three of our weekly vendors that stand with us every Saturday morning, rain or shine, in the exhausting heat or the brutal cold to bring you fresh and healthy options for your family’s table from what may possibly be Florida’s friendliest farmers’ market.
Bacon Select Produce operates a family run, hydroponic farm in North Jacksonville and are weekly vendors at our Fernandina Beach farmers’ market. What started as a hobby for father and son, soon turned into year-round farming and full time jobs for two couples. Like father, like son, the Bacons’ and their wives currently farm 10,000 square feet under greenhouse raising lettuces and a variety of other greens to sell in local farmers’ markets and restaurants. Hydroponic farming provides a perfect combination of nutrients and a near ideal atmosphere for the growth of plants, allowing the farmer to eliminate the use of pesticides and herbicides. Grown from seeds, the seedlings are then transplanted into pvc pipes, where they are cared for until harvesting. The Bacon family currently sells to the public each Saturday at both the Riverside Arts Market in Jacksonville, and at our farmers’ market in historic Fernandina. For great recipes and other cooking tips, check out their blog at www.greatlettuce.blogspot.com.
JD Beef is all natural, free range Angus beef with no steroids, no hormones and no antibiotics. Their animals are raised from birth to harvest and their herd grazes on Bermuda grass in the summer and rye grasses in the winter. The cattle are given ample room to move around and are treated in a humane environment. Their beef comes from cattle less than two years of age, providing a better quality beef with a fresh taste and fabulous texture. Being less than two years of age eliminates the chance of certain diseases in the cattle as well. In addition to their cattle, their farm grows strawberries, tomatoes, sweet corn and a variety of fresh garden vegetables, and they also have four poultry houses all located on 220 acres in southeast Georgia. Steve Joseph is the “J” in JD Beef and he joins us on N. 7th Street each week with steaks, roasts, ribs, stew beef, ground beef and more. Learn more at JDBeef.com.
Natural Springs Dairy is a small family farm located in Pomona Park, Florida, producing raw milk farmstead cheese. Each Saturday you can find them from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm in Fernandina Beach with their Gouda, Jalapeno Cheddar, Bacon Black Pepper, White Cheddar and from time to time they’ll have Mozzarella and Feta cheeses in stock, too. Stop by for a sample and ask Judy for cooking tips and see what new flavors they are experimenting with from week to week.
Bring your family and your well behaved, leashed pets, and join us under the Amelia Island oak trees draped in Spanish moss. on January 25th, Sam will be strumming up our background music and Dr. Jesse Greenblum’s paintings will once again be on display during our farmers’ market hours at the Seventh Street Gallery, just across Centre Street from the Market Place.
For more information, please find us on facebook, or call (904) 557-8229.