While the Farmers Almanac is predicting a snowy season for much of the country, we are seeing plenty of sunshine and mild temperatures for February here in NE Florida. One of the best ways to enjoy this exceptional weather is to head to downtown, historic Fernandina Beach and check out the Market Place farmers market. With nearly 40 vendors exhibiting, there is always something new to try and someone new to meet.
Trey Hartinger is the sales manager of Congaree and Penn. Participating in the farmers market every Saturday, Trey, a professional chef, also does recipe research and development for the company. Trey has experience in some of the finest destination restaurants including The Pearl Hotel in San Diego, and Market 32 in Jacksonville’s San Pablo area. Be sure to see his Citrus and Buttermilk Brined Pork Milanese recipe in the January/February issue of “Edible” magazine.
Attending the farmers market three times a month is Nathalie Wu with My Fortune Rocks. Designing miniature potted succulents, Nathalie also paints words of encouragement, wisdom, and inspiration on rocks in both English and Chinese. Encouraging kids of all ages to engage in more activity, she has joined the facebook group 904 Rocks! This movement, of sorts, has people painting, hiding, and finding rocks all over the 904 area code and then posting their finds on facebook. Similar to geocaching, but much less expensive.
Another great vendor you are encouraged to meet at the Market Place is Dee Cullen, owner of Something Good. Dee’s company specializes in gluten-free products and she is introducing a new line you can prepare at home at home, in a hotel, or while camping. Without preservatives, her fresh breads, muffins and biscuits naturally have a short shelf life, and these new items are perfect for traveling, to give as gifts, or to whip up “something good” at home. Packaged for on-the-go convenience, customers add their own “wet” ingredients that can be customized to meet dietary restrictions. Dee is also excited to offer Oats in a Jar. Layered with oats, a variety of dried fruits, nuts, and seeds, you simply add your choice of hot water or milk when ready to serve.
The Fernandina Beach Market Place is located on North Seventh Street, between Centre and Alachua Streets. The farmers market is open from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. every Saturday, rain or shine.