In one moment you smell the sweet fragrance of kettle korn, and the next moment your senses are teased with the scent of fresh garlic from the pasta vendor, or perhaps Alex’s Russian sour dough bread. Laughter and chatter soon fill the air as the community gathers in the market to shop for fresh lettuce, seasonal produce, tasty jams, delicious pastries, local honey and so much more.
One particular vendor, Seven Trees Nursery, has brought succulents, perennials and annuals to the Fernandina Beach Market Place farmer’s market every Saturday. And though it may not be obvious, this gentle couple on the verge of retirement have lived life as an adventure, including raising their family at sea for seven years when their children were quite young.
Jan and Ina Zevenbloom’s children came aboard the Joma, a general cargo ship that carried automobiles and food to Nassau, and returned with rum and winter vegetables, when they each turned three months old. For seven years the children, Stephen and Ingrid, played among the hatches and found rope ladders to climb making up for the sand boxes and monkey bars left to the children who lived on land.
Ina and her husband always dreamed of owning a home and growing flowers, and their dream came true many years ago when they fell in love with a piece of property in Black Hammock, Florida. Their spacious decks built around their home offer perfect conditions for ficus trees and hanging pots of cascading cactus. Garden hoses wrap around the porches to adequately water the variegated schefflera and large split leaf philodendrons. Greenhouses protect the delicate plants in the winter while permitting an ample flow of air and sunlight for optimum growth.
Outside you’ll find lines supporting the oversized staghorn ferns and pots of transplanted citrus trees. The lush space that embraces the Zevenbloom’s home is now filled with tropical landscaping as it once was surrounded by the Caribbean Sea.
We invite you to join us in historic, downtown Fernandina Beach to meet the Zevenblooms and check out the lovely plants they bring each week; or introduce yourself to any of our nearly 40 vendors who have become “family” in our friendly farmer’s market.
Located on N. 7th Street, the Market Place is open from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, every Saturday, rain or shine. Please note we will be closed for the Saturday of the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival.
For more information, please call (904) 557-8229.