This fall marks the return of several fun, healthy and crafty farmers' markets to the Sarasota-Bradenton area.
Over 30 local vendors of fruits, vegetables, plants, foods, organic goods and locally-made crafts and art will line Bradenton’s Old Main Street in downtown each Saturday from Oct. 1 through May 27 for the 2016-2017 farmer's market. The market, which runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m, is organized by Realize Bradenton and will feature free family-friendly activities, live music and even demonstrations by local chefs. Parking is free and dogs on leashes are welcome.
“We are thrilled at the continued community engagement at the Bradenton Farmers’ Market this season with the addition of Kids’ Corner, Rainbow Kitchen and a recent grant that allows market shoppers utilizing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to double their spending power,” Realize Bradenton executive director Johnette Isham says.
The opening day of the market will include activities like Mainly Art, an extension of the market on Fourth Avenue West where dozens of artists and craftspeople from the local area will showcase and sell their goods. Opening day will also feature Chef at the Market, a live cooking demonstration by chefs Dave Shiplett and Dana Johnson; Rainbow Kitchen, a cooking demonstration presented by the Manatee County Family Nutrition Program; and Kids’ Corner, where children can decorate their own reusable shopping bag. (Kids’ Corner will continue on the first Saturday of each month.)
Live music by the Trevor Bystrom Duo, Paige Merriman and many more performers is scheduled to play every Saturday throughout the rest of the season. Other ongoing activities include master gardeners (on the first Saturday of the month), Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine health screenings for blood pressure and diabetes (on the third Saturday of every month) and Creative Learning Stations (on the fourth Saturday of the month).
On Oct. 22, the “Friendly Food Fight” will kick off Eat Local Week. Chefs from local restaurants like Birdrock Taco Shack, Ortygia, Sugar Cubed Bakery and La Mesa Mexican will each produce a meal using the fresh ingredients available at the market and will be judged in a cook-off. And on Oct. 29, the Howl’ween Pet Parade at 10:30 a.m. will see the dogs of Bradenton in a costume parade down Old Main Street. For more information about the market or events, go to bradentonfarmersmarket.com.
In Sarasota, the Phillippi Farmhouse Market will return with another year of food trucks, produce, art and live music on Oct. 5. It's open every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. from October to May. This is the eighth year for the popular market, which is located at Phillippi Estate Park and features vendors like The Amish Baking Company, out and about coffee, Sarasota Honey Company, the Purple Belle ice cream truck, produce vendors and more. A free tour of the Edson Keith Mansion will also be available to attendees. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (941) 316-1309.
Sarasota’s newest Saturday market, the Central Sarasota Farmer's Market at the Florida House learning center on Beneva Road, returns Oct. 1 and will be open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. through the season. The market features food, produce, plants, flowers and more.
And at the downtown Sarasota market, Worden Farm, a certified organic farm located in Punta Gorda, returns after a summer off. Worden Farm sells more than 50 types of vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers from the fall to the spring seasons; find them near the intersection of State Street and Lemon Avenue.