Sunday, March 18, 2012

City Island (Daytona Beach) Farmers' Market

Under the palm trees
Today it's Bike Week, Spring Break and St Patrick's Day in Daytona Beach, Florida, and the beautiful weather has everyone outdoors. My sister and I checked out the City Island Farmers' Market set up in a spacious lot between the city's library and the Jackie Robinson Ballpark. The long tables display a bountiful selection of fruits and vegetables from meyer lemons to brussels sprouts, and there are a few non-farm vendors in the mix.

They grow on a stalk!

Shoppers carry away trays of luscious red ripe Plant City strawberries (I can vouch for how good they are). Plant City, located between Orlando and Tampa, is famous for its strawberries and hosts a yearly festival where you might like to compete in a strawberry shortcake eating contest

Organic Alternatives
Ravi and Rich opened their Access to Organics stand to offer a selection of certified organic fruits and veggies. Ravi was so friendly and informative about the quality and freshness in sourcing organic produce. I bought some of their cucumbers for the new pickle recipe I plan to try. See Ravi's schedule of Spring activities here.

Sunny and Warm
I was surprised to learn that only one farmer there grows his own produce to sell. The other vendors buy from distributors for resale and much of the produce is trucked up from south Florida, or from further away. I found that farmer proudly hawking the biggest broccoli heads and the crispest chard that I had ever seen. His farm is in Samsula, a mere 15 miles west. His comments on the season so far,"pretty decent, a little hotter and a little drier than I'd like, but who's complaining". Asked about tomatoes, he doesn't grow them for market, only for his family - the economics of it favors the south Florida farms.

Midtown Ecovillage
At the citrus stand, there were samples of grapefruit and pineapple orange to taste. We bought some meyer lemons, as big as tennis balls, to make lemon curd. Feeling thirsty, we stopped by Ravi's friend's booth, for a smoothie. Omar and Camille have a good time doing what they believe in, creating a delicious drink and educating the public on good food and healthy lifestyles. A good idea - Smoothies and Movies . 

Ocie's has so many good flavors
I was excited to find a table full of jams, etc, by Ocie's Gourmet Preserves. Gloria and her sister carry on the business of canning and selling a whole line of jams, jellies, pickles and relishes begun by their mother. They grow some of their raw materials, and purchase some from their neighboring vendors in this market. So many treats I was eager to try: muscadine grape jam, mulberry jam, mango jalapeno jelly, hot pickled okra, the raw honey, sigh; I bought the sweet onion relish. They will ship their jars to you, write to them at
I enjoyed this Farmer's Market a lot, and I hope you clicked on the links to learn more. In my next post I'll report what I made with the produce I bought today.


  1. Sounds like a great day at the Farmer's Market. I almost felt like I was there with you. I can't wait until the Farmer's Market in Wilkes-Barre opens up!

  2. That's exactly what I am trying to achieve. In my next posting, I will write about freezer pickles, made with the organic cucumber, and an update on homemade lemon curd.