Including stands selling everything from mattresses to cotton underwear, Bargain Town continues to be one of the best sources of cheap produce in Dade. Located across from a village of flea-market-like shops, the produce market occupies a large warehouse. It's full of dozens of types of fresh fruits and vegetables. While most farmers' markets and grocery stores sell avocados for $2 to $3 apiece, this market prices them around $1.

Amid bountiful stacks of tomatillos, jackfruit, and okra are sacks of dried cinnamon, Jamaica flowers, and peppers. Most vendors sell a similar variety of goods, but some also stock queso fresco and pico de gallo. The majority of stands sell fruits and vegetables from out of state.

During weekends, Roque de Castro, a 26-year-old University of Miami student, tends to his family's stand at the busy venue. "The more affordable prices here have to do with the demographics of the consumer," he explains, adding that most customers are immigrants from low-income families. The Lucky Meat Tortilleria accepts electronic benefits transfer (EBT) cards for purchases of sausages, meats, and poultry.

Vendors line the walkway at Pinecrest Gardens Farmers' Market.
Vendors line the walkway at Pinecrest Gardens Farmers' Market.

Location Info

Map

Pinecrest Gardens

11000 Red Road
Pinecrest, FL 33156

Category: Restaurant > Deli

Region: East Kendall/Pinecrest

The Shops at Sunset Place

5701 Sunset Drive
South Miami, FL 33143

Category: Attractions and Amusement Parks

Region: Coral Gables/South Miami

Redland Market Village

24420 S. Dixie Highway
Homestead, FL 33032

Category: Community Venues

Region: Homestead/Florida City

Coconut Grove Organic Farmers Market

3300 Grand Ave.
Coconut Grove, FL 33133

Category: Retail

Region: Coconut Grove

"Miami has become all about the service industry," he says. "Now farmers have to become businessmen in addition to farmers."

At the Redland Market Village, that business involves selling fresh jalapeños, Dora the Explorer towels, and car alarms. Nearly everyone converses in Spanish. Bachata music blasts, and food trucks sell elote.

It's like a quick getaway to Central America without the need for a passport.

Glaser Organic Farms at the Coconut Grove Farmers Market, 3300 Grand Ave., Coconut Grove. Open year-round, Saturdays 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Glaser Organic Farms occupies the largest tent at the Coconut Grove Farmers Market. Tracy Fleming, who has owned the farm with her husband, Stan, for more than 30 years, sells a variety of local and nonlocal produce. The tent is widely recognized for its locally processed, organic raw and vegan foods. The enterprising farm also sells to Whole Foods locations across South Florida.

"We are a farmers' market because we actually grow. We don't outsource any of this," she says, referring to the organic fruit salads, pickled vegetables, and juices stacked across the expansive tent. "This is all prepared on-site, on our farm."

Prices are high, especially for the prepared foods and specialty products. Tables are topped with 17-ounce jars of Italian acacia honey for $16 and 16-ounce bottles of organic nut butters for $16.75. Nut milks, processed at Glaser, cost $5.50 for 16 ounces. The majority of the prepared foods are made with certified-organic ingredients.

The produce, in general, is more reasonably priced. Organic avocados grown at Glaser retail for $1.60 a pound, which means about $3 apiece. (At Publix, an organic medium-size avocado from Matt's Organics sells for about $2.99.)

Fleming also offers conventional produce, especially when the prices for organic vegetables are too inflated. When organic heirloom tomatoes are at $6.40 a pound, she sells a conventional option for $1.60 a pound. Depending on the season, both types of tomato might be grown out-of-state.

Unlike most farmers' markets, Glaser accepts credit cards and EBT cards. So maybe it's best to think of it as a local, outdoor version of Whole Foods, one that happens to be run by an organic farmer. Like Whole Foods, the prices are high, but that $5.75 container of sprouted hummus — amid dewy piles of plums and peaches — just looks too enticing.

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4 comments
www.miamicurated.com
www.miamicurated.com

A tip...if you miss out on Zak's bread at the market as I did, you can buy it at Perricone's and it's seldom sold out. Also, there's a new purveyor that sells Guava Bars that are delicious, especially the cinnamon walnut (they give samples).

jrp02771
jrp02771

Cutler Bay Farmers market is cheap organic and with some food trucks.

 

oldculter and 87th ave.  sat-sun

 
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