Best Farmers Market (2007)

South Florida Farmers Market

Farm-fresh sno cones, anybodyç Not really, but at most of South Florida's so-called farmers markets, even imported South American produce generally takes a back seat to booths offering processed fast foods, incense, jewelry, sunglasses, even massages. Where to go if you are seeking locally grown fresh produce that's never seen the inside of a cross-country refrigerated truckç When pioneering regional foods booster Alice Waters flew in to be honored at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival several years ago, she went straight from the airport to the South Florida Farmers Market, which takes over the Gardner's Market parking lot (off US 1) on Sunday mornings from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. And the sparkling, watermelon-size head of local frisée that she displayed at a seminar that afternoon was alone ample proof that at least one farmers market here is, if not Union Square, more than a flea market. Booths sell a full range of just-picked seasonal fruits and veggies — corn so sweet and tender you'll think you're in New Jersey on the Fourth of July; tomatoes that are genuinely vine-ripe rather than supermarket-ripe; exotica like mini veggies and edible flowers— plus local wildflower honey ($3 for eight ounces) and other farm products from Homestead/Redlands growers. Prices vary (three ears of corn for $1 at one booth, five ears for $3 at another), but there are some real bargains, like a four-pound basket of falling-off-the-vine-ripe tomatoes for $2.50. While the market runs only from January through April, one of its objectives is "creating a dialogue between consumers and growers." So dialogue, already, about where your favorite growers' goodies are available during the rest of the year.


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