When it’s cold up north, Florida is in the heat of its fresh fruit and vegetable harvest. In fact, over 20 types of fresh produce, from avocados and bell peppers to tangerines and tomatoes, are available in January at Florida Farmers Markets, according to the Tallahassee-based Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. These fresh foods and prepared products from these ingredients are available at Farmer’s Markets throughout South Florida. Several of these are close enough to major waterways and marinas to make provisioning easy. Here are five top markets to sample:
Green Market at Pompano Beach
This open-air, dog-friendly market features fruits and vegetables, as well as baked goods, honey, fresh seafood, gourmet coffee and teas and prepared foods, according to market manager, Liz Vega. Live music and seasonal events adds to the fun. On January 27, the market celebrates its Barkapalooza with plenty of prize-winning activities for pets. Open Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Nearest marina: Aquamarina Hidden Harbor (3 miles).
Yellow Green Farmer’s Market
South Florida’s largest farmer’s market sits in a 100,000-square-foot covered building with over 300 vendors. Organically-grown fruits and vegetables, micro greens and fresh herbs are among sought-after produce offerings. “With over 120 prepared food vendors, including authentic international specialty foods from all over the world, our customers love to come hungry and have breakfast or lunch at the market,” says general manager, Mark Menagh, a former cruiser who spent a decade on a 52-foot sailboat in the South Pacific and frequented community markets in that part of the world. Open Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nearest marines: Hollywood Marina (5 miles), Suntex Marina at Hollywood (6 miles).
Palmetto Bay Farmer’s Market
Fresh produce is certainly for sale, but the big draw here are the prepared foods and food products. “We have a variety of vendors from different countries and ethnicities, reflecting the Miami feel,” says Diana Ariza, who handles the market’s social media. “Cruisers can enjoy Latin American food such as flan, empanadas and specially made cakes made with Rum or fruits. There’s a great variety of seafood with amazing Ceviche dips and stone crab claws. Other products include Indian Spices, local Kombucha drinks with exotic flavors, Açaí bowls and Kettle corn made on site.” Open Sundays, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nearest marinas: Deering Bay Marina (2.5 miles), Suntex Marina at South Miami (8 miles), Cocoplum Yacht Club (8 miles).
South Pointe Triangle Park & Lincoln Road Markets
The diversity of foods sold is the selling point of these two markets. “Each has a good selection of produce, lots of tropical fruits, as well as fresh baked breads, local honey and ready-made food items,” says Claire Tomlin, who began vending her herb vinegars in the mid-90s, then was asked by the Miami Beach City management to create markets of which today number 11. The South Pointe market is open Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; ¼-mile south of Miami Beach Marina. The Lincoln Road market operates Sundays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; 2 miles north of Miami Beach Marina.
Robert Is Here Fruit Stand
The seeds of this family-owned and operated landmark market started when namesake Robert’s father posted a sign. ‘Robert is Here’ on his six-year-old son’s table when the lad started selling the family’s farmed cucumbers back in 1959. Today, says Robert Moehling’s youngest daughter, 20-something-year-old Samantha, “We specialize in rare and exotic tropical fruits and are also well known for our milkshakes and smoothies.” Black sapote, canistel (egg fruit), dragonfruit, key lime, passionfruit and soursop are some available in the winter, both as whole fruit and blended in smoothies. “We have a petting zoo and a play area for children to enjoy, and live music from 2- to 6 pm on weekends to entertain and make our customers feel at home,” says Samantha. Open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, except Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Nearest Marinas: Herbert Hoover (8 miles), Suntex Marina at South Miami (14 miles).