Living in Florida has its perks – but living in Gainesville? Well, let’s just say we are a bit spoiled. While the vast majority of our friends to the north is shivering in winter’s gray chill and ankle deep in slush, Alachua county has been enjoying 70 and 80 degree high temps leading into cool, starry nights. And nowhere is our beautiful climate more illustrated than in the bountiful produce grown locally by our farmers.
Gainesville and the surrounding area is at the height of its farming bounty and to experience it first hand, residents need look no further than their nearest Farmers’ Market. Whether you live in Haile Plantation, Duck Pond or just east of downtown, there is a Farmer’s Market near you. Pick one, get outside and enjoy just one of the many reasons living in Gainesville is so amazing.
The Union Street Market originally began 11 years ago in the Sun Center until finally settling into the newly revamped Bo Diddley Community Plaza. Right in the heart of Gainesville, just off East University Avenue, the market is host to 60 plus vendors each week and offers featured musicians to listen to as you stroll through the plaza.
With artists, farmers and craft vendors alike, nowhere is the unique quirkiness of Gainesville so evident and so vibrant. At the Tempeh Shop discover the benefits of tempeh, a natural meat substitute from Indonesia. Massage away midweek stress with the mobile deep tissue massage from aMandala. Prep for dinner with freshly made pasta, hand rolled and made from organic durum wheat from The Vine, and grab some fresh vegetables from Swallowtail Farm.
The Union Street Farmers Market is open Wednesdays from 4-7 in the afternoon.
Pick a Saturday, any Saturday and take a stroll down to the Haile Village Center, right in the middle of Haile Plantation. You’ll meet a few dogs and their owners along with way (and some available for adoption to the right home!) but that’s just the beginning.
Sample a local cheese assortment from Cypress Point Creamery and chat with 4th generation dairy farmer Nancy Mims and her husband John. Take a few minutes for a juice tasting with Chef Anthony’s Ambrosia and discover the true sweetness of Florida fruits without any need for sugar or preservatives. Pick up some fresh fish (it was swimming the day before) from Blue Gill Quality Food. And if carbo-loading is for you, then this is the place! Soft pretzels from LEJ Pretzel Company, sweet treats from Baker Baker, and whoever said pizza is not for breakfast never tried the woodfired creations from Strega Nona’s Oven.
Walk there or ride a bike – trust us! Haile Village Farmers Market is open from 8:30 am to noon every Saturday.
Also, known as the “441 Market”, the Alachua County Farmers Market, located off US Route 441, just east of Gainesville, is a “grower’s only” market as well. All items for sale have all been locally grown and harvested and you’ll be buying directly from the farmer who cared for it. Even the craft vendors are using ingredients they have completely cultivated from their own land.
Pick up some honey, “the way bees intended,” from Cross Creek Honey. Try a breakfast with fresh, free range eggs from Laughing Chicken Farm – you’ll never want store purchased eggs again! Check out the latest bounty from Siembra Farm one of the select USDA Certified Organic farms located in and around Gainesville.
The Alachua County Farmers Market is open Saturdays, from 8:30 am to 1 pm, but it’s recommended to get there before 11 for the best selection!
So Gainesville residents – get out there and enjoy everything our beautiful home has to offer!