Support local growers while enjoying fresh produce
Wouldn’t it be great to know the fruits and vegetables you’re consuming aren’t shot full of chemicals to hold their color and give them a longer shelf life?
What if you knew Mr. Brown from
What if every tomato you sunk your teeth into, year round, was Ruskin grown?
Well, as of December 11,
The Farmer’s Market will be held in the parking lot of
“We wanted to do something to enable us to paint and fix up our sanctuary and make some much-needed repairs,” said Annie Hunter, an
But the job of locating and signing up the growers of fruits, vegetables and citrus has fallen to Jayna Hamel who runs Elsberry Farms Nursery on the corner of
“When you buy fruits and vegetables in the stores they’ve been treated for color and shelf life,” Jayna explained. “We’ll know where ours come from, and how they’ve been grown. We’re only going to deal with locals, maybe as far away as the surrounding counties but no farther, so everything will be backyard garden fresh.”
Jayna says she hopes to gather enough growers to keep the market going year round with seasonal stock.
“There’s such an impact on fresh food’s nutritional value when it’s treated for the long-haul. Not to mention the emissions,” she added.
Jayna has already started tomato plants and green peppers, some of which are growing on a vine. She is seeking farmers with peas, and pole beans, eggplant and all other locally-grown produce and fruits.
Both Jayna and Bernie come from farming families and have also formally studied agriculture.
“We’ll have spices in pots you can take home and grow in your kitchen too,” she said, pointing to the basil she has started herself.
She also called my attention to one of her “special brands” of tomato, that is called “Mortgage Lifter” because the first year after the man invented it put it on the market he paid off his mortgage, she said.
Jayna has started a Web site www.backyard-produce.com but it is still under construction.
Growers who are interested in becoming a part of the Farmer’s Market are encouraged to email her at email@example.com or go on FaceBook and put Back Yard Produce in the search bar. She may also be reached at (813) 466-9585.
Meanwhile, Annie is seeking crafters to rent parking lot spaces at $20 apiece during the hours the market is open.
“Every weekend we see all these people selling things along the sides of the roads, which is illegal,” she said. “We’re going to see that they get applications to come on board so that would make them legal. I think it’s a win-win situation for everybody.”
Annie’s preference for contact by crafters or other sellers is email at firstname.lastname@example.org but she may also be reached at (813) 645-8366.