By Jolee Keplinger | Photo: Anne Preble
Have you ever wondered where your food comes from and how it’s grown? Have you been wanting to become more involved with the community, live more sustainably, or advocate for something of value? If so, integrating farmers’ market stops into your grocery routine is an excellent way to do this. Since most Tallahassee residents primarily purchase food from grocery stores due to convenience and other logistical factors, shopping at a farmers’ market may feel “far away” or inconvenient. Chances are, however, you probably live within a reasonable distance from one.
Taking advantage of farmers’ markets supports the local economy, promotes healthy eating, and contributes to the city’s overall sense of community. When visiting a farmers’ market, you’re not just surrounded by fresh, locally grown food. You have the opportunity to get to know the farmers and learn about the food they grow in depth.
So far, I’ve been able to consistently visit 3 of Tallahassee’s farmers’ markets. Below is a summary of each, which can serve as a guide for those interested in exploring the city’s vibrant farmers’ market scene.
Lake Ella Grower’s Market — This year-round market offers locally grown produce, honey, cheeses, falafel, breads, soaps and more. Since it’s located between Black Dog Café and Lake Ella, it’s an excellent leisurely Saturday stop which could include a morning café stop, a freshly made falafel for lunch, a stroll about the lake, and a shopping session at Quarter Moon Imports. This market is also a simple after-work stop for midweek shoppers in the area.
Location: 229 Lake Ella Dr.
Hours: Wednesdays 3 to 6 p.m. and Saturdays 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Tallahassee Farmers’ Market — In the heart of Market Square, you’ll find the oldest farmers’ market in town. There, you’ll be greeted with an array produce options, such as certified organic, certified naturally grown, non-chemically, and conventional food. There is also a variety of pasture raised meat and eggs, fresh flowers, nutrient-dense micro greens, herbs and naturally grown mushrooms. If you like to browse through a large selection of food and vendors, then this market is the place for you.
Location: 1415 Timberlane Rd. (Market Square Pavilion, which is currently undergoing renovations. Location will change to Cornerstone Presbyterian Church come August 24).
Hours: Saturdays 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Farmers’ Market at Bannerman Crossings — This new market is located in the recently developed section of Bannerman Crossings, which is filled with shops and activity centers. Its location is especially convenient for those living in the northern side of town, and also for those who attend classes at Hot Yoga Tallahassee or visit RedEye Coffee. Although this market is small, there are plenty of fresh, local, natural, and organic foods to choose from. There is also a solid selection of honey, jams, pickled vegetables, granola and bread.
Helpful tips for farmers’ market shopping:
- If you’re running errands afterward, bring a lunchbox or cooler with ice.
- To reduce plastic waste, try bringing reusable grocery and produce bags.
- To beat the heat, opt to visit morning markets as early as possible.