One of my favorite things to do back home in Florida is go to the Winter Park Farmer’s Market. It’s hosted every Saturday of the year, except for one weekend in March because the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival is going on. I always find the farmer’s market a lovely place to walk around in the Florida sunshine, and everyone I’ve taken there falls in love with it too.
The market is located right off Park Avenue by Rollins College, and runs from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. so it isn’t too hot out. It’s also dog friendly, so you can bring your pooch and they can go for a stroll with you. Whenever I go, I like to get there at around 10:30 so I can walk around a bit and then grab some lunch. Each time, I always have to get a sample (or sometimes a lovely small bag) of kettle corn from Mountain Kettle Korn. When I went over break this past time, I got a small bag for myself and it was a fresh batch, so it was warm and scrumptious.
I also love looking around at the fresh produce. My mom will occasionally get some vegetables, although if you do then it’s best to go home not long after so they don’t sit out in the hot sun.
While walking around, I noticed a stand with various salad dressings on it. I look a piece of the sample bread and tried it with the Four Berry Balsamic they were offering. I loved it because it had a wonderful berry and fruity flavor to it. It tasted just like when I make spinach, blueberry, strawberry, goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette salad (well, minus the cheese and spinach). I called my mom over and told her to try it. She fell in love with it and decided to purchase it. I hope there’s some left next time I go home from school – or maybe we’ll have to venture back to the farmer’s market and buy more.
My mom also checks out the flowers while there because she’s always looking to improve her garden. While she looks at the plants, I go to a nearby stand where there’s a man who sells caterpillars, so I look at those and the butterflies that have blossomed from being caterpillars.
The past two times I’ve gone, there’s been a vendor called Raaw Macaw I haven’t seen in years prior. He sells natural and unprocessed energy bars, cereal, trail mix, and smoothie mix. I’ve tried two of his energy bars and they’re scrumptious, while still remaining healthy and all-natural. If you visit his site, you can create your own, or order his pre-made concoctions.
On my most recent trip, I discovered another vendor called Nutty Crunch. It’s similar to a trail mix, and made with nutrient-rich whole foods. I had tried their cajun flavored one, which had a wonderful spice level to it. These trail mixes are great because they fill you up without giving your body empty calories. A handful would be a perfectly nutritious and satisfying snack, in my opinion.
After making it halfway through the outdoor section, I always decide to go to the indoor section for a bit. This is the only part of the market that isn’t pet friendly though. The inside always has more unique and interesting things to try – homemade bread, coffee and tea, bagels, jams and jellies, sweets, and vitamins, just to name a few. As per usual, I like taking samples of things that really stand out to me. I tried a jalapeño jam which was remarkably good. If I were more of a jam/jelly person (which clearly I’m not because I don’t know the difference), I would have needed to buy it then and there.
After exploring the indoors section for a while, I headed back outside to look at the rest. I noticed some smoothies, lemonade stands, salad dressings and sauces vendors, pet toys and treats, crepe vendors, food trucks, and much more.
Once I had ventured around for a while with my mom and we felt like leaving, we headed out to lunch. As always, I had a marvelous time at the farmer’s market. I miss having it as an option every Saturday because I never get bored walking around in the sun. I’ll be sure to go back to it many times this summer though.