Jacksonville Farmer's Market: Photo Tour

October 31, 2006 1 comment Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

The Beaver Street Farmer's Market will have to relocate soon because of a nearby industrial plant expansion. Last week we suggested jumping on this opportunity to move the market in or closer to downtown. Today, we present an in depth photo tour the Jacksonville Farmer's Market

The market (highlighted in red) is located just west of the Beaver Street Viaduct. It has been continously operated at this location since 1938.  In 1985, it was purchased by Beaver Street Fisheries, whose operations are directly across the street.


This photograph, from the Beaver Street Viaduct shows how far the downtown core is and cut off from the market's vibrant and hidden atmosphere.


The Beaver Street Fisheries facility is located on the northside of Beaver Street.  Some of the industrial buildings here date back to the late 1920's.  The JEDC recently approved an expansion plan that will result in the construction of a 185,000sf frozen foods processing plant and the demolition of the farmer's market.  While Beaver Street has discussed moving the market to a smaller site next door, Metro Jacksonville suggests working with the JEDC and city to relocate the market downtown, leaving the proposed site as an area for future expansion of the planned frozen foods facility.


One thing that hold's the market back, outside of its remote location, is the worn down facilities.  The market's Egg Roll Inn Restaurant is shown in the foreground.


This shed shields most of the market's activity from street view.  It appears to be an under utilized space used mostly for storage.


This building is located in the center of the property and is the market's largest.  It appears that its used or portions are leased out to permanent vendors who need on site refrigerated storage.



The backside of this building (shown above) is were most of market's pedestrian and vendors congregate.  A one way drive with diagonal parking separates this building from a large open air shed, next door.



Permanent vendors also operate out the back of the market's main building.



temperate Here's a close up of vegatable stand operating out of the backside of the market's main two story warehouse building.



This large open shed buffers the market's east side, from the railyards that run under the Beaver Street viaduct. 


The large shed, mentioned above can be seen in the background.  The rusted shed shown in the foreground seemed to house temporary vendors, including a florist and a farmer selling fresh collard greens off the back of his truck.


The last major structure on the site is a large open air shed.  Here customers examine boxes of eggplant, as the vendor looks on.


Further down a vendor with a stand of tomatoes is in the process of setting up his products for what appears will be a busy Saturday. 


Although, not shown, this stand had a good looking thing of strawberries that bought water to the mouth.


This photograph, taken from the Beaver Street Viaduct captures most of the market's facilities.  The under utilized storage building on the right, the large warehouse building in the center and the open air sheds in the foreground and rear.



Public Markets, with their locally grown, locally made and locally owned businesses, accentuate the qualities that make a community special. They create dynamic places, stimulate economic opportunity and instill community spirit and cultural exchange. Public Markets provide needed goods and services such as farm fresh fruits and vegetables, ethic foods, crafts and personal services that are often unavailable at the same level of quality, variety and price. 

Public Goals of Public Markets: 

a. attracting customers to urban areas 

b. supporting affordable retailing opportunities for small businesses 

c. addressing the problems of street vending 

d. providing opportunities to farmers thereby preserving farmland 

e. activating the use of public space 

f.  providing quality produce to urban customers where supermarkets are unavailable or limitedWithin the U.S. and abroad, public markets have long shown themselves to be effective tools in efforts to revitalize urban communities. 

Economically, Public Markets provide things that budding entrepreneurs cannot create themselves: 

a. viable locations in which to sell their products or services 

b. shared marketing and promotional programs 

c. customers attracted to the total market experience 

d. economic opportunity regardless of an individual's existing resources 

Throughout the world, public markets are the main source of food distribution. Europe boasts about 80,000 markets. Barcelona, Spain, with a population of more than two million, distributes 81 percent of its food through public markets. In Italy, it is 55 percent. The basic form and function of Public Markets retain a striking continuity across both time and place. Markets provide a common ground to mix, mingle, and enjoy the pleasures of socializing, people watching, and shopping in a special environment.


Soulard Farmer's (St. Louis), Milwaukee Public ( Milwaukee) and The Italian Market (South Philadelphia)

SOULARD FARMER’S MARKET - http://stlouis.missouri.org/citygov/soulardmarket/ 

Owned and operated by the city of St. Louis, Soulard is the oldest farmers market in the country.  Over 70 vendors sell produce, meat, fish, dairy items, spices and baked goods.  Others sell imported goods, clothing and jewelry.  Street musicians also add to the festive atmosphere on weekends. The market, reminiscent of an old rail terminal, has two outdoor wings under roofs supported by steel girders.  A building housing butcher shops and a bakery connects the wings.  Although the market opened in 1843, the present structures were constructed in 1928.  Over 500,000 visit the Soulard market each year, which also has become a “hot stop” for school field trips.


MILWAUKEE PUBLIC MARKET - www.milwaukeepublicmarket.org 

Public Markets are being revitalized and new Markets are being developed in cities across the United States.  Public Markets reflect the heritage and diversity of the communities they serve. The creation of the Milwaukee Public Market follows the national trend and a way of life that was never lost in Europe. The City of Milwaukee opened the new $11.3 million market October 2005 to a crowd of 15,000 visitors.  It consists of an open air market underneath a freeway and an indoor facility with 20 specialty vendors.  The merchants reflect the city’s ethnic diversity by offering fresh fish, poultry, meats, cheese, wine and spirits, baked goods, coffee, confections, flowers, organic produce, bulk foods and ethnic specialties.


THE ITALIAN MARKETwww.phillyitalianmarket.com

The Italian Market, frequently referred to simply as 9th Street, has its origins as a marketplace in the later 19th and early 20th centuries when Italian immigrants began to move into the area. The market is considered to be an "outdoor" market. Bright colorful metal awnings cover the sidewalks where vendors of fruit, vegetables, fish, and housewares conduct business year round. Ground floor shops in traditional Philadelphia rowhouses line the street. Owners would have originally lived above their shops, and many still do. As the city has gentrified, so has the Italian Market.

Today outdoor seating at cozy cafes, upscale gift stores and top notch gourmet shops are thriving among the markets traditional produce vendors and specialty butchers and cheese mongers. The Italian Market is a must see for Philadelphia visitors. However, its not a tourist trap or museum, it's a bustling urban market.

Many locals shop and eat there every day and restaurants around the city rely on its vendors for their pasta, produce and specialty meats. In some ways the Italian Market is like stepping back in time, it's not your local supermarket. Uncommon sights and smells are an important part of the experience. Many butchers display their wares whole and visitors extremely sensitive to smells are advised to visit during a temperate or cooler time of year.