Jacksonville Farmers Market Celebrates 75 Years

Many believe that Jacksonville is a community that lacks a marketable attraction. The type of unique and enjoyable travel destination that helps a city create a name for itself. Just west of downtown, we already have that type of destination in the Jacksonville Farmers Market. This weekend, the Jacksonville Farmers Market is celebrating 75 years of serving the First Coast in the form of a three-day Anniversary Celebration & Fall Festival filled with family-friendly activities, entertainment, and food, creating an ideal opportunity for the greater community to explore this special local landmark.

Published October 11, 2013 in Dining & Nightlife - MetroJacksonville.com

The Jacksonville Farmers Market offers Northeast Florida’s largest and widest selection of fresh and healthy foods. Founded in 1938, it's one of the few real working authentic farmers markets in the region and the oldest continuously operated public market in Florida. Visited year round by up to 25,000 people a week, shoppers from North Florida and throughout the Southeastern U.S., along with tourists from around the world, enjoy savings up to 70+% over retail and other outlets on local, ethnic, organic and specialty produce and various products including seafood, artisan breads and baked goods, stir-fry, flowers and plants, honey, boiled peanuts, jellies, jams, syrups, gourmet dressings, and much more.  
While it is an unique local historic attraction, the Jacksonville Farmers Market is also a major economic engine and small business incubator anchoring Jacksonville's urban core. Employing over 100 people, the market is utilized by dozens of permanent vendors, numerous seasonal and daily vendors and farmers. Fine restaurants, food trucks, caterers, institutions, non-profits, area produce retailers, and more rely on the daily market’s retailing and wholesaling operations.

In celebration of JFM’s 75th anniversary, a celebration, with free admission, will occur over the next three days. Events kick off at 9 AM today with a live broadcast of WJCT/89.9's First Coast Connect, which is hosted by Melissa Ross. The fun runs 9 AM to 4 PM, daily, through this Sunday, October 13, 2013, and includes ongoing musical entertainment, a kids’ zone complete with ponies, face painting, balloons, bounce house and slide, , classic cars, exhibits and demonstrations.  From 10 AM to 2 PM on Saturday, visitors will enjoy the Jacksonville Jaguars’ ROAR cheerleaders, a football skill activity zone and game ticket and prize giveaways.  Food offerings will include great local fare, courtesy of a Saturday/Sunday Food Truck Rally and the popular Jacksonville Farmers Market staple, Andy’s Farmers Market Grill.
According to Greg Tison, general manager of the Jacksonville Farmers Market,
“Everyone is invited to come out and support this unique and enchanting Jacksonville landmark during its 75th anniversary celebration. Visitors will discover, as multiple generations before them, that we have the widest and freshest selection of local, ethnic and specialty produce, including organic, in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia.  Shoppers will also be pleasantly surprised to find other great shopping opportunities including fresh Mayport shrimp and local seafood, artisan baked goods, boiled peanut, smoked meats, olives, pickles, area honey, a natural fruit juice bar, spices, jellies, jams, assorted plants, and much more.  Even healthy pet treats!”  Tison adds, “Since its founding in 1938, Jacksonville Farmers Market has been an integral part of the local and small business community in our city, thriving on community patronage, and we hope to continue doing so for many years into the future.”
Being a working market, the complex features covered stalls for all-weather comfort, an ATM on premises, and drive-up parking for shopping ease. Select vendors also accept EBT/debit/credit cards. Open to the public every day of the year from dawn (7 AM) to dusk (6 PM), the Jacksonville Farmers Market is located at 1810 W. Beaver Street, only minutes away from Downtown Jacksonville.  

Scheduled lineup includes:
* Friday: WJCT/89.9 “First Coast Connect” Live Broadcast from JFM, 9 to 10 AM
* Saturday & Sunday: Jacksonville Food Trucks Rally & Andy's Farmers Market Grill, 9 AM to 4 PM
* Saturday: Jacksonville Jaguars' ROAR Cheerleaders, Ticket & Prize Giveaways, Football Skills Zone, 10 AM to 2 PM
* Saturday & Sunday: Ongoing musical and comedy entertainment, 9 AM to 4 PM
* Saturday & Sunday: Kids Zone, 9 AM to 4PM, featuring:

-- Pony rides
-- Bounce house & slide
-- Face painting & balloons
* Friday to Sunday: Exhibits & demonstrations, 9 AM to 4 PM
* Saturday & Sunday: Classic cars & more, 9 AM to 4 PM
* Everyday: NE Florida's widest & freshest local, ethnic, & specialty produce & other food selection at savings to 70+, 7 AM to 6 PM

For more information, call (904) 354-2821 or visit Jaxfarmersmarket.com on the web, or on Facebook at: facebook.com/JaxFarmersMarket.

Next Page: A Look Inside The Jacksonville Farmers Market Photo Tour

Photo Tour: A Look Inside The Jacksonville Farmers Market

Beans, peas, rice and lentils are examples of what can be found at Tony & Rosa's Produce and Ron Bargas Produce. Both are on the west side of the middle aisle in the rear half of Building One.

A tomato display at Dover's Produce. Dover's is located in the front orange building at Jacksonville Farmers Market and open eVERY day, from dawn to dusk.

Spouses Bakery & Deli is open every Saturday and Sunday.

Olive My Pickle is open at the Jacksonville Farmers Market every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This vendor offers a wide variety of high quality olives, pickles, hummus, stuffed grape leaves, KimChi and Baba Ganoush.

The Green Spot has added citrus trees to their inventory of plants, flowers, organic gardening materials, basket & planter arrangements and white Tupelo honey.

A line up of jams, jellies, marmalade, pickled and other preserves at Glennette Produce.

Organic produce at long time vendor, Meteor Street Produce, every Friday through Sunday.

A display of South Carolina peaches at peak quality.

All Natural Juice Bar specializes in all natural fruit juices.

Black Velvet Apricots don't last long at Roy Vargas' Produce. Black Velvet Apricots are an hybrid of apricots and plums. Roy vargas' Produce is located on the eastern side of the midpoint of Building One.

Spells South Florida Mangos is a long-time seasonal vendor offering fresh sweet mangos. They are located at the far south end of Building Two (i.e. opposite end of building with Andy's Restaurant).

Food trucks are also known to make occasional appearances at the Jacksonville Farmers Market.

Gene's Famous Peanuts specializes in green peanuts and seasonal nuts.

Proprietor Andy with Tammy at Andy's Farmers Market Grill. Andy's is open Monday through Friday, 6:30 AM to 3:30 PM, and Saturday's, 7 AM to 4 PM.

The Farmers' Line is located on the east side of the Jacksonville Farmers Market. Here, farmers mostly sell wholesale off their trailers or trucks direct to Jacksonville Farmers Market and other area vendors, restaurants, and produce stores.

Live Louisiana Crawfish from Junior's Seafood.Junior also sells fresh Mayport shrimp & seafood, oysters, live crabs, & much more.Note, availability subject to catches.

Yellow Honeydew Melons.

Kale is one of the healthiest foods around and is a form of cabbage with green or purple leaves. Kale is called “the new beef”, “the queen of greens” and “a nutritional powerhouse.”

Looking for something uniquely "local" to entertain lingering out-of-town guests? Make your way over to Jacksonville Farmers Market, Florida's oldest and largest public farmers market, for indigenous and fresh area produce and agricultural products at up to 70+% savings over anywhere else! The Jacksonville Farmers Market is open eVERY day of the year from dawn to dusk.

Fresh oysters at Junior's Seafood.

Fresh Mayport whiting at Junior's Seafood.

An assortment of homemade pies including sweet potato, pecan, and cherry at Spouses Bakery & Deli.

Smoked meats including sausage and Roger Wood sliced pork fatback at Millers Produce, Greens, & Meats.

A young lady models the "small" gift basket offered at Alma Produce.

Jerry Whitehead of Whitehead Farms specializes in an array of preserves, tomatoes, peas, Mayhaw jelly, flavored syrups, and other wide ranging produce.

Kids love Hawaiian ice and Icees on the weekends and ice cream, cookies, and more from market vendors and businesses, such as Andy's Farmers Market Grill.

Junior's Fish & Shrimp offers fresh local seafood of every kind including Mayport shrimp (headed, headless), live blue crabs, fresh caught fish (whole, fillet, and smoked) including whiting, grouper, croaker, mullet, snapper, flounder, black sea bass, and trout, fresh Apalachicola oysters, & clams. Junior also sells fresh smoked salmon and frozen tilapia fillets to round out his offerings.

Today's Jacksonville Farmers Market totals 9 acres. Plans are being developed for incorporating an adjacent former grocery store building into an indoor public market, retail space and more.

Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at edavis@moderncities.com

This article can be found at: https://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2013-oct-jacksonville-farmers-market-celebrates-75-years-

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