There is something about fresh produce that makes it so much better; the crunch of biting into a crisp apple, the sweet nectar from a raw Florida orange, even the juice of locally grown pineapples. People are searching to find this high quality of flavor, and what better place to do so than at the farmers markets.
Greater Gainesville’s farmers markets are diverse and plentiful. With more than 10 markets throughout Alachua County, there is sure to be one that meets your needs.
Not only do these markets provide authentic flavors from local farmers, but also they serve as gathering spots while supporting the economy. They offer everything from live music to fresh flowers to hand-woven bags – while helping customers spice up their menu.
Three of Greater Gainesville’s largest farmers markets are The Haile Farmers Market, the Alachua County Farmers’ Market and the Union Street Farmers Market.
The Haile Farmers Market is in Haile Plantation, located west of Tower Road. It is open from 8:30 a.m. to noon every Saturday. Operating since 1998, this market has more than 50 local vendors. The offerings are 60% meats, dairy, and produce; 30% crafts and baked goods; and 10% information about nonprofits and events. A different band performs each week.
The Alachua County Farmers’ Market, located the intersection of U.S. 441 and N.W. 34th Street, and is open from 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturdays. Founded in 1972, this market only allows growers who have produced food within 100 miles of the market.
The Union Street Farmers Market, located in Celebration Pointe, recently moved there in June of this year. After being in Bo Diddley Plaza since 1996, the market was moved due to construction and a disagreement with the city about reopening during the pandemic. It is open from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, and about 40 vendors are present weekly.
Whether you visit the markets for fresh produce, new products, different recipes or a moment of escape, you are bound to find a great experience for you and your family.
Below are the details of the other are farmers markets:
- Downtown Alachua Farmer’s Market
- 4-7 p.m. Thursdays
- 14801 Main St., Alachua
- Only one seller per product
- Opened in January 2020
- Producer-only market
- High Springs Farmers Market
- Noon to 4 p.m. Fridays
- 23718 W U.S. 27, High Springs
- Sponsored by City of High Springs
- Grove Street Farmers Market
- 4-7 p.m. Mondays
- 910 NW Fourth St., Gainesville
- Live music
- Newberry Main Street Farmers Market
- 9 a.m.-noon Saturday
Words from area’s local vendors:
- Katrine Dunn, owner of Saporito Oil, Vinegar, and Spice, is on the market’s board. She’s had a booth at the Haile Village Market for three years. Most of her customers are interested in health. “A farmer’s market is an experience,” she said. “Gainesville is a foodie and health conscious town.”
- Joelle Wood, owner of The Old Fashion Farmstead, an organic meat distributor, has a booth at the Alachua County Farmers Market. Located in Alachua, Old Fashion Farmstead started in 2016 in order to raise healthy birds naturally so that she can eat meat that she knew would be clean. After friends and family began requesting meat, she decided to begin sharing with the community. “It is strictly a food market, so no crafts or anything of the sort,” she said. “The customers usually shop at the market weekly.”
- Rosie’s Organic Farm is another well-known booth at the Haile Farmers Market. Rose Koenig, founder of Rosie’s Organic Farm, began her company in 1993 as a grad student at UF. Her and her husband started the farm originally because they wanted to raise their children knowing where their food comes from. Rose herself actually helped start the Haile Farmers Market to promote the sense of community in the area. “The market has helped farmers, but it has also helped the community.”
-written by Skylar Carter