Gainesville FL Farmers' Markets Provide Produce Bounty to Local Diners

A city with a bustling farmers’ market is one to be envied.

On Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - 22:24
Gainesville FL

A city with a bustling farmers’ market is one to be envied. The ability to walk among the booths of local farmers all in one spot is a great way to get local produce in your kitchen.

Gainesville is home to not one but four farmers’ markets, so there’s no excuse for not having fresh veggies in your fridge. Pick up ripe blueberries or melon at the Union Street Farmers’ Market, right as they come into season.

Formed by a small group of local farmers, the purpose of the market is to provide the farmers with a new place to sell their good as well as create a weekly, family-oriented event. More than 40 vendors set up every Wednesday at Sun Center Mall and sell everything from honey and baked goods to fruit and prepared foods.

Over at Alachua County Farmers’ Market, you can find a large selection of produce, with the ability to meet the actual person who grew it, inviting you to ask questions about your future dinner. The countywide market is open every Saturday year round. It gets pretty busy, especially with the live music and food sampling throughout the year. But during peak harvest season, from April through July, a satellite market opens on Tuesdays in Butler Market, depending on customer demand.

Haile Plantation has its own farmers’ market, also open Saturdays, offers plants and crafts in addition to grass-fed beef, nuts and baked goods.

Despite the abundance of fresh produce, homemade jams and cheeses, it just wouldn’t be a college town without pizza places. Leonardo’s Pizza of Millhopper caters to students with hearty pieces of Chicago-style cheesy pie topped with sausage, Portobello mushrooms, meatballs, eggplant or just about any other ingredient you can think of. Satchel’s Pizza, started by a former Leonardo’s employee, boasts tasty pizza as well as “addictive” calzones, cannoli and other Italian fare (in addition to the occasional reggae dances). Big Lou's New York Style Pizzeria, located downtown, features a live blues band every week in addition to its everyday signature pies. With such a wealth of food, Gainesville residents can truly indulge in the freshest Florida has to offer.