“Farmers markets: A vibrant hub where food enthusiasts, health-conscious individuals, and community advocates come together to embrace sustainable living and savor the flavors of local produce.”
There’s a cornucopia of farmer markets taking place throughout the community, where residents and visitors shop both locally and fresh. These markets offer the community a chance to get together and see what other community members have to offer. And with so many different vendors, there is something to pique everyone’s interest.
There are a lot of options in the area for early birds to come out, buy produce and goods, and be home in time for lunch while suiting the variety of lifestyles and needs in the community.
Lady Lake Farmers and Crafts Market
The Lady Lake Farmers and Crafts Market recently returned to the farmers market lineup after being on hiatus since May. The market will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Tuesday at 260 Rolling Acres Road until sometime after Easter. This market hosts between 35 and 42 vendors each week and prides itself on offering a market for people with varying schedules as it is open on a weekday.
“We are a niche in the area with a Tuesday market,” said Mike Burske, director of Lady Lake Parks and Recreation. “A lot of people have different work schedules.”
This market is different from other local markets, because it is designed to include handmade crafts in addition to the standard market product. The Lady Lake Parks and Recreation Department took over organizing the market in February 2022.
“We have a pretty diverse market,” Burske said.
For more information, call 352-430-0451.
The Fruitland Park Farmers Market
Hosted by the Orange Blossom Market Co., Fruitland Park’s farmers market takes place on the first Friday of the month, and gives visitors the opportunity to shop from small businesses and enjoy live entertainment.
“The Fruitland Park Farmers Market provides a welcoming atmosphere that fosters connections between neighbors, local vendors and guests,” said Sheena Willis, owner of Orange Blossom Market Co.
The next Fruitland Market is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at 506 W. Berckman St. in Fruitland Park. The event will feature a variety of vendors, including Humble Slice, a food truck deli that specializes in baking fresh bread for its sandwiches.
There also will be live music. This month, 14-year-old Francesca Tarantino will be singing at the event.
This event is put on by Orange Blossom Market Co.
For more information, visit Orange Blossom Market Co. on Facebook.
For those who prefer late-night outings, there also are night markets that include a variety of vendors and entertainment.
The Orange Blossom Market Co. also partners with Bully Brewery, 2204 Griffin Road in Fruitland Park, to host a monthly night market from 5 to 9 p.m. on the second Saturday of the month. Dog and beer lovers are invited to come with their dogs to enjoy craft beer while shopping from a diverse group of local artisans.
“It’s a unique experience where you can enjoy great company, shop for local goods and sip on tasty brews while your furry friend has a blast,” Willis said.
For more information on Bully Brewery’s Night Market, visit Orange Blossom Market Co. on Facebook.
Brownwood Paddock Square Market
Another early morning option for those looking for freshly grown goods is the farmers market at Brownwood Paddock Square Market, 2705 W. Torch Lake Drive at Brownwood. It is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. This market offers a variety of items, including fruits, breads, cheese and plants. It allows the community to support local businesses and local farmers.
The Villages also has Market Nights at the different squares in The Villages. This event features vendors as well as nightly entertainment. Vendors alternate between squares, with the first being from 5 to 9 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays at Spanish Springs Town Square, then from 5 to 9 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday at Lake Sumter Landing and finally from 5 to 9 p.m. on the first and third Thursday at Brownwood Paddock Square.
Aside from unique and handmade products, these markets offer an occasion for members of the community to come together and enjoy each other’s company while supporting small, locally owned businesses.