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What’s fresh in Alachua County

What’s fresh in Alachua County

What’s fresh in Alachua County 

Cold-weather crops abound in Gainesville area; here’s where you can find them 

 

While fields lay fallow in most other parts of the country, winter months bring an abundant variety of produce to Florida fields.  

Occasional freezes typically wipe out summer crops such as squash and tomatoes, but winter vegetables like lettuce, greens, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage flourish in the colder weather.  

Although some springtime crops are being planted this month, time is ticking for locals hoping to find certain fresh, cold-weather crops nearing the end of their seasons at Alachua County farmer’s markets and stands. 

The beginning of February is a transitional period for farmers in the Gainesville area, said Dr. Taylor Clem, environmental and community horticulture agent for Alachua County’s UF/IFAS Extension office. It’s a time when cold-loving greens, lettuces and broccoli are starting to wane, and vegetables grown in warmer months, such as eggplant, potatoes and cucumbers, are being planted. 

While watermelon is undoubtedly the most commonly grown crop in Alachua County, Clem said, the summertime melon won’t be popping up at farmer’s markets until a few months from now. 

Instead, “a lot of greens” are in right now, he said. 

“A lot of our backyard gardeners are growing our cool season vegetables, like kale, collards, carrots, and you might be able to start finding Brussels sprouts, radishes, cucumbers and eggplant soon” Clem said. 

Those who enjoy tangy fruits should also hurry out to markets in February. Citrus season has already reached its peak, and fewer oranges, grapefruits, tangerines and such will be available. 

On the sweeter side, “blueberries grow through winter, and strawberries are coming to a close,” Clem said. 

Alachua County is home to many small, family-owned farms. The North Florida climate is well suited for growing blueberries, strawberries, watermelons, tomatoes, leafy greens, sweet corn, green beans, and peanuts, according to the Extension office. 

To see a full list of what’s currently in season, visit the Florida Department of Agriculture’s seasonality guide at bit.ly/3aDLZSU

Here’s where you can find Alachua County’s fresh, seasonal produce: 

FARMER’S MARKETS 

Alachua County Farmers’ Market 

WHAT: You won’t find any second-hand produce at the Alachua County Farmers’ Market, also known as the 411 market for its location off U.S. Highway 441Vendors are required to only sell produce, dairy, plants or other products that come from their own farms, according to the market’s website. Numerous vendors offer produce fresh from their farms year-round. 

WHEN: 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturdays 

WHERE: NW 13th St., Gainesville 

INFO: Call 352-371-8236 or visit bit.ly/3oPouLJ  

 

Downtown Alachua Farmers Market 

WHAT: Tradition runs strong at the Alachua Farmers Market, where farmers still gather downtown to sell produce and handmade goods just like they did generations ago. The market offers a “large fresh selection of farm fresh foods,” according to the website. 

WHEN: 4 to 7 p.m. Thursdays 

WHERE: Skinner Field Park, 15100 NW 142 Terrace, Alachua 

INFO: Call or visit bit.ly/3cS9I4q 

 

Grove Street Farmers Market 

WHAT: Can’t make it out to Saturday markets? The Grove Street Farmers Market is open on Mondays, filling the downtown’s Grove Street with local farmers and artisans. Vendors offer locally grown micro-greens, organic produce, honey, meats and other fresh foods. 

WHEN: 4 to 7 p.m. Mondays 

WHERE: 1001 NW 4th St., Gainesville 

INFO: Email grovestreetfarmersmarket@gmail.com or visit grovestreetfarmersmarket.com 

 

Haile Farmer’s Market 

WHAT: Growers from in and around Alachua County come to the Haile Farmer’s Market to sell theirfresh produce. Established by farmers for farmers and artisans, no brokers are allowed to sell at this market, according to the market’s website. Lesser-known winter crops rarely found outside of farmer’s markets can be found here, including bitter melon, datil peppers, roselle, gourmet mushrooms, red okra and shoots/sprouts. 

WHEN: 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturdays 

WHERE: 5213 Southwest 91 Terrace, Gainesville 

INFO: Call 352-639-0446 or visit hailefarmersmarket.com  

High Springs Farmers Market 

WHAT: The City of High Springs recently started its own farmer’s market in the Farmers Market Pavilion, which just opened in October 2020. Local farmers sell vegetables including okra, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, onions, green beans, herbs and more, alongside other vendors who all make their own foods and products. 

WHEN: 3 to 7 p.m. Fridays 

WHERE: Farmers Market Pavilion, 23517 NW 185th Road, High Springs 

INFO: Visit highsprings.us/farmersmarket 

 

Newberry Farmers Market 

WHAT: Just reopened Jan. 9, the Newberry Farmers Market once again brings local produce to downtown Newberry in West Alachua. Area growers bring an assortment of greens and other vegetables, while farmers and artisans offer fresh meats, local honey, homemade bread and other goods.  

WHEN: 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays 

WHERE: 25370 W. Newberry Road, Newberry 

INFO: Call 352-472-2112 or visit facebook.com/NewberryFarmersMarket 

 

FARM STANDS 

Rogers Farm 

WHAT: Fresh produce is sold straight from the fields at Rogers Farm standPerhaps the main attractionis the U-Pick fields, where customers can harvest their own strawberries. U-Pick is only available when there aren’t freeze risks. 

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, although hours differ for seasonal events 

WHERE: 3831 NW 156th Ave., Gainesville 

INFO: Call 386-462-2406 or visit rogersfarmfl.com 

 

See Also

Brown’s Farm 

WHAT: Brown’s family farm offers seasonal produce at their stand, including strawberries, field peas,romanesco (a variety of cauliflower), greens, carrots, green beans, beets, spinach and onions. The Brown family has provided fresh produce to the community since 1916. 

WHEN: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday 

WHERE: 18120 NE State Road 26, Orange Heights 

INFO: Call 352-475-2015 or visit brownsfarmstand.com  

 

GROCERS 

Rainbow Produce 

WHAT: Rainbow Produce Wholesale Fruits & Vegetables works with area farmers to provide fresh produce to restaurants, retailers and individuals in the community. While customers can come to the downtown Gainesville location to shop, Rainbow Produce also delivers. According to the website, produce for sale includes romaine and iceberg lettuce, potatoes, broccoli, cucumbers, strawberries, squash, onions, collard greens, green beans and more. 

WHEN: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday; deliveries daily except Wednesday and Sunday 

WHERE: 2420 NE 19th Dr., Gainesville 

INFO: Call 352-377-7644 or visit rainbowproducegainesville.com 

 

RECENTLY CLOSED FARMER’S MARKETS 

Tioga Community Farmers Market 

WHAT: The Tioga market temporarily closed with plans to reopen. Some farmers who previously sold at the market are still taking orders. 

WHEN: Reopening October 2021 

WHERE: 205 SW 131st St., Gainesville 

INFO: Visit facebook.com/TiogaCommunityFarmersMarket orsites.google.com/site/tiogacommunityfarmersmarket 

 

Union Street Farmers Market 

WHAT: The Union Street Farmers Market opened its final market Jan. 21. The market is permanently closed after nearly 25 years. 

WHERE: 4949 Celebration Pointe Ave., Gainesville 

INFO: Visit facebook.com/Union-Street-Farmers-Market-250069288372943  

 

This may not be a comprehensive list. If there’s a local market, stand or grocer we missed, email jewell@truenorthflinc.com.

 

Article written by Jewell Tomazin 

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