Thursday mornings in June, you’d be lucky to find a half-dozen cars traveling down Dearborn Street at any given moment. January, February and March is another matter altogether. Our snowbirds are here, the housing and hotels developments are full and people are out enjoying the benefits of Southwest Florida, even on an overcast day. (It sure beats …) One undeniable attraction for residents and visitors is the Englewood Farmer’s Market, which operates 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays. An estimated 6,000-7,000 people have turned out during the past few weeks. Sarasota County’s new parking lot on Green Street is packed. Other parking spaces are taken. A large lot on private property down the block at the corner of West Dearborn Street and South McCall Road now fills with cars too. Apparently, visitors have no problem strolling a few blocks down-street to enjoy the diverse offerings of an outdoor market. The market is actually two organizations linked by proximity. On the south side of Dearborn in the county-owned Pioneer Park is the original, nonprofit Englewood Farmer’s Market. Across the street in a large private lot is the Dearborn Farmers Market, organized by the property owner. They look the same and act the same. Vendors may not welcome the competition — one side of the street to the other — but it’s really a bonus for all, creating an outdoor mega-mall of food, crafts and locally produced goods. It certainly helps draw the crowds. This time of year — Thursdays especially — its easy to imagine the old Englewood village becoming the thriving shopping and restaurant attraction envisioned when a community redevelopment agency was established in 1999 and main street rejuvenation commenced. Yes, it’s taken awhile. And it’s taken something like the Farmer’s Market — a nonprofit spawned by volunteers — to bring the big crowds on a regular basis. But it’s happening.
Press Release: Florida Strawberry Tasting Event at the Englewood Farmers Market on February 12th 2015!
It’s strawberry time in Florida so make plans to participate in our second annual Strawberry Tasting Event at the Englewood Farmers Market! The tasting event is free of charge. Renowned agricultural expert Dr. Robert A. Kluson, Ph.D. from the University of Florida Extension in Sarasota County will be conducting locally grown strawberry tastings at the Englewood Farmers Market on Febrary 12, 2015 beginning at 9:30 AM. The market is located in the 300 block of historic W. Dearborn Street in Englewood.
These activities will include surveys of customer preferences of different varieties from the UF/IFAS Strawberry Breeding Program, featuring local Florida strawberry farms. The tasting and customer surveys will provide valuable input to these UF/IFAS fruit breeding programs. Dr. Kluson stated “I really look forward to bringing these activities to the Englewood Farmers Market as the Extension’s way of increasing the public’s awareness of Florida’s fruit industry and supporting our local farmers.”
Recipe of the month: “BOUILLABAISSE”