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Farmer’s Market returns for 5th season

By Staff | Nov 9, 2012

Contributed by CHRISTOPHER KOERNER PHOTOGRAPHY Managers of the Sanibel Farmers Market, Jean Baer and Besty Ventura, are ready for the 5th season, which kicked off Nov. 4. The farmer's market is from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Sunday through April at city hall, 800 Dunlop Rd.

In the past four seasons, the Sanibel Farmer’s Market has become a favorite outdoor activity to islanders and visitors from November to April. Now entering its fifth season, the farmer’s market will continue to offer fresh items from local vendors — some returning and a few new ones.

“I am looking forward to providing Sanibel and Captiva residents and visitors a farmer’s market that’s better each year and one they will want to return to Sunday after Sunday,” said Betsy Ventura, co-manager of the market with Jean Baer, who is looking forward to eating half sour pickles and chocolate almond croissants, warm Sundays, new and familiar faces and welcoming new vendors.

For the first time, Andy’s Seafood from Pine Island will be joining the vendors this year. As a member of the Seafood Choices Alliances, an international association that promotes and supports ocean-friendly seafood business, Andy’s embraces environmentally responsible seafood and will offer approved farm raised local fish at the market. Andy’s specialities include award-winning crab cakes, chowder, smoked fish and seafood spreads.

Farmer Mike from Bonita Springs will also be in this year’s market. With more than 400 acres of land in Lee and Collier counties, Mike is a well respected and notable local farmer. Some of his produce includes tomatoes, zucchini, beets, carrots, strawberries and more. Look for his mobile market trailer.

“The locals, as well as visitors, have appreciated the variety of products, many of which are very unique offerings,” said Baer. “People also enjoy the camaraderie of seeing friends and meeting new people. It’s a great destination by bike and for a family outing; people love to have an outing with their dog; and kids love the donuts from The Sanibel Deli.”

Ventura said better than all the comments they have received throughout the past 4 years are the smiles and positive energy they see and feel from open to close each Sunday. The market is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Sunday November to April at Sanibel City Hall, 800 Dunlop Rd.

What makes the farmer’s market a great place to shop?

The answer: You will find unique products, fresh local produce and items, it supports small and entrepreneurial businesses, which in turn will grow a strong local community, according to Baer.

“For the consumer to buy directly from the producer or grower; and lowering the carbon footprint on our planet by reducing packaging of products and minimizing the distance food travels,” added Ventura. “The market is a pleasure for everyone, even men and children enjoy shopping.”