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Farmers market to open in Marinatown in North Fort Myers

By Staff | Dec 2, 2015

After months of hard work, North Fort Myers will get a farmer’s market to call its own.

Local Roots Farmers Markets announced the opening of its seventh Lee County market at Marinatown, at 3446 Marinatown Lane off Hancock Bridge Parkway, which will open on Friday and be open every Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through March.

County Commissioner Brian Hamman will be present for the ribbon-cutting ceremony and to welcome the market to the community.

Jean Baer, owner of Local Roots, was present at the North Fort Myers Civic Association’s recent monthly lunch meeting at the Road 41 Grille on North Cleveland Avenue to discuss the market, the rules, regulations and more details about the market, which is expected to have more than 25 vendors.

Farmer’s markets have become very popular throughout Southwest Florida. In the North Fort Myers alone there are markets at the flea market at the old drive-in, as well as at the Shell Factory and at the ECHO farm.

Members of the Civic Association were expected to spend the week before the farmers market sending out flyers to the neighborhoods they lived in to promote the upcoming event.

In August, the Civic Association approached Baer and fellow owner Betsy Ventura, to bring their farmers market to the North Fort Myers community.

“You asked how do we revitalize North Fort Myers and where does our heritage come from? It comes from farming communities, the notion to bring together a strong community by putting together a farmers market,” Baer said. “We hope to bring something different and unique into Marinatown. The closer we get to Friday the more excited we’re becoming.”

Local Roots decided on Marinatown instead of an abandoned parking lot because of the nice atmosphere and there are restaurants there, even if there is a lack of places to sit down.

“We are very excited to bring this opportunity to the North Fort Myers community,” stated Mike Land, president of Civic Association. “Our heritage makes us uniquely suited for a farmers market which will be a positive addition to our community.”

Rose O’Dell King of Rosy Tomorrows Heritage Farms said in a statement, “We are very excited about being a part of this event. Come and see why our wholesome and delicious foods are so popular.”

Crafters and specialty item vendors will be at the market on designated market days.

The actual farmers market, though it will be run by Baer and Ventura, will be also be run by their children, Tyler Baer and Simms Ventura, as a way of giving them their first exposure to running their own market.

“We’re very excited about it. We’ll be in the background while they run the show. It’ll be like passing the torch,” Baer said.

To those who believe they have what it takes to have a booth at the farmers market, Baer said it’s not that easy. Drop-ins aren’t allowed, although many have asked.

The vendors have to be licensed by the Department of Agriculture, must sign-up in advance and commit for at least a month, Baer said.