Sunday was more than just perfect for the Palm Beach Gardens Greenmarket. It looked like a day painted and framed by the Chamber of Commerce. The crowds were a little thin before 9 a.m., but by 10:30, it was difficult to find a parking space. People were not only buying, they were staying for the music (which can now be heard all over the market area on the new P.A. system) and enjoying breakfast on the picnic tables scattered all over the grounds.
The products available to buy make this a place you can market for a week’s worth of food. Teas, coffee, spices, sauces, bread, pastries, herbs, pickles, seafood, meats, produce, honey and prepared foods ranging from jerk chicken to quiche mean you cannot leave without finding something to love.
With so many local favorites (Tequesta Coffee, Macy’s Smoked Fish, Sweet Marie’s Cheesecake, David’s East Side Deli) to choose from, it’s also easy to support the neighbors who are creating good food. Here are a few new folks to keep an eye on:
- Pure Produce offers hydroponic greens, cucumbers, peppers, herbs and tomatoes from their Central Florida farm, just south of Micco. it’s incredible how much they grown at their relatively small location, but when you realize most of it is grown in a PVC pipe-based water system, rather than ground acreage, it’s easy to understand. Oh, and it also tastes great.
- You may recognize Quiet Creek’s goat cheese products as the former Turtle Creek goat cheese company of Loxahatchee. According to Quiet Creek’s W.S. Biederman, they were one company at one time, but Turtle Creek is no longer in operation, the goat herds are combined and hard at work on land north of Jupiter, and the product line has expanded. Biederman now offers chocolate goat cheese, fig goat cheese and goat cheese cheesecake with lime zest, with is sweet with a firm hit of lime. No website, but the products are available at Bedner’s in Boynton Beach, or call (561) 294-9045 for other locations.
- Christy’s Bakery has been in operation out in Wellington for eight years, which is the good news. But it’s wholesale or greenmarket only. And Christy has no Facebook, Twitter, webpage or email, which means you have to come to Gardens or Wellington market Wellington opens Nov. 10) to get her homey pastries and donuts. She’s just been too busy to do the social networking thing. No surprise; these are worth the search. This is the stuff you would make if you were this good. Her booth at Gardens is located on the west end, near the bandstand.
- Ms. V’s Organics is Veronica Niebur’s small way of supporting the local farmers, getting as much area organic produce to the market as she can. At the moment, the local produce is tangerines and cucumbers but she says by Dec. 1, almost 100% of what she offers will be local, and always organic. “Tropical Storm Isaac was hard on the farmers, but we are getting back to normal,” she says. The company does custom baskets, and delivery is available.
- Jennifer Sacket does a lot of things to keep herself and her son going. One of the smallest and simplest booths in the market, it’s also one of the most eye-catching. Jennifer still works the long-lost art of home canning. Her Mason jars of fruits, vegetables, pickles, jams, and sauces are all made from seasonal and local produce. She also grows fresh wheatgrass, teaches classes at the Williams-Sonoma at the Gardens Mall and can provide vegan baked goods on request. You can contact her at email@example.com to find out what’s being canned next.