Central Florida Suburbs, Florida Life

Tales of a Farmers’ Market Virgin

I have never been one to jump onto a social trend just for the sake of being a part of the in crowd.  One of the trends that I do think is worth taking part in is the “farm to table” movement.  Sadly, I have taken my time in enjoying the fruits of this trend.  But today I took my first step.

Maitland, Florida is a great suburb of Orlando.  It is one part corporate head quarters, one part  middle class America.  On Sundays from 9am – 2pm, the Maitland Farmers’ Market is held at Lake Lilly Park.  Because of its location and size, I decided to make to my first ever visit to a farmers’ market.

What I did right…

  • Brought cash…. although many vendors accept credit cards, not every one does.  Besides, it is a nice courtesy to the vendors to just use cash.
  • Brought a friend…. we had fun exploring together and sampling each other’s purchases.

What I will do better next time…

  • BRING REUSABLE BAGS…. not sure what I was thinking forgetting to bring these with me, I mean really!  I have so many reusable bags,  I feel so silly for not bringing them.
  • Get there early… We arrived at the Maitland Farmer’s Market 3 hours into it.  This meant that some of the best produce had already found a home.  Also, it was HOT outside – it is Summer after all.

My quick review of the Maitland Farmers’ Market

Both the pro and con of this farmers’ market is size.  When examining Central Florida as a whole, I would have to imagine that there are a handful of larger farmers’ markets in the area such as the famous Winter Park Farmers’ Market.  This means less variety.  However, this also means less crowds and easier access. This market is a great option for anyone wanting to make a quick visit. Additionally, the vendors were able to chat and be friendly rather than trying to compete for attention.

The venue is very inviting.  Lake Lilly Park is, well…. on a lake (crazy, right?).  This provides a lovely backdrop.  Local musicians provide live music along the water.  A handful of Orlando food trucks are parked at the end of the strip of vendors.  A playground offers a great area for kids.

Here are the features of the park, which are all available to farmers’ market patrons.

701 Lake Lily Drive

  • Five Spectacular Acres for Your Enjoyment
  • Picturesque Gazebo
  • Secluded Shady Picnic Areas
  • Kid’s Playground
  • Serene Boardwalk
  • Sensational Jogging Trails
  • Beautifully Restored Historic Waterhouse Residence Museum (644-2451)

When I arrived home I reveled in my selections.  Fresh produce, gourmet cookies, an extremely aromatic bunch of fresh basil, and fruit flavored pasta.  I made a batch of tutti fruiti pasta and tuna salad using honey, greek yogurt, and some of the fresh goodies from my trip to the market.  It made for a delightful Sunday lunch.

My farmers’ market finds
The makings of Tutti Fruiti pasta and tuna salad

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