Located in the “Monument Piazza” of Royal Palm Place, at the intersection of S. Federal Highway and SE Mizner Blvd, Boca Raton’s Green Market kicks off its 20th season this month.
The dates that the market is open to the public align with South Florida’s peak growing season. This runs from late October through early May. So every Saturday, from 8AM to 1PM, rain or shine, Boca Raton residents will have the delicious opportunity to partake of the best of local fruits and vegetables that area growers have to offer.
But there’s so much more as well. In fact, many people consider the Green Market to be more of a festival because of the variety of items available. Among them are prepared foods, vintage clothing, self-poured soaps and candles, handmade crafts, and a fascinating variety of odds, ends, and bric-a-brac.
The Benefits of Buying Fresh and Local
Boca Raton’s Green Market allows local growers to bring to area residents in-season fruits and vegetables at the peak of their flavor. All the fresh produce sold at the market is harvested only hours before arriving at there. This is a benefit not only for those of us who are health conscious, but for the farmers themselves.
While we get the pleasure of tasting the natural delights of locally grown fresh produce, our local farmers have the opportunity to showcase their products and create a greater demand for them with consumers in the area. In addition, for many local growers, sales at Boca Raton’s Green Market may spell the difference between showing a small profit or being unable to pay the monthly mortgage.
However, we all benefit environmentally from the Green Market. Why? Because when farmers are not transporting their locally grown produce outside of the community, they are saving gasoline. This helps to conserve energy and limit their carbon footprint. In addition, if these farmers can produce crops that are profitable, they hold on to their sell their land instead of being forced to sell to developers. That means we all benefit from the retained green space.
There is also a communal aspect to Boca Raton’s Green Market. This venue brings together not only farmers, but food vendors, artisans, merchants, live music acts, and community groups. The Green Market, with its delightful diversity of products, brings people from all walks of life into a single, joyous and pleasant environment.
Community groups interested in sharing literature are invited to set up tables at the Green Market. You’ll often find information on topics such as the adverse impact created by that consumption of non-local or non-organic produce. Of course, that may sound self-serving, but it goes along with the atmosphere created by the Green Market. It is not surprising that advocates for various environmental clean-up groups find a receptive audience for their brochures at the Green Market.
Similarly, manufacturers and vendors of green-oriented, all natural type products are also found on premises. They find that Green Market customers are more willing to consider the benefits derived from products that are made from fresh and / or “natural” ingredients.
Foods for every taste
The Green Market is so much more than farmer’s market for locally grown produce, plants, and flowers. A typical Saturday will showcase many other edible treats, and it is the variety of these items that keeps Boca Raton residents coming back for more years after year.
Tastes from the land
Take a taste of locally harvested honey. Inhale the myriad spices. Sample the flavorful fresh baked breads. Get a kick from the intriguingly flavored coffees and teas. Check out the tangy and occasionally odiferous cheeses. Treat your taste buds to home baked pastas, and cleanse your palate with fresh juices and shakes. These are just a portion of the myriad items that to attract an ever growing audience, week after week.
Tastes from the sea
There’s also an abundance of fresh caught seafood. After all, Boca Raton is right on the ocean. So when we say fresh, we mean caught that morning and delivered just before you arrive. Don’t miss the stone crab, shrimp, handmade crab cakes, and smoked fish dips. You’ll be in for a treat and you’ll supplement your Omega 3s, all while helping to support local businesses.
Items for every interest
But there’s far more than just great food. You may find self-poured candles that exude inviting aromas. And there is always an abundance of bath and body soaps and lotions with which to pamper yourself. There are also vendors selling decorative shells and stones. Plus, you’re also likely to discover vintage clothing, handmade jewelry, indie handicrafts, and flea market finds of all kinds.
Music-centric, pet friendly
Every weekend there is a band that adds a lively beat and background. And, for the animal lovers among us, there’s a pet friendly atmosphere. Your dog is welcome to roam relatively freely, as long as you are holding the other end of the leash. Naturally, merchants selling all-natural doggie biscuits and other specialty pet items abound.
Planning your visit
If you’re planning a visit to Boca Raton’s Green Market, there is an abundance of parking on both sides of the market area. That makes it easy to load all of your purchases into our car. However, because many of those who run the market are environmentally conscious, finding a bag in which to carry your purchases may be difficult. So, while you can purchase a “green bag” at the market, bringing your own one may be a very good – and very green – idea.
Finally, it is important to keep in mind that while some Green Market vendors offer payment by debit or credit card, many others accept only the green stuff – cash. So make sure you’re accompanied by some of it when you arrive. See you there.
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