The Pinecrest Gardens Farmer’s Market opened yesterday and already it seems better than last year. This year the tents were moved to another part of the Pinecrest Gardens parking lot closer to where visitors enter the gardens. The space seems a little smaller but the move freed up more space for parking. When I arrived at 10 a.m., it was already pretty packed. Here are some highlights.
Redland Organics/Bee Heaven Farm
The first tent you’ll see when you walk into the market is the Redland Organics tent. Like I’ve mentioned numerous times before, their presence is why I love this market. Everything they sell is organic and grown locally. Spotted at the tent were big, fat scallions ($2.50/bunch), persimmons ($1.50 each), lemongrass ($1/bunch), passion fruit ($3 for a box), three types of cucumber, lettuces, herbs, mamey, star fruit, grape tomatoes, avocados, zucchini and honey. Stuff seemed to be flying off the tables when I arrived and the line to pay was long so I did my shopping there before continuing to explore the market.
Now accepting credit cards
This year Margie is accepting credit and debit cards, which is convenient for people like me who never carry cash (though I went prepared yesterday). While most other vendors don’t take credit, shoppers can use cards to buy tokens at the entrance and use the tokens to pay vendors. There is a $1 fee for every $20 spent on the tokens.
Jourdan’s Beautiful Fruit
Jourdan Gray is a newcomer to the market. I was intrigued by some of the fruit he was handing out like an ice cream banana, which looks a little like a manzano but Jourdan says is very different in flavor and texture. I tasted it and well, yes, it was sweet and creamy. Jourdan also had praying hands bananas, dragon fruit, jackfruit, persimmons, atemoya and mamey. He wasn’t specific about who he got the fruit from but he said they were all local growers. I walked away with a $3 dragon fruit.
Strickly Stone Crabs is back this year with stone crab claws and lobster tails, but we also spotted hog snapper, shrimp and lobster tails at another tent from Islamorada.
This was the first time I came across L’Atelier Gourmet’s sweets. They have a storefront in Dadeland but I’m glad that they came out to the market for I was hard pressed not to stop when I saw a little bucket of chouquettes (pastry puffs rolled in sugar), colorful macarons and oatmeal green tea cookies.
In search of coffee I also made a stop at Simon Gourmet Foods, which had a display of good-looking tarts, breads, cookies and other baked goods. The woman behind Simon is Sarah Simon, who studied baking and pastry at Johnson & Wales and has been selling her pastries and cakes online. She’ll be at the market every Sunday.
To keep in mind next Sunday …
Redland Organics will be at Fairchild Tropical Garden’s Ramble next weekend (Nov. 12-14). Find them back at Pinecrest the Sunday after next (Nov. 21).
Here’s a little video with more scenes from the market.
Pinecrest Gardens Farmers Market
11000 Red Road, Pinecrest