Lake Worth, Florida.   The Art of Florida Living.

Farmers Market Waterside Returns

The Lake Worth Farmers Market Waterside opened on Saturday, October 24th for its tenth season.

“It’s my favorite day of the week and if you start going it will be yours, too,” said Laura Costello.  Laura runs the booth A Sweet Pinch which offers a variety of baked goods, including pecan and cinnamon rolls and apple pie.

The market is open every Saturday until April, from 9:00am -1:00pm in Old Bridge Park, across from Lake Worth Beach and Casino, at 10 South Ocean Boulevard.  Each week, the market features between 45 and 60 booths, including fresh produce, sweet and savory foods, and local artisans.

Peter Robinson, the market’s Executive Director, describes Lake Worth as a community with an organic base and an artsy component. The market reflects the community’s interests as demonstrated in the local food, organic options, and art.

“The person who grows the produce or makes the product is in the booth, so you can ask, ‘what do you do? How do you grow this product? How do you make this item?’” said Robinson. “So there’s an educational component that comes with this.”

Costello of A Sweet Pinch explained that whatever type of food you’re looking for, it can be found at the market. “If you want gluten free, someone has it. If you want organic, someone has it,” she said.

The produce is all grown at local farms and the food is baked and cooked by local chefs. Not only is the market a unique opportunity to support local business, but it allows residents to purchase the highest quality product, and eliminates many health and environmental concerns that some residents have with corporate or imported food.  Some of the products are organic, and all are grown with minimum pesticides.

This year, residents can expect to find several new vendors at the market, including guacamole made on site, a fresh fish vendor, and all natural dog food.

One new product in particular will give residents something extra to look forward to: a tabletop line of linens, embroidered with vegetables and sold out of a 1961 Shasta trailer. The new booth will be hosted by the market director himself, Robinson.

The Lake Worth market is the only regional market that is located directly on the water, and according to both Robinson and Costello, that’s one of its best features.

“It’s great because you can sit beside the water and sip a cappuccino with a friend,” said Costello.

Relationships are central to the market’s culture. Eliminating a third party distributor allows residents to have a close relationship with the person who is growing or making their food. As residents return to the market on a weekly basis, they will get to know the vendors, leading to a better understanding of local produce, food, and art. The vendors also have close relationships with each other, and with Robinson, who invites them into his home each year for a Christmas party.

“I love local,” said Robinson. “I love incubating small businesses, which is what a market does. I’ve helped people grow into a larger business beyond a farmers’ market. It’s a great family of people.”

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