The Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers market will be open on Saturday, February 15, 2020, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., rain or shine. This is a true farmers market where all of the items sold are made, grown, or produced by the vendor. The Market Place is a wonderful way to get to know the people who are making your fresh baked breads, growing your seasonal produce, or producing those natural body creams and bug sprays.

One of the most popular questions we receive is, “How can I be a part of your market?” Well, first you need a product that is natural. If you are not a professional chef with access to a commercial kitchen, you can still be a part of our family by following the Cottage Food Industry Laws under the Florida Department of Agriculture. Under the Cottage Food Laws, there are certain products you can cook in your home kitchen that are permitted to be sold at farmers markets such as popcorn or hard candies. Please research those guidelines carefully, and call the Department of Agriculture with your questions before you call us or fill out our online application which can be found at www.FernandinaBeachMarketPlace.com.

Next, your product has to be something we don’t already have an abundance of in the farmers market. For example: our honey vendor has been with us since the beginning and she comes every single week. Our little market simply won’t support a second honey vendor so we keep a waiting list for certain product categories. Other categories are wide open such as most ethnic specialties, popcorn, and hard candies.

Keeping up with demand is the main reason we see new vendors come and go. With approximately 1,500 visitors on a Saturday, it can be difficult to gauge how much of any one product you need to be successful on any given Saturday. Be prepared for a huge learning curve! Too many choices can be just as troubling for a customer to make a decision as too few choices. If you are interested in being a vendor at the farmers market, be prepared to do a lot of homework first.

This week Dee and Scott, of Something Good, are back with gluten free breads, sweet breads, cookies, and biscuits, and Jay’s Marketplace returns with their chopped olive salad. Jerry’s salsa is back, but be careful – their hot is HOT, and the all natural bug spray is returning, too.

This is the last Saturday we will have Vermont Maple Syrup by Steephill Design until mid-October!

Music is provided by Dylan Bailey and our Booth with a Cause is the Daughters of the American Revolution. The Market Place farmers market is located on North Seventh Street in historic Fernandina Beach. For the latest on markets, find us on facebook.