• lois-jost-ad-may-2014

Farmers Market Tips for Customers

As we find ourselves free-falling into the holiday shopping season, there are unspoken rules in the retail world. You expect to haggle with the salesman at a car dealership, you don’t expect service at the fitting room at Bealls Outlet, and you expect to be asked your name at Starbucks. Well, farmers markets have their own set of unwritten rules and customer expectations, too. Continue reading

Island Hopper Now Offering Local Transportation

Island Hopper Now Offering Local Transportation

Click image to enlarge

Hop on, Hop Off, the Island Hopper transportation system has just hit Fernandina Beach.

For just $1.00 per ride, this is a public bus service for locals, tourists and anyone else that needs transportation around the northern part of Amelia Island.

-Service runs five days per week, Thursday thru Monday
-Times are 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., including holidays
-Six “loops” are made daily.
-For more information, call (904) 261-0700 or visit NassauTransit.org/Island-Hopper Continue reading

Fernandina’s Farmers Market Celebrates 4 Years as Market Place

Fernandina's Farmers Market Celebrates 4 Years as Market PlaceFernandina Beach has been home to a fabulous farmers market since 2002. When the previous owner surprised the entire community, and the vendors, by relocating the market to the south end of the Island on Labor Day Weekend 2012, the very next Saturday it re-opened as the Fernandina Beach Market Place. Continue reading

Fashion is Art and Art is Photography

In conjunction with the second Saturday Artragious Artwork, long sponsored by the Island Art Association, Bijoux Amelia, (a boutique offering fun, funky and affordable ladies accessories), located at 317A Centre Street, will be hosting its own reception – a “Meet and Greet” with local photographer Ann Kemp. Continue reading

When do They Close the Bridges?

I was curious at what speed the winds have to reach before emergency officials close the bridges in Nassau County.

Here it the answer I received from Nassau County Emergency Management:

Bridges are closed once tropical storm force winds (TSFW) are reached. TSFW are considered to be 39 MPH sustained. The way sustained winds are determined is by taking a one minute average wind speed reading.

Nassau EM remotely monitors wind speeds on the Thomas Shave Bridge. Once winds approach TSFW, they will be confirmed by personnel on the ground.

The best way to be kept in the loop and be notified of a bridge closure is to register for Citizen Alerts through the Nassau EM webpage or look for updates on their facebook page.

A Letter to Those I’ll Never be Able to Thank

Not too long ago I found myself stranded in Los Angeles, California, betrayed by the man I had hoped to spend the rest of my life with. Now, don’t get me wrong, it is NEVER easy to find out that the person you’re with is being unfaithful, but, finding out that the man I am in love with is actually in love with someone else (while I’m 2000 miles away from home visiting him) is probably the shittiest thing that has ever happened to me. I had no where to go, no one to turn to, and no clue of what to do next. All I knew was that I needed to get out of there. We got my airplane ticket transferred so that I could leave early to be with my family and even as angry as I was, I knew that saying “goodbye” was going to be so hard.

He drove me to the airport at 4:30 a.m. the next morning and couldn’t stop apologizing. He seemed upset, but I genuinely don’t think he will ever feel the immense pain that I felt knowing he must have stopped loving me at some point in the few months prior. When I turned away from the car and started towards the entrance to LAX, I lost it. Every bone and muscle and joint in my body hurt and I couldn’t keep myself from sobbing as I retrieved my boarding pass. Thank god for the self-service kiosks! I wasn’t composed enough to talk to an attendant.

I wiped my eyes and tried to breathe as I walked down, what seemed like an endless hallway, towards the start of the security line. By this time it was 5:15 a.m. and there were a total of 12 people going through security, including me and the hipster with a guitar case behind me. I wiped my eyes and continued to sniffle, but stopped crying long enough to find my ID and get ready to hand my pass to the guard. As we got closer, I could hear the short, automatic responses between the guard and people in front of me – it was very clear that he wasn’t happy about being at work so early.

“Ticket?” *beep* “Enjoy your flight. Next!” were the extent of the words he exchanged with the few people in front of me while he scanned their passes. When it became my turn, I mustered up the best smile I could manage and handed over my license and boarding pass. To my surprise, he smiled back and began to make small talk… commenting on the baseball shirt that I was wearing and asking about their star player. This is the kind of conversation that I would generally thrive on! I love sports and I know everything there is to know about Bryce Harper and the Nationals. But this morning was different, it seemed obvious to me that this nice, male security guard, with a beautiful smile, was trying to cheer me up, not caring why I was so upset, but caring enough to make it go away. I’ll never be able to thank him for engaging me in conversation, albeit short and mostly one-sided, I appreciated the effort so much more than I could have let on at the time. Especially when I had rounded the corner to slip my shoes off and we continued to make eye contact. He finally gave me a brief side smile that seemed to say everything was going to be okay, before turning to the person in line behind me and saying, “Ticket?” *beep* “Enjoy your flight. Next!”

I slumped into a seat at my gate and stupidly texted my ex to tell him I made it. It didn’t take long for him to respond, “If it makes you feel any better, I am a mess, the second you walked away I lost it.” OF COURSE THAT DIDN’T MAKE ME FEEL ANY BETTER!

That one text would make me start blubbering like a baby again, enough to startle the woman sitting across from me. I knew I wouldn’t be able to avoid her forever so I lifted my head and made eye contact with her. “Are you okay? Would you like some water? Or part of my granola bar?” She quickly asked me. I smiled, knowing that if I was in her position, I, too would have offered this young, crying girl, the granola bar right out of my mouth.

“No, thank you. I’m just having a rough day.” I proceeded to give her a few details because she seemed interested in helping me in any way she could. She was very genuine and so kind, and she is another person that I will never be able to express my sincere gratitude to. She said some very kind and encouraging words before we parted ways and boarded the plane to Chicago.

I was a mess the whole flight, thankfully the guy next to me was asleep so I didn’t have to worry about explaining myself again. I sat back and tried to escape by reading Amy Schumer’s new book of short essays about her life, unfortunately this didn’t help as much as I anticipated, but I did get a few laughs!

We landed in Chicago and at that time I had a little over an hour before my next flight, the flight home to Jacksonville. I stepped off the jet bridge and started looking for signs leading me to the next terminal when I heard someone say my name. I turned to face the kind woman from the last airport and she said, “Ally…. I have been thinking about you the whole flight and I know that I only got to chat with you for a short time, but I just had to let you know that you are so kind and so genuine and I know you’re hurting now, but you’re going to find someone who is so much better suited for you. I just know it.”

I couldn’t have asked for a better stranger to confide in. I hope I made it clear to her how much I appreciated all of the nice things she said to me, but, I may never know. I may never be able to tell her how much that meant to me and how that encounter would be the only thing that helped me keep my sanity long enough to get home.

My flight kept getting delayed and pushed back due to mechanical issues and weather in the Carolina’s. And progressively I got sadder and sadder. I never asked for help and I don’t think I looked like I needed any, either. I really just wanted to find a bar to sit at and drink my sorrows away, but unfortunately for me, they were all full and had long wait times. We ended up being delayed 6 hours and during that time, I met a very nice lady who was traveling alone to visit her sick sister, she was so thoughtful and never once asked me why I was so sad, but went out of her way to cheer me up, she made sure I was well fed and entertained. We sat together and just talked for hours about nothing important, but she is a third person, from the same day, that I may never see again to thank.

So, thank you kind security officer who didn’t HAVE to smile at me, and thank you dark haired woman who hugged me when we exited the plane – I hope you’re right about me finding someone better, and thank you lady who helped the delay to Jacksonville go by a little faster. You all honestly made light out of such a terrible day for me, probably unintentionally, and for that I am forever grateful. I just hope some day I will be able to return the favor with kind words or a smile to someone who needs them as desperately as I did that day. My faith in humanity has been restored and for this I thank you.

Create Wildlife Habitat in Your Landscape

Master gardener volunteer, Bea Walker, will conduct a presentation on how to create a wildlife habitat in your landscape.

-Learn how to attract butterflies and birds and other desirable wildlife to your gardens.
-Learn the four key requirements to create a wildlife-friendly environment; recommended plantings will be discussed and photos of two local gardens will be featured.
-Learn about the resources and programs available to support your efforts.

Class is free and open to the public. For more information, see the Extension website at http://nassau.ifas. ufl.edu/horticulture/landmatters/landmatters.html, or call the Extension office at 530-6351.

Landscape Matters
Wednesday, September 7, 10 a.m.
Yulee Extension Office, 86026 Pages Diary Road

Market Place Celebrates Labor Day at the All American Farmers Market

It’s a holiday weekend at the Fernandina Beach Market Place on North Seventh Street in historic Fernandina Beach, and the farmers market is a landmark you don’t want your Labor Day guests to miss. Perhaps the friendliest farmers market in Florida, this week we are celebrating Labor Day and the American worker, and few will argue there are many harder working professions than the American farmer!

We invite you to join us this Saturday, September 3rd, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and visit our produce farmers: Kings Kountry Produce, Boatright Farms, Cabbage Creek Farm, and Bacon’s Select Produce. Farmers are at the mercy of the weather and the industry is constantly changing with new equipment and new technology. What was once considered an industry doomed, the small American farm has began to blossom. Agriculture tends to move in cycles with really low lows, and wonderful peaks of abundant harvest. Having direct access to our local, small property farmers, you can help! Preparing their fields depends largely on their history of supply and demand. Your inquires and suggestions are often seen the following seasons with exciting new crops or perhaps longer seasons for select products. And best of all, you know you are supporting small farms when you make a purchase at your neighborhood farmers market.

Others who labor hard and are found in the Market Place are the ranchers such as A Natural Springs Dairy Farm, and J.D. Beef, an angus beef farm. The fisherman too, have labor intensive jobs such as our friends from Upstream Salmon and Chesser Seafood. The season just ended and Upstream Salmon is bringing a fresh catch of Alaskan scallops, king salmon, and fresh sockeye. Chesser Seafood has promised to bring more local, wild caught shrimp to the market for Labor Day weekend, but you still may want to arrive early, he always sells out!

This week, long time vendor Sonia, with Blue Planet, has been hard at work re-naming and re-branding her company. In her new “Gaia’s Garden” you will notice she is using more fresh herbs in many of her recipes and all of her offerings continue to be organic, handcrafted, gluten free, and raw. She will still bring sun-dried or low temperature dehydrated (unsulfered) fruits, trail mixes and flavored nuts, granola and muesli, a variety of nut butters, and her popular raw sweets like her cookie drops, flat breads, coconut blondies, and peanut butter cacao drops, will also still be available.

Returning this week after a welcomed family vacation is our Amish popcorn vendor. The entire family works together to bring you a variety of heirloom flavors including caramel corn, chocolate popcorn, and kettle corn. They have a large selection of popcorn seasonings, too.

Who doesn’t want to splurge with an all-American pie on a holiday weekend? Well, you can’t go wrong with a delicious dessert from Me, Myself and Pies. Try a rich chocolate French Silk, a traditional Key Lime, Coconut cream, Derby Pie, or the baker’s specialty Buttermilk Pie. He would mot say much about what is in this popular treat, but he smiled when he told me, “it is in the custard family of pies, and made with a lot of love.”

Percy’s Spice Pantry specializes in flavored salts and after sampling the coffee chipoltle BBQ rub, I took it home and used just under a teaspoon in a small pot of homemade black beans and it was absolutely fabulous. Their sriracha and garlic sea salt flavors are great on (Amish, perhaps) popcorn, and the garlic and ginger sea salt is especially good on grilled vegetables.

Another group that works hard protecting our lives, our freedoms, and the American way, are the members of the armed forces. We welcome having members of the American Legion with us at the Market Place this weekend supporting and greeting donors for the OneBlood bus that will be on-site from 9:00 to 1:00. Appointments can be scheduled by visiting oneblood.org/donate-now/ and entering our local zip-code.

While we picnic with our friends, and enjoy the extra time spent with loved ones this holiday weekend, it is important to remember what we are celebrating. Labor Day is officially the first Monday in September and according to the United States Department of Labor it “is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”

Market Sponsors this week include All American Gutter, and Energy 1 USA, a company that wants to help you live a better life through energy efficient products and the world’s first Probiotic air/surface and object treatment for allergies and healthy environments.

The farmers market is open rain or shine, and of course, your well-behaved, leashed pets are welcome, too. For more information please find us on facebook or visit FernandinaBeachMarketPlace.com

God Bless America!

Farmers Market Vendors Stay Busy All Year

Summer feels like it is coming to a close with the neighborhood children returning to school, but activity at the farmers market in Fernandina Beach continues at full pace. Each week, the amazing vendors of the Market Place continue to expand, enhance, and strengthen their product lines. Here are a few recent updates:

-Cross Creek Honey has recently included a fresh batch of honeycomb that is absolutely beautiful!
-Amelia Pasta, has returned to the farmers market on a weekly basis. Their fettuccine, linguini, penne and orzo are made with real vegetables and hand milled spices. Naturally low on the glycemic index, these pastas have no artificial ingredients and no fillers. When you stop by their booth, be sure to ask about their frequent shoppers card.
-Bottega by Liz Grenamyer is a popular catering company and their new slogan is “prepared meals with style”. They attend the farmers market every Saturday and also offer delicious dips and crackers such as their Kentucky cucumber dip served on a crunchy crostini.
-Olive My Pickle, a long time vendor at the Market Place, has introduced a fermented radish and red ginger sauerkraut to compliment their line of pickles, hummus, and olives. Owners Shai and Charlotte are on a mission to spread awareness about gut health and they truly enjoy sharing their raw-food products that are naturally full of bio-available nutrients and enzymes, live cultures, and pro-biotics.

Whether you come to the Market Place every Saturday, or you haven’t been down in awhile, we invite you to join us on North Seventh Street in historic Fernandina Beach, Florida, every Saturday of the year. We are open from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m, rain or shine. This week brings the return of about 20 arts and craft booths in the adjacent Fernandina Beach Arts Market, and our musician is Jen Burns. Market sponsor, All American Gutter, will be joining us weekly for the remainder of 2016.

Mark Kaufman and Donna Paz Kaufman Present to Rotary

Mark Kaufman and Donna Paz Kaufman Present to RotaryMark Kaufman and Donna Paz Kaufman were recent guests of The Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise and gave a presentation on the future of retail bookstores.

Their company, Paz and Associates – The Bookstore Training Group, helps booksellers develop knowledge and skills to successfully operate profitable, independent bookstores.

In addition to helping them in their operations, they can help with store design, layout, lighting and all aspects of effective marketing. They also have expertise in cafe operations, which is becoming a common feature of bookstores.

Mark and Donna stated that the independent bookstore industry is healthy and growing. Rotarians found the presentation interesting and informative.

Rotary is an international service organization with over 34,000 clubs world-wide. The Amelia Island Sunrise Club meets Fridays at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club at 7:30 a.m.

Carvalho’s Journey Presented at Fernandina Library

Carvalho’s Journey
The year was 1853 when famed explorer John Fremont organized his fifth, and final, expedition across the American West. Solomon Carvalho, a portrait painter who had never saddled his own horse, a Sephardic Jew and one of Americas first photographers, signed on for the gueling journey. He traveled with mountian men, pioneers, Native Americans, and Mormons, on this 2400 mile trip into the American West that would take more than a year to complete.

The entire crew faced many disasters, including waist high snow in mountains of Utah, sudden wild fires and starvation. Yet many of the beautiful vistas and images we know of the West are due to Carvalho’s photography.

Watch the film and be a part of the journey. The screening will be held August 25 at 6:00 p.m. at the Fernandina Beach Branch Library Community Room. An optional dinner will follow at 7:45 pm at Café Karibo.

Free tickets for the film, and dinner reservations, are now available at the Library. For further information please visit www.nassaureads.com or call (904) 277-7365.

This program is sponsored by Friends of the Fernandina Beach Library.