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New Vendors and New Products at Fernandina’s Farmers Market

While the Farmers Almanac is predicting a snowy season for much of the country, we are seeing plenty of sunshine and mild temperatures for February here in NE Florida. One of the best ways to enjoy this exceptional weather is to head downtown and check out the Continue reading

Learn About Roses

Landscape Matters presents: Roses, Wednesday February 1 at 10AM, at the James S. Page Government Center, 96135 Nassau Place, Yulee, FL 

Nassau County Master Gardener Carol Ann Atwood will conduct a hands-on Landscape Matters Rose class beginning in the conference room of the James S. Page Government Center. The class will include a pruning demonstration, and discussion of diseases, remedies, irrigation, varieties, colors, fertilizers, arrangements, when to cut for arrangements, conditions for success, different grades, knock outs vs hybrid teas, how to plant, and soil amendments.

The class is free and open to the public. For more information, access our website at http://nassau.ifas.ufl.edu/horticulture/landmatters/landmatters.html, or call the Extension office at 530-6350.

White Oak Accepting Summer Camp Applications

This summer, students will embark on a global journey into conservation! Each day they will learn about threats to nature on a different continent, connecting to not only animals – but people and places as well. This STEM camp will put them up close to wildlife, science and leading experts in conservation! 

The adventure begins on Sundays when campers arrive for their week-long experience. During the week, campers will spend time in our conservation center, veterinary clinic, and our world-class conference center. In addition to learning about wildlife, they will engage in classic camp activities such as boating, hiking, swimming, bowling and so much more. Campers depart on Friday evening after our parent event that tops off their week. 

Your student will leave camp with critical thinking and leadership skills that will enhance their ability to make decisions that benefit people and wildlife worldwide. While at White Oak, they will gain independence and make friendships and memories that will last a lifetime! 

To learn more, visit our website at www.whiteoakwildlife.org/summer-camp/ to watch a camp video, read the camp FAQs and start your application today. 

Preference for camp spaces will be given to:
-Applications submitted by March 30
-Camp alumni and their siblings
-Families that were on the 2016 camp wait list
-Students attending White Oak Education Partner Schools

Residential Week-Long Camps: $1100
Sessions begin the week of May 28 and end the first week of August!

Writing and Selling the Op Ed Piece at Writers By the Sea

Writers by the Sea’s monthly presentation on January 19, 2017, will be Writing and Selling the Op Ed Piece.

Keep it relevant: Writing and selling the Op Ed Piece
At our Writers by the Sea January meeting, not one but two dynamic speakers will help fill-in the blanks for writers who desire to submit Op Ed pieces. Between the two of them, David N. Scott and Bill Pennington have over 70 years of professional writing experience. Continue reading

Dan Voll, New Vendors and More at Farmers Market Saturday

New products and vendors can be found at the Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers market this first Saturday of December and with chilly temperatures in the forecast, the addition of hot coffee now available at the Lemon Sensations booth will be welcomed. Try their new, flavored coffees and sip your way through the farmers market with peppermint, hazelnut, and pumpkin spice.

A new vendor in the farmers market is Sunshine Grindz, owned by Chef Jonathan Haynes. Chef Haynes has international experience including work in high end kitchens in Japan and Spain. He recently opened Sunshine Grindz, specializing in Hawaiian and Asian Cuisine. At the Market Place his specialty is poke, a raw fish salad served as an appetizer in Hawaiian cuisine. Stop by for a sample on his homemade tortilla chips and you’ll see why this dish is so popular.

Have you had enough turkey in your diet lately? Well, JD Beef is returning this Saturday with fresh cuts from his all natural Angus herd, free of hormones, antibiotics, and steroids.

Does the holiday shopping have you tied up in knots? Come to the farmers market and get a message from the students enrolled in FSCJ’s Massage Therapy program. Approved by the Florida Department of Health, these students are developing skills and knowledge to pass the certification exam and apply for licensure in the state of Florida.

Musicians Dan Voll and Michele “Shell” Anders are returning to the farmers market on December 3rd with promises to play cuts of their newest CD, “Kiss Me Salty”.

The Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers market is open every Saturday, rain or shine, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and is located on North Seventh Street in historic, downtown Fernandina Beach, Florida.

2016 Amelia Island Wedding Expo

2016 Amelia Island Wedding ExpoWe just passed the one year anniversary of my two oldest children’s nuptuals. The summer of 2015 was full of wedding planning, decorating ideas, planning musical playlists, preparing menus for my son’s wedding rehearsal, as well as menu planning for my daughter’s reception. All of the planning, for both weddings, went so well you could hear the birds singing Top 40 love songs, and practically watch the squirrels help hang decorative ornaments from tree branches. Indeed, love was in the air.

The weddings were held, one week apart, here on Amelia Island. It was quite fun to exclaim, “I’m the mother of the bride and the groom!” Though the phrase did require a bit of explanation to some.

Marriages take a lot of planning, and if you have one in your future, there is a fabulous Wedding Expo, benefiting the Cedar Haven Transitional Housing for Homeless Women, coming to Amelia Island in August, here are the details:

The Amelia Island Wedding Expo on August 14, 2016, sponsored by Coastal Engagements, is very intimate compared to the expo you would find held in a large Convention Center. This smaller setting permits brides and their parties the opportunity to spend quality time with each vendor in attendance. They will be delighted by the attention to detail showcased by the wedding professionals on Amelia Island. With so much to enjoy, expect to be wowed!

Benefiting the Cedar Haven Transitional House for Homeless Women, a transitional housing and education program to improve the quality of life for homeless women without children in Nassau County, the Amelia Island Wedding Expo will take place on Sunday, August 14, 2016, at the Atlantic Recreation Center, 2500 Atlantic Avenue, in Fernandina Beach from 1:00-4:00 pm. Admission is free. DONATIONS ARE WELCOMED.

The Expo will feature several vendors for that special day. Brides will find exactly what they need and save countless hours having to search for their perfect wedding vendors. They will see the best-of-the-best including Amelia Island’s top professionals and discover all that is new and different for weddings this season, in just one afternoon.

The Cedar Haven Transitional House seeks to assist women that have been challenged by homelessness in the Nassau County area in an effort to direct them towards permanent housing. They provide a 180-day transitional housing program and offer classes that will assist residents in becoming self-sufficient; improving the quality of their lives as they return back to society.

For more information on the Cedar Haven Transitional House for Homeless Women, please visit www.womenofpowerinc.org/cedarhaven.htm. To register for the free Wedding Expo, please visit www.AmeliaIslandWeddingExpo.com.

Shop for July 4th Cook-outs at the Local Farmers Market

July-2016-cabbage-creek-farm-fernandina-farmers-mktAre you preparing for the 4th of July holiday? Well, the Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers market may have just what you need to celebrate Independence Day!

Start out with traditional appetizers such as Deviled Eggs made from farm fresh yard eggs found at booths by Naturals Springs Dairy (ten or 20 count) or Boatright Farms (available in 12 or 18 count packages). Simply Savory Gourmet offers over 40 flavors of easy to mix sweet, savory, or spicy dip packages. Pair one or two of those dips with a variety of freshly harvested vegetables found at any of our seasonal produce vendors and you will have a tasty platter that will delight, and impress, your guests.

If you want to show off why Fernandina Beach is famous for our local, wild caught shrimp, be sure to pre-order yours from Eddie or Debbie Chesser, of Chesser Seafood, at (904) 509-3337 or (904) 485-6853. This booth will sell out before 11:00 a.m.

Perhaps a steaming tray of homemade hot wings tempts your taste buds? Check out the B and D Hot Sauce Company booth. Danny, the “D” in B and D, has a simple recipe for cooking up 40 wings, with two sticks of butter, and 1/2 of a bottle of their “Hot” smoked bird pepper sauce, or Batch #5 (milder), for delicious wings. If you prefer to grill them, his spice rub is superb. Stop by their booth and Danny will give you the complete recipe.

All summertime picnics need fresh slices of tomatoes and cucumbers and you will find plenty at Kings Kountry Produce, as well as blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and watermelon. To really impress your picnic partners, get to the market early and ask Tommy King if he has any yellow flesh watermelons. On the outside, this watermelon has a traditional appearance, but when you slice it open the watermelon is yellow – and every bit as tasty as you’d expect.

Finally, your 4th of July isn’t complete without a fresh baked pie. Stop by Me, Myself and Pies, and pick out your favorite savory, creamy, custard, or fruit pie. This week’s specialty is homemade apple pie.

The Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers market is open from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., rain or shine, every Saturday.

Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart, the more you eat, the more you…

beans-beansHistoric Fernandina’s popular farmers market, the Fernandina Beach Market Place, will be open on Saturday, June 18, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m, rain or shine. The weather is shaping up to be much cooler than we’ve seen the past few days, and there may be a nice accompanying breeze, too.

Highlighted vendors this week include the return of semi-monthly vendor, Blue Planet Organic. Sonya will be set up with a wide variety of with organic nut butters, edible seeds, flat breads, quinoa, and other tasty treats that are loaded with health benefits.

Boatright farms comes every week and with the rapid approach of summer, they are busy harvesting their crops of beans and peas. Look for pink eye – purple hull, garden pea, baby green lima, black eye with snaps, brown crowder, zipper cream, Fort Hood butter bean, lady finger or white acre, and speckled butter beans.

Nana Teresa’s is a local bakery that joined the farmers market a few months ago. They attend every Saturday with tempting creations such as adorably decorated cookies, amazing cupcakes, fabulous pretzel bread, sweet pastries, and much, much more. I asked Mark how Nana Teresa’s got their start and he said, “It all started with a cupcake.” I learned that Nana Teresa had a stressful corporate job, working for a Fortune 500 company, and it included a lot of travel. As a stress reliever, she would bake. For her oldest granddaughter’s Teacher Appreciation Day, Nana baked cupcakes for all of Emily’s teachers. Her science teacher liked the cupcake so much that she asked Nana Teresa to bake her wedding cake… and the company was born.

We invite you to join us any Saturday of the year and meet our exhibitors to hear more stories like this. The growers and producers you will find at the farmers market love to talk about their “baby” – for these are their businesses, their passion, and their livelihood.

Music this week is provided by Bruce Beville and the Laid Back Band known for playing family friendly, toe-tapping favorites.

Our Booth with a Cause will be Stop the Bear Hunt, an organization opposing Florida’s black bear hunting season. This non-profit has organized a statewide protest, being held in several Florida communities this Saturday, to raise awareness and educate the public, while they attempt to stop the next bear hunt which has been approved by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and is scheduled for October 24 – 30th.

To learn more about the farmers market, to become a vendor, or if you are a musician and would like to perform at the Market Place, please visit FernandinaBeachMarketPlace.com for additional information.

It is Blueberry Season at Fernandina’s Farmers Market

It is Blueberry Season at Fernandina's Farmers MarketStrawberries are on their way out, but big beautiful blueberries are in-season at the Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers market for a few more weeks. Blueberries can be found at Kings Kountry Produce and Boatright’s Farms booths, in addition to a dedicated, organic blueberry vendor from Georgia, Harrietts Bluff Farm. Owned and operated by Dr. Gerard Krewer, a specialist known worldwide for his expertise in blueberries and other fruits, his farm grows a variety of blueberries to provide the best tasting ones throughout the season. Dr. Krewer’s farm is USDA organic certified by the Georgia Crop Improvement Association. Blueberries are only about 80 calories per cup, have 4 grams of fiber, and they are loaded with vitamin C. According to WebMD, “They rank the highest of any fruit for antioxidants.”

While we are talking about blueberries, Savannah Oatmeal is returning to Fernandina Beach for their monthly visit to the farmers market bringing their flavorful, steel-cut oatmeal. Each jar of their blueberry oatmeal contains over one pound of fresh, pureed blueberries. In fact, blueberries is the first item listed on the ingredient’s label, followed by gluten-free steel-cut oats. Packed with nutrition, they also carry Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter (made with 100% all natural peanut butter and unsweetened 100% cacoa), and their Apple Cinnamon flavor is receiving rave reviews from customers.

High quality oats are good for you, as long as you don’t load them up with sugar-filled add ons. But, when you are deciding between rolled oats or steel cut oats, the difference is in the processing. Rolled oats are steamed and rolled to reduce their cooking time, while steel cut oats are coarsley chopped and take longer to cook. Oats, in general, are considered a powerfood by many. They are low in calories, high in fiber, remove bad cholesterol, gluten-free, are loaded with antioxidants, and are good for your heart.

There will be well over 30 vendors this week offering fresh baked breads and pastries, seasonal produce, beef, cheese, eggs, jams, pickles, olives, spreads, olive oils, sauces, pasta, honey, flavored sea salts, coffee, toffee, home made pies, soaps and lotions, cut sunflowers, flowering plants, succulents, palm trees, landscape and patio plants, and so much more.

Joel Vendetti will be our musician, playing album-rock favorites, and Joe Springer will be on hand, with a seafaring beauty from Ocean Outboard Marine, to promote the FREE Boat Show coming to the Fernandina Harbor Marina waterfront on June 11, 2016.

The farmers market is located in historic Fernandina Beach on North Seventh Street, between Centre and Alachua Streets, and is open every Saturday of the year from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m, rain or shine. For more information, please visit FernandinaBeachMarketPlace.com.

Memorial Day Weekend at the Saturday Farmers Market

Memorial Day Weekend at the Saturday Farmers MarketThe farmers market on North Seventh Street in historic Fernandina Beach will be a great place to entertain your Memorial Day Weekend company. We are introducing a new vendor this week, Amish Popcorn. The Mlyniec family recently moved to Fernandina Beach and we are looking forward to seeing their different varieties of one of America’s favorite snacks.

This is the final Saturday Steephill Designs will be at the Market Place until they return in the fall with the fresh maple syrup they harvest from their Vermont home, and Island Juice and Java returns this week with their iced coffees, fresh squeezed lemonades, and flavorful smoothies.

The Fernandina Beach Arts Market will be open adjacent to the farmers market with a wide selection of local arts and crafts. Come on out and meet the artists while you peruse booths full of jewelry, apparel, wood crafting, furniture, pottery, stained glass and more.

black-frog-design-post-officeThere will be a book signing with the three artists of, “A Day on Amelia Island.” Stephan Leimberg, Dawna Moore, and Scott Moore, have put together a beautiful coffee-table style book featuring their amazing photography.

The City of Fernandina Beach will be on hand to promote the upcoming 6th Annual Boat Show and one of their vendors, Olde Town Marina, will have a boat on display to get you in the mood for some on-the-water, summer fun. Stop by their booth to learn more about this FREE event that is open to the public.

Music this week is provided by the crowd pleasing Bruce Beville and the Laid Back Band.

The Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers’ market is located on North Seventh Street, between Centre and Alachua Streets, in downtown, historic Fernandina Beach. The Market Place is open from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., rain or shine, and your well-behaved, leashed pets are welcome to join you.

For more information, please find us on Facebook, or visit FernandinaBeachMarketPlace.com.

2016 Katie Ride for Life

2016 Katie Ride for LifeOne of Amelia Island’s premier fundraising events is the Katie Ride for Life. Inspired by the heart-breaking death of a teen aged girl, young Katie Caples’ saved five lives, and over the years has touched countless others because she chose to be an organ donor.

Though she didn’t know it at the time, Katie started a movement that anyone and everyone should register to become an organ donor.

The Katie Caples Foundation inspires others to live, breathe, walk, run, ride, educate and advocate for organ donation. They are committed to increasing the number of registered organ donors and eliminating the wait for the more than 125,000 adults and children in need of a lifesaving organ transplant.

If you are not familiar with the story, please take a moment and meet Katie, and one of the lives she saved:

125,000 adults and children are waiting for an organ transplant. 21 people will die today while they wait, and tomorrow 144 more will be added to this “too-long-of-a-list”. We know those people in dire need of a transplant could be your mother, father, son, daughter, sister, brother or friend. Together, we will do the right thing and end the wait.

So join the movement and help others share life by saying, “Yes!” Become an organ donor, because “yes” saves lives.

The Katie Ride for Life will be held on April 16, 2016, beginning at 7:30 a.m. at the Atlantic Recreation Center on Amelia Island. Expect delays and traffic congestion until 3:00 p.m.

Easter 2016 at the Ritz Carlton Amelia Island

Breakfast with the Easter Bunny
Saturday, March 26 | 8:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Children will delight in breakfast with the Easter Bunny and parents will cherish a keepsake picture. Indulge in the lavish, buffet adorned with breakfast favorites including a pancake station with fun toppings, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, breakfast breads, ham and cheese croissants and array of delectable breakfast pastries.
Price: $40 ages 6 and up | $25 per child 5 and younger

The Cottontail Tea Party
Saturday, March 26 | 11 a.m.–1 p.m.
Join the Easter Bunny and The Springtime Fairy for an afternoon tea with petite sandwiches and sweets including strawberry lemon scones, vanilla crème brulee, orange cheesecake and chocolate peanut butter mousse.
Price: $50 per person ages 6 and up | $18 per child 5 and under, includes service charge.

Easter Garden Brunch
Sunday, March 27 | 11 a.m.–3 p.m.
Enjoy a spectacular Easter Brunch in the classic Ritz-Carlton Ballroom Atrium with ocean views and an elaborate culinary presentation of brunch favorites. Items include a seafood display, smoked salmon, carving station with prime rib and leg of lamb, sushi and a lavish dessert bar. The afternoon will include live music, cookie decorating and a visit from the Easter Bunny!
Price: $110 per person, ages 13 and up | $45 per child 5-12, includes service charge

2015 Holiday Events at The Ritz Carlton on Amelia Island

2015 Holiday Events at The Ritz Carlton on Amelia Island

The Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island

Amelia Island, FL – Traditions abound for holiday memories of a lifetime at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. Guests and the public are invited to culinary feasts and treasured children’s programs including the following:

Unveiling the S.S. Amelia Gingerbread Pirate Ship
On Wednesday, November 25, the World’s Largest Gingerbread Pirate Ship returns to the lobby at The Ritz-Carlton. This culinary masterpiece is made with over 600 pieces of gingerbread and adorned with sculpted pirates with colorful fondant clothing and a chocolate cannon and cannon balls. The ship sets sail on December 27.

The 20th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting
The annual Christmas Tree Lighting is Amelia Island’s official start to the Christmas season with thousands of sparkling lights glittering throughout the resort. Hundreds of guests and visitors join together for this event to support the local YMCA’s fundraising efforts for scholarships. The program includes refreshments, music and dance by community groups and the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival Brass Quintet. Festivities conclude with Santa’s arrival and spectacular fireworks.
This complimentary event takes place on Wednesday, November 25 at 5:30 p.m.

Holiday Lights Bed & Breakfast Package
Cuddle up on your private balcony overlooking the sparkling 40 foot Christmas Tree. The Ritz-Carlton offers a holiday package that includes a coastal view room facing the Christmas Tree, Breakfast for Two and complimentary valet parking.
The offer is valid November 22, 2015 – January 2, 2016, based upon availability. Rates start at $279 per night.

cainpirate shipSanta’s Wonderland Dinner
Join Santa on Wednesday, November 25 at 6:30 p.m. along with his elves, for a new wonderland experience including the Ice Princess and Jack Frost. It is a joyous celebration to start the holiday season. Santa’s Wonderland menu includes citrus shrimp, honey glazed ham, skirt steak, chicken and a children’s buffet. A delectable dessert bar includes Yule Logs, Reese’s mousse, double chocolate cake, candy station and more.
Price: $55 per adult and $25 for children, including service charge. Reservations required.

Thanksgiving Grand Feast
Celebrate Thanksgiving with an elaborate culinary presentation of traditional Thanksgiving favorites accompanied by live jazz music. The scrumptious buffet includes citrus poached shrimp, shrimp and grits, roasted turkey, honey glazed ham, beef medallions and an endless array of desserts. Children will enjoy cookie decorating and holiday inspired crafts and games. Held from 12 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Price: $105 per adult and $45 for children, including service charge. Reservations requested.

Santa’s Storybook Tea
This Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island tradition includes a fireside holiday storybook read by Santa plus an afternoon tea with finger sandwiches, pastries, candy and cakes. The teas are held Saturdays, November 28, December 5, 12 and 19 at 12 p.m.
Price: $50 per adult and children ages 6 and up and $18 for children 5 and under, including service charge.

Breakfast with Santa
Join us for a new holiday tradition, Breakfast with Santa. Children will delight in whispering their holiday wishes to Santa and parents will cherish a keepsake picture. Indulge in the lavish buffet adorned with magical gingerbread houses and holiday decorations. Feast on breakfast favorites including a pancake station with fun toppings, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, breakfast breads, ham and cheese croissants, an array of delectable breakfast pastries and a holiday cookie station.
Saturday, December 5 and 19, 2015 at 8:30 a.m. – 10 a.m. for $40 per person ages 6 and up and $25 children 5 and under.

Santa Tuck Ins
Children will thrill to experience an exciting visit from Santa as he brings cookies and milk, reads a holiday story and presents a gift for the child every Friday and Saturday, November 27 & 28, December 4 & 5, 11 & 12 and 17 & 19.
The price is $50 for the first child and $35 for each additional child. Reservations required.

New Year’s Eve Black & White Masquerade Gala
Welcome the New Year with style as The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island celebrates the Fifth Annual Black & White Masquerade with luxurious food buffets including a seafood ice bar, sushi station, living salad station, antipasti and appetizers. You will enjoy cooking stations serving seared scallops, lobster, lamb loin, braised short ribs and a scrumptious display of desserts. Dance all night with international tour group Papa Sol and enjoy an open bar and fireworks with a champagne toast. This year, Fashion Stylist Fitz Pullins will award Ritz-Carlton packages and prizes for categories such as Best Dressed Couple and Best Masquerade Mask. Black & White attire is encouraged. Masks are provided or you can bring your own. The event will be held from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
The price is $225 per adult and includes service charge. Reservations required.

You can find all of the resort’s events at www.ritzcarlton/ameliaisland or call 904-277-1087.

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