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Countrywide Farmers Markets ~ A Peak Into Florida {And A Green Boiled Peanuts Recipe} ~ WholeLifestyleNutrition.com

Known as the “Sunshine State”, Florida is full of sun, sand, and palm trees. I live in Northwest Florida, otherwise known as the “Panhandle.”

We do not experience the warmth year-round as many seem to believe. In fact, temperatures from time to time reach below freezing. However, this doesn’t stop the farmer’s markets from thriving.

 

Tallahassee Farmer’s Markets

One of the benefits to living in a warmer climate is having several options of farmer’s markets to choose from. Here is the breakdown:

  • Downtown Market: Each Saturday from March until November
  • Market Square: Year-round Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays
  • Lake Ella Grower’s Market: Year-round Wednesdays

 

Experiencing the Local Flavors

 

Since moving to Florida, I am still learning more about all the local southern flavors in the area. As many are already aware, the south is well-known for their oranges, sweet tea, grits, peaches, collard greens, okra, Vidalia sweet onions and boiled peanuts (which, by the way taste like a baked potato, if you ask me).

However, there are some finds that shouldn’t be left secret like they’re tupelo honey (my current obsession, evidenced by the four bottles in my kitchen cabinet).

Tupelo honey comes from the tupelo tree, native to southeastern United States, particularly near the Gulf coast. I never knew how much I loved honey until I tasted this honey. I highly recommend it!

 

Variety, Variety, Variety

 

What’s lovely about the farmer’s markets down in the south is certainly the variety. With so much to offer, there are probably things I missed along my journey, but will catch next time around.

What can be tricky is when I find produce I don’t expect to be in season, so it can require asking which items are actually “local.”  You can read more about this in Halle’s article: Questions To Ask At Farmers’ Markets.

It often seems that if you name it, they have it. You can find seasonal produce as well as local products and homemade goods.

During my first farmer’s market visit, I was blown away by the number of vendors. Many farmer’s have opted to offer CSA (Community Sustained Agriculture) options, too.

Here’s a peek at some of what you can find now:

 Countrywide Farmers Markets ~ A Peak Into Florida {And A Green Boiled Peanuts Recipe} ~ WholeLifestyleNutrition.com

Edibles

  • Boiled peanuts – if the picture from the beginning wasn’t obvious enough ;)
  • Produce (organic and conventional fruit and vegetables): Leafy greens (ex. collard, kale, arugula, bok choy…), oranges, eggplant, strawberries, cucumber, AWESOME carrots that looked too pretty to eat with the bold green leafy top and strikingly bright orange root)
  • Grits (non-gmo corn)
  • Tupelo (The best honey you will ever taste with a floral-like aftertaste)
  • Goat’s cheese
  • Meat from grass-fed animals
  • Eggs (cage free)
  • Potted herbs
  • Baked goods
  • Boiled green peanuts
  • Homemade canned goods (carrot jam, zucchini relish, pepper jelly, basil pesto, picked jalapeño peppers, strawberry preserves…the list goes on and on)

 Non-Edibles

  • Artists (ceramic, music, painters, woodwork…)
  • Soap (made from goat’s milk)
  • Soy based candles
  • Restaurant vendors
  • Humane Society (showcasing animals who can be adopted)
  • Recycled and revamped clothing
  • Crafts (beaded and origami jewelry)

 

Even More…

 

Vendors rotate throughout the year, so what I may find one weekend, may be different another. During the really warm weather season, other fresh finds I’ve come across are muscadine grapes, yellow wax beans, zucchini, sweet potato greens, and basil.

It’s what makes Saturday mornings very exciting as I’m never quite sure what to expect.

 

Florida Peanuts Anyone?

 

So lets get back to those peanuts we were talking about earlier!  

Hey all…Halle here.  I am teaming up with Whitney on this post!  I thought I would share with you all our favorite treat when we lived in Savannah, GA.  

The first time I have heard of “boiled peanuts” I had the thought…ewww!  I am not trying that.  But like I always say…never judge a book by its cover.  

These peanuts are one of our families favorites!  When green peanuts came in season, we were one of the first to goto the market to get our hands on them!

Last year my neighbor went to Florida and on her way home she found this 30 pound bag of green peanuts at a roadside stand and brought them home for us.  What a treat to have boiled peanuts in Wisconsin!

Countrywide Farmers Markets ~ A Peak Into Florida {And A Green Boiled Peanuts Recipe} ~ WholeLifestyleNutrition.com

Green peanuts are just that…they are raw, un-roasted peanuts that come right out of the field.  Some people eat them raw, I think they are terrible.  So we boil them.  

Whitney thinks they taste like potatoes, our family compares them to black eyed peas (another southern favorite for my family).

So here is our favorite recipe (well it is actually my husbands)…we hope you enjoy!

 

Boiled Peanuts

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Total Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes

Yield: 5 pounds peanuts

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds green raw peanuts (roasted can not be used) The peanuts will be in their shells and you cook them in the shells as well. Once they are cooked and cooled, then you shuck them out of the shells and eat the soft peanut inside.
  • 1/3 cup sea salt divided

Instructions

  1. Clean and rinse the peanuts two times. Place in a very large stock pot and cover with clean water.
  2. Add 3 tbsp of salt and stir.
  3. Bring to a boil and boil at a soft boil for 3 1/2 hours. Add more water if needed (the water will evaporate as they cook).
  4. After the 3 1/2 hours taste the peanuts. If they are firm, they need to go for another 1/2 hour- 1 hour. They should be soft. Once you reach the desired firmness, turn off burner and stir in remaining heaping 2 tablespoons of salt in the peanuts.
  5. Let the peanuts soak for 1 hour.
  6. Drain and enjoy!
  7. You can place the peanuts once cooled into ziplock freezer bags and store in refrigerator. You can also freeze the peanuts to enjoy later.
http://wholelifestylenutrition.com/recipes/appetizers-snacks/countrywide-farmers-markets-a-peak-into-florida-and-a-green-boiled-peanuts-recipe/

 

April’s Mini Series ~ A Look Into Farmers’ Markets Around The Country

 

So for the month of April, we are taking a trip around the country to share with you different farmers’ markets around the country.  How cool is that?  

Every farmers’ market has something unique to that market and to that area.  We are going to dive into that.  

Here is a list of the farmers’ markets that we are going to explore: 

(click on green text to see post)

So come back often this month to enjoy our trip around the country and all the unique finds that we find at our local farmers markets.

 

Balcony Garden {Update!}

 

For what you can’t get at your local farmer’s market, remember you can get at home! In my original post to Whole Lifestyle Nutrition, I shared some tips on How To Start Your Urban Garden Balcony.

The plants have new homes in terracotta pots and have been fed organic fertilizer while being watered on a regular basis. Since temperatures have reached below freezing over the past month, it has been a game of moving the plants indoors and then back outside. 

The growth of the tomato plant will soon need extra assistance with a stake so the stem will not break. As the plants continue to grow, I will have to upgrade from the dumpster diving finds (the terracotta pots) and check out the local flea market for new containers so the roots of the plants will have plenty room to grow.

Here’s a sneak peek of the latest scenery of my balcony garden {left: tomato, middle: mint orange herb, right: datil pepper}. It’s a work-in-progress.

Countrywide Farmers Markets ~ A Peak Into Florida {We Have More Than Just Oranges} ~ WholeLifestyleNutrition.com

 

Balcony Garden Update I Whole Lifestyle Nutrition

What’s your favorite “secret find” at a farmer’s market you’ve attended?

 peanut image credit: southerngameday.com


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About Whitney McNutt

Hi! I’m Whitney. I currently live in Florida, however, I’m originally from Maryland. I am a graduate student working on my Master’s in Business Administration, while also working part-time. I have a lot of passions, some of which include food, green living, and photography. I love learning about new ways to live a healthy, organic, and peaceful life. I look forward to sharing this passion with others.

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2 thoughts on “Countrywide Farmers Markets ~ A Peak into Florida And A Green Boiled Peanuts Recipe”

  1. Debby Schulz Mantell says:

    My favorite farmers market here in Southwest Florida (Cape Coral) will closing down in month. It gets too hot for them since it is in a parking lot with no cover! I do get to enjoy it from October thru May…There will be a few smaller ones in the summer but not the same!

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