With two existing farmers markets in downtown Sarasota and Siesta Key, the perfect complement could only be a weekday market for those who can’t make the weekend options.
The Phillippi Farmhouse Market will hold its grand opening and ribbon cutting Wednesday, Jan. 13, at Phillippi Estate Park, 5500 South Tamiami Trail.
The idea to start the market came from Roxanne Williamson, a naturalist at Phillippi Estate Park, and Tim Brown, a third-generation grower with Brown’s Grove, also a vendor at the Downtown Sarasota Farmers Market.
“We thought Sarasota could support another market, but we didn’t want to compete with the other markets and thought a weekday one would be best,” Willamson said. “We’re more centrally located — I think people from mid-county may find it easier to come to the county park.”
The mission of the market, managed by Friends of Sarasota County Parks, is to promote local growers and agriculturally related products by featuring plants, local produce and prepared foods such as smoked mullet, “swamp cabbage” and “mater (tomato) sandwiches.” It will also offer sustainable products, such as solar ovens and rain barrels, and gardening classes.
Food-and-produce vendors are required to be growers at this particular market, which doesn’t offer craft items unless they are agriculture-related. This way, the farmers will be able to answer questions about maintaining rose gardens or the best way to grow citrus, as well as offer demonstrations to shoppers.
“We’re giving people an opportunity to live a green lifestyle and promoting Florida’s agriculture,” Williamson said. “By doing that, it reduces the energy required for produce to be delivered from across the country or world.”
Market proceeds will help restore the on-site historic farmhouse built in 1916 by Edson Keith. For information, call 861-5000.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Phillippi Farmhouse Market grand opening and ribbon cutting
WHEN: Wednesday, Jan. 13
WHERE: Phillippi Estate Park, 5500 South Tamiami Trail