Eating locally grown food is not only healthy for you, but it is also healthy for your community. South Walton prides itself on making this possible with the abundance of Farmers Markets that take place all along 30A, and even in Sandestin, throughout the week. The variety of homegrown and handcrafted food products are just one of the highlights of some of these local markets – you can also find everything from handcrafted jewelry to handmade soaps and other unique products in between.
So, why is it important to buy your food from local farmers markets?
I am so glad that you asked. Let’s look at some reasons why eating local is good for you and your community.
- Local food is fresher and better for you. Have you ever heard a restaurant use the description ‘farm-to-table’ to describe their ingredients? That’s because anytime that you shorten a food product’s time and distance from the farm to the table, you get a more healthy and nutrient-dense product. It’s hard to say no to that – especially on 30A where it is so readily available to us.
- Support your local farmers and producers. These men and women are working hard to provide us with high-quality and organic products to feed us and our families, and by investing in these locally grown products we are giving back to our community. When you buy produce from a supermarket, only approximately 18 cents of the dollar actually goes to the producer. Our local markets on 30A allow you to cut out the middle man and invest in your own community.
- Know where your food comes from. Let’s be honest – do you really know where those ribeye steaks that you bought last week at the supermarket came from? Probably not. There is something very refreshing about being able to look a farmer in the eye as you pick out fresh meat or produce that his very own hands have helped to produce. Local farmers take their responsibility to their consumers very seriously.
- Preserve open space and farmland. Do you know what would happen if local farmers didn’t have our support? They would likely be forced to sell their farmland. Do you know who would likely be first in line to purchase this farmland? Big developers – which in turn means more big developments in our area. We love our quaint little communities in South Walton and along 30A – we want to preserve farmland in our area as much as possible.
So, now that we have talked about why it is important to take advantage of our local farmers markets – now let’s talk about when and where these farmers markets are happening. We are lucky in South Walton to have so many to choose from!
30A Farmers Market at Rosemary Beach
When: Every Sunday from 9am – 1pm
Where: Town Center in Rosemary Beach
Unique Specialties: Get your hands on some homemade European and pork sausages, cold-pressed organic juices, as well as ready-to-eat appetizers and dishes such as Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie) or Chicken Curry.
Seaside Farmers Market
When: Every Tuesday & Saturday from 8am – 12pm
Where: Seaside Square, along Amphitheater lawn
Unique Specialties: Seed exchange by Moonlight Micro-Farm, various cooking demonstrations & handcrafted cheeses and pastas
Watercolor Coastal Farmers Market
When: Every Sunday and Thursday from 9am – 2pm
Where: Cerulean Park in Watercolor
Unique Specialties: The location of this market alone is enough reason to check it out. Stroll through the park and shop for local honey, homemade organic treats for your pets, homemade pastries, and much more.
Grand Boulevard Farmers Market
When: Every Wednesday & Saturday from 9am – 1pm
Where: Grand Park in Grand Boulevard
Unique Specialties: This is another great location as well – nestled amidst the many shops and restaurants in Grand Boulevard. Bring the kids along and let them play in the splash pad, located right beside the market. Local seafood, fresh produce and homemade crab cakes are just a few things you can pick up.
One of the great things about the communities of 30A is their support of a healthier lifestyle. Living in a 30A community is not just about living at the beach – it is an opportunity to live a happier and healthier lifestyle. Are you ready to be a part of that 30A lifestyle? Melissa Clements is ready to help you make that dream a reality.