Posted: 10:28 am Sunday, April 16th, 2017
By Ann Kelly
I was looking for a new Ann-Venture this past weekend and I found a wonderful new market. But not just any market. What I found was the Winter Garden Farmers Market, ranked #1 not just in our state, but in the nation. Just last November the American Farmland Trust looked at over 7,000 markets across the nation and gave that top spot to Winter Garden. The vendors in the market are very proud of that and love to tell you how happy they are to score a space. But let’s start at the very beginning, with a sunrise trip across I-4 then onto the 429 Parkway and to exit 19. Just set the GPS and you’ll be fine. But my friend Ashley is the one who discovered this gem and was along for the ride.
Winter Garden itself is a lovely town, and getting there right before the market opened allowed time for a stop at Axum Coffee in the Garden Building right on Plant St and just quick walk over to the market. That Raspberry Vanilla Mocha and Raspberry scone was just what was needed to get those shopping genes in high gear. And were they ever.
I already have a couple favorites and at the top of the list is Penny Jordan and her Little Penny designs. Thanks to here I already have a few gifts crossed off the list for Santa. Think no one wears aprons anymore? Think again when you see her designs at the market and in her Etsy shop. Then there’s the one vendor Ashley had at the top of her list – Sugar Rush
Marshmallows. Hand crafted, creative flavors and all it will take is one carefully toasted selection on a stick to fall in love.
A definite plus to the day was a stop in at the Plant Street Market, the home of Crooked Can Brewing, Five Thymes Five which created a sensational burger for lunch along with other very tasty food options and even more handcrafted items you’ll just have to indulge in. We took a seat at the open window to the
patio and just loved the people, pet and cycling action. The West Orange Trail was very busy on such a beautiful day and along with a pack of runners it’s just not someplace people sit too long! But the wait for the burger was SO worth it!
The Winter Garden Farmers Market is not just another Saturday morning market. You’ll find fresh, local and organic produce, a great foot court and sprayground, but you’ll see such a high level of hand crafted artisan work from people like Penny and so many others. Right next to her booth is a lovely lady spinning alpaca yarn into the softest shawl you’ll ever wear. Those are just two and I’ll leave it up to you to discover the rest. I already have the Winter Garden Farmers Market down for a return trip next month. It’s open year round, is totally pet-friendly and I think a weekend stay is definitely in order. The town is lovely and the people who live there are very proud of their city. They should be.