Monday, January 25, 2010

Las Olas Farmer's Market

After the unusually cold weather a few weeks ago, many crops have died and CSA boxes are a little lighter than usual. I don't mind but my box this week didn't have quite enough produce to get me through the entire week. Luckily this wasn't a problem for me and it gave me the excuse to go check out the Las Olas Farmers Market on Las Olas Boulevard in downtown Fort Lauderdale. The market is located in the parking lot of the Las Olas Chemist on the North side of the road and is held each Sunday between 9am and 1pm. Be forewarned, it's very small. You're pretty much looking at the whole thing.

That said, there's some good stuff and it's worth a visit. I expected to be disappointed and was pleasantly surprised, once I got over the parking issue. Las Olas has a lot of parking, but much of it is parallel and there are some very confusing new meter machines. Once I got over that though, everything was fine.

There are only a couple of tents. One vendor sells artisan breads. Another sells tropical plants, including fruit trees and herbs. There is a booth for homemade bath products and another having something to do with solar power. Two of the tents sells fruits and vegetables, not all of which are local. One is significantly larger than the other one and is run by "By Their Fruits" who have a lovely produce market on McNab. You might remember that that's where you can buy Wagon Wheel Coffee. I like "By Their Fruits" but have criticized them in the past for not supporting enough local farmers. They explained to me a few months ago that their clientele doesn't care about local or organic and is more interested in getting produce at good prices, but that during the growing season they would have a lot more locally grown, Florida produce. Judging from what they brought to the Las Olas farmer's market, they were telling the truth.

While they did have non-local items, some from South America, they had a lot of local goods and I really appreciated that each item was labeled with a paper sign that said where it came from. Because of this, they got my business. And they had some gorgeous tomatoes. That helped.

I bought some Indian River grapefruit, Florida tomatoes (a lot of them), Kirby cucumbers from Delray, along with some green onions also from Delray. They also had local eggplant (two varieties!), green beans, herbs and avocados grown around here and a bunch of peppers. I've been getting peppers from my CSA weekly and I'm a little peppered out right now, so I passed on those. I contemplated an eggplant, but decided against it out of nothing but laziness. While I want babaghanoush, I don't want to to make it. I'd just like it to magically appear in front of me. You know how that is.

I paid exactly $8.00 for all of that, which I felt was a good deal. I got a lot of tomatoes to go with the cilantro in my box. I'm feeling a salsa attack coming on.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by the Las Olas Farmers Market. It's tiny, but it's trying and it had a nice atmosphere. I'd like to see it expand. I live in walking distance, so it's very convenient. If you live close, support the market and pay it a visit. If you live far away, I wouldn't make a special trip. I also wouldn't wait until Sunday if you want produce now. Just stop in at "By Their Fruits" on the corner of McNab and Cypress for the same produce any time during the week.


  1. Hello
    I'm inviting you to visit Las Olas Market again this Sun Oct 24 from 9am to 5pm.
    Tweedle Pet Products is a natural/organic dog and cat treat company, All our trets are freshly baked and contain no wheat, soy, corn
    gluten free, and have no artificial preservatives, additives, dyes, colors, no added salt or sugar.
    Im not sure if you have a pet or have a freind, neighbor or relatives that has a pet...OUR TREATS MAKE LOVELY PRESENTS..
    stop by and pick up a few free samples of our treats
    Best Regards
    Stacey J Nelson Ph.D. \Tweedle's Mom
    Tweedle Pet Products

  2. just how much did parking cost you ?
    Tis free at the Yellow Green market in Hollywood.