Beginning in October, locally grown and sourced goods will once again take center stage in downtown West Palm Beach when the 21st annual West Palm Beach GreenMarket returns to the Waterfront Commons. As longest running green market in the county, it is also one of the largest with 80 vendors—23 of which are new—setting up tables and tents to sell their wares.
Running October 3 through May 28, the greenmarket’s twofold mission is simple: to provide the community with “seasonal access to locally grown” fruits, vegetables, and other agricultural product, while supporting Southeast Florida’s agricultural community. On top of the grown goods, the greenmarket also has artisanal prepared foods, and arts and crafts to boot.
This year, the greenmarket is getting into the DIY spirit with its “CrEATe Fresh” theme, starting on opening day with a bevvy of chef demonstrations utilizing products found at the greenmarket. The goal is to inspire shoppers to take part in the month-long “CrEATe Fresh” social media contest. The rules for the October contest are simple: grab some fresh products from the West Palm Beach GreenMarket; create a fresh and unique dish at home and share the results with @westpalmbch Instagram page, using #createfreshwpb. Chef David Pantone, Dean of Culinary Education at Lincoln Culinary Institute will choose the most creative dish from the contest, bestowing the winner with a cooking class at the institute. It’s a fun way to flex those culinary muscles while supporting your local growers.
For a special of-the-sea party, on October 24 the greenmarket will plow head-on into the second annual Feast of the Sea. Setup along Flagler Dr. from 11 a.m.-6 p.m., the seafood festival will host more than 30 seafood vendors, a bevvy of artists and crafters, an interactive family area presented by the South Florida Science Center, live entertainment performing throughout the day, and much more. The community minded festival will include some of Palm Beach County’s best fishy chefs preparing some of their top seafood recipes for festivalgoers to taste, all for a good cause: to help raise awareness and finds for Future 6 Helping Hand, a nonprofit organization hosting sports camps for South and Central Florida children, including camps for children with special needs and disabilities. Admission to Feast of the Sea is free (food and drink tasting tickets available for purchase); special Travelers Passes cost $75 and include four food tickets, two drink tickets, admission to private VIP area (including restrooms), and Feast of the Sea swag.
Must Try: With the greenmarket being a morning type of affair, what better breakfast food is there then freshly fried donuts? Our go-to green market bite is none other than Cider Doughnuts. The brainchild of chef John Carlino, who wanted to bring a piece of his childhood in Connecticut to Palm Beach, the delicious apple cider doughnuts, dusted in cinnamon and sugar, come from a recipe that is three generations old. Made on-site with apple cider, flash fried, and served warm in a paper cone, they are best paired with the caramel dipping sauce.
Double down on the breakfast morning staple with a fresh cup of joe from Rabbit Coffee Roasting Co. Roasting micro-lot, seasonal coffee beans, Rabbit’s coffee selections are some of the best in town—the micro-lot sourcing not only ensures the beans are of the highest quality, but also that they are limited runs, so sip while you can.
If an adult beverage is more you style, the $10 bottomless mimosa bar will once again serve the bubbly citrus sip. Enjoy a tipple or two while listening to live tunes or catching one of the monthly chef demonstrations (opening day, October 3, and then the second Saturday of each month).
Green Offerings: The WPB GreenMarket has one of the most impressive lists of growers of all fresh markets in town, including: Kai Kai Farms (seasonal produce, fruit, and herbs), Farmhouse Tomatoes (heirloom tomatoes), Farriss Farm (dairy, meat, poultry, and seafood), Swank Specialty Produce (hydropinically-grown produce and herbs, hard-to-find specialty greens), Ms. V’s Organics (organically grown veggies and herbs), to name just a few.
As for prepared goodies (baked goods, pasta, coffee, pastries, cheeses, pickles, jerky, and more), ornamental plants (orchids, flowers, herbs and citrus trees), and home and personal accessories (soaps, pottery, incense and perfumes, and more), the list of vendors is simply too numerous to go through name by name. lets just say there is something for everyone, regardless of what the shopping list may include.
Tips for the Shopper: Downtown West Palm Beach has plenty of parking for those looking to make the trek; click here for a detailed map of parking locations. If you’re not in a hurry to get the weekly produce shopping in the books, park a little ways off the beaten path – the parking garage at the 500 block of Clemtatis allows for a leisurely stroll to the waterfront, while the trolley will make the trek back a breeze, especially with those eco-bags stuffed with goodies.
Join the fun by boat and tie-up at the City Docks directly across Flagler Drive. Just don’t bring any bananas back on board!
- Location: West Palm Beach Waterfront – 101 S. Flagler Dr., 33401
- The West Palm Beach GreenMarket will run every Saturday from October 3, 2015 to May 28, 2016, excluding March 26, April 23 and 30.
- Hours of operation: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
- Vendors accept cash, with some accepting credit cards – ATMs will be on premise.
For more information, visit wpb.org/greenmarket.