Eat your vegetables!

Matthew C. Woodruff

Believe it or not, there was a time when most people grew their own food. Looking around the apartment you share with four other people that seems like a pretty hard sell. Are you destined to forever eat squishy sodium-rich canned vegetables for the rest of your life, or the wilted offerings from the market that seem to spoil even before they ripen?

Here in Alachua County the answer is a big resounding ‘NO!’.

We are surrounded by Farmers Markets. Places where people who do grow their own food will sell you some of that garden fresh and ripened bounty they themselves labored over. Farmers Markets also typically offer homemade goodies as well, so it’s really a win-win type of situation.

In honor of National Farmers Market Week, August 7th – 13th, here is all the information you need to brave the wilds of the outdoor markets and score the fresh, delicious and nutritious goodness of things grown in actual dirt by real people. (No extra charge for the wayward bug).

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Farmers Market(shutterstock)

Bo Diddley Plaza 111 E. University Ave., Gainesville. Year-round on Wednesdays from 4:00 pm - 7:00pm.

Alachua County Farmers Market has two locations:

-5920 NW 13th St., Gainesville. Year-round on Saturdays 8:30 am – 1:00 pm and

-SW Archer Rd., Butler Plaza Gainesville. Spring and Fall 2:00 pm – dusk.

Haile Plantation SW 91st Terrace, Haile Village Center, Gainesville. Year-round on Saturdays from 8:30am -noon.

High Springs 110 NW 1st Ave., High Springs has two times:

-year-round on Thursdays from noon – dusk and

-the first Saturday of every month from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.

UF Farmers Market 1699 SW 16th Ave., Gainesville (restarts in the fall, offers 50% discounts to SNAP benefit payees.)

If, like me, it has been a while for you since someone yelled at you to eat your vegetables, or since you managed to wander out to the yard to plant something edible, getting the proper nutrition can be challenging. The opportunity of shopping and browsing at these wonderful Farmers Markets and to speak with and get to know the people who grow your food is just too good to pass up.

And as author Dr. Michael Greger once said, “We should all be eating fruits and vegetables as if our lives depend on it - because they do.”

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Matthew is a free-lance journalist, and an internationally award-winning author best known for Dark Humor/Lite Horror/Supernatural short stories. He is a lover of the unusual, travel, cats and people's souls. Matthew is based in Florida, USA.

Gainesville, FL
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