Home' Island Sun : ISN 091115 Contents ISLAND SUN - SEPTEMBER 11, 2015
by Jeff Lysiak
The Sanibel Island Farmer’s Market,
one of the most popular weekly
outdoor activities for local and
visiting foodies, will soon return to the
grounds of Sanibel City Hall. Island-
ers Jean Baer and Betsy Ventura, who
established the market back in 2008, are
looking forward to a bigger and better
season over the next six months.
“When we started, we had about 25
vendors over at Tahitian Gardens,” re-
called Ventura. “That first season was sort
of a trial, to see if people would come.
Now, it’s busy almost every Sunday, with
approximately 50 vendors coming to the
island every week.”
Along with locally-grown produce and
flowers, vendors sell homemade breads,
soups, pasta, jams and jellies, locally-
harvested honey, seafood, meats, cheeses
and many other products – including arts
and craft items, soaps and handmade
goods – that create a well-rounded, enjoy-
able Sunday outing for everyone in the
family, including well behaved dogs.
“We’re opening this year on the first
Sunday in October,” added Baer. “Sev-
eral locals asked us if we could start the
market a month earlier. We’re happy to
help anybody who wants to eat, shop and
Opening for the season on Sunday,
October 4 and continuing weekly –
from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. every Sunday
– through April 24, the Sanibel Island
Farmer’s Market features several long-
time supporters of Baer and Ventura’s
vision for their fresh marketplace. They
include Gallego Farms, who won the
2014-14 People’s Choice Award at the
market; Bromeliads by Judy Hicks; Danc-
ing Dragonflies Soap; Dynasty Guacamo-
le; and Ralph’s Island Seafood, represent-
ing generations of local fishermen.
A number of new vendors will be
joining the entourage, including Among
The Flowers, who will be selling organic
desserts and raw vegan dishes; Bones
Brothers BBQ, operated by Todd Noon;
The Cake Lady; Pine Island Botanicals,
offering organically-grown mushrooms;
Green Tea, which specializes in green
watermelon-infused iced tea; Sweet
Odin’s Danish Bakery from Naples,
featuring freshly-made kringle; Tammy’s
Sammy, selling gourmet sandwiches;
Pete’s Cheeses, which sells locally-made
mozzarella; and Pieces Seafood Salads,
offering several varieties of ceviche.
“I get a real kick out of talking with
people who visit us every week, like the
lady who told me that her 6-year-old
won’t stop talking about shopping at the
farmer’s market,” said Ventura. “We’re
excited to be back and I’m ready to get
started on another season.”
Both Ventura and Baer encour-
age people who plan on attending the
farmer’s market to bring their own bags
(to lessen the burden on vendors and
keep their costs down) and to carry small
bills with them, although some vendors
do accept credit cards.
Parking is located in the lots at Sanibel
City Hall, Sanibel Public Library, BIG
ARTS and The Herb Strauss Theater.
Bicycles can be parked at the designated
area at Sanibel City Hall. Handicap park-
ing is at city hall, located at 800 Dunlop
“The foot traffic increases every year,
and we have to thank the Sanibel-Captiva
Chamber of Commerce and the local ho-
tels who hand out our flyers and encour-
age people to visit the farmer’s market,”
added Baer, who noted that a different
island non-profit organization will be fea-
tured each week. “The city staff has been
great to work with, too.”
In addition to the Sanibel Island
Farmer’s Markets, Local Roots operates
several other markets throughout Lee
• Fenway South
November 4 to March 30
Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Jet Blue Stadium
11500 Fenway South Drive
• Coconut Point
October 1 to April 28
Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Coconut Point Mall
23106 Fashion Drive
• Lakes Park
October 2 to April 29
Fridays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Lakes Regional Park
7300 Gladiolus Drive
• Bonita Springs
October 3 to April 30
Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon
26795 South Bay Drive
• FSW Campus
October 3 to April 30
Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
8099 College Parkway
For additional information on Local
Roots Farmer’s Markets, visit BuyLocal-
Lee.com. For more details on the Sanibel
Island Farmer’s Market, visit Facebook.
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Jean Baer, left, and Betsy Ventura are getting ready for their eighth season of operating the Sanibel Island Farmer’s Market, which
opens on October 4
photo by Jeff Lysiak
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