Culture

Farm Fresh: Keeping it local

Stewart Farm from Bay Minette, Ala.

Slow food, farm fresh, farm to table… whatever you call it, the movement to bring local produce, meats and dairy has roots in Pensacola.

Last weekend, Traci and I spend some time strolling the corridor of the Palafox Market, which takes place every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

We were overwhelmed by the colorful fresh fruits and vegetables. We were captivated by the variety of meats from chicken to beef to pork. We were tempted by the thick, golden honey that seemed to be everywhere we looked, and we enjoyed every sample of delicious breads, jams, salsas, dips and spreads that we tasted.

The best part was that we both went home with some incredible food to share with our families, and we could feel good about not only the quality of what we were eating but also about the fact that the money we spent was going to directly back into our community.

It’s a win-win!

Of course, Saturdays at the Palafox Market makes for easy one-stop shopping, but any of these farmers or bakers would be happy to provide their goods to you all week long.

Udderly Hen-Pecked Country Farm

The Udderly Hen-Pecked Country Farm is located in Cantonment.

The Udderly Hen-Pecked Country Farm is located in Cantonment.

The Udderly Hen-Pecked Country Farm is located in Cantonment and owned by Larren and Mike Truitt.  We were impressed by all of the delicious cheeses they produce including mozzarella, asiago, ricotta and cheddar. The fresh eggs were beautiful. Larren let us peek in her cooler to see the farm raised chicken and fresh milk. The milk was already marked for customers who reserve it ahead of time. They have two cows and she milks them by hand daily. Details: Udderlyhenpecked@att.net  (850) 449-9560.

Coldwater Gardens

Coldwater Gardens in Milton.

Coldwater Gardens in Milton.

Emily and I were blown away by the display at Coldwater Gardens. We were wild about the shiitake mushrooms spilling out of the large wooden basket and the beautiful color of the radishes. Coldwater Gardens in located in North Milton on Creek Stone Road. Sarah Flaningam is the agricultural manager. She can be reached at sarahflaningam@coldwatergardens.com or (850) 450-4626. Coldwater Gardens has a website and blog at  www.coldwatergardens.com.

Ballard Farm

Palafox_Market2_waltz

Ballard Farm in Milton.

 

Interested in starting your own herb garden? Head to the Ballard Farm stand and pick up some of their potted herbs. Here you will also find an extensive selection of jams and jellies. The strawberries were beautiful and just the right size because they are grown without pesticides. Randy Ballard owns Ballard Farm, which is located on Quiet Creek Road in MIlton. Details: ballardsfarm.rbb@gmail.com or (850) 382-9198.

Forland Family Farm

Forland Family Farm from Robertsdale, Ala.

Forland Family Farm from Robertsdale, Ala.

The Forland Family Farm has deep roots in the agricultural business. Located in Robertsdale, Ala., they specialize in growing fruits and vegetables. Forland Family Farm has a Facebook page and can be reached by phone at (251) 654-3813 or visit https://www.facebook.com/FarmerForland

East Hill Honey Co.

East Hill Honey Co.

East Hill Honey Co.

East Hill Honey Co. is probably the most widely known producer who sets up at the Palafox Market each weekend. Found in a long list of local shops and restaurants, one would be hard pressed to find a Pensacolian that is not familiar with East Hill Honey.

The creamy honey is spreadable and great on peanut butter sandwiches. We also loved that they use Renfroe’s Pecans in their honey pecans, which are great on salads and desserts.

Thomas D. Van Horn, owner and beekeeper, is reachable at tommy@easthillhoney.com (850) 530-3008 or at www.easthillhoney.com

Stewart Farm

Stewart Farm from Bay Minette, Ala.

Stewart Farm from Bay Minette, Ala.

Stewart Farm is an organic and pesticide free producer of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Located on Ransom Stewart Lane in Bay Minette, Stewart Farm can be reached at (850) 937-8417.

Other notable vendors:

— Ivia Garcia, Cuban Bread and Flan (850) 723-1130

— Miller Family Aquaponics

— Bella Dolci by Sarah Miller (850) 458-9805

— PoMan Farms (251) 386-5982 or (251) 294-0043

— Sweetbill’s (334) 222-5803 or katiabeli@yahoo.com www.sweetbill.com

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