Visiting a local farmer's market or u-pick farm is a small, simple joy I find myself appreciating more now that leaving the house is limited to grocery shopping and the occasional takeout meal. As we all adapt to our new normal, it's all too easy to forget that local farmers are still hard at work producing food. Instead of hitting the closest grocery chain with dozens of other people, check out these local Tampa Bay farmers markets and alternate shopping ideas including markets offering online ordering and curbside pickup.
Local Farmers Markets
The bustling and much loved Saturday Morning Market in downtown St. Pete is a weekend favorite for delicious farm fresh finds, crafts, plants, music and more. With more than a dozen local farmers plus vendors selling everything from kombucha to ginger beer, it's an awesome place to stock up on all of your essentials. For now, the market has pivoted to pick-up only with online ordering available. You can order from select farmers directly, or browse the market website to place an order. When you arrive, just have your ID and order receipt ready and the market greeter will direct you to the correct pickup location. Make sure to check out the full vendor list for more ways to support your local favorites.
FYI: Orders must be placed by Wednesday at 11pm for pickup the following Saturday between 9am-12pm. To place an order, visit saturdaymorningmarket.com/saturday-morning-market-drive-thru.
This open-air market has remained open and unlike other markets, it is open daily. Stock up on an assortment of fresh fruits and veggies, honey, bread, sauces, jams and more. Don't forget to grab some fresh blooms to brighten up your home. Check the market's Facebook page for daily opening hours.
This quaint Saturday morning market in Thonotosassa offers a shopping experience with a twist. Because the market actually takes place at a strawberry farm, you can pick your own fresh berries to take home along with loads of delicious produce. U-pick is open through this weekend (April 17-19). You can also pick your own sunflowers and zinnias. The market is typically open Saturdays from 9am-2pm, but check Facebook for the latest info.
Tampa Bay Markets coordinates a handful of farmer's markets throughout the Tampa Bay area, including:
- Seminole Heights Sunday Morning Market (monthly)
- Corey Avenue Sunday Market (weekly)
- Dunedin Downtown Market (weekly)
- North Tampa Market (monthly)
- Fresh Market at Hyde Park Village (monthly)
- Fresh Market at Wiregrass
While the markets themselves are closed through April, you can purchase from your favorite vendors easily thanks to the online directory created by Tampa Bay Markets. Check out the Buy Local Directory here for more info on how to support local by ordering directly from your favorite vendors.
The Ybor City Saturday Market may be closed, but you can still get your fix thanks to the market's new Ybor Market Online website spotlighting local vendors and allowing for online orders. The website was just launched, so check back frequently as the market continues to add more vendors to the lineup.
Farm Stands + Vendors with Online Ordering
Even if your go-to market is closed, some of your favorite vendors and farm stands are still accepting orders for delivery. We've listed a few local favorites below, but feel free to reach out to your personal favorites, too!
There's no need to wait for the annual Florida Strawberry Festival each year to get your berry fix. This local, family-run farm stand in nearby Plant City is a favorite for strawberries (when in season), fresh produce and the best darn fresh strawberry milkshakes around. They've also got an impressive selection of house plants. While the market is temporarily closed, you can still place online orders for essential items to spruce up your home cooking game like seasonings, salsas, pickled goodies and more. Keep an eye on the market's Facebook page as they recently polled fans for interest in a potential produce curbside pickup offering (fingers crossed for curbside milkshakes!!).
This historic market has been around since 1982. While you can pick up oodles of fresh produce, it's also a great stop for stocking up on meat. Check the market's Facebook page for weekly specials on meat like BOGO party wings and deals on bulk meats. Sanwa Farmer's Market is currently open regular business hours.
If you've ever wanted to test out a CSA farm share, now is the time! A Simpler Place Farm and Market offers customizable one-time farm boxes available for online ordering each week. There are two ordering windows each week and you can choose from various pickup or delivery options throughout the Tampa Bay Area. The best way to stay informed on offerings and ordering windows is to sign up for the farm's notifications here.
Craving some local honey for your morning tea (or just to eat by the spoonful because it's that good)? Bee-Haven Honey Company in Lakeland is open for self service at the farm or you can place an order online to have honey delivered to your doorstep. Treat your tastebuds to varieties like orange blossom and a special allergy blend.
Check out this guide to Social Distancing Friendly U-Pick Farms if you'd like to include a farm visit in your shopping routine.