from inside the Children's Garden - kids love to eat what they grow!

The Beaches Green Market is my favorite farmers’ market in the Jacksonville metro. Too bad it takes nearly thirty minutes for me to drive there. Because of that, I signed up for the weekly email and I get a heads up on what’s going to be available and make a list of what to buy, much like I would if I were grocery shopping. It’s just easier. I’ve been to other local “farmers'” markets that sell veggies with country of origin stickers still affixed to them, so BGM is the only one I really trust.

Every Saturday from 2-5, no matter the weather, people stream through the market, gathering everything from fresh seasonal fruits and veggies, herbs, flowers, organic pet snacks, local honey (so many varieties depending on the season), grass-fed beef, Mayport shrimp, stone-ground corn grits, soaps and creams made from all-natural ingredients, and on and on and on. I actually felt guilty about the money I spent on some lavender and oats face cleanser last weekend until I actually used it.

Let me just say that I would be willing to pay a hundred bucks for that stuff. So…yeah, that guilt? Ha. GONE. Also, the woman who created the product shares a very uncommon family name with my Wisconsin kinfolk (she also has relatives in the Milwaukee area). We parted ways with the understanding that we’re more than likely related to each other!

The first time I visited the Beaches Green Market was after my return from Oklahoma, in December. When Matt came out to visit in January, I was so proud of my find that I drove him to Neptune Beach to show it off. We’ve been out there together a few times since (actually, we always try to couple a trip to the Market with a trip to Safe Harbor Seafood so Matt can enjoy his favorite fish tacos in the world).

Behind the market area is the Beaches Community Garden and Children’s Garden, and it’s a lot of fun to stroll through both to get some ideas of what to grow in your own backyard garden. Here is where you will see edibles and flowers growing together in the same space (much like my own space at home) and the many creative ideas of the people who use the garden.  I took my camera with me this last time I visited to compare the January greenery with that of last weekend. Thanks to a freakishly mild winter, the community gardens look no different now than they did four months ago. It isn’t typical (even Florida gets cold and frosty) but everything was green then, too!

January, 2012


April, 2012
Community garden entry


community garden plot

gnome in community garden

Children’s Garden – April, 2012
beautiful entrance, beautiful day!

Lavender in the Children's Garden

"sensory garden" in Children's Garden

one can never have too much of this stuff - remember, I'm obsessed.


About Dena

I'm a suburban Clevelander by way of Oklahoma City, by way of North Florida, by way of Southern Maryland, by way of Upper Michigan, by way of Northern Italy, by way of Lower Michigan, by way of Texas. Because of living in so many places, I have something in common with almost everyone I meet. I love reading, writing, and American history (especially reading or writing about American history). I'm interested in culture of place, historical trauma, and writing about the kinds of histories most people don't know about.
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7 Responses to Locavoring

  1. Karen says:

    What a beautiful and healthy looking garden.

    • Dena says:

      There are quite a few plots in the garden, all maintained individually from what I understand. However, being a community garden that it is, I’m sure friendships are made and favors are traded in the form of taking care of each others’ spaces. I love how each plot is distinctly different, in terms of what’s planted and how garden art and glass bottle borders are used. It’s really fun to visit!

  2. andy1076 says:

    Beautiful photos of a beautiful place, very nice 🙂

  3. Thanks for the review on Jarboe. I’ve often thought of going out there because the Eat Your Yard guy is supposed to be there (succulents!) but, she whined, “It’s SO FAR!” (from Argyle area).

    • Dena says:

      It’s pretty far from me, too, but if you take advantage of the email list – you could just make a short day-trip out of it. Make of list of what to buy, take a walk around the market and then visit the community and children’s garden. I guarantee you could kill at least 2 hours out there. It might be far, but it is so worth it – at least visiting once!

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