Yes, you could find your produce at a freezing grocery store, and you could get a bit of your social activity at a packed restaurant and bar, but why? Instead, join together your love for the outdoors, your zest for fresh and locally-sourced produce, and your need for socializing in one fantastic venue, with no parking required. So grab your basket, bike, and appetite and head downtown to the Delray GreenMarket.
The GreenMarket is the brainchild of the Delray CRA and was originally launched in 1996 with 30 vendors at the CRA parking lot. It was initially started as an economic development project to not only bring people downtown on Saturday mornings, but also to provide healthy and fresh food to the community. As you can imagine, it became increasingly popular.
Now, the GreenMarket hosts 65 of South Florida’s local growers and small-batch culinary artisans at Old School Square Park. You can find everything from farm-to-table produce, baked goods, cheeses, farm-fresh eggs, fresh seafood, local honey, Kombucha, fresh pasta, sauces, olive oils and balsamic vinegars, jams, chutneys, shrubs, guacamole, pickles, granola, teas, plants, and orchids. There’s also an amazing selection of vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free selections, fresh flowers, and so much more.
Basically, you can find almost everything you would need for your weekly meals and self-care, with the added feel-good bonus knowing that you’re helping to support the Earth, your community and your local vendors.
“Everyone loves the GreenMarket!,” said Lori Nolan, GreenMarket manager. “People like to buy local and every vendor is a small business, meaning every dollar spent at the GreenMarket goes to support the individual merchant and the local economy. I like to say that there are no strangers at the GreenMarket, only friends you haven’t met yet!”
Nolan finds that the GreenMarket is a throwback to simpler times when every neighborhood or town had open-air markets that allow for shoppers to be able to personally talk and establish relationships with the person who either grew or made the food they were purchasing, creating a great social experience.
“The Market is a true local community event where neighbors run into neighbors and endup sharing a cup of coffee or juice, or sitting down and enjoying the music,” said Nolan. “I love to see the camaraderie between the vendors and the customers, sometimes swapping recipes about how they cooked their eggplant last week.”
This camaraderie brought about the bi-weekly Chef Showcase, where a local chef shops for the freshest GreenMarket ingredients and demonstrates how to create a delicious dish, which is then sampled at the Market. The recipe is then shared on social media the following week for all to recreate and enjoy, giving the entire Market experience a homemade and local feel that you can bring home and share with others.
New to the Market this season is Yoga in the Park, where there will be a free yoga class every Saturday morning from 9 to 10 a.m. Also, local non-profit Wise Tribe will be offering an agri-tinkering program, which is an educational program on how to grow food vertically, hydroponics, aquaponics, composting and up-cycling, as well as occasionally featuring holistic speakers who will present on a range of topics.
The Winter GreenMarket runs for 28 weeks, October 26, 2019 through May 23, 2020 and is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday. There’s live music during the entire event, and it’s also very pet-friendly, so bring along your favorite four-legged friends. Free parking is available in the parking garage next to the Park, but you are also encouraged to walk or ride your bike—go green to get your greens. See you at the Market, friend!