A Brief Respite at Nelson Family Farms

Here in Florida, Publix dominates the grocery scene.  

Publix is a nice store, living up to its slogan most of the time  “Where shopping is a pleasure”.  We have one just down the main road, a 10-minute walk away from our house.

But convenience isn’t always the best.

Freshest food comes directly from the farmer, so I seek out places that cut out the middle men as much as possible.   One of my favorite places to shop is our local open air farm market, Nelson Family Farms.

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Nelsons is much more than a farm stand.  It also features locally-produced meat and breads, a nursery and garden supplies.

Nelsons works with a variety of local producers to source products as close to our area as possible.  When items aren’t available locally, it does carry other products, but these are very clearly labelled.

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The Adams Ranch is 5 miles from our house

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It’s tomato season in Florida!

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Have you ever tried fresh tumeric?  It is delicious in juice and curry.

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Local coffee and heavenly bread from the best Italian Bakery in town.

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The prices are really good too.  A large head of very fresh (not organic) romaine costs less than a dollar.

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Need a jalapeño?

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They have a great selection of reasonably-priced organic produce.

This market is what Whole Foods aspires to be.  There isn’t any of the pretention (or high prices) here, though.  I love the breezy, open-air feeling of the market and you can tell other people do too.  It gets crowded on Saturday morning with locals and snowbirds alike filling the aisles.  People smile as they move from the tomatoes to the local OJ, pastas and cheese.  They can’t help it.

It’s such a great store, I find myself making excuses to go there to  took a trip there today to find some purple potatoes and parsnips for tonight’s dinner with some friends.

OK, now I have a confession to make.  

I’m not telling you the whole story about Nelson’s.  The vegetable market is only half the store.  They also have a beautiful plant nursery.

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Their nursery isn’t just any nursery.  It is a respite.  It is a feast for the eyes and nourishment for the soul.

As I slowly walked down the main aisle, I noticed a man in a sweaty mechanic’s shirt.  He looked at me and smiled, then said, “I’ve had a bad day at work.  Whenever that happens I just come here and look around.”

I smiled back and nodded with total and complete understanding.

That’s the kind of place that Nelson’s is.

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I counted 16 different kinds of mango trees and 24 kinds of oranges.  Other trees–lemons, grapefruit, limes, avocado–fill the aisles.

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I could go on and on.  I couldn’t help but take lots of photos.

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So just take a stroll with me down the aisle at Nelsons and enjoy the flowers with me.

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I hope you enjoyed your visit to Nelson’s, the store where shopping is REALLY a pleasure.

If you’re interested in learning more about Nelson’s, check out this link.

 

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