The Town ’N Country community celebrated the opening of its 11th annual farmers’ market season Nov. 3.
Northwest Hillsborough County residents can take in live music, stretch during yoga classes and even visit with a chicken or two, all while shopping for produce when the Sunday Farmers’ Market returns .
Hosted by Sweetwater Organic Community Farm, the seasonal market is entering its 11th year, said Andrea Harms, market manager. Meant as a way to showcase the nonprofit farm while raising funds for its ongoing educational programs, the market runs every Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. from November through the end of May.
Sweetwater’s own farm-fresh produce is featured during the Sunday event, but so are goods from a variety of other vendors, Harms said.
“We try to bring in as much Florida produce as possible and we label it so people know where it’s coming from,” she said.
Vendors range from those selling eggs, fruits and vegetables to those who offer fresh-baked goods, crafts and jewelry. In addition, yoga classes are staged just before the Sunday market and there are educational workshops planned for most weekends, including a canning seminar on Nov. 10. Visitors can enjoy live music Sundays from about 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. and go on guided tours of the farm, as well.
“It’s really unique,” Harms said. “There are a lot of markets that have cropped up all over, but I think this is the only market in the area where you can experience the market and the farm at the same time.”
Sweetwater is a nonprofit, community farm that was founded in 1995 in the heart of Town ’N Country. It’s located on six acres of property along Sweetwater Creek. Members of the community volunteer their time to grow crops and perform other chores on the farm. Founded on the concept of community-supported agriculture, the farm also offers shares of regular harvests to its members, who pay a seasonal fee to take part. Sweetwater also serves as an educational facility, playing host to a variety of regular programs and school field trips.
About 25 vendors are lined up for the market’s Nov. 3 return, Harms said. New vendors are always welcome, she added.
Sweetwater Organic Community Farm is located at 6942 W. Comanche Ave. For more information, visit www.sweetwater -organic.org or call (813) 887-4066.