Exploring the bounty of local Green Markets: Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach

What’s not to love about fresh baked goods, vine-grown fruits and veggies, and fresh-cut flowers? And what could be better on a sunny, winter Saturday than strolling outdoors, searching booth-to-booth for the freshest foods for the busy week ahead? A weekend tour through our three nearby Green Markets showed each with its own personality and array of unique products. Here’s a quick guide. Enjoy!

Oceanside Farmer’s Market
Saturdays, 8 am - 1 pm
Lake Worth Beach (A1A and Lake Avenue)
Things We Love: Organics rule at this market in the parking lot: everything from all-natural breads to Costa Rican shade-grown coffee. Most of the plants and vegetables come from Loxahatchee farms, and the organizers brag about a list of additional vendors coming in the near future. There are promises of Heirloom tomatoes and goat cheese pies. Yum.

Things We Don’t Love: There’s no shade at this location, so on a warm day go early, before the pavement begins to heat up. There was at least one pet treat vendor, but there’s nothing in the immediate vicinity to keep kids occupied. Still, parking is plentiful and the booths are stroller friendly.

Special Treats: The conch salad from the Sisters in the Pot booth is the best in the area. Get some to go.

Ocean Avenue Green Market
Saturdays, 8 am - 1 pm
The Schoolhouse Children’s Museum
129 E. Ocean Ave., Boynton Beach
Things We Love: Most of the vendors at this market participate in the Community Caring Center’s GreenMarket Café Co-op. This unique business incubator helps individuals develop a business from their culinary skills. As a result, plan on being at this Green Market for lunch. There’s everything from spicy Caribbean chicken to crab cakes to pulled pork sandwiches — all of it mingling to provide a wonderful aroma while you stroll the craft tents. Other positives are the proximity to the Schoolhouse Children’s Museum playground, and the shaded venue.

Things We Don’t Love: Although there is at least one booth with organic vegetables grown west of Boynton, there’s really not much produce here. And, parking may be hard to find — until you learn to steer behind the Civic Center or park in the library lot.

Special Treats: The day we dropped by, the light acoustic duo of Jim Kolvalcik on flute and Vinnie Monaco on keyboard was excellent and provided a perfect backdrop for a Saturday morning stroll.

Delray Beach GreenMarket in the Park(ing lot)
Saturdays, 8 am - 1 pm
East of Old School Square in the Pineapple Grove Arts District
Things We Love: Like Lake Worth to the north, there are plenty of vegetables at this market, and most of the produce is grown locally. Other favorites items include fresh pasta by the pound, homemade all-natural guacamole and Hungarian cinnamon rolls.
There’s good space for maneuvering baby strollers, and the adjacent lawn of Old School Square provides some running space for restless young ones. There seemed to be plenty of parking available on the street and in nearby public parking lots — even with this particular parking lot now taken for booths. With the downtown location, many customers just swing through on foot at the end of their morning walk or run.

Things We Don’t Love: The move way from the market’s previous home in Worthing Park along Atlantic Avenue (and into to the parking lot one block north), opened up space between vendors, but stole some of the charm. There are a couple of trees in the area, but the parking lot can get pretty toasty on a sunny day. The first weekend of the relocation, there seemed to be fewer vendors and customers, but the all favorites were still there doing a brisk business.

Special Treats: Cut flowers. Don’t head home from your morning of Green Market shopping without stopping into the Amazing Creations booth and picking up a $7 bouquet of fresh roses mixed with seasonal blooms. They will keep your Green Market stroll memories lingering until the next sunny Saturday rolls around.

-- Mary Kate Leming

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