Photos by Mary Kate Leming/The Coastal Star
By Jan Norris
In Boca Raton, where the market is in its 16th year, you’ll find the sweet team of Grace Reames and her daughter, Stacy Reames Black. At their booth, Bee Sweet Honey, they sell a variety of natural honeys processed in their Umatilla honey house from around the state. Their Florida Signature jar is an orange blossom honey taken from beehives placed in Indiantown and Central Florida orange groves. The Wildflower honey, from beehives placed around Broward and Palm Beach County, is recommended for those with allergies.
“We have our hives and buy honey from local beekeepers. You’re supposed to eat local raw honey — it has a number of health benefits,” Reames said.
Those who consume honey grown locally have fewer pollen allergies, some experts believe.
Saw palmetto honey is from the berries of small palmetto bushes in and around the Everglades, prized for its color and floral taste. Orange blossom honey is favored by those who love the very sweet, slight citrus flavor.
Tupelo honey, gathered only from the Apalachicola River basin area, is sold in half-pound and pound jars. “It’s one of the rarest honeys in the world,” Reames said. Prized by connoisseurs for its purity, it’s the only honey that won’t crystallize when refrigerated.
At another booth, Jonathan Grotsky sells cookies, breads and pastries under the Cookielicious name. He’s a former pastry chef at the Seminole Hard Rock hotel, and has worked as a pastry chef at the Boca Raton Resort & Club and for Barton G. caterers in Miami as well.
“We offer 35 items — 15 cookies, along with breakfast pastries and breads. I’d have to say the best-seller is the raspberry oatmeal thumbprint cookies, and the banana bread. But people really like the orange bread, too, and our coconut macaroons.” He laughed. “Everybody has a favorites.”
Artisan breads and specialty items also are available.
Locally baked dog biscuits, fresh flowers, produce and health products are available at the Boca Green Market.
Boca Green Market, in Royal Palm Place, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturdays through May.
The director of the Lake Worth Farmer’s Market is always found wearing a colorful shirt depicting a favorite produce item. The shirts, aprons, placemats and table runners with bright peas, carrots, blueberries and greens are Peter Robinson’s designs — made locally and sold by a partner at the market.
“Aren’t they fun?” he says. “They’ve been really popular, so we’ve expanded the line.” Custom orders are taken for the 100-percent-cotton textiles, though placemats and aprons and a few shirts are normally available off the rack at the booth. They’re a standout and favorite among foodies, he said.
Be dazzled by the smile from Empress Jahdaya at the market. The Ghana native shows up at the market sometimes a little late, possibly because her 1954-era car is temperamental.
You can’t miss her and her product, though — sugar cane juice. The raw cane stalks are tied to the top of her car and stand in poles at her booth.
Here she also has the machine that extracts the juice, known by its Cuban moniker, guarapa, but it is drunk around the world wherever sugarcane is grown. We like it mixed with a fresh squeezed lime, served over ice, which she’ll also provide. Grab a mint leaf from the nearby herb plant sales guy and it’s a virgin mojito at its finest: delightfully refreshing. The “empress” will extoll the health benefits of the juice, which are being studied by scientists in the Glades — there may well be something to it.
Representatives from Chipley’s Arrowhead Beef Ranch are on hand to promote the flavor, quality and healthfulness of the grass-fed beef. Steaks and ground meats are available frozen from the booth, where visitors can learn about Florida’s grass-fed cattle program, and the small ranches on which the cows are raised.
The Lake Worth Farmer’s Market, which moved to the foot of the Lake Worth bridge, features vendors selling produce, fresh herb and garden plants and fruit trees, raw foods, wind chimes, fashions and vintage items.
Lake Worth Farmer’s Market, northeast corner of the Lake Worth Bridge (across from the casino). Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (or close) through May.