Not wanting to make the trek down to St Pete, we decided to check out the nearby Dunedin Green Market on this fine “Shop Local” Saturday, the day after “Buy Nothing Day,” formerly known as Black Friday.
Immediately upon arriving we noticed the happy smiling faces so often seen at these sorts of weekend markets but this one seemed a bit different from the big markets I’ve been getting used to lately – it was smaller.
Aaah… What a breath of fresh air. Gone were the big crowds so often present in Tampa and St Pete but some of the same vendors were selling their wares.
While there was a very good turn out considering the size of the market, it was so nice to be able to walk around and not get bumped into by other shoppers at every turn. For once I was able to spend just a little more time with each of the vendors I spoke to.
We started our day like we start all our market days, by eating of course.
While I was busy jabbering away about the benefits of supporting local commerce, my companion kept looking over my shoulder at something behind me. Assuming it was a dog or something, I kept talking only to realize once I had finished and he jumped up like there was a fire in his pants, that what he’d actually been staring at was Paulie O’s Italian Gourmet tent and the meatballs on sticks that were coming out of it. I was a little peeved at his distracted listening skills until I actually tasted a meatball myself.
I can’t even describe these things. First off, they’re enormous, and secondly, the sauce is absolutely amazing. They call it their “old world recipe.” I call ‘awesome sauce party in my mouth.’ Apparently I wasn’t the only one having a party. Those meatballs sold like hot cakes all day.
Once we had our fill of meatballs, we leisurely strolled around for a bit, taking pix and talking to folks.
Enjoyed some jams at Lid’s Jams and Jellies
Got all bent out of shape at Twisted Mind Rusty Metal.
Spoke with Sindy Todd from of the Earth in Palm Harbor. Sindy features fantastic all natural hand woven baskets for the holidays.
The Soap Lady makes these fabulous smelling soaps.
And Eden’s Nectar sweetened things up with their seasonal local raw honey.
After all that, we were ready to eat yet again and the choices were vast…
The guy that runs the Original Nut Hut, featuring famous sweet glazed pecans, almonds, cashews, and p- nuts, is a nut himself. Check out his nutty shirt.
The Edible Plant Store has, you guessed it – edible plants including heirloom and open pollinated vegetable varieties, unique and unusual tropical fruit trees, edible landscaping plants, and vintage roses.
Personally, I love giving people plants as gifts for the holidays. That way, every time they see your plant (which could be for many years!), they’ll think of you warmly. <3
Speaking of gifts, Organic Sweetness provided me with some tasty gifts for the holidays. One free taste and I was hooked.
I ended up buying the roasted garlic, hawaiian black lava, and their german rock sugar, all of which came in cute little decorative glass jars, perfect for holiday gifts. We found out just how potent the garlic was the next night putting a bit in our dinner – Whew, now that’s real garlic! Garlic is one of my favorite foods on the planet but next time we’ll have to remember that a little goes a long way.
Lastly as everyone was closing up shop, I stumbled upon Pirate Jonny’s caribbean BBQ rubs & seasonings. Talk about tasty! If I wouldn’t have run out of dough and if my camera battery had lasted, I would have bought some more holiday gifts from them and taken pictures. Fortunately they were nice enough to send me this pic:
If you find yourself up in Dunedin at any point, I highly recommend the Green Market on Saturday. It’s a great relaxing way to spend a lovely Florida Saturday morning and another fantastic way to support your local community.
Lastly, as the holiday season comes upon us, let us all remember that the holidays aren’t about how much money you spend or what flashy toys you were able to buy your kids. It’s about spending quality time with family and friends if you’re lucky enough to have them, and appreciating what you’ve already got.
If you do want to buy a few gestures of appreciation for your loved ones, be sure to make smart purchases, putting your money back into your local community where it counts.
Every time you want to save 20 cents by buying something from a big corporation who’s main motivation is profit at nearly any cost, you’re feeding into a system that doesn’t care about you or your children. When you shop local, sure it may cost a tiny bit more, but there’s a grateful face on the other side of the counter who’s life you’ve just helped to improve in a really tangible way.
Season’s Greetings from Local Flavor!!