By Dawn Krebs
ST. LUCIE COUNTY - From jelly to produce, green markets offer a chance for county residents to spend a weekend morning seeing what local farmers and vendors have to offer.
The Fort Pierce Farmer's Market has been successful in drawing thousands of residents every week.
Started in 1997, the Fort Pierce market began with fewer than a dozen vendors and was only open seven months a year. Now, dozens of vendors can be found downtown by the river at the year-round event, which runs from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturdays.
The Fort Pierce Jazz Society has an arts and craft market that runs at the same time in the grassy field nearby, behind the Fort Pierce Library.
And in a few months, residents will have another green market to peruse.
During a June 8 special meeting of the Port St. Lucie City Council, there was a unanimous vote to begin a green market in the Martin Health System Village Square on Saturdays, beginning in September.
"We did have a green market, and unfortunately, the previous producers of that went in a different direction," said Gregory Oravec, city manager.
The market will be run by Arthur Damato and Barbara Verville.
"The market seeks to have a mixture of produce, seafood, sauces, plants, food, beverage, and product vendors that maintain the unique character of the green market," Tonya Taylor, civic center administrator, wrote in a memo to Mr. Oravec.
"The market will also work to display the city's history, uniqueness, charm and unlimited potential."
The market is tentatively scheduled to run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturday.
"I'm very glad to see this happening, that it's coming to Port St. Lucie," said Mayor JoAnn Faiella.
For more information on the Fort Pierce Farmer's Market, call (772) 940-1145 or go online to www.ftpiercefarmersmarket.com.
For more information on the Port St. Lucie Green Market, call (772) 807-4488.