Danika Thiele, Staff Writer
Moderately re-collective of an al fresco European market, Lakeland’s Downtown Farmers Curb Market provides an effective source of fresh produce, products and pleasures for Florida Southern students and the greater Lakeland community. A positive force in uniting people over commerce and fellowship, the Downtown Farmers Curb Market is a project of the Lakeland Downtown Development Authority.
Fresh produce is just the beginning at this open air marketplace. By bringing together all segments of the Lakeland community, the farmers market boasts vendors toting goods from orange sickle ice cream to Disney-themed jackets and African beads. Furniture, art, jewelry, foods and produce are available full time. In addition to goods and services, the farmers market features local musicians every second Saturday of the month. With an ever changing list of market entertainers, energy is always high and the atmosphere consistently jovial.
Many Florida Southern students visit the farmers market every Saturday, many making the trek on foot from the Lake Morton or even Hollingsworth Apartment areas. With sustainability a priority, some students refuse to drive and even bring their own reusable bags. The farmers market allows them a chance to consume healthy, nutritious foods they can cook at their own leisure in their apartments or even within the school’s Fannin Ministry Center.
“My favorite are the local strawberries,” said junior Laura Barnard. “I also get to bond with my friends. It’s a great atmosphere. And buying vegetables forces me to actually cook and eat well.”
Barnard often impresses her friends with her vegetarian, often vegan, home cooked meals. Many of her ingredients come straight from the farmers market, which is a walk about four miles from her apartment in Lake Hollingsworth.
“It’s not really that I’m super dedicated to being healthy. I’m just dedicated to being a vegetarian,” said Barnard. In her opinion, the school lacks in vegetarian alternatives. “There’s honestly no appealing vegetarian options at FSC, so I cook my own instead.”
Jordan Axe, a vendor at the Lakeland Downtown Farmers Curb Market, sells his homemade kombucha, a fermented green tea with supposed health benefits, weekly at the market. As a freshman in college, Axe started to experience a digestive disorder that left him feeling constant sickness and fatigue. Through his own health journey, Axe has perfected a recipe for kombucha, offering a healthy alternative that helps the body heal. After kick starting his dream, he created “Krazy Kombucha” which can be found Saturdays at the farmers market.
Kombucha, fresh produce and delicious sweets can all be found weekly at the Downtown Farmers Market from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.