A Day At The Venice Farmer’s Market

It has been a while since my schedule allowed me the opportunity to visit the Venice Farmer’s Market. Every Saturday, this awesome market sets up in the parking lot in front of City Hall in Venice. There are so many vendors selling everything from fruits and vegetables to gift items, fresh jellies, flowers, baked goods and more. Keep reading to discover some of the awesome vendors I found during my outing!

The Venice Farmer’s Market

The Venice Farmer's Market selling fresh produce

The Venice Farmer’s Market is located in the City Hall parking lot at 401 W. Venice Avenue in Venice, FL. From October to March, this market is open from 8 am to 1 pm, the rest of the year the market closes at 12 pm. As I mentioned above, there is so much to do and see, you simply have to experience it for yourself.

If you or someone you know receives EBT benefits, otherwise known as SNAP or Food Stamps, this market is a real treat. Thanks to a grant through the state of Florida, every $1 spent at the market counts for double up to $40. Meaning if you spend $40, you would receive $40 in red chips to spend anywhere they are accepted in the market. Then you would also receive another $40 in green chips to be spent on Florida grown products. It’s an amazing program to help struggling families eat healthier!

Just wait until you see all the goodies at the market though! I’ll start with one of my favorites…

Stamper Cheese

Stamper Cheese in Venice Fl

My first stop at the Farmer’s Market was Stamper Cheese. A sweet woman named Mindy called me over to sample a small piece of raspberry bellavitano, which had a subtle sweetness that I think would pair deliciously with a glass of wine. She was a wealth of knowledge and seemed to genuinely love talking with people and sharing the taste of various cheeses.

​She continued to tempt me with various samples: an aged manchego, a dry sheep’s milk cheese with an almost caramel, nutty flavor like a brown butter; From dill cheese curds to applewood smoked gouda, there wasn’t anything on that table that I didn’t like. I could have spent the afternoon just at this booth alone and been completely satisfied. My favorite though? The pistachio roll. A creamy cheddar and blue cheese rolled in crushed pistachios. Stop by and grab a sample, you’ll be glad you did!

Leah’s Lemonade

The Florida sunshine can be rough when you have been walking the Venice Farmer’s Market all afternoon, especially for me. After several years of having limited mobility because of my health, the fact that I can spend the afternoon walking up and down the street at the market is a HUGE win for me! So, my reward after my successful day of activity is a delicious, ice-cold glass of Leah’s Lemonade.

The best part about this lemonade stand is that they have the option to have it sweetened with Stevia! As a diabetic, I can appreciate that they have sugar alternatives. I also love that it is fresh-squeezed lemonade infused with bright fruity flavors like strawberry, mango or peach. You could even add a zing with ginger or basil! I have a love of ginger, making my choice clear.  A small ginger lemonade sweetened with Stevia! 

Thirsty yet? It’s amazing!

Chef Chasky and his Gourmet Products

Chef Chasky in Venice Florida

I can always count on Chef Chasky and his wife to be serving up something delicious for lunch using his specialty seasonings that he infuses with essential oils for healthier meals. Today was no exception, he was making a delicious risotto which I happily sampled as I looked through his other offerings.

I made sure to pick up a grinder of Sea Salt infused with CBD oil… My husband is a huge supporter of CBD and the healing properties it can have on the body. We are big believers in our house!

Let me take a moment to address the topic of Cannabidiol Oil or CBD oil. It can be a controversial topic because of the confusion that surrounds what it is and what effects it has on the body. Marijuana has both THC and CBD, but when the psycho-active portion, THC is removed, the CBD is left behind. The medicinal benefits that marijuana promotes are still there in the CBD without the mind-altering drawbacks from the THC.

How’s that for a little education? Chef Craig Chasky is all about educating the public about the benefits of Infused Cuisine, and not just with CBD. He uses pure therapeutic grade essential oils in his cooking!

Definitely stop by his booth and check out all the seasonings and sauces he has to offer. You won’t be disappointed.

Busy on Saturdays? Here are the other Farmer’s Markets near Venice!

  • Braves Farmer’s Market
    • CoolToday Park
      18800 South West Villages Parkway
      Venice, FL
      Wednesdays from 8 am – 12 pm
  • Dearborn Street Market
    • 348 W Dearborn St
      Englewood, FL
      Tuesdays from October-May 9 AM – 2 PM
  • SWFL Produce Co-Op
    • This is a special pop-up event on Sundays. Pre-orders are necessary, but worth it! SWFL Produce is a co-op farm out of Punta Gorda and they work with other local farms to bring the freshest produce and products into their customer’s hands. Join our group to learn more. Venice Foodies and SWFL Produce
  • White Picket Produce
    • Have your produce delivered right to your door or your office! Read more here.

Organic Produce Delivery in Venice: White Picket Produce!

Life is busy and the ability to have an organic produce delivery in Venice can be the answer to at least one of your problems. I love using White Picket Produce for that reason. Read on to learn more about the box that I had delivered and how I used it!

Try White Picket Produce for Organic Produce Delivery in Venice

One of my biggest struggles is eating enough fruits and vegetables during the week. Now that I am following WW Green Plan and blogging about my recipes on Sassycooking, I have been looking into incorporating more zero point foods into my weekly meal rotations. By having a box of fresh produce delivered to my door, I’m saving valuable time at the grocery store and also getting a few items that I might not have necessarily chosen for myself. So I’m sure you’re asking…

What is White Picket Produce?

It is a company based in Sarasota, FL that believes “Fruits and vegetables are meant to be grown with love, sun and water.” Their mission is to make it easier to eat healthier by delivering fresh, organic produce right to your front door.

How much does it cost?

A standard box of only fruits or vegetables is $36 while a combination box is $38. A box of produce made up of items for exclusively juicing is $40. For larger families, the large box of produce is $57. If you would like your produce delivered to your work for consumption in the office, they offer a small and large box for $34 and $60. There are also a number of other items available as add-ons!

What if I don’t like something in the box?

That’s the best part. When you first join White Picket Produce, you will fill out a survey explaining what you like and don’t like. In addition, if there is something that ends up in your box that you don’t like, you are welcome to customize your box with substitutions. The menu for the week ahead is released in an email on Fridays and from there you can log in to your account to make any changes.

What If I’m not home to get the Organic Produce Delivery?

Delivery is on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, depending on where you live. If you will not be home for delivery, simply leave instructions as to where to leave the box. If you leave a cooler by the door with ice packs and a few frozen water bottles, it will be fine until you return home to put it away.

What else can I get delivered?

Besides organic produce, White Picket also has a variety of other items that you can include in your delivery like dairy, grass-fed meat, seafood, baked goods, fresh-pressed juices, organic coffee, and natural groceries. You can also order extras of your favorite fruits and vegetables!

coupon for white picket produce

My Experience with White Picket Produce

Summertime is filled with sunshine, outside picnics, and family fun. When I first looked at the menu for this week’s White Picket Produce box, my mind started swirling with the possibilities as soon as I saw fennel.

organic produce delivery in venice
organic produce delivery in venice

What is Fennel?

In my opinion, fennel is underrated, under-praised and under-utilized in cooking. Fennel has a cabbage-like texture with a sweet, licorice flavor that tends to take the lead in many recipes, but when given the opportunity to shine, I can almost guarantee it will become one of your favorite summertime vegetables.

As I looked through the list of what would be included in my share this week, I saw the Valencia oranges, the pears, the tomatoes, and the cucumbers. It’s wonderful knowing exactly what’s going to be in my box, make substitutions and know that my box will be delivered right to my door!

What recipes can you use with Fennel?

Cucumber, Tomato and Fennel Summer Salad Recipe

Let’s start with a classic summertime salad combination of cucumber and tomato, paired with fennel. This recipe is probably the simplest one with the most flavor. Slice up the tomatoes into a medium dice, the cucumber into slices, and the fennel into medium strips. Toss them in a bowl and whip up this easy vinegarette.

Ingredients
1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice 
1 tablespoon olive oil 
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and mix in with the vegetables for a refreshing summer salad!


Fennel and Pear Soup Recipe

Another fantastic recipe takes the cake for a fresh summer soup, perfect for an afternoon lunch. With a bubbly white wine, this dish has the undertones of luxury that lifts the flavors of the fennel to royal status.

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     Fennel and Pear Soup | vermilionroots.com. This soup is uncomplicated and minimally seasoned, letting the nice flavors of fennel and pear shine.
Photo Credit: Vermilion Roots

Ingredients
1 1/2 bulbs of fresh fennel, sliced.
1 medium onion, sliced
2 medium pears, diced
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil or butter
1/2 cup white wine 
2 1/2 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1. Heat the olive oil or butter in your dutch oven or a large pot and once the oil is hot, add the fennel and onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and allow it to cook down for about 10 minutes until the onions are translucent and just starting to caramelize. 
2. Add in the pears and finish cooking the mixture.
3. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and then add in the water and the bay leaf. Cover the pot and allow it to come up to a boil before reducing the heat and simmering on a low heat mostly covered (just allow some of the steam out) for about 5-10 minutes.
4. Remove the bay leaf before blending the soup with an immersion blender. If you need to use a free standing blender, let the soup cool down before blending to avoid splatter.

Then enjoy! I prefer to serve this soup with a nice piece of crusty bread, or it’s even delicious with some shaved parmesan cheese!

Citrus Fennel Salad Recipe

One of my favorite summertime dinners is grilling a great piece of chicken or fish with either a slice of lemon or orange on top. This citrus-inspired salad pairs perfectly with that!

​Slice up your fennel as thinly as you can, then peel and slice your orange. I learned that if you slice the top and bottom portion of your orange and then slice the peel off in horizontal sections, it’s super east to slice up the orange into little wedges perfect for a salad! To make the dressing for this salad, combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil with a tablespoon of either orange or lemon juice with salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the top and garnish with a bit of chopped flat-leaf parsley, and you’re ready to serve!

I hope you enjoy some of my favorite fennel recipes. I’d love to hear some of your creations as well!

With any luck, you have found a new favorite summertime vegetable. Happy Healthy Eating!

If you love vegetables, you will love my post all about Zucchini!