Have you been to the grocery store and seen the prices on produce these days? No wonder people don’t want to buy fresh food that’s actually good for them, when they can save a buck by buying processed, pre-packaged food that is full of chemicals and fake ingredients. It’s also dejecting to think how far food travels before it reaches our tables — going from farm to processing and packing plants, then shipped off hundreds of miles away to grocery stores.
I am making a personal effort to buy more locally grown food. It saves me money and it keeps the local farmers in business. Last weekend, I ventured out to Plant City to check out some of the local farmers’ markets and found Parkesdale Farms Market. Parkesdale Farm has been in operation by the Parke family since 1956, growing an array of vegetables, fruits, and various plants and flowers over hundreds of acres. They are now the largest strawberry, citrus, and produce market in Florida.
I was floored when I saw the price of the food at the Parkesdale Market! Red bell peppers were about 59 cents a piece (compared to 4 bucks a pound at the grocery store), 3 pounds of onions were a dollar, mangoes and avocados were 59 cents a piece, and the thick, delectable-looking asparagus was $1.29 for a huge bunch. The produce also looked so much bigger, brighter, and healthier than anything I’d seen in the grocery store. I walked out with a flat filled with my edible prizes that tallied to just $20.05, which would have cost twice that or more if I’d gone to the grocery store to buy it. To say the least, it was definitely worth the trip and the gas money.
Bonus: they serve strawberry shortcake with fresh, juicy strawberries and whipped cream piled high (but don’t wait because they stop serving it after April)! So indulge in that while you’re there and then roam around to check out all of the plants and flowers they have for sale.
Parkesdale Farm Market
3702 W. Baker Street
Plant City, FL 33563
(Located off I-4 between the exits 17 & 18, about 30 minutes from Tampa)
Summer: May – September
Open Tuesday – Saturday / Closed Sunday & Monday
9 am – 6 pm
Winter: October – April
Open 7 Days a Week
9 am – 6 pm