By Amanda Armentrout

Located along the beautiful Indian River in Historic Downtown Fort Pierce, you will find the Fort Pierce Farmers Market at Marina Square. The market is open every Saturday morning from 8 a.m. until noon, rain or shine. This unique waterfront shopping experience features a wide array of local vendors with fresh produce, baked goods, plants, herbs, seafood, fresh flowers, and so much more. This bustling and diverse atmosphere feels even more enchanting when set to the soundtrack of live music playing at the end of the market.„

Residents of the Heartland can very easily make a visit to the Fort Pierce Farmers Market a one day adventure or a weekend mini vacation to enjoy the surrounding beaches and downtown area. When deciding to visit the area for ourselves, we did not know about the market. Upon a quick search of things to do in the area, the Farmers Market was mentioned multiple times. With no real idea of what to expect, we were happily surprised when we made the visit and found such a bustling and unique setting.

When speaking to several of the vendors, we found that many had been participating in the market for a number of years. They all spoke fondly of the sense of community within the market vendors and the enjoyment they get from meeting so many different people. Everyone was more than happy to assist us with our choices as we browsed through beautiful selections of produce and baked items. Many items featured also included vegan and gluten- free options.

The food vendor selections were almost overwhelming…so bring your appetite! The smells of all the food wafting through the crowds will make you want to try a little bit of everything. As it is situated along the river, it was easy to grab a little something to eat or drink and sit along the waterfront to take in the scenery. We chose to do just that as we began our visit. Many also chose to sit near the marina to enjoy their goodies, the scenery, and the bluegrass band that was entertaining the crowd.„

The overall atmosphere of the market was so friendly and welcoming. We saw many families of all ages walking among the displays and vendors. Many also brought their four-legged family members on the outing, as the venue was very pet-friendly.

The Downtown Fort Pierce Farmers Market states that their mission is to be committed to bringing healthy, fresh food and horticultural products to St. Lucie County and the surrounding areas, while encouraging commerce, entertainment, and trade in Downtown Fort Pierce. We would agree that they have accomplished their mission. They have a home page (https://fortpiercefarmersmarket. com/) and an active social media to update the community on the many events and benefits they host, as well as a detailed list of vendors each week.

While at the Fort Pierce Farmers Market, we also made a quick visit to the neighboring Jazz Society Arts & Crafts Market. This market features up to 70 artists, creators, and crafters. Funds raised support education and local scholarships. Some of the artists featured stained glass art, paintings, glassware, soaps, and more. With such a wide variety of items, we took the opportunity to purchase a couple of unique gifts ourselves.

One of the many joys of living in the Heartland is being near so many unique and diverse events and places. Some of these quick trips can be the most rewarding as you get to discover another corner of our beautiful state and meet the people that make it so special. The Fort Pierce Farmers Market is one such place and one that’s on our list to visit again.