When it comes to overnighters it does not take much to keep Adventure Wife and me entertained. For instance, a 90 minute trip to Sarasota for their weekly farmer’s market can make for quite a fun time.
   In the past, we have just set the alarm and headed out before sunrise in an effort to be at the market as early as possible. For us it is a straight shot out Highway 64. It is a pleasant journey through Zolfo Springs, past Ona, over the unproblematic Troublesome Creek. We then run by Solomon’s Castle then into Manatee County, running by Desoto Speedway to I-75.

   It’s a high speed ride down 75 to Fruitville Road and over to Lemon Street where the market springs up each Saturday morning.

Delicious and fun, The Pineapple Man always is stationed at the entrance to the Sarasota Farmers’ Market.
   Once you have cleared the car and begin to walk, the Sarasota Farmer’s Market is a rich experience in goods and services as well as a delightful opportunity for people watching.
   Both sides of the street are lined with pop-up tents and booths featuring objects d’art including; paintings, sculptures, jewelry and decor. There are plenty of foodstuffs to be had – suck as “The Best Guacamole in the World.” This is made on site in a large bowl with Michael and Assiel of Dynasty Guacamole chatting with the customers as they prepare batches in a huge bowl so all can see the ingredients that go into it.
   “He is the King of All  Guacamole,” she says, gesturing to Michael as he makes another giant bowl full. With a, “Here, try some,” she begins handing out samples.
   There’s also are great offerings from Mazzone Extra Virgin Olive Oil, imported from the family groves in Italy. The lovely Cinzia Testini Forbes is more than happy to show off and talk about their collection of Coratina Monovaretial olive oils, Balsamic vinegars and estate wines.
   There is plenty of food – either to consume right there or to take home for preparation . There are always a couple of sea food booths with everything from the catch of the day to shell fish.  Grave Ladder Farms has their assortment of free range eggs, Natire’s Partners – who have some of the finest Seagrape Honey ever – and of course Kurtos, the original Hungarian Pastry. From cinnamon to cheese flavor, these hollow tubes of pastry, are just begging to be stuffed with your favorite filling They literally are so good Kurtos should require a permit to sell them.

   There are a couple of reconverted busses that do a land office business selling coffee and teas under the name Java Dog. One is a British double-decker bus that provides seating for customers on the upper level. There is also a smaller customized VW microbus parked up the street. They are both painted bright red and spot the Java Dog logo.

JavaDawg has great coffee and a wonderful upstairs venue for shoppers at the Sarasota Farmers’ Market.
   For those interested in essential oils and related products, the folks at Ashjoi have a wide selection of handmade soaps and some of the most effective natural mosquito repellent we have ever used. Made with lavender and other oils, it contains no poisons and for us has kept the critters at bay – even under some of the most challenging conditions.
   OBVITA Organics is the home to a compendium of natural face, hair, eye and body care cosmetics and treatments for women and men – many of them unscented for the sensitive. There are even selections for infants as well as sun protection products.
   “What goes on your skin enters your body,” said owner Angela Harrison.
   My wife has become a regular customer.
   The Sarasota Farmer’s Market is pet friendly and many people bring their dogs in to be part of the scene. Several vendors market to the canine crowd including those offering dog foods, dog treats, dog accessories and even holistic flea treatments.
   For the humans there also are purveyors of eco-frendly clothing,  “Hanamade” children bath/beach accessories, original wood souvenirs and design originals made locally from eco-friendly materials by owners.Hana & Stanley Tiskiewic.
   Naturally, being a farmer’s market there is a long list of various produce options including – but not limited to – the famous organic Worden Farms, Simply Organix, Just Ginger,  Gulf Coast Mushrooms, Honeyside Farms and Brown’s Grove.
   Also on site is Kinsey’s Produce with the Pineapple Man. These are Florida grown and some of the best-tasting pineapples ever picked.

   There’s plenty of entertainment from the ridiculous to the sublime. Buskers present everything from marionettes that perform and dance, karaoke singers, guitarists and even a player of the Australian Didgeridoo.

Puppeteers are just some of the buskers commonly found at the Sarasota Farmers’ Market
   And that’s just the farmer’s market. The streets are lined with interesting storefronts with everything from kitchen supplies to gift cards and stationery – all which are open as well.
  In the past, we have turned this trip into an overnighter, leaving Friday and spending the night at a local motel so that we can get to the market when it first opens. Generally, the further from the beach you are, the more reasonable the prices. We have had good experiences both at the downtown La Quinta and the refurbished Baymont motels. Both are within minutes of our destination
  We also make a stop at the nearby Morton’s for lunch or dessert. \
  Described as a “gourmet market,” it is laid out like a grocery store but is stocked more like a deli. The fare is delightful with a fabulous delicatessen featuring both hot and cold selections, a sumptuous sandwich shop and and an amazing bakery. There also is a meat market, grocery section and a wide array of usual – and unusual – beverage options.
  Though they have inviting out door tables and chairs, we bought an assortment of pasta dishes, salads, perhaps a couple of different slices of pizza or sandwiches and maybe a couple of sweet treats, took them back to the room and had a picnic. It was both tasty and quite a bit of fun.
   Our suggestion is to wear your comfortable shoes and dress for browsing. We have a collapsible wagon we take to tote our produce and other purchases, as they can get heavy with a shoulder bag or simply toting the bags you are given.
   More information can be found at http://sarasotafarmersmarket.org/ or the FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/sarasotafarmersmarket/
  Visit our Florida Fun Zone Facebook page or drop us a line at [email protected].