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New farmers market opens on island

December 24, 2014
Pine Island Eagle

By ED FRANKS

efranks@breezenewspapers.com

About 4 miles south of the four-corners intersection, Pine Island has a new farmers market. Scott Sexton and Tom Scannel recently formed a partnership to bring the freshest local produce to the island.

"This used to be a bougainvillea operation," Sexton said. "But last year Tom and I formed a partnership that we named Island Coast Farms, which is the property the stand is on. Last year was our first year open and we reopened this year a few weeks ago."

The stand offers a full range of vegetables: sweet corn, green peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, onions, tomatoes, collards, broccoli, cauliflower, avocados and pineapples.

"First, everything we sell except the tropicals (pineapples) is grown in Florida," Sexton said. "Right now we grow probably 75 percent of what we sell here and our goal is to grow everything on the 110 acres behind us."

Island Coast Farms also works on a commercial scale providing vegetables to a Fort Myers farmers market and local Pine Island/Matlacha restaurants.

"Next year we hope to add strawberries and it's only a matter of time before we can offer 'you-pick' your own - it doesn't get any fresher than that."

Meghan Dansby is the marketing director of Scannel's fertilizer company (Bougainvillea Growers International).

"We have our website all set up at www.PIFarmers-Market.com as well as our Facebook page, Yelp and all the social media," Dansby said. "This farmer's market is here for the people of Pine Island. We give local residents a place to come together and celebrate good, hard, honest work - the work done by the hands of our neighbors. We invite everyone to come out and help us grow."

The Pine Island Farmers Market is at 7401 Stringfellow Road, St. James City. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 
 

 

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