The Mid-Week Farmer’s Market in Atlantic Beach: Keeping it Green All Week Long

Isn’t everyone on the island  aware of the Beaches Green Market held on Saturday afternoons in Neptune Beach?  It’s a wonderful weekly gathering of growers and other vendors who gather to sell fresh and locally sourced food. It’s very popular, year round.   If you’re in Ponte Vedra, come on out; it isn’t far. Fresh food, locally grown…well, you know.  We’re all about the local around here, and when it comes to the food we eat, fresh is best.  Check out the their website by clicking the link above.

Fewer people know that the city of Atlantic Beach holds a Mid-Week Farmer’s Market every Wednesday afternoon in Bull Park, at the Adele Grage Center.  (It’s from 3-6pm during the winter months and 4-7pm otherwise.)  That’s at 7th St. between East Coast Drive and Ocean Boulevard and it’s a wonderful venue: shaded by palms, a large grassy lawn, a  playground for the kids to romp in while parents/caregivers shop and chat with neighbors or friends.  Tennis courts!  Public restrooms (always a plus!) and parking;  it’s been held there for about a year and a half.  This is a much smaller farmer’s market than Saturday’s, but it’s there’s always something fresh from vendors – some of whom make a round trip of over 100 miles to be there each week. And Bull Park’s been a natural gathering spot for people long before the Mid-Week Market began.

We stopped by on Wednesday, a beautiful afternoon, and visited with some the people who sell and shop there.  Their devotion is obvious.  This location seems nearly perfectly designed for a farmer’s market, too –  a sidewalk traverses this section of the park; there are spots for vendors on either side, and a large, grassy lawn for expansion when the market grows.  The lure of the playground, basketball and tetherball courts for kids, the amphitheater area for anyone visiting with friends – it’s ideal  for those with children, and anyone who wants to come out and enjoy the sea breeze, a dose of vitamin D, and shop for some locally sourced foods and goods.  Walk your dog,  or ride your bike here. If you’re thinking of coming out to the beach for a day, do consider a Wednesday.  Spend the morning and afternoon on the beach or  poking around the shops, grab some lunch at any of our great restaurants, then finish your outing by picking up some fresh produce before heading home.   See?  We’ve got it all planned for you!

 Atlantic Beach residents Jill Easton and her daughter Abbe pick up some vegetables from Alvarez Farms.  They drive about 135 miles round trip from Rayford to be at the Mid-Week Market each week.


Lately there’s been talk of moving the Mid-Week Market to Johansen Park, which is in the Selva Marina area of Atlantic Beach – with a Seminole Road frontage and bordered by Park Terrace.  It’s thought that holding it here would entice more people to stop and shop; that more would notice this charming, Wednesday afternoon farmer’s market.  That perhaps the Bull Park location doesn’t have the visibility the market needs in order to sustain itself, and grow.

Atlantic Beach’s  Angela and Thorp Price in front of Cindy Senesac’s booth, a vendor at the market since August. They love the Bull Park location.  Cindy enjoys the pretty venue and ambiance, she told us, and Angela admitted to having strong feelings about its remaining here.  Each of them agreed that were the market to relocate, they would continue to support it, but are strong advocates for the Bull Park location.

The organizers are concerned that the vendors who do come can earn enough to make it worth their while to continue participating, and that the Mid-Week Market can attract more growers, sellers, customers. Everyone supports growing the market.  More people do drive past Johansen Park than further north to Bull Park.   Johansen is a passive park, a lovely, large, treed space that is generally quiet except for when it hosts Arts in the Park each year in the spring. It’s a truly natural and beautiful spot.  Still, it  lacks the amenities of Bull Park – a place already accustomed to public comings and goings – which feels like a much better fit for the Market, except for the public exposure.  Everyone we talked with does love Bull Park, and also understands the challenge of attracting more people to shop,  who will entice more vendors….  It’s something to think about, and the recreation committee at Atlantic Beach is doing just that, now.

What do you think?  Did you know that Atlantic Beach has a Wednesday afternoon farmer’s market, and if so, have you come to it?  Which location would you prefer the market to be held?  And what can we do, as a community, to better publicize this little gem so that it grows – so that everyone wins?  Will you spread the word on your Facebook walls, tell your friends, show up at Bull Park on a Wednesday?

If you haven’t been yet, we encourage you to come out.  It’s really a lovely venue whether you’re bringing children or coming alone.  Whenever we stop by it always leaves us feeling good.  Good to take a break from our busy week and spend some time outdoors wandering from table to table, purchasing a little something fresh to eat, or use.  We also love that we live in a place that even offers a ‘hump-day’ farmer’s market in one of the beaches’ many parks.

Spread the word and help this market to grow because when it does, no matter which park it eventually ends up in, a farmer’s market is always a good thing.






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About the Author

Jeannie Greenwald is a freelance photographer, neighborhoods evangelist, and editor-in-chief of The Beaches Online. She is also a degreed psychologist and occasionally works as an adoption social worker for Jacksonville area families. She founded The Beaches Online, LLC, in 2011 to write about the happenings in 'the beaches' - the island-without-a-name, in Duval and St. Johns Counties, Florida. Always equipped with cameras, she roams the beaches, the string of barrier islands from Amelia to Anastasia, and also journeys inland, to the rural banks of Florida's blackwater rivers, and the pristine, freshwater springs. Jeannie's lived at the beaches for twelve years, and considers herself a common-law native. She celebrates the joy of living in a coastal community that prides itself on its beautiful beaches and strong, independent local business community.

Comments (2)

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  1. Art Shmina says:

    I Love their tomatoes!

  2. Patty says:

    Fitness By Patty is custom serviced in-home personal training. Owner/Certified Personal Trainer, Patty Soud, sets up a sports therapy massage table every Wednesday at the Mid-Week Market and offers complimentary mini sessions for her one-of-a-kind Range of Motion Stretch Therapy as well as quick area-specific massage. Gratuity is appreciated. Spend a few minutes with her and you will leave her table feeling like a completely new, de-stressed, and refreshed individual!

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