We absolutely love going to the farmer's markets here in Florida. We go every Saturday to buy our vegetables and we have several local markets to choose from. Some are huge with over 25 enclosed buildings where you just wander from one building to another. When visitors come to stay with us, this is a necessary part of their visit! My son and his wife bought the nicest luggage last summer and it was a third of the price of retail.  

The smaller markets are located throughout various counties and are mainly for the purchase of local grown fruits and vegetables. They also carry jellies and jams, baked goods- like cakes, pies and cookies, along with snack foods that the ladies make and sell for profit. 

Farmer's markets have changed so much over the past years. As I may have mentioned, we can purchase almost anything, so it can be one-stop shopping. I have a ball getting jewelry, such as beautifully painted glass pendants that slide onto a necklace chain. They sell for a mere $4.00. There are just so many handmade earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. A popular item is the magnetic jewelry; if you wear this jewelry it will stop pains in your body.  

Next to this aisle is the booth that sells those delicious fried Spanish peanuts and fresh popped kettle corn. The smell of fresh-fried, mini-powdered donuts is so irresistible. Further down this aisle you can purchase and sample oranges, tomatoes, grapefruits, green peppers, lettuce, cucumbers, bananas, Vidalia onions, and all sorts of fresh herbs. They also carry the most beautiful orchids that are so reasonable at 3 for $10.  

My hubby likes to go to the tool section where you can find any tool imaginable for your workbench. We then wander down to the pet barn where we go crazy cuddling all the new puppies for sale. The most popular breeds here in The Villages are small lap dogs--like a Chihuahua, Shih-Tzu, or Yorkie-- and designer dogs, which are a mix of the smaller breeds. We can purchase carrying bags, small adorable crates, dresses, hats, scarves, and lots of other cute items for our two little girls, Roxy and Lucy, both tiny long hair Chihuahuas.

 We bought some beautiful paintings at the art store in one building. We sold all of our dark cherry furniture when we moved here and purchased all new light-colored white furniture with a new sofa in red and white hibiscus flowers. Well, of course, that meant all new pictures for the walls. Our friends told us to go to Kirkland's and the farmer's market, and did we ever get some buys. Beautiful beach, flowers, and palm scenes to match our new décor. We look truly Floridian now in our new residence. And it has been so much fun cruising through the farmer's market to meet a lot of those shopping needs.

Linda Reese

Linda is a contributing writer for the Retired & Loving it blog. Linda is retired, married, and enjoying her retirement in a retirement community in Florida. She shares her experiences with others who are facing retirement or already there with posts on living on a fixed income, budgeting, and healthcare issues. Compensated CareOne Blogger.