City's farmers market ends on a high note

Dean Abernathy of Turtle Patch Produce helps with the presentation of vegetables early on opening day at the Farmers Market.

Call it a little bit of insider trading, if you will, but it's all legit.

Over at the weekly farmers market that was to wrap up its fifth season for the summer on Wednesday, it's become something of a tradition for vendors either to barter with other vendors, or give them good discounts on purchases.

"We got the mozzarella from Pete's Cheese, we loved the nut man close by, and we bartered bread with JC's Daily Bread," said Colleen Rose of C&J Produce of North Fort Myers. "JC's makes me cheesecake cupcakes for my birthday, which is coming up."

Kat Green of Kat's Southern Twang (condiments) said she bartered with neighboring vendors, as well as gave them discounts.

"Of course we take care of each other," she said. "We're like family."

Chris Quinton of BeachDogs bartered his signature hot dogs throughout the season, often using neighboring fresh produce vendors for his fixings, such as onions and peppers.

Meantime, all vendors approached said the season had been excellent, and that the organization had been smooth.

This brought smiles to the faces of Alex Galiana and Samantha Malloy, city recreation facilities manager and community events coordinator for the city respectively.

"At the end of the season, we passed out questionnaires asking for suggestions," Malloy said. "One person suggested a slightly later start because of daylight saving causing vendors to set up in the dark."

A couple of the vendors who operate down the center of the market, and have to park off-site, suggested they be allowed to park closer to their booths next time around, Malloy added.

In the next week or so, Malloy and Galiana will meet with police for the feedback on the traffic flow that sometimes becomes a little choked in the area, and will also discuss any possible tweaks to the organization of the market itself.