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farmers market

Inverness Depot Farmer’s Market Reopens June 20

By Diane Bedard Posted on June 18, 2020

In November of 2019, Inverness held a grand opening for its Depot District, a vision that was developed over several years and included the redevelopment of parks along its waterfront and the Withlacoochee bike trail as well as the construction of a multiuse facility called “the Depot”.

The Depot is a large, open-air building anchoring Inverness’ Depot District. It was designed to host a local Farmer’s Market through fall, winter, and spring seasons, with June and July off. The first Inverness Farmer’s Market was held on January 26, followed by regular markets.

With the intrusion of COVID-19 into our society, the City and its Council shut down all facilities in late March, halting the Farmer’s Market and closing the Depot District.

As Florida has moved forward in reopening the State, the Farmer’s Market will be reopening Saturday, June 20, with special precautions geared for visitor and vendor safety. The evening Farmers Market at The Depot will be June 24 from 4 – 7 pm.

inverness market day
The Inverness Farmer’s Market will reopen Saturday, June 20 with special precautions to keep shoppers and vendors safe. Image courtesy of City of Inverness.

Betty Pleacher, the City of Inverness’ Facilities Operations Manager, explained, “The vendors are excited to get back to the Market. Each vendor will wear a mask and assist visitors with the food and merchandise to reduce handling. Six-foot safe distancing will be the protocol and all samples will be given out with safe handling practices. Safety is our utmost concern.”

Betty is a long-time employee of the City who has managed parks and facilities for over eight years. “One of the wonderful things about this City is its leadership. We are truly a team, with everyone pitching in where needed.”

inverness depot district concept image
The Inverness Depot District was envisioned to help unite the downtown parks, Withlacoochee State Trail, and shopping districts, growing the City’s walkability. Image courtesy of City of Inverness.

Inverness Depot District

The Depot District was designed to unite Liberty Park and Wallace Brooks Park, which feature lakefront locations adjacent to the Withlacoochee State Trail.

The playground, waterfront gazebo and open-air pavilion located in Liberty Park welcomes visitors of all ages. The stage and plaza along the lake provide a great location for speeches and entertainment.

Wallace Brooks Park is a quick walk (.2 miles away) along a city sidewalk or the Withlacoochee Trail. Wallace Brooks Park is a boater-friendly park where the City plans to host fishing and rowing tournaments and activities.

The Depot building
The Depot’s market building was created to house the Farmer’s Market, as well as be available for events and activities such as weddings, team building, and business functions. Image by Diane Bedard

The Depot building becomes an important piece of this vision. Its design comfortably houses the Farmer’s Market, held on the first and third Saturdays of the month from 9am to 1pm, as well as the evening of the fourth Wednesday from 4 – 7 pm.

“We added the evening market for those who may be working or have a difficult time getting to the morning markets,” Betty said.

The Depot building’s design is optimal for other purposes as well, such as wedding receptions, team building events, a health market, and even a Political Dialog at the Depot event to help residents learn about the candidates for upcoming elections.

A shabby chic market is planned for Fall, 2020.

Inverness Florida amenities
The City of Inverness connected the waterfront parks, Withlacoochee State Trail, and Depot building with its historic courthouse square. Image by Diane Bedard

Downtown Inverness: Small Town done Right

“A lot of vision and thought has gone into the downtown development for Inverness’ Depot District. The goal is to create a comfortable city to walk, enjoy the parks, the waterfront, and the Withlacoochee Trail connection,” Betty shared with NatureCoaster. “It is such a joy to see the variety of people enjoying the amenities here. I see children playing on the Liberty park play equipment near families enjoying a picnic. Bicyclists will ride by on the trail and often elderly couples are seen walking hand-in-hand along the water’s edge.”

Inverness’ slogan is Small Town done Right and the Depot District is a big part of that vision. In addition, there is a historic courthouse that is beautifully maintained. The historic courthouse houses a historic museum and gift shop as well as the courthouse room where Elvis Presley filmed a scene from his 1962 movie, “Follow That Dream.” Take your picture with a cardboard cutout of Elvis here.

Citrus County courthouse
The Citrus County Courthouse in Inverness houses the Old Courthouse Historical Museum as well as a set from the Elvis movie, “Follow that Dream.” Image by Diane Bedard.

Inverness is a designated Florida Trail Town

Inverness is one of only a handful of cities designated as a Florida Trail Town. This designation states that Inverness “is a place where trail users can venture off a hiking, biking, equestrian or paddling trail to enjoy the amenities and unique heritage of the community, benefiting the town economically and socially.” 

Small shops, restaurants, and pubs line the streets around the courthouse and a historic theatre is also part of the area. The Valerie Theatre is owned by the City and shows classic movies, showcases live music and comedy acts, and offers another rental option for events.

jewelry market
The Inverness Farmer’s Market screens vendors for fresh foods, handmade items, and locally sourced goods. Image by Diane Bedard.

Enjoy the Inverness Farmer’s Market for Safe Shopping & Great Finds

If you have ever visited a farmer’s market expecting fresh fruits and veggies and been disappointed to find flea market items instead, rest assured that the Inverness Farmer’s Market is geared to the traditional meaning of farmer’s market with an emphasis on fresh food and handmade.

The City of Inverness seeks to assist in getting fresh food from local farmers to its residents and visitors at its farmer’s market. The vendor items allowed include fresh fruits and vegetables of conventional, hydroponic, organic, and seasonal varieties.

Plants and flowers including shrubs, flowers, house and garden plants, herbs, landscaping items such as planters/pots/baskets, ornamentals, seeds, bird feeders and baths are all welcome.

Prepared and specialty food products at the Inverness Farmer’s Market may feature baked goods, fresh bread, seafood, barbecue, cheese, smoothies, pasta, ethnic food, eggs, dried soups, coffees, teas, nuts, jams, jellies, honey, sauces and condiments.

Art and craft products sold at the market are only handmade and original items such as candles, soaps, oils, balms, lotions, woodworking, leather items, paper goods and handmade bags and fabrics.

Inverness Community Garden booth
The City of Inverness has a Community Garden. Residents may reserve a plot and grow their own. Image by Diane Bedard.

June 20 Inverness Farmers Market Vendors

  • Mama J’s – breads, jams, jellies, desserts
  • Whirling Rainbows Gemstone Jewelry
  • Country Craft Creations
  • Sunny Road Bakery
  • Essential Oils
  • From Earth Juice Bar
  • Black Bottom Art
  • Arts Plants
  • Inverness Garden Club
  • Reilly’s Rags
  • Tealicious
  • Honeybee’s Doggie Café
  • Kountry Kitty
  • Rustic Mama’s Don’s Creation Jewelry
  • Rebecca’s Candles
  • Florida Fresh Market
  • And several fresh produce vendors

You won’t find informational or promotional items, screen printed apparel, franchise and direct sale business services, sales or items, electronics and related accessories, resale or flea market type merchandise, packaged, nationally distributed food and processed products, or commercial, mass-produced products at the Inverness Farmer’s Market.

The Inverenss Depot plaque
Get out this weekend to the City of Inverness Farmer’s Market and stock up on locally grown and crafted goods. Enjoy the outdoors, while staying safe with your friends and neighbors. Image by Deanna Dammer Kimbrough.

Get outside this weekend and visit the Inverness Farmers Market and the Depot District. The location is 300 N. Apopka Avenue, Inverness.

If you fit the criteria and would like to be a vendor, contact Betty Pleacher at 352-726-3913, email: [email protected]

Comments

Renee says

Thank you for the info. Looking forward to going out there

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