Saturday, February 25, 2012

Wellington Green Market, Fla: Local Bananas and More

Most bananas are gas ripened but not the ones at Wellington Green Market. They have many Florida grown varieties for sale from as little as $0.50.

Wellington Green Market, Wellington, Fla.

This Saturday morning green market supports local South Florida companies. "The growers' farms are close to the market. So we have attracted busy farmers, with short travel, to retail their just harvested products," said Peter Robinson, Organizer of the Wellington Green Market.

There are also hot pepper and vegetable sellers at the market as well as a tropical sea of other vendors.

NK Lago Farms LLC, Canal Point

Nicholas Larsen of NK Lago Farms, setting up banana
tasting plates at Wellington Green Market, Fla

Nicholas Larsen, owner and farmer of NK Lago Farms is always easy to talk to about his bananas and plantains that are grown approximately 30 miles away.

According to Larsen, the reason store bought banana varieties have very little flavor is that once they are picked and packed, they are stored at 57 degrees Fahrenheit. Then shipped to a grocery store warehouse, where they might sit for two-weeks before going to a store, all the time kept at 57 degrees. Before the bananas go on shelves, they are put in an Ethylene gas (plant hormone) filled room to ripen.

Larsen's bananas are picked fresh and never gas ripened. This means they taste better but might stay green even when ripe.

From them, I bought a Hawaiian banana for $0.50 and a bunch of Gold Finger bananas for $1.

Bruce's Ghost Peppers, Wellington

Bruce and Stacey Ollis of Bruce's Ghost Pepper, at
Wellington Green Market, Fla.

"Our things are very unique and local," says Bruce Ollis, explaining how he grows his ghost peppers (also known as Bhut Jolokia and Naga Jolokia) and processes them right in Wellington. "You'd have to travel to get these or go online," Ollis continues.

According to Ollis, ghost peppers are rated at over one million Scoville heat units. To give you an idea how hot this is, Thai green chilies are in the range of 50,000 to 100,000 Scoville heat units.

Bruce and his wife Stacey started their ghost pepper business ( last year. This is their first green market. They sell dried ghost pepper mixes/rubs/blends, hot sauce starter kits, live ghost pepper plants and seeds.

I bought a packet of curry from them for $5, and was cautioned to use just a little at a time.

Fong Family Farms LLC, Wellington

Robert Fong and Casey Truman of Fong Family Farms at
Wellington Green Market, Fla.

Robert and Maria Fong, and their grand-daughter Casey Truman are always friendly, full of smiles and advice. They grow Chinese vegetables on a 15-acre farm in Wellington, just 10 miles away. Their crop is picked the day before the market and sold at very low prices.

I bought several baby Bok Choy.

Seed To Bloom LLC, Loxahatchee

Richard Raid of Seed To Bloom at Wellington Green
Market, Fla.

They sells their own produce and that of Belle Glade and Boynton Farmers. Laurie Raid, the owner, grows flowers from seed in Loxahatchee, to sell at Florida green markets. Her husband Richard Raid, helps out at the Wellington Green Market.

I bought a head of lettuce and some real baby carrots.

The Wellington Green Market operates from November to the end of April, on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.  There is plenty of parking. It is located at 12165 Forest Hill Blvd., Wellington, FL 33414. 
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