A Simpler Place Farm and Market
RIVERVIEW: A Simpler Place Farmers Market starts on October 27, 2016 and runs through May 25, 2017. It’s held weekly, on Thursdays, from 3:00-7:00pm (except on Thanksgiving). 9903 Carr Rd., Riverview, FL.
A Simpler Place Farmers Market launched its first season in the fall of 2015. It was such a hit and had so much community support that it’s expanding to a new location (just steps from its original Riverview location) and adding amazing services, including #SimplerSuppers, a farm store, farm boxes, demonstration garden classes and workshops, and venue rental to its upcoming season.
Renee Raley Falls in Love with Farming
Renee Raley, A Simpler Place Farm and Market’s Founder, grew up in the suburbs and had no farming experience, but she became interested and took online classes to learn about farming and natural foods. She also reached out to Susan Bishop, owner of My Mother’s Garden farm in Wimauma, to learn about farming first hand. Susan grows herbs, produce and perennial crops and raises grass fed beef and chickens (all available directly from her farm and at A Simpler Place Farmers Market).
“Learning about food opened my eyes to our industrialized food system,” Renee says. “Now, I love it all: natural food, farming, and sustainability. Farming really took hold of me.”
Community Supported Agriculture and A Simpler Place Farm
Before having her own farm, Renee founded A Simpler Place in 2011, a business based on the CSA model, or Community Supported Agriculture. CSA is a model in which a person, or member, buys shares in a CSA farm, giving the farmer upfront funds for farming. In return, the member gets part of the farmer’s harvest throughout the season.
“At first, we worked with local farmers and delivered food to local homes via an online marketplace,” Renee says.
Then, in the fall of 2015, Renee began her own CSA farm – A Simpler Place Farm. She rents a one-acre plot on Susan’s My Mother’s Garden property in Wimauma. Renee simultaneously launched A Simpler Place Farmers Market in Riverview to provide a pick-up point for A Simpler Place CSA farm members to get their ‘shares’ or harvest and to provide a place for the community to shop directly with other local farm and food artisans.
Farmers Market, Demonstration Garden, Farm Store and Kitchen
This year’s expansion of A Simpler Place Farmers Market in Riverview represents a dream come true for both Renee and Susan, who is now participating as more than a seller at the market. The new location, which Renee refers to as a ‘farmette’ that brings local agriculture to the suburbs, has enough space (3¼ acres) to host the farmers market, demonstration garden, a farm store and kitchen, and venue rental.
Because Renee and Susan’s farms are located in rural Wimauma, the expanded Riverview location means they can offer demonstration gardening classes and workshops at the market. Classes will be posted on Facebook and in the newsletter which will launch when the season opens.
The new farm store will be dedicated to providing an outlet for local growers and artisans to bring their goods to market, and to provide a trusted source for local and clean food our community. Buyers will find produce grown on our own farm along with groceries and goods that honor a homegrown, handmade, sustainable lifestyle.
The farm kitchen, in addition to providing the facility to create value-added products, such as the jams, enables Renee and Susan to offer #SimplerSuppers.
“We call them locally sourced and seasonally inspired meals,” says Renee about #SimplerSuppers. Each week’s menu, available on Thursdays, will be based on what Renee’s and Susan’s farms and the local farm partners have to offer.
For example, an early menu will include a sweet potato and caramelized onion soup, salad, homemade biscuits and a homemade coconut chocolate bar for dessert. Both complete menus and a la carte selections will be available.
Renee credits Susan with #SimplerSuppers. “Susan is the cook,” Renee says. “I am learning.”
A Simpler Place Farmers Market will also offer Local Farm Boxes for sale, which will include produce, flowers and herbs.
“We are a farm and food focused farmers market,” Renee says. “Our vendors produce, grow and make what they sell.”
Accepting Vendor Applications
Are you a local producer? Visit the vendor guidelines and application here: http://asimplerplaceintime.com/become-a-vendor/
A Simpler Place Farmer’s Market: Contact Details / Vendor Application
Renee Raley: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vendor Application: http://asimplerplaceintime.com/become-a-vendor/