Our Thursday adventure started out with a drive to the State Farmers Market in Immokalee.
We had heard of lots of people going there to stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables, so we grabbed Dave & Lynn and all headed into Immokalee.
We parked around the corner, where we spotted this little family of chickens crossing the road . . . where were they going?!
Some of the booths are small family-run shops where you can get small quantities of items, but others only sell by the case and cater more to resellers who take the produce into town to sell at their booths at the various Farmers Markets.
We walked through the smaller booths first, checking out the prices that everybody was asking for the items we were looking for.
As we were checking out the various booths, we met a woman, originally from Ohio, who is now a resident of Immokalee, and she gave us the scoop and which shops were the best to deal with, and how to price shop between the various vendors.
She also helped us out by telling us what some of the unfamiliar fruits and vegetable were, and how they were used.
There were huge bunches of plantains . . . she explained that you slice them and fry them. Lots of onions . . .
and tomatoes and strawberries in every booth.
She recommended that we stick to the booths in front, which were mostly small family-owned shops, and where we’d be able to buy smaller quantities and individual pieces of fruit. She said that the back area was mostly for those coming in to buy a truckload of produce. We walked back there to check it out, though.
We found the Melon Man back there, and he gave everybody a huge slice of cantaloupe to taste. It was great-tasting melon, so we bought one to take home.
We ended up buying a bunch of stuff . . . only $17.50 . . . great prices!
All that shopping made us hungry, so we went to the Mexican restaurant across the street for lunch . . . it seemed like an appropriate choice in Immokalee, and it was very crowded, so it must be good!
We all enjoyed a delicious lunch, and then headed back to the RV Resort for the 2nd half of our adventure for the day.
Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki = A place to learn
Just across the road from the RV Resort is the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum, a showplace of Seminole Indian history and culture. After putting all of our produce away, we rode our bikes over and bought tickets to the museum.
We started by watching the movie which explained the history of the Seminole people, and the leaders who founded the tribes.
The Seminole people started out as park of the Creek Indian tribe in Alabama and Georgia, but were forced south into Florida to escape relocation efforts by the government. As modern civilization spread into Florida, the Indians continued to defy the government and move deeper into the swamps of the Everglades.
Their most famous leaders, Osceola and Sam Jones, established the tribes as cattlemen, hunters and guides in the wilderness of the Everglades. They also made crafts and wrestled alligators for visiting tourists.
In 1957, the Seminole Tribe received recognition by the government and six Seminole reservations were established throughout Florida.
When the movie ended, we followed Sam Jones through the swamp to the Seminole camp . . .
The camp exhibit is centered around the cooking fire, which is built to stay burning for weeks,
and is surrounded by the dining and sleeping chickdees, open-sided dwellings of cypress and palmetto branches.
The Seminole people were hunters,
and farmers, able to provide for most of the tribe’s needs internally. As civilization approached, the Seminole began travelling to the nearby Trading Post to trade some of their crops and animals for cloth, beads, and weapons.
Tom makes a pretty good merchant, doesn’t he?
The rest of the displays demonstrated life in the Seminole Village – making food, a wedding, and ceremonial dances.
In the hallway that lead to the outdoor displays, artwork created by the local Elementary School was displayed.
Outside, we walked along the boardwalk
and studied the various native plants that the Seminole people used for food and medicine.
Many of the trees had this strange red fungus growing on them – it almost looked like splotches of paint.
The trees were also loaded with air plants.
It was an interesting walk through the woods/swamp, with plenty to see and explore.
Halfway around the boardwalk loop, we came to the ceremonial grounds,
and living village.
The village contained many displays of artifacts and Seminole crafts,
and a few touristy attractions.
Dave spotted a warrior sneaking up behind Tom & I!
We finished our walk along the boardwalk,
arriving back at the museum just before they closed.
It was a very full, interesting and educational day . . . lots of fun!