Monday, February 20, 2017

Stocking up on produce and feeding our brains, too

Immokalee Farmers Market

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?!

Chicken family

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.

Wholesale Booths

We walked through the smaller booths first, checking out the prices that everybody was asking for the items we were looking for.

So much to choose from!











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. 

We found a"local" to give us the rundown on which booths to shop at

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 . . .

Need an onion?

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.

Got a canteloupe from the Melon Man

We ended up buying a bunch of stuff . . . only $17.50 . . . great prices!

Fresh Produce - $17.50!

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!

Mexican for lunch

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

Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum

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. 

Sam Jones statue


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 . . .

Family traveling by canoe

The camp exhibit is centered around the cooking fire, which is built to stay burning for weeks,

The cooking circle

and is surrounded by the dining and sleeping chickdees, open-sided dwellings of cypress and palmetto branches.

Dining Chickee



The Seminole people were hunters,

Sam Jones


Young Hunter

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.

Trading Post

Tom makes a pretty good merchant, doesn’t he?

Nice look, Tom!

The rest of the displays demonstrated life in the Seminole Village – making food, a wedding, and ceremonial dances.

Making Flour

Seminole Wedding











Harvest Dance

In the hallway that lead to the outdoor displays, artwork created by the local Elementary School was displayed.

Elementary School Art

Outside, we walked along the boardwalk

On the boardwalk

and studied the various native plants that the Seminole people used for food and medicine.

Interesting vine



Many of the trees had this strange red fungus growing on them – it almost looked like splotches of paint.

Scarlet Lichen

The trees were also loaded with air plants.

Flowering airplant

It was an interesting walk through the woods/swamp, with plenty to see and explore.



Exploring the boardwalk

Halfway around the boardwalk loop, we came to the ceremonial grounds,

Canoe construction

and living village.

Seminole Village

The village contained many displays of artifacts and Seminole crafts,

Artifacts and art

and a few touristy attractions.












Dave spotted a warrior sneaking up behind Tom & I!

There's an Indian sneaking up behind us!

We finished our walk along the boardwalk,

Sabal Palm


Spider webs

arriving back at the museum just before they closed.


It was a very full, interesting and educational day . . . lots of fun!


  1. We always loved the open air markets in Florida and the choices they had.
    We didn't see that museum but others on how the Indians were forced from their homes. Some showed how they fought back and others showed how hey were mistreated. Glad your museum had more of a Favourable outcome for them.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  2. Just got out of the Everglades and catching up on your blog. Looks like you found a great location to hang out. Love those out of the way spots. We drove through Immokalee on our way to Flamingo, but had the motorhome so we couldn't stop for produce;-(( We are back at Sebastian Inlet right now...I believe that was the last time we saw you two last year. Been a much warmer winter this year!!!


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