Just in time for summer, Fox Farms brings freshly picked, perfectly ripened veggies to the Seaside Farmers Market. Andy Fox and his parents, Jerry and Mary Sue Fox, who run Fox Farms in nearby Cottondale, Fla., keep busy on their three-acre farm most of the year, growing vegetables in three small greenhouses and on open ground. With a growing season that usually runs from October to the beginning of July, their rotating crops include regular and heirloom tomatoes, squash, melons, herbs, cut flowers and various cool season greens. “We grow using all-natural methods,” says Andy Fox, “and use no synthetic fertilizers other than occasional additions of small amounts of micronutrients.”
Fox sells the farm’s produce at two farmers markets — the Marianna Farmers Market near the farm and the Seaside Farmers Market. “We travel all the way to Seaside because it is the only farmers market in the area that has the customer and producer as its main focus,” Fox says. “Most other markets are formed to either bring customers into business districts or to raise money from booth fees.”
Because of this distinction, Fox adds, the quality producers from all over the area travel to Seaside to sell their products. “And it is a win/win for both customer and producer,” he says. “Jenifer Kuntz (manager for the Farmers Market) has done a great job growing and managing the market — whether it’s cheese, fruits or vegetables, you can find a lot in one small location.”
The Seaside Farmers Market is open Tuesdays and Saturdays during the summer from 8 a.m. until noon in the town center.
Visit Seaside Farmers Market online
Jerry’s Eggplant Parmesan
• 3 pounds Fox Farm tomatoes (San Marzano variety)
• 2 large or 3 medium eggplant
• 3 cups mozzarella cheese
• 1 cup Parmesan cheese
• 6-8 large fresh basil leaves
• 1-2 tablespoons honey
• ½ -1 teaspoon salt
• 4 cloves garlic
• 2 fresh green onions olive oil
Place tomatoes in single layer in microwave safe dish and cover. Microwave on high for 10 minutes. When cool, remove skins and drain all liquid. Finely chop garlic and green onion. Add enough olive oil to coat the pan. Sauté onion and garlic over medium heat until soft. Add basil, tomatoes and honey. Cook over medium heat for 30 to 45 minutes until thickened.
Slice eggplant into quarter-inch slices, place in 375 degree oven in a single layer on cookie sheet, and brush both sides with olive oil. Bake 10-20 minutes until tender. Remove and cool.