On any given Sunday you can visit the village’s wonderful park facility Pinecrest Gardens, conveniently located off Old Cutler Road and SW 111 Street. Some other day, I’ll let you in on how great Pinecrest Gardens is, but today, I want to talk about locally-grown food.

I parked, grabbed my canvas grocery bag, and headed over to the north corner of the huge parking lot to grab some fresh veggies. By the way, this is not a promo piece for the Pinecrest Farmer’s Market; rather, it is my account of an awesome afternoon I had, sharing the greatness of our community.

After a brief visit with the fish, swimming under Pinecrest Gardens’ coral rock marquee entrance (I’m happy to report that they were acting in their typical, very content fish-like manner), I made my way over to the beginning of the Farmer’s Market.

I stepped into a Utopian world of smiling people, smiles not only on the faces of vendors who spot my bag – a strong indication I’m here to spend some cash – but honestly, everyone had big smiles. Adults, babies, teenagers, and various dogs all seemed cheerful, meandering between the various tents.

Sure, there is the occasional small dog yapping to let the larger dog know that invasive sniffing is not welcome, but all in all, the entire trip is filled with smiles, meeting old friends, making new ones, and gathering bunches of vegetables.

I found perfect bell peppers, a juicy cantaloupe, and green beans to die for – all grown right down the road in South-Dade. And, just like the produce, the diversity of the crowd is something to witness: an aging hippy in tie-dye, a group of teens in soccer jerseys, a grandmother keeping watch on her grandbaby’s stroller – the variety is endless, but all are enjoying our village.

In today’s world, with all the seemingly endless news coverage of dangerous and troubling behavior we are regularly subjected to, what a welcome respite this afternoon was.

The market was packed – I had to stop several times to allow people to walk by – but it was filled with diversity. There were people from all walks of life, out and about, enjoying products sold by vendors from all walks of life. I can’t help but be grateful for the wonderful, tranquil community that is Pinecrest.

If you want to know more about the market (located in the parking lot of Pinecrest Gardens at 11000 Red Road, Pinecrest, FL 33156), visit www.greenmarketco-op.org. It’s open every Sunday year round, rain or shine, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

About James Field: James is committed to keeping in touch with friends and neighbors in the community and hopes you welcome his insights on issues affecting Village residents. James grew up in Pinecrest, graduated UM, and traveled extensively before setting his sights on business and philanthropy. Currently director of business development for a large agriculture company, James also founded Dogmadik, a supply-chain management company for emerging restaurant brands. He has donated his time to save children from the sex slave trade and even traveled to volunteer with Charity Vision. Please send an e-mail to jfieldjr@gmail.com with any questions, comments, or topics for future discussion.

Source: www.communitynewspapers.com