Anyway, so I was always curious to stop in and see what they have and maybe hopefully stumble upon people teaching container gardening (hey, a girl can dream). Today I finally did that, and I'm glad I did. Their produce, besides being local, is also fresh and cheap - red bell peppers are 75 cents a pound in there, compared to $4.50 a pound at the grocery store!! Ida Pitts, the lady working behind the counter told me that the people working at Publix come and buy produce from her! It's a no-brainer as to why - besides being fresher and cheaper it tastes so much better. Flavor you simply cannot get from produce grown en masse via hydroponics. Not to knock hydroponics, it's certainly a useful and good method for growing plants ... but tomatoes taste so much better coming off the vine.
I was able to chat with Ida for a bit and she told me some things about how farmers are selling their land and how there were some other farmers right there in the area who have since sold their land and left. Sold their land to developers she told me. I told her I thought that was very sad. I would have liked to have stayed and talked to her some more but I was pressed for time. She had a lovely, rolling southern accent. I felt very blessed to have been able to experience that little piece of what's left of Old Florida, inside her humble produce stand.
As for me, I still plan on getting into container gardening. I also feel like I've got this window of opportunity open to do it, a window that may be closed in 15-25 years from now, although I don't know why. I feel like if I don't start container gardening and start growing my own lettuce and tomatoes and strawberries, I will be out of luck. I very much want to start growing my own produce, but I don't want to do it on my own either.
Maybe I should send out an email at work, put out some feelers and see if anyone else can either point me in the right direction or start doing it with me where we could learn together. I am bound and determined to wean myself off of needing a grocery store for fresh produce, or quite possibly anything else for that matter ...