By Natalie Strom
Typically, when visiting a farmer’s market, patrons are looking for the freshest fruits and vegetables they can find. The Marco Island Farmer’s Market, which takes place every Wednesday at Veterans Park from 7:30 AM until 2 PM, is no different. With a wide array of fruit and veggie stands to choose from, shoppers can find exactly what they are looking for.
Inyoni Farms of North Golden Gate Estates sets up a stand every Wednesday at Veterans Park. Specializing in offering the freshest produce, owner Nick Batty is very particular when it comes to his product. “Everything is picked within 24 hours of going to market.”
The six-acre farm has been USDA Certified Organic since 2006. This means that Inyoni Farms begins with organic seeds and produces a wide variety of vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruits without the use of any conventional pesticides or fertilizers.
“We don’t use anything synthetic. Everything is derived naturally from either a plant or an animal,” explains Shaina Muth who has been working for Inyoni Farms for five years. Neem oil and Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are used as natural pesticides while composted poultry litter and fish emulsion are primary fertilizers.
Inyoni Farms grows over 50 different kinds of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers all in this fashion. “We specialize in lots of leafy greens like lettuce, arugula and spinach. We also have beets, turnips, asian greens, purple cherry tomatoes and a variety of herbs like dill and basil.” Produce varies depending on the time of the year so there is always a diverse selection available.
The organic farm also sells its produce at a number of other Farmers Markets in the area. On Saturday mornings, Inyoni Farms sets up shop at Third Street South behind Tommy Bahama’s from 7:30 to 11:30 AM as well as at the Shoppes of Vanderbilt at the corner of Vanderbilt and Airport Pulling, from 8:00 AM until 1 PM. After selling on Marco Island on Wednesdays, Inyoni packs up and heads to St. Monica’s Church Farmers Market on Immokalee Road from 2 to 5 PM.
While its specialty is Farmers Markets, produce is also available at Summer Day Market & Cafe on Marco Island.
When it comes to shopping organic, “local is the best because you know it’s been freshly picked,” explains Shaina. “Vegetables begin to lose nutrients in them as soon as their pulled from the dirt. So the more recently it’s been picked, the higher the nutrient yield you’ll get.”
To learn more about the USDA Certified Organic farm, visit www.facebook.com/inyonifarms.