Time to stock up on fresh-from-the-farm fall vegetables! County Line Produce reopens Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at 848 State Road 207, in Hastings. One of the longest running seasonal businesses in St. Johns County, this year marks the 55th year.
The Bland family, who own 65 acres of farmland on the border of St. Johns and Putnam counties, started this farm stand in 1965 — first offering cabbage and potatoes, then adding carrots, beets, Brussels sprouts on the stem, all kinds of greens, broccoli and cauliflower, green beans, Silver Queen corn in the summer, and then bringing in fruit and other veggies from farms throughout Florida, including strawberries (in winter and early spring from Plant City).
Honey, boiled peanuts, locally made Datil pepper sauce, and other specialty items also are available.
From mid-June through mid-November, the doors are closed with SHUT painted on the corrugated tin, and a white sign that reads “See Y’all in the Fall!” County Line usually reopens the week before Thanksgiving, and these days customers can check the Facebook page, which is updated with the opening date: www.facebook.com/countylineproduce/
Hastings was named after a cousin of Henry Flagler, Thomas Horace Hastings, who started farming the land in 1890 to provide produce for Flagler’s Hotel Ponce de Leon (now Flagler College). Read more history below …
HASTINGS HISTORY (from the St. Johns Cultural Council)
Thomas Horace Hastings, a cousin of oil magnate Henry Flagler, established Prairie Garden in 1890, a 1,569-acre plantation just 18 miles west of St. Augustine with the intention of growing winter vegetables for Flagler’s distinguished Hotel Ponce de Leon. At the time, the area was mostly wilderness and the nearest railway station was in Merryfield, but Hastings wanted one at Prairie Garden. Legend says Mr. Hastings may or may not have instigated a group of teens to move the station and put up a sign with his name on it.
Hastings officially received its charter in 1909 and Irish potatoes were the big money crop, earning the title “Florida’s Potato Capitol.” In 1917, the price of potatoes soared which allowed locals to buy cars, jewelry, furniture, and clothes while small businesses were able to expand. Agricultural pioneers like UJ White, WH Erwin, Frank Nix, and John T Dismukes introduced modern machinery and fertilization methods to improve crop yields.
After Dixie Highway was extended into the town, Hastings pulled visitors from St. Augustine and 1924 photos show digging season brought loads of traffic. Today, Hastings is the packing and shipping center for a tri-county potato growing area serving Flagler, Putnam, and St. Johns counties. READ MORE HERE
Wednesday Pier Farmers Market
Fresh produce, arts and crafts, and prepared food from local vendors is available from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the St. Johns County Ocean Pier, 350 A1A Beach Blvd., St. Augustine Beach. More than 40 vendors offer a variety of items including paintings, photography and jewelry. Click here to follow the Facebook page.
St. Augustine Amphitheatre Farmers Market
Find fresh produce, plants, bread, cheese, handmade products, fine art and crafts from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, 1340 A1A South, just south of the lighthouse. Also at the market, art classes and live music. Free parking and admission. Stay updated at facebook.com/staugampmarket/
Coconut Barrel Farmers Market
Coconut Barrel will hold a Farmers Market from 5 to 8 PM every Thursday at 3175 US 1, Saint Augustine, FL 32086. This artisan market opens its parking lot each week for produce vendors, food trucks, artists and artisans.
STA City Market
Select Saturdays — SELECT SATURDAYS DURING THE PANDEMIC
STA City Market runs 10 an. to 3 p.m. every Saturday at Eddie Vickers Park, 399 Riberia St., in the Lincolnville area of downtown St. Augustine. Food trucks, live music, organic produce, coffee, locally made soaps, artists offering paintings and photography, hot sauces and more are offered. More details at stafarmersmarket.com or facebook.com/stafarmersmarket
Salt Air Farmers Market
The Salt Air Farmers Market runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday year-round at the Marineland Marina, 101 Tolstoy Lane, from A1A South, across the street from Marineland Dolphin Adventure. The market features locally grown produce, seafood, bread, fruit, honey, soaps, tide clocks, art and more. Free admission and parking. Go to www.saltairfarmersmarket.com
Third Saturday of the month
The Nocatee Farmers Market features more than 70 vendors from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every third Saturday of the month in the Nocatee community. Free admission and parking in the Nocatee community in Ponte Vedra Beach. Go to www.nocatee.com for details.
Daily — Seasonal hours (reopens November 17, 2020)
Produce straight from local farms is available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days each week at County Line Produce, 848 State Road 207, in Hastings. The market is located next to fields which grow produce such as cabbage, broccoli, potatoes, green beans, corn, cauliflower, squash, and other vegetables on St. Johns County farmland. Stay updated on the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/countylineproduce/