1. The organizers and vendors are doing something right. After all, the Downtown Fort Pierce Farmers Market (fortpiercefarmersmarket.com) has been held every Saturday, rain or shine (hurricanes excepted), since 1997. / Photos and video by J.D. VIvian
2. A great setting along the Indian River. The farmers market is also within easy walking distance of the A.E. “Beanie” Backus Museum & Gallery (backusmuseum.com) and the Manatee Observation and Education Center (manateecenter.com). During winter, lots of manatees — of all sizes — show up.
Kevin Bazil prepares my “Kitchen Sink” Breakfast Bowl (see final version below). He is one of more than 70 vendors who attend the weekly market.
3. Are you hungry? Made-fresh meals at the farmers market include the “Kitchen Sink” Breakfast Bowl ($10). Kevin Bazil, who has set up at the market under the business name K. Malou for 10 years, serves up this delicious omelet with onions, peppers, cheese, home fries, ham, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, spinach and tomatoes. He also offers cheaper versions. While enjoying a meal or drink, you can sit on benches or, better yet, on the seawall for a great view of the Fort Pierce City Marina and the Indian River.
4. Special events, such as the Treasure Coast Lionfish Safari, held the second weekend in June. Because the species is so invasive and has no natural predators, divers and anglers can take as many as they want, of any size, any time of year. Above: The tasty Lionfish Sampler ($5) served by The Flavored Fork at the recent Treasure Coast Lionfish Safari featured ceviche (left); a taco topped with coleslaw; and two crispy and sweet nuggets, deep fried in citrus aioli and Fruity Pebbles.
5. Vendors sell a wide variety of products, from fresh produce and just-harvested honey to freshly made coffee and other foods, including fresh shrimp and dry-aged beef. In addition, in a nearby section of the marina, arts-and-crafts vendors ply their wares. Other pluses: Parking and admission are free, and friendly pets on a leash are welcome. Above, Carrie Cook of Lola Tortola Sugar & Spice sells island herbs and spices.

IF YOU GO
Downtown Fort Pierce Farmers Market
Held every Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon
101 Melody Lane, Fort Pierce
772-940-1145; fortpiercefarmersmarket.com