Last week I woke up early to join friends on a farm tour offered by Waterfront Markets, Inc., the same organization that puts on the Grand Lagoon Farmers Markets each weekend at Captain Anderson’s.

The bus tour left Gulf Coast State College at 7:30 and made a total of six stops.  Along the way, we learned about honey bees, fresh eggs from free-range chickens and growing produce on a small family farm.  We also learned a bit about the small town way of life.

Local growers near Panama City Beach
The Farm – Cypress Cattle Company
The first stop was Ellie B’s Honey, a small local beekeeper in Lynn Haven.  We were able to tour the homestead and see the bees, taste honeycomb and honey as well as purchase the honey.Next we went to Garden of Eaten in Fountain.  I was already familiar with this farm but had not been there.  I started buying their fresh eggs a couple of months ago at the Farmers’ Market.  Their chickens are not in cages and they are fed a vegetarian diet of mostly seeds from their farm.  I have also bought several spices from them.  They specialize in their fresh and dried garlic which is on my list for my next shopping trip to the market.
Local Honey Farm Panama City Florida
Honey Presentation at Ellie B’s Honey
Local free range egg supplier and produce growers
Buying Spices, Eggs and Produce at Garden of Eaten
Local grown produce near Panama City
Touring the Greenhouse at Garden of Eaten
Panhandle family farm
Learning about Farming at Cypress Cattle Company
Small farms near Panama City Florida
The Growing Structures at Cypress Cattle Company
fresh vegetables near Panama City Florida
Beautiful Cabbage

The next stop was Cypress Cattle Company, located in Ponce de Leon, which is actually a produce farm as well as a cattle ranch.  They provide produce to many restaurants on 30A and also have a market in Freeport where they sell their produce and fresh beef and other local goodies.

Lunch at Red Bay Grocery was included in the $20 fee for the day.  We learned about the unique community based business concept that has helped this little store, eatery and gathering place thrive since 2009.

Our final stop before returning to the college and touring the garden there was Seabreeze Winery in Panama City Beach, where we toured the facility and tasted the muscadine wines and shopped their fun gift shop.

Upcoming tours are scheduled for February 19 and March 5th and the Waterfront Market is year round.
You can always visit the Waterfront Markets website to learn more about the tours or the markets.  Or call 850.763.7359.

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