Farmers Markets are a delight and beneficial to communities. Still, when they also offer deep discounts, they are worth their weight in gold, or should we say bananas?
Swinging Bananas: A Family Owned Business
Swinging Bananas Farmers Market is located at 1052 East Oakland Park Boulevard, Oakland Park, FL 33334. You may have passed by the Hummer with the “Tomatoes” banner on your way eastbound down Oakland Park Boulevard by now, but if you haven’t, you should soon. On my first visit, meeting with owners Maria and Alexa Habe (mother and daughter), I was greeted with a friendly hello and offered a shopping bag.
Alexa and her mother work at the market daily, which for now, is open from around 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., though they don’t shut the doors at closing time. If people are still coming in and shopping, they pretty much stay open until the crowd thins.
Fair Prices for Fresh Food
The market is the idea of Chris Habe, Alexa’s father, who has been in the produce market for many years. Chris Habe finds products at rock bottom prices throughout the year and passes on the savings to the community.
The day I went, a Sunday mid-day, organic mixed salads, typically around $5.99 and up, were selling for a mind-boggling buy one get one free for $1.00. Smiles abounded as customers came and went, some floored at the prices. Customer Mercy Lopez, who was checking out with two full bags of produce for $5.00 total, said, “I am so excited. I’m definitely coming back. I’m absolutely thrilled they are here.”
Besides the Habe family’s ability to find amazing deals on produce, they also have a sense of humor. When asked how they came up with the name, Swinging Bananas, Alexa replied, “That’s my father. He has a great sense of humor.”
Options According to the Season
If you visit during the week, check the side streets for parking and go with an open mind: “We may not always have what’s on everyone’s list,” says Maria Habe, “Since fruits and vegetables are seasonal, we are not always going to have every vegetable or fruit in stock”. This is typical of most markets where what’s available in season is up for grabs. “You should also plan to use the fruits and vegetables within the next couple of days. You can’t let most of this sit around for a week”, she added.
In addition to fruits and vegetables, they also had a selection of local raw honey and pasta bags. “My father tries to purchase as much local produce as possible,” Alexa noted.
So next time you’re swinging around town, be sure to check out the Swinging Bananas Farmers Market. You’re sure to find some good deals and friendly smiles. And don’t skip the pineapples.
*LivingInOaklandPark.com is an independent publication, not affiliated with the City of Oakland Park.
About the Author
Rhiannon Samoyedny was born and raised in South Florida. She has lived in Oakland Park for over 25 years and purchased her home in Garden Acres in 2012 where she resides with her husband, two teenaged boys, a few rescue cats, and her dog.
Her professional career began as a project manager and estimator for a small Oakland Park construction company and she later went on to earn her degree in Court Reporting, where she later incorporated her own small business RS Reporting, Inc.
She has a passion for gardening and attends many horticulture classes and workshops. She is also an LGA (Local Government Academy) graduate, class of 2019, and an active community volunteer and activist. You can usually find her around town at various Oakland Park meetings and events with her notebook, so be sure to say hello.
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