Tour De Farm 2015: Congaree and Penn & Juniper Market

The following guest post was written by one of our own Board members, Mary Ann Rosenthal. Read on for Mary Ann’s bio. Congaree and Penn and Juniper Market may seem to be unlikely partners, but for Jennifer Myers, it’s a collaboration that has been developing over the last year. Jennifer has a delightful gourmet grab and go eatery and market in the rear of Coastal Traders on San Marco in St. Augustine’s “Uptown” area, called Juniper Market. She sources locally made artisan food products and coffee from Jayells, St Augustine’s local coffee roaster – “coffee with a conscience” – specializing in fair trade coffees and custom roasting.

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She met Bob, Danny and Scott of Congaree and Penn at the Slow Food First Coast “Slowdown” at the St. Augustine Distillery a year ago and since then arranged a visit to their rice farm and mill. Jennifer loved their product and bought some to provide to customers at her uptown market and a friendship was born. Fast forward to this summer and Edible magazine suggested she might want to showcase her skills at a fall event, namely the Congaree and Penn Fishfry – happening Friday night, November 13th. It is, according to C&G’s website – their first event ever. And for foodies in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine area – it’s a highly anticipated farm to fork food fest.

When I visited with Jenn on the 12th of November she told me that she had been watching local farm produce for several months in anticipation of the farm feast. The weather and local farm conditions (rain, too hot, etc) made deciding which produce to use, ahead of time, difficult. Fortunately, one of her favorite farm suppliers, KYV, supplied the certified organic kale she prefers and she had quite a few conversations with Francisco Arroyo to figure out what would be in season and plentiful enough to feed a crowd. The final decision was made to do a kale salad, which she often creates for her market and a beautiful multicolored quick pickled trio of raw veggies for crunch and tartness. She chose cucumber, watermelon radishes (so pretty) and lovely baby carrots.

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If you don’t get up to Congaree and Penn, in Jacksonville, way out on Old Kings Road – for the feast on Friday night. Do try and stop and see them on the upcoming Tour de Farm. And stop and see Vivian and Francisco of KYV at their northern St. Johns County Farm as well.

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Jennifer will be set up and greeting tour participants at Maggie’s Herb Farm on the Old Bartram Trail (Route 13) on Sunday the 15th.  Go visit her there and more importantly, drop by any time at her uptown shop to have a cup of coffee (she makes a smashing bottle cold brewed iced coffee with spices) or a hot grilled cheese all tied up with butcher paper and string, to go. She has a variety sandwiches and salads daily packaged to grab and go at 56A San Marco Ave, Saint Augustine, FL.

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By now the Fish Fry may be sold out, but it doesn’t hurt to go online to Congaree and Penn to find out.: http://www.congareeandpenn.com/.

And if you miss the events – make it a point to visit these farms and artisans at local farmers markets soon!

MA_Bio_2015About Mary Ann:

Mary Ann Rosenthal has worked as a graphic designer, a marketing professional and is a web content curator for Thought Projects, LLC., Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. She is a board member of Slow Food First Coast and is co-owner with husband Bill, of the St. Augustine Antique Emporium at 62 San Marco, St. Augustine, FL, and Vintage St. Augustine on Etsy.