Eating Local While Traveling and Charlotte Harbor Shrimper

When traveling I look for farmer's markets, cemeteries, wineries, and anything offbeat. The Roadside America site is a great resource for that but believe it not, finding farmers markets and wineries aren't so easy. Google is my friend.

I received a tweet today on Twitter from @earth_dot_org (feel free to follow me at @jenniferhuber) asking about the weekly farm share I pick up. The twitterer tweeted how it'd be great to get veggies from local farmers when traveling, which I sometimes do. This got me thinking, some sort of travel guide to farmers markets, fruit stands, you-pick farms, organic farms open for tours, etc., would be pretty cool.I imagine it'd be pretty overwhelming to compile a travel guide but it sparked an idea to write an article about this. We'll see if I can put my thoughts together on the subject to include why I visit farmers markets when traveling, the benefits to the environment, and the benefits to the traveler.
So, stay tuned for an upcoming article on that topic. Which leads me to what I found today at the Peace River Seafood Festival at Laishley Park in Punta Gorda, Fla. In addition to a delish seafood plate from Walt's Seafood Market (fried shrimp, oysters, crab, conch fritters, and calamari), I found a shrimper (John) who sells fresh Charlotte Harbor shrimp from his boat. John drops one net in the upper portion of Charlotte Harbor during the night and sells the shrimp at $6 per pound in the morning.

The boat's called "Iron Ox" and is found at the Old Shrimp Dock-Foot of Nesbit Street at Laishley Marina in Punta Gorda. This wild Florida shrimp is sold the mornings of Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday between 7:30 and 10:30 a.m., however he usually sells out by 8:30. Call a day or two ahead to place your order (941/916.5773) and bring a cooler full of ice to bring the fresh shrimp home.

I'm definitely going to be looking into this because the shrimp are wild and not farm-raised which means no chemicals or preservatives. Buying local means less fuel was used in delivering the goods. Plus, it's supporting local industry.


Anonymous said…
I agree with the buy local concept.Farmers markets and buying off the boats has always appealed to us for a number of reasons.
As far as the less chemicals in the ocean caught shrimp,I guess we can only hope this is the case.