On The Side: Green Party

Farmers markets are a dime a dozen in Central Florida, with weekend markets popping up everywhere from Maitland to Waterford Lakes. The newest kid on the block is located at Knights Plaza at the UCF Arena. However, unlike most local markets that seem more like craft fairs, selling tchotchkes and carnival snacks, UCF's market actually has some heft.

A fair share of the nearly 80 offerings are kitschy — think comic books and jewelry made from silverware — but the food and produce selection is varied, fresh and affordable. In addition to two farm stands, there's a fresh fish booth selling shrimp for $6.99 a pound and a Middle Eastern stand with out-of-this-world hummus and tabouli ($4 per tub).

Kevin King of Jason's Place Produce has been a fixture of the local farmers market circuit, but unlike many of the other veggie-hawkers, he actually grows his own herbs and greens and gets the rest of his stock from other local farmers. "If we get a good deal, they get a better deal," said King, motioning to his customers. With $4 pumpkins and a bountiful fall selection like squash and Indian corn, the customers really do get to reap the benefits.

(UCF Farmers Market 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday; Knights Plaza at the UCF Arena, 4000 Central Florida Blvd., 407-823-3070; www.knightsplaza.com)

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