ST. CROIX

Head to the bustling Agricultural Fairgrounds for the Saturday’s Farmer’s Market that offers an exciting dive into Crucian culinary and artisan culture. The market sells a variety of tasty local items, including the traditional Vienna cake — a seven-layer Crucian pastry filled with guava berry, lime and pineapple preserves, topped with white icing. Or sample drinks like golden apple juice and sorrel. Shoppers can also browse crafts such as purses and scarves made from brightly colored madras cloth, as well as artwork depicting serene St. Croix scenes.

At Southgate Corner Farmers’ Market fresh produce is the big seller, including breadfruit, bell apples, mangos and eggfruit. Ticos Garden offers organically grown produce fresh from their own garden, including juicy red, pink and white dragonfruit, plus creamy pollock avocados. They also sell pure coconut oil for cooking or skincare. Fiddlewood Farm features fresh goat cheese in delectable flavors like mango, cranberry, black pepper and French herb. Scoop up organic eggs produced by local chickens from STX Local Eggs. Fishermen hawk fresh-caught tuna, filleted and sold in four- to six-pound bags on ice. Other vendors sell items like live orchids and handmade soaps.

The 15-acre Sejah Farm supports the community with fresh produce that’s normally imported to the island. Wildflower honey, watermelons, carrots and spinach are for sale. Fresh lamb cut for stews, along with chicken, rabbit and pork, is also available. The farm also raises and sells Boer goats. Events like cooking demonstrations and farm-to-table dinners are also hosted by Sejah Farm, including the annual Bush Cook Chef Cook event held in late October.

Experience a farm stay or organic community dinners in the lush rainforest location of Ridge to Reef Farm. Farm stays include housing in solar-powered cabanas equipped with outdoor porches, sinks and outhouses. Grab an interpretive map and go on a self-guided tour of the farm’s leafy landscape. Or opt for a guided tour with a farm staff member and learn about the farm’s certified organic framework and the local plants that surround it. Sejah Farm also holds bush skills classes to teach visitors how to recognize healing plants and herbs.

ST. THOMAS

Twice a month, the Bordeaux Farmers’ Market sponsors a festive community market that sells organic local fruits like passionfruit, breadfruit and mango, locally crafted jams, pepper sauces and fruit wines. Fruit tarts and spices like nutmeg and lemongrass are also available. The market acts as a local gathering place, as well as a shopping spot. Vendors and shoppers often sing, dance and play local games together toward the close of the market day.

Market Square is the site of the daily St. Thomas Farmers Market, where locals come from all over the island to sell and buy goods. The market’s hallmark is the big cast iron bungalow that was built during the early 20th century and stretches out over the square, providing shelter for the vendors’ stalls. The busiest market day is Saturday, when locals shop for the week’s groceries and stock up on treats like fresh coconut water and passionfruit wine. Kitchen staples like celery, onions, thyme and bay leaf are sold. You’ll also find local teas and food like meat pates, stews and soups. Vendors often offer samples to shoppers and explain the uses for their goods.

Vendors Plaza is an outdoor marketplace that brims with activity. Vendors selling artisan crafts like hand-painted gourds, custom charm bracelets and woven hats gather in candy-colored kiosks along St. Thomas’ waterfront. Services like hair braiding are also offered, along with snacks and ice cream. Don’t be afraid to haggle for bargains. The Fruit Bowl is a family-owned indoor market that has been serving the St. Thomas community since 1975. Based in the Wheatley Shopping Center, the store is conveniently located just a few blocks from Yacht Haven Grande Marina.

The Fruit Bowl offers specialties like vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free products, and features a salad bar with extensive selections to build your own customized bowl of greens. Stacks of fresh fruits and vegetables like carambola, plums, tamarind and squash fill the aisles. A nice selection of seafood, meats, cheeses and dry goods complete the island grocery store experience.

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