By Sharon Still

Fresh, locally grown produce, handcrafted goods and food truck vendors are just a few of the items that visitors will find at the Balm Farmers’ Market. The soft opening in October attracted more than 200 people who shopped, sampled items and enjoyed the open-air event. Some of the vendors included Farmer Pete’s Produce, Salty Dawg Spices, and Thai-Licious.

The Balm Farmers’ Market is put on by the Good Samaritan Mission, a charitable, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) Christian ministry established in 1984. The mission is dedicated to a holistic approach to enhancing the spiritual, emotional/psychological and physical quality of life of farm workers and others living in poverty. It currently serves the community by offering incentivized adult education classes, social services assistance, back-to-school and Christmas outreach events.

“Excellent weather added to the overall friendly community atmosphere, making this a successful fundraising event,” said Theresa Cruz, Good Samaritan Mission director of Seeds of Change.

“We found a lot of good stuff,” said Wimauma resident Barb Garcia. “We will be back.”

The Balm Farmers’ Market is held the first and third Thursday of every month from 3-7 p.m. at the Good Samaritan Mission, located at 14920 Balm Wimauma Rd. Upcoming dates are Thursdays, November 19, December 3 and 17.

“Whether it is a gift for a loved one or just a way to nourish your family or even yourself, Balm Farmers Market is the place to find it,” Cruz added. “Take home a fresh cooked meal from one of the food trucks, or stay and have your evening meal under the trees on one of the picnic tables.“

For those interested in supporting the Good Samaritan Mission, there is an additional opportunity on Friday, November 13. The organization will be hosting Harvest Blessings, an annual fundraising dinner from 5-7 p.m. at the Sun City Chamber of Commerce.

For more information, call 634-7136, visit www.gsmission.org or become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FarmersMarketGSM.