The newest addition to the Gainesville area’s growing family of farmers markets, The Melrose Community Farmers Market, opened this month with a simple message: The demand for locally grown, locally sold, environmentally safe foods is a top priority in North Central Florida.

The market, which runs every Friday at the Melrose Heritage Park, features more than 30 vendors coming from within a 10-mile radius selling everything from vegetables, fruits, herbs, eggs and organic meats to wood, metal crafts and handmade jewelry. With so many other markets in the Gainesville area — including the Hawthorne, Haile, downtown Gainesville, Micanopy and Town of Tioga markets — Ed Sherwood, director of the Melrose Market, wanted to carve out a spot for his agricultural community.

« There’s a hunger for community in modern-day America, » Sherwood said. « I am just giving people a chance to come out and celebrate their community and help their neighbors build a local economy.