Adventures in Weekending: 10 things to do in Plant City this weekend

More than strawberries.

click to enlarge Hi there! I know what plants want... - Brocken Inaglory via Wikimedia Commons
Brocken Inaglory via Wikimedia Commons
Hi there! I know what plants want...

OK, so you just read "Plant City" and unless you're from there, you're probably all, "Salustri, WTF? It's Plant fucking City! No one goes there outside of the Strawberry Festival!"

That's where you're wrong. People go there — just maybe not you. But you should. Because Plant City is a lot of fun. No, not in a "craft beer and maker's market while wearing yoga pants" type of way, but, honestly, that's why you should go there more, starting this weekend. Here are 10 ways to have fun in Plant City — and only one of them has to do with strawberries. Pinky swear.

1. Have breakfast at Buddy Freddy's.

click to enlarge Breakfast. It's what's for breakfast. - Janine via Wikimedia Commons
Janine via Wikimedia Commons
Breakfast. It's what's for breakfast.

After 62 years, it's safe to say Buddy Freddy's isn't going anywhere. They bill themselves as a southern restaurant, but honestly, this is the first thing I think of when I think of Plant City. (I know, it should be strawberries, right? It isn't.) It's where I used to go after the Strawberry Festival, on the way back from Orlando or, really, just for their breakfast. Sure, they have a buffet, but go for their breakfast. If you must eat a buffet, they have one at breakfast, too. And, of course, anything with strawberries, #becausePlantCity.

2. Pick peaches.

click to enlarge Seriously, if you've never grilled peaches, you're missing out on one of summer's best things. - mccun934 via Flickr
mccun934 via Flickr
Seriously, if you've never grilled peaches, you're missing out on one of summer's best things.

Peach pie, peach bread, peach cobbler... $3 a pound cash, $3.25 if you pay with a card. Ever grilled peaches and topped them with a brown sugar simple syrup? Now's your chance. Where? Keel & Curley, where else?

3. Bluegrass Jam (and java).

click to enlarge Expect them to play things like these. - lothlaurien via Wikimedia Commons
lothlaurien via Wikimedia Commons
Expect them to play things like these.

Bluegrass at Krazy Kup Saturday night promises to be gritty and real. Three years ago I would have scoffed at using a "k" to spell something that should start with a "c," but that was before I fell in love with Craft Kafe.

4. Shake it up at The Strawberry Hut.

click to enlarge Love, inside a blender. - pixabay
pixabay
Love, inside a blender.

Sometimes it really is about strawberries, though. As in strawberry shakes here. But don't worry — this place has a solid rep for its Cubans (check out Yelp for more) and we hear they have excellent shortcake, too. But those shakes... man, those shakes.

5. Shroom-a-doom-doom.

click to enlarge Mushrooms with special properties? WHO KNEW? - Eric Steinert via Wikimedia Commons
Eric Steinert via Wikimedia Commons
Mushrooms with special properties? WHO KNEW?

OK, so this looks interesting, and maybe not as psychedelic as it sounds. The Abundant Living Retreat Center is having a... class? talk?... on the lingzhi mushroom and their medicinal uses. Granted, there's going to be a sales pitch at the end and this may or may not be a MLM thing, but the whole mushroom thing sounds intriguing. So, try it out Saturday but go with a skeptical mind, OK?

6. Buy a car.

click to enlarge Maybe nothing this snazzy, but you never know. - pixabay.com
pixabay.com
Maybe nothing this snazzy, but you never know.

Seriously, we're always hearing about car auctions but we don't "know" anyone, and we don't buy that whole "buy seized property this weekend at our hotel!" thing. This, however, looks pretty cool: The County Line Road Auction, with previews starting at noon Saturday and the auction at 4 p.m.

7. Grow — grow? — an aquaponic garden.

click to enlarge Hi there! I know what plants want... - Brocken Inaglory via Wikimedia Commons
Brocken Inaglory via Wikimedia Commons
Hi there! I know what plants want...

Hey, there, suburban hipster and farm-to-table-philes, to truly get back to the land you need to go to where the land is how people live, and hey, we've heard Plant Cityians (that is what y'all call yourselves, right?) has some experience with that. A Land of Natural Delight will offer a free demo class in using fish poop to grow veggies. Oh, OK, you think that's disgusting, but what about all the cow patties that make your container tomatoes so juicy?

8. And also, learn about local honey (and maybe even keep bees).

click to enlarge What are you looking at? - Maciej A. Czyzewski via Wikimedia Commons
Maciej A. Czyzewski via Wikimedia Commons
What are you looking at?

OK, so this is the same venue as #7, but there's also a class on raw local honey. Local honey: cures allergies. supports small farmers, lets you shop local and doesn't take a gazillion-dollar bailout from the government (read: taxpayers, read: you and I) like Big Sugar does.

9. Head to a real farmer's market.

click to enlarge And not a strawberry in sight! - Jean Beaufort via publicdomainpictures.net
Jean Beaufort via publicdomainpictures.net
And not a strawberry in sight!

Goddammit, this place again — everything cool looks like it centers around A Land of Natural Delight. But, seriously, I have my fill of "farmer's markets" with veggies from Mexico. Here's a local farmer's market with local stuff. How do we know it's local? Because you can pick lots of it yourself: kale, swiss chard, moringa... and others. Also, they promise it's all GMO-free, which is awesome, because #fuckMonsanto.

10. (Black) light up the night.

click to enlarge We'd advise going to a third location with this guy, though. - pixabay
pixabay
We'd advise going to a third location with this guy, though.

This one's just for fun, which is what weekend's are all about, right? Wear your neon colors, toss back a Pop Rock cocktail (this sounds more awesome than Jolly Rancher Pop-Tarts) and get ready to get messy with some glow-in-the-dark paint.

Want more weekend fun? Check out Meaghan Habuda's Weekend Platter.

Think we're missing a great town or neighborhood for our Adventures in Weekending? Tell us about it here.

About The Author

Cathy Salustri

Cathy's portfolio includes pieces for Visit Florida, USA Today and regional and local press. In 2016, UPF published Backroads of Paradise, her travel narrative about retracing the WPA-era Florida driving tours that was featured in The New York Times. Cathy speaks about Florida history for the Osher Lifelong Learning...
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