Thursday, December 16, 2010

Nature's Bounty - Local Homemade Goodies Perfect for Gift Baskets

Update March 2012: I passed by here recently and sadly it appears Nature's Bounty has gone out of business. Darn.

For readers in the general vicinity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, I want to introduce you to a little jewel of a place I ran across Tuesday evening.  It's a little store called "Nature's Bounty," located on Bienville Blvd. (Highway 90) in Ocean Springs MS, not far over the  Biloxi-Ocean Springs bridge, in the same shopping plaza as Cheryl's Steakhouse.

What caught my eye, was the sign that said cracked pecans for $3.99 a pound, local raw honey, Whistle Stop products ... and all that gorgeous produce peeking out through the windows. What's inside though, is simply a treasure.

And, while there are some fantastic goodies in these walls, first things first. The produce. And, yes, oh boy did they have some beautiful produce. We don't have a lot of fresh markets going on Down South.  You catch the small Farmers Market once a week if you want to buy more locally, or you get your produce from either the superstores or supermarket, often from the other side of the country.  Everything at Nature's Bounty that can be had locally, is.

There was such a wide variety of just the most beautiful produce here. There were pineapples, several types of melons, all sorts of citrus products, including local grapefruit, Louisiana reds, satsumas, plus fresh cherries, and plums, Asian pears, Bosc pears, Red pears and Bartlett pears. I just had to grab a couple of those red pears to eat!

Lettuce, fresh peppers, yellow corn, sliced sweet potatoes, collards and cabbage and fresh poblano peppers. I don't know why I didn't grab some of that corn!

Here are the bags of cracked pecans - these are 5 pound bags, but they also had them in 1 pound bags, and also completely shelled.

They have some absolutely gorgeous apples.

And, all kinds of squash - spaghetti, butternut, acorn, kabocha - yucca, rutabaga, and turnips.

These tomatoes were so beautiful and fragrant I just had to have a couple. I miss my garden fresh tomatoes. And look. Yes! They have green tomatoes too!! And gorgeous plum tomatoes.

It is truly like having a little full time farmer's market, but opened daily so you don't have to get up at the crack of dawn!

Being a lover of fruit and vegetables, and especially locally grown and fresh produce like what Nature's Bounty has available, I was in heaven in here. But... my most favorite part and what had me so excited was to see the rest of the store.

Jars and jars and jars of locally made, handmade, homemade, goodies like these plum and peach preserves, peach and apple jelly, elderberry jelly, huckleberry jelly, and green and red hot pepper jelly.

Pickles, salsa and relishes! Pickled okra, green tomato relish and chow chow, sweet pepper relish, peach salsa, garden vegetable salsa, Cajun dill pickles, and pickled green beans.

Bulk walnuts and pie fillings! I bought one of the raspberry - I think there was lemon and a berry also.

Local honey, pure cane syrup, and flavored syrups - like peach and blueberry. I meant to get some of that honey.

We were on our way to The Cajun's birthday party so I was in a hurry, but here are some of the goodies I grabbed up quick like to carry home with me. Needless to say, I plan to go back in the next couple of days. These may make their way into a gift basket or three. Or not.

Watermelon Rind Dill Pickles

Local Pecans!

If you're in the area, stop by and check them out sometime. Wouldn't you just love a gift basket filled with some of this luscious fruit and these great homemade products?  It'd be a great gift that I think anybody would love.

Nature's Bounty
Right next to Cheryl's Steakhouse
1310 Bienville Blvd. (Highway 90)
Ocean Springs MS 39564