This week is National Farmers Market Week. It has become a week long celebration of our nation’s thousands of farmers markets, the farmers and ranchers who make them possible and the communities who support them. This year marks the 16th annual NFMW, recognizing the important role farmers markets play in our local food economies.
In a nutshell, farmers markets increase access to fresh nutritional food. They preserve America’s and Nevada’s rural livelihoods and rural farmland, stimulate local economies, and promote sustainability.
Market vendors educate their customers by discussing farming practices, nutrition and how to prepare lots of the produce they sell. Markets have the benefits of serving as educational hubs, small business incubators and civic centers. We have 12 Nevada farmers selling everything from honey, flowers, bison, pork, beef, eggs, cheese, milk, vegetables, fruit, plants, herbs, greens, lotions, soaps and jams.
There’s a real sense of community in our market. It comes together every week because of a lot of hard work and support by everyone involved from our farmers, vendors, businesses, musicians and local non-profits. We couldn’t do what we do every week without the support from the city, Office of Business Development, Park & Recreation, Streets, and the Sheriff’s Office and their volunteers. A big thank you to all of the above. The 3rd & Curry Street Farmers Market is the success that it’s today because of the community and all those people who support and continue to shop at the market.
This past week and this Saturday the market has teamed up with the USDA and their Feds Feed Families Food Drive in their effort to reduce food insecurity in our community and increase the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables to those in need.
Our farmers helped us donate more than 250 pounds of produce last week to the Ron Woods Family Resource Center. This week with the money we collected from our vendors and all our customers who donated we will have $500 to buy fruits and veggies from all our farmers who donated last week with the haul going to FISH. We have great supporters and shoppers at the market and we are thankful for everyone who takes the time to come down and spend a part of their Saturday with us.
On a last note I want to get the word out the market is now accepting SNAP.
It only took us eight years, but who’s counting?
We were only able to do this because of our wonderful partnership with Partnership Carson City. Kathy Bartosz and her crew are staffing the booth, accepting the EBT cards and managing the paperwork. With some grant money and donations we’re able to offer a value added option for our SNAP customers to get them to shop at the market and have access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
The market still has seven weeks to go with some of the best melons, tomatoes, peaches, nectarines, grapes and greens available. Don’t forget Jazz and Beyond will be going on in and around a lot of venues in Carson. Stop by the market and pick up a program of who’s playing where and when. Enjoy the rest of summer. It will be over before we know it. Goodbye, tomatoes; hello, apples.
There’s no better time of year for salad making. The greens, tomatoes, carrots, peppers, zucchini, cheese, nuts and meats available at the market are an easy dinner and make for great salads this time of year. Use your imagination and load that salad with whatever it is you like or love. It makes for an easy dinner when it’s too hot to cook.
You can get tomatoes in every size and color at the market right now. The salad in the picture is one of my favorites and I never tire of it when tomatoes are in season. You can add beets, cucumbers, onions or whatever suits you. This salad is dressed with some balsamic vinegar and Meyer lemon olive oil from the farmers market. The strawberry balsamic at the market is to die for.
Linda Marrone, a longtime Carson resident, manages the 3rd & Curry Street Farmers Market and is the director of Nevada Certified Farmers Market Association.