This week is National Farmers Market Week, Aug. 6-12. It’s a good time to show your gratitude and support for local food and farmers. By shopping at your local farmers market you help keep family farming viable and grow healthy communities. From enjoying produce at the peak of freshness to keeping dollars in our local economy, there are countless reasons to support farmers markets, but I would say the top two would be knowing where your food comes from and connecting with your community. Remember, every day we eat we owe our thanks to a farmer.
This year marks our 10th anniversary for the 3rd and Curry St. Farmers Market. Every year has seen new challenges, farmers and vendors. In our market we still have 12 vendors and three musicians who started out with us in 2008: our Nevada farmers, Lattin Farms and Campie Lavender, our five original and only California farmers, Bravo, Chucks Farm, Minton Farms, Rodriquez Ranch and Caleola Olive Oil, local businesses, Comma Coffee and LA Bakery, two nonprofits, Muscle Powered and Do Drop In, three musicians, Hickry’ Switch, Chris Bayer and Ricky D, and one artisan, Casa Bonita. I want to give a big shout out to these people for their continued support and commitment to the market. In 10 years, that’s more than 160 Saturdays, 1,300 hours and that doesn’t include driving time to and from the farmers market.
The 3rd and Curry St. Farmers Market started out (thank you, Tammy Westergard) and continues each week because of the support we have from Carson City and the powers that be. In the same way the freeway just opened along with the downtown corridor and Bob McFadden Plaza that have all become a reality because of the foresight of our city leaders and community, so did the farmers market.
I also want to thank Charlie and Karen from Adele’s restaurant for being such wonderful supporters of the farmers market. They’ve been shopping there every week since the beginning along with Tony and Jamie from Sassafras. It’s great to see chefs and restaurants shopping the market. I hope some of our newer restaurants in town will take a cue from these successful two and see the benefit of farm fresh produce.
We want to thank all of our customers, vendors, Board of Supervisors, Office of Business Development, the Sheriff’s Office, Parks and Recreation, Carson City Streets and Health Department and the Nevada Appeal for all the support you’ve given the market these past 10 years. None of this would’ve been possible without all of you.
On a last note, we will once again be partnering with the USDA and Feds Feed Families in collecting donations and fresh produce that will be delivered to FISH and Ron Wood Family Resource Center starting Aug. 19 and Aug. 26. All of our farmers donate the first week and the rest of the vendors who aren’t farmers donate the next week. We then take that money along with money collected from our customers and buy produce the following week from all the farmers who donated the week before. It’s a win-win for everyone.
The recipe I’m going to share with you this week is easy and fresh and doesn’t have near as many calories as the store-bought. Try this version and you will be hooked. You can also freeze berries from the farmers market and make this in the winter. For convenience sake, freeze them in two-cup portions. Let your kids help you make this.
Quick and Easy Raspberry Frozen Yogurt
2 cups plain yogurt
1/3 cup maple syrup, agave or honey (taste for desired sweetness, more or less is fine)
2 cups fresh raspberries or thawed unsweetened raspberries
Place the yogurt and syrup in a bowl and stir to combine. Place the yogurt in the bowl of an ice cream maker and start to churn following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Add the raspberries and continue to churn for about 15-30 minutes, until the mixture freezes. The soft berries will break up and turn the mixture pink.
Serve immediately. You can top with nuts or granola. If you don’t want to mess with an ice cream maker, you can make this in a shallow pan in your freezer and keep stirring the mixture every 20 minutes or so until it’s fairly firm. You would just mash the berries and stir them into the yogurt mixture before putting it in the pan.
Linda Marrone, a longtime Carson resident, manages the 3rd & Curry St. Farmers Market and is the director of Nevada Certified Farmers Market Association.