Today is the last day of May and tomorrow starts the beginning of June, and that means the first downtown 3rd & Curry St. Farmers Market starts this Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will run every Saturday for the next 18 weeks till Sept. 30. With the early market just finishing up four weeks in May combined with the 18 weeks this summer, that’s 22 weeks total of farm fresh food available in Northern Nevada for almost half a year. That’s a pretty good run.
This year is our 10th year for the market. We are very lucky that it has been successful from the start. We have had support from Carson City, Board of Supervisors, Parks and Recreation, Streets Division of Public Works, the Redevelopment Authority Citizens Committee board in the beginning and, of course, all of our wonderful customers who show up on Saturdays to support our farmers and vendors.
There will be changes in the setup of the market this year so your favorite vendors might not be in their regular spot. We had to make some changes to accommodate some parking issues that arose from the building of Bob McFadden Plaza, but in doing so, it also gave us a chance for expansion to take place in the market. All vendors on the very south side of the farmers market have just flipped and moved over to the north side of the parking lot.
This year we have 12 local farmers and ranchers along with eight local businesses. We lost a couple of familiar faces and picked up some new ones. Let me get the bad news out there first.
Mitch Tuff and Sonia who make the addicting beignets will not be at the farmers market this year. He just took over the Cadillac Cafe at Silver Oak Golf Course and doesn’t feel he can commit to doing both. We are keeping our fingers crossed that in a year’s time he will figure out how to bring beignets back to the farmers market. We wish him the best of luck in his new endeavor.
Community Yoga will be offering yoga in the morning at 8 a.m. across the street in the Bob McFadden Plaza. A good way to start your day.
We have missed Smith and Smith and their beautiful bouquets, but we have a new local flower vendor this year, Sierra Flowers. She is just starting out and trying to accommodate our buyers so if flowers are a must for you, get there early.
You will also have a chance to buy flowers from the Greenhouse Project. They will be there every other week making their arrangements. Look for our first local food truck to make its debut on June 10. Jazzy Greenz, a local grower, Eagle Valley Farms, Desert Plains Soapworks & Mercantile along with Fresh Baked Paleo are just a few of the new vendors rounding out the market this year.
A couple of reminders — if you show up early before 8 a.m. we ask you not to walk around the farmers market while vendors are unloading and driving their vehicles in and out of the market. It’s dangerous. They are in a hurry, and you are probably not paying attention because you are looking at produce. After 8, all vehicles must be out of the market. We ask if you have to come early to please sit and wait at the tables we provide for our customers. There are no dogs in the farmers market. REAL service dogs yes, THERAPY dogs no. This applies to Reno farmers markets and most in California, too. It’s another safety issue.
Also, don’t come to the market expecting farm fresh ripe tomatoes the first week. Maybe toward the end of June.
We will have handicap parking on Curry Street and in the south parking lot right next to the farmers market. Our farmers will be accepting senior coupons once they are issued. We also accept WIC coupons and do an added value for using your SNAP at the farmers market.
We have some great musicians lined up to play for your listening enjoyment. New this year and being manned by Muscle Powered is the Carson City Library’s Petal Mobile. It’s like a mini library right in the farmers market. How cool is that?
Hope to see everyone on Saturdays throughout the summer.
Easy ways to use fresh herbs
Once I started managing the farmers market we pretty much quit planting a garden. Between the squirrels, deer, raccoons and quail, it got harder to keep up every year. What we do have, and it’s easy to maintain, is an herb garden. Fresh herbs add such a punch of flavor to most anything. Our garden has a few varieties of mint, basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, oregano, tarragon, chives and sage. They all come back every year, except for the basil, and parsley is a biannual — after two years you need to replant.
The recipes for this week are easy ways to use those herbs.
Use the mint in your lemonade, ice tea, any drinks really. Add some mint with sugar in your food processor and process till fine, then sprinkle over mixed berries or fruit.
Fresh chopped parley is great to put in your soups and salads and as a garnish. Have too much? Wash it, dry, finely chop and put it in your freezer to use whenever you need. I use thyme in my brine for chickens, turkey and pork. Before it freezes I cut all my thyme stems and all and put it in the freezer for use all winter long. It’s wonderful to go out and cut fresh chives to stir in your sour cream for a baked potato or minced as an addition to your scrambled eggs.
You can add sage leaves to butter in a saucepan and brown until crisp and stir in some cooked pasta or ravioli with a little fresh Parmesan cheese on top.
Besides using the basil for pesto, you can cut it up and put it on sliced tomatoes, pizza and even on a hamburger in place of lettuce. Tarragon makes great flavoring for white wine vinegar.
Enjoy the bounty of summer because it will go by fast and when it’s over, we will long for all the wonderful fresh fruit and veggies that were so readily available. Eat what’s in season when it’s in season. Nothing better than a fresh peach, juicy strawberry, or a Heart of Gold melon from your local farmers market.
Linda Marrone, a longtime Carson resident, manages the 3rd & Curry St. Farmers Market and is the director of Nevada Certified Farmers Market Association.