Linda Marrone: Farmers markets are a boon to their communities
August 7, 2013
The week of Aug. 4-11 is designated National Farmers Market Week. I think this is a good time to recognize what farmers markets do for our community.
This is our sixth successful year for the 3rd and Curry Street Market, which has continued to grow. We now have more than 15 Nevada farmers selling a range of items such as honey, flowers, meat, eggs, cheese, vegetables, fruit, plants and herbs.
Our California vendors continue to supply stone fruits, an assortment of berries, and other produce that is not readily grown in Nevada.
Now more than ever, farmers markets serve as anchors across American cities, positively influencing community health and well-being.
"Farmers markets play a vital role in forming strong, healthy, local food systems by providing the opportunities for farmers to connect directly with consumers. Markets have the benefit of serving as educational hubs, small-business incubators and civic centers," said Jen O'Brian, director of the Farmers Market Coalition.
The 3rd & Curry Street Market has become a gathering place on Saturday mornings, and not just for those interested in buying great produce. We have a variety of local nonprofits there throughout the season getting the word out about their organization and upcoming fundraisers or events. Our local nonprofits are an integral part of the market, just like all the other vendors.
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This past week the market teamed up with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in its effort to increase the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables to those in need. The market vendors and our shoppers helped us donate more than 240 pounds. We also collected more than $160 and will use that and money collected this Saturday to buy produce to be given to the Ron Wood Family Resource Center. This project is a win-win for everyone. We have some great shoppers and supporters at the market, and we are thankful for everyone who takes the time to come down and spend it with us.
We could not do what we do every week without support from the city, the Office of Business Development, our market neighbors, Parks and Recreation, the volunteers from the Sheriff's Office and everyone who helps to lend a hand when needed. A big thank-you to all of the above.
For those of you who have asked about canning classes, join the market at the Greenhouse Garden Center at 10 a.m. Aug. 18 for our pickling class. We will demonstrate how to can dill and bread and butter pickles. If you can't make it, I'm going to share my mom's recipe for bread and butter pickles. This is very doable even if you are a first timer.
Hope to see everyone at the season's remaining eight markets.
Bread & Butter Pickles
One gallon sliced pickling cucumbers
3 cups apple cider vinegar
3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons mustard seed
2 teaspoons dill seed
2 teaspoons salt.
Mix all ingredients together in a big pot; simmer and bring just to a boil. Prepare jars per canning instructions and put pickles in clear sterilized jars.
Process 10 minutes for half-pints, 15 minutes for pints and 20 minutes for quarts.
Pickles are ready to eat the next day.