City’s downtown farmers market receives national recognition
Anyone who attends Carson City’s Downtown Farmers Market on Saturday mornings can vouch not only for its charm, but also its quality.
That sentiment no longer is limited to the folks who faithfully attend the market each week. A national magazine, Country Woman, selected the downtown farmers market to feature in its August-September edition.
The three-page spread includes a main photo of market manager Linda Marrone at the market with Tammy Westergard, the city’s former deputy manager of the Office of Business Development.
“I’m glad they used that photo because I can remember when I got the call from Tammy in March of 2008 asking if I wanted to put together a farmers market for downtown,” Marrone said.
Marrone said she didn’t think there was enough time to pull off such a major event, but Westergard had faith in her.
“She said, ‘I know you can do this,’ and the market was a success from Day One because of our vendors and all the support I receive from the city,” Marrone said.
Marrone, who credits the city for its continued support, attended the Board of Supervisors meeting Thursday to say “Thank you” and to pass out copies of the magazine to officials.
The Downtown Farmers Market was part of a major effort in 2008, led by the Carson City Downtown Consortium, part of the redevelopment authority, to revitalize the downtown area. The effort also included such things as Fridays at Third and summer hanging flower baskets throughout town.
Country Woman’s feature focuses on some of Marrone’s philosophies.
“Coming from a line of farmers and ranchers, I’ve acquired a taste for produce so fresh you can practically smell the rich earth it came from,” the magazine says, paraphrasing Marrone on the second page of the spread. “I find it hard to warm up to a tomato unless it’s locally grown or picked from my own garden.”
The feature also includes a number of tips written by Marrone for shopping like a pro at a farmers market: Expect an experience, go early or go late, take your time, carry cash, bring bags, talk to farmers, pack a cooler, dress for comfort, include the kids, try something new, connect, mark your calendar and find local flavor.
Marrone said Carson City was among many other Certified Farmers Market Association members throughout the country contacted by the magazine to vie for the honor of being featured within its pages.
There are 28 certified farmers markets in Nevada and more than 7,000 across the country, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, she said.
The magazine sent a list of questions for all the applicants to answer, as well as a list of photographs they required, Marrone said.
“There were hundreds of questions,” she said. “It took me three days to answer them all.”
She attributes the market’s selection to the support it receives.
“It made a difference to them to know that the city supports this, and that we’re supported by nonprofits, and the local paper supports it with a booth so people can sit and read their Nevada Appeal with a cup of coffee, listen to the music and visit with friends,” she said. “Our market looks good because of all the support it receives – the big picture.”