Farmers market at the pavilion set to open |

Farmers market at the pavilion set to open

Sally J. Taylor

Are you ready for fresh? Fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, fresh bread, fresh honey and other fresh treats are coming to the Carson-Pony Express Pavilion Farmers Market starting today.

The market will run from 3-7 p.m. every Wednesday through Sept. 2 at the pavilion in Mills Park.

The Saturday Morning Farmers Market at Third and Curry streets opens June 27.

This is the 15th year for Carson’s afternoon farmers market at the pavilion, said market manager Shirley Sponsler, who helped organize the event as well as the Victorian Square Farmers Market in Sparks.

“We have people (vendors) at that market that have been there for 15 years,” she said. It began downtown then moved to the pavilion when it became too large.

“It’s a really good use of the Pony Express Pavilion. It helped put activities back into the pavilion.”

Besides picking up fresh produce, baked goods and other items, farmers markets have become a place for people to gather.

“It’s a social atmosphere where people feel real comfortable,” Sponsler said. “I like watching people meet their friends, try the foods and talk to vendors. It’s a community event that brings people together.”

Farmers markets are also a great place for farmers to introduce new products. The demand for pluots (a cross between plums and apricots) first developed at farmers markets and moved into grocery stores. This year, Sponsler said, the market is introducing apriums, an apricot-plum cross.

Farmers markets also supply consumers with unusual varieties of produce that aren’t available in stores.

“People can expand their knowledge of fruits and vegetables,” Sponsler said. “Children will try things at the market that you can’t get them to try at home. I learned that by watching my grandchildren. They see people trying things at the market so they’ll try new things.”

The market will also host contests this year. People can pick up tickets at every market attended. The drawing will be in October. Prizes include baskets and dinners and a grand prize to be announced later.

Seventeen vendors are set to start the season at the pavilion, with more as the season progresses.

One thing missing, that Sponsler would like to recruit, is a farmer to sell fresh eggs.

“We want to sell fresh eggs at the market. There’s a huge demand.”

She the market has been approved for egg sales, although a farmer would also need to get approval. Anyone interested in selling eggs or other goods at the farmers market can contact her at 775-746-5024 or by e-mail at