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Farmers Markets

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Farmers Markets

Are you excited for farmers market season? We sure are! Farmers markets are a fun shopping experience, with the opportunity to discover new items and find fresh fruits and veggies.

I remember experiencing my first farmers’ market here in Nevada, in fact, I have a picture to commemorate the day. My best friend and I happened upon the market on a hike we were embarking on. We were just hitting the trail head before a bunch of white tents caught our attention. Like squirrels, we were distracted from our original destination and drawn into the buzz and bustle. As we walked around in the warm sun gathering fresh cheese, juicy tomatoes, and local ripe fruits, we knew the hike was going to be a quick one. We rushed home with our paper bagged loot to prepare one of the best meals I’ve ever had.

If you aren’t familiar, or haven’t yet experienced a farmers’ market, you are in for a real treat. In just a few weeks many markets will be opening for the season, and I’ll be the first to tell you there are so many great reasons to check them out. If you have had the pleasure of experiencing a farmers’ market, you may already know that these are great places to support local, sustainable and small businesses in your area. Plus, if you need an excuse to enhance your weekly shopping experience, this is it. Besides the obvious draw of being outdoors, farmers’ markets offer the chance to meet your farmer face to face. They often will tell you what the year was like, where the item was grown, how the crop faired. There’s also a great chance they will let you try the product before you buy it. Chances are you will be able to taste the difference between the locally farmed product versus the one you will find in the grocery store.

When you are shopping for your own loot at seasonal markets, there are a few items you should focus on, and a few you may want to pass on as they may be more economical at your local grocery store. Stone fruit like peaches and nectarines are well worth the cost at the farmers’ market. They will be ripe, juicy and worth every penny. Greens such as spinach, kale, and chard are also good buys. Sweet corn from the markets is a great choice as well, as you will surely note the difference in quality, ripeness and taste. Same with flowers sold at the farmers’ market which will last longer and have a unique appeal. There will also be specialty items that you won’t find in any grocery store, such as different mushrooms, potato varietals, and ramps (a leek-like wild onion) along with local honeys, fresh farmed eggs, as well as home-made cheeses and baked goods. Some of the best yogurt I’ve ever tasted was from a farmers’ market on campus at my college in Northridge, California. I would get out of class and treat myself to fresh yogurt kept on ice in a cooler under a white tent. It was a great motivator to attend lecture. Items you can pass on and find at your grocery store include broccoli, cauliflower, onions, carrots, celery, and russet potatoes. Even organic varieties of these items are likely to be less expensive in the store.

By shopping at your local farmers’ market, you are supporting small, local, and sustainable businesses. Many new farmers can test the market, start small, and grow with the help of local supporters. In addition, items from these markets are often transported within a very small radius compared to those that hit the grocery store shelves. Items you find are also in season, and harvested when ripe, opposed to grocery store items that are picked early and engineered to ripen over time. If you are in the Reno/Tahoe area here are a few markets for you to try. Each one is different, so if the first one doesn’t float your boat, try a new one!

Village Market on California Avenue

Saturdays 8am – 1pm

June – October

 

Tamarak Junction Casino

Saturdays 9am – 1pm

June – September

 

Riverside Farmers’ Market

McKinley Arts and Culture Center

Year Round!

Summer

Thursdays 4 – 8pm

June – September

Winter

Saturdays 9am -12pm

October – May

 

Sparks Methodist Church off Pyramid

Tuesdays 8am – 1pm

 

Park Farm off Mayberry Drive

Sundays 10 am – 2pm

June – October

 

Incline Village off Alder Avenue

Thursdays 3 – 6pm

May – September

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