It's farmers' market season
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KUNR broadcast 6/6/14 -- As spring is quickly heading into summer, it's farmers' market season. Ann Louhela, president of the nonprofit Nevada Grown, visits about fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy eating and sustainable agriculture right here in our region. Interviewed by David Stipech for KUNR's Beyond the Headlines.
NevadaGrown is a nonprofit Nevada corporation. Its mission: To foster the success of sustainable agriculture and to encourage healthy eating for Nevada's communities through education, support and promotion.
For a list of statewide farmers' markets or more information about Nevada Grown, click here or visit nevadagrown.com.
Tips for Shopping at Farmers Markets from Nevada Grown
--Remember - the closer to home, the better the taste! Look for Nevada farms or a NevadaGrown banner.
--Local food can be healthier, and farmers markets are a lesson in seasonal eating. The produce will change with the seasons from early summer to late fall. It's what nature intends for your body. Local food is fresher, and you can ask how the food was grown to avoid herbicides and pesticides.
--Know Your Farmer.
--Introduce yourself, ask what's new for the week, where the food is grown. Farmers love to talk about their business!
--If you're concerned about pesticides, herbicides and food safety, ask how the food is grown. A USDA organic label assures consumers the food is organic. However, many small farms use healthy, sustainable growing practices, but cannot afford the costs of organic certification. Don't overlook these family farms.
--Building a relationship has its rewards. Farmers often will give wholesale discounts or will sell blemished produce at a discount to their loyal customers. It's a great way to save money if you freeze or can food for the winter months.
--Look for small farms (1 or 2 canopies, rather than 3 or 4). They typically have more unique varieties, and you're also helping to grow a small business.
--California farms are great for fruit and berries that we can't grow in Nevada. However, look for NevadaGrown first. You're helping to build Nevada agriculture and support our state economy.
--Local food does not cost more. Remember that you are paying for quality. Prices are comparable to the same quality food in grocery stores.
--Local food can be less expensive! Late August and September are great times to look for bulk buys to freeze or can for winter. It is peak harvest season, and many farmers have excess crops that they need to sell before it spoils. Ask your favorite farmer if they have bulk purchases available.
--Nevada honey is the best! It's much thicker and tastier than what you will find in the grocery stores.
--Remember to look for local eggs and meat. You will love the flavor.
--Enjoy the harvest season, and stockpile your freezers and cupboards. That winter stew made with local ingredients will remind your taste buds of that wonderful NevadaGrown summer harvest!