by Sarah Drinkwine

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July 20, 2012
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Farmers markets more than just fruit and veggies

Farmers markets aren't all about fruits and vegetables. Both Valley locations - Minden and Lampe Park - have entertainment, cakes and treats, and much more.

A variety of vendors set up every Tuesday throughout the summer on Esmeralda Ave. in Minden.

"It's fun to work in the farmer's market, you get to meet new people and you also get to travel a lot," said Eulises Rodriguez from Rodriguez Farms.

Rodriguez Farms had a variety of fresh Calif. strawberries, blackberries and raspberries, broccoli and artichokes, and other fruits and vegetables. Rodriguez said what was in stock at the farmer's market was just a sample of what they grow.

Heather Barbee has been coming to the farmers market for three years and she said she enjoys the fresh fruit and vegetables and usually gets anything that is in season.

"I like the environment," she said.

Russell's Mercantile has been in the farmers market for five years. They have a variety of breads as well as cookies and jams made fresh in their shop located in North Minden.

"We love it," said owner Doug Russell. "It's fun and festive and lucrative for the vendors."

New to the Esmeralda market this year is Sandra Patterson, who just opened Tinycakes Cupcakery in June.

"It's nice to be out in the local community," she said. "Lots of people come out and support."

Patterson said she bakes all of her cakes and "lah-lee" pop treats herself. She said her cupcakes are festive and come in all shapes and sizes.

"It's a nice, sweet little treat," said Patterson.

Ricky D, or as he called himself "The Blues Guy," entertained the shoppers with Blues, Country and Western music.

"This is the best," he said. "Especially when you get to smell the hot dogs and it's fun seeing the kids."

Kathy Hall has been coming to the farmers market for two years.

"I like the people and the music," she said. "It's very laid back."

More vendors filled the Lampe Park parking lot Wednesday morning for the farmers market presented by Sierra Farmers Markets and the Douglas County Parks & Recreation Department.

Ray Tomalas' Primecut BBQ Co., had excellent sauces, spices and rubs which were products of D.L. Jardines, a business out of Texas.

"It's not a business, it's a passion," said Tomalas.

Tomalas has been displaying his business at the Lampe Farmers Market for two years.

"It's fun," he said. "I've lived in the Valley for 25 years, so I see a lot of people I know."

LABakery, a Russian-style bakery in Carson City, had an assortment of breads from focaccia and Russian honey to whole wheat as well as raspberry pies and apple pie, among others.

"I love this farmer's market," said Lawrence Brass. "People are just friendly."

Amy Minett set up her booth of books for kids. The books were from Usborne Publishers, located in London and Tulsa, Okla. Minett said the books, written for audiences ranging from infant to teen, are both educational and entertaining and the company does fundraising to help schools and libraries.

She has been attending the farmers market for three years.

"I really enjoy it," she said. "You get to know the community, make friends with the other vendors. It's an excellent community environment."

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The Record Courier Updated Jul 22, 2012 05:35PM Published Jul 20, 2012 05:45PM Copyright 2012 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.