Farmers markets bring the fresh to town

Farm-fresh produce has arrived in Carson Valley. Summer brings the return of Carson City's farmers markets. You can find delicious ripe produce 4-8 p.m. Tuesdays in Minden and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays in Lampe Park.

You will be able to purchase great-tasting veggies and fruits, including certified organic produce, as well as baked goods, nuts, oils, spices, fresh flowers and crafts. Both these markets feature growers from Nevada and nearby California. In addition to produce, you can find a variety of jams and honeys, house and garden plants, and arranged planters. Often music will accompany your shopping, and both markets are great opportunities to mingle with others who appreciate wonderfully fresh food.

What are the advantages to buying locally grown food?

The produce is fresh, picked that day or the day before with no shipping lag coming across the United States or from another country.

The produce, especially tomatoes, tastes better because it has ripened in the field or on the plant rather than in a warehouse injected with ethylene gas.

You can buy food that hasn't been irradiated, waxed or genetically modified.

You can choose food free of pesticides, hormones or antibiotics.

Buying closer to home improves our local economy.

Less fuel is used to ship produce, so your carbon footprint is smaller.

You meet and support the farmer who grew your food, and you know where your food comes from.

My colleague Leslie Allen, in Reno, was a locavore for one year through the radio program "The Splendid Table." She had to buy most of her food within 125-mile radius to qualify.

She found the farmers markets to be great resources in her eating adventure. You too could become a locavore and choose to eat foods grown within our local foodshed.

Think of all the economic, environmental, political and health benefits to eating foods grown closer to home. However, if you aren't as committed as Leslie is to being a locavore, you can still enjoy all the great fresh produce at Carson Valley's farmers markets.

See you there!

JoAnne Skelly is the Carson City/Storey County Extension educator for University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and may be reached at or 887-2252.


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