Farmers markets kick off season |

Farmers markets kick off season

by Amy Alonzo
A variety of tomatoes for sale at the farmers market on at Lampe Park.
Shannon Litz | The Record-Courier

Summer doesn’t officially start until June, but that doesn’t mean Valley residents have to eat like it’s still winter.

Farmers markets kick off the season today and next week in Gardnerville and Minden, offering residents easy access to fresh produce, honey and other locally raised and crafted products.

The Sierra Chef Farm to Fork Farmers Market begins at 9 a.m. Wednesday at Lampe Park, 1325 Waterloo Lane. The market runs until 1 p.m. and features vendors selling items including fresh produce, bread, cheese, salsa and microgreens.

Now in its 17th year, the market boasts about 35 regular vendors each week, as well as another dozen who rotate through, said Cynthia Ferris-Bennett, owner of Sierra Chef.

The market also features food carts and meal options by local businesses.

“We have a quite a few lunch options so people can come over, shop, have lunch and go back to work,” she said.

Also returning this year is the market’s “big bag giveaway” — each week a bag of vendor-contributed products is given for free to a market attendee.

For those who can’t make it to a morning market, the Esmeralda Avenue Farmers Market kicks off its season at 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 23 in downtown Minden. It runs until about 8 p.m.

“We cater to the people who work, whereas in Gardnerville, it’s a different dynamic because it’s in the morning,” said Esmeralda Market Market Manager Roxanne Stangle. “I like that it brings people out to meet their neighbors and socialize and relax a little bit.”

People who have to choose between the two markets because of scheduling shouldn’t worry though — “We use a lot of the same growers,” Stangle said.

Now in it’s 13th year, the Minden market typically features 20 to 30 vendors selling items including produce, olive oil, chips and dips, honey, meat and handmade crepes.

“We have a little bit of everything,” Stangle said.

The Minden market also features live music, including local acts such as Acoustic Solution and Daniel Gaughan, Stangle said. Carson City artist Ricky Dees will perform at the first market.

The Gardnerville market runs through September 13 and the Esmeralda Market wraps up the last week of September.