Fairfield Ledger
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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 21, 2017
AGRICULTURE

Northey: National Farmers Market Week underway

Aug 08, 2017

DES MOINES — Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey is encouraging Iowans to take advantage of fresh fruits and vegetables available at the more than 220 farmers markets in Iowa as part of National Farmers Market Week, which started Sunday and continues through Saturday.

“Farmers markets are a great place to find healthy and delicious Iowa grown fruits, vegetables, meats and other products,” Northey said. “National Farmers Market Week, and every week, is a great time to visit your local farmers market to support the vendors who are there and enjoy some of the great food grown in this state.”

In Fairfield, the farmers market is held from 3-6 p.m. Wednesdays and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through October in Howard Park. For information, email fairfieldfarmersmarket@gmail.com.

As part of National Farmers Market Week, Northey highlighted the WIC Farmers Market Nutrition and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Programs. These programs provide eligible low-income seniors as well as women and children in Iowa with checks that can be redeemed for fresh, locally grown produce at authorized farmers markets and farm stands from June 1 through Oct. 31.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship administers the programs in partnership with the Iowa Department of Public Health and Iowa Department on Aging. For more information contact Stephanie Groom, program administrator, at 515-725-1179 or at Stephanie.Groom@IowaAgriculture.gov.

Northey also reminded Iowa students who are in kindergarten through eighth-grade that there still is time to take part in the “Farmers Market Scavenger Hunt.” To participate in the scavenger hunt, students should look for the bright blue “Farmers Market Scavenger Hunt” banner at a participating market. As part of the hunt, students will be asked to look for 37 fruits and vegetables and identify which ones are available at the market.

Students completing the scavenger hunt form will receive a free piece of fruit or vegetable from the market and be in a drawing for books, cookbooks, cooking supplies or Grow Your Own Seed Sheet garden kits.

The farmers markets participating in the program are: Independence, Produce in the Park (Atlantic), Shelby County in Harlan, Ida Area Farmers Market in Ida Grove, Bloomfield Farmers Market, Red Oak Farmers Market, Urbana Farmers Market, Storm Lake Farmers Market, Lamoni Farmer’s Market, Madison County Farmers Market in Winterset, Montrose, Uptown Ankeny, Humboldt Market, Cherokee Farmers Market, Corydon Farmers Market and Clear Lake Farmers Market.

Finally, Northey encouraged Iowans to take advantage of the free Iowa Farmers Market app for smartphones that can help Iowans locate the farmers markets in their area.

The app allows users to find the farmers market closest to them by using GPS location services or to search for specific farmers markets by city or ZIP code.

The app is free to download and is available through Apple’s App store and Google Play by searching “Iowa Farmers Markets.” The app for android phones can also be found at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.utc.titaniumapns2, and the link for Apple devices is http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ia-farmer-mkts/id501591188?ls=1 & mt=8.

The app was developed for the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship using funds from the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Grant funds are targeted for projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops that benefit the entire specialty crop industry. The request for new applications for the Specialty Crop Block Grant will be released in January. or more about the program, contact Groom.

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