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Alabama Farmers Market Authority presents ‘Buy Local’ recipe competition

The Alabama Farmers Market Authority is looking for tried and true local recipes for the 2009 market season.

Winning entries will receive a “Buy Fresh Buy Local” prize pack that includes a copy of the newly released Southern Farmers Market Cookbook by Holly Herrick.

“With market season in full swing, we want to highlight those wonderful homemade Alabama recipes that make cooking with local produce even more mouth watering,” said Don Wambles, director of the Alabama Farmers Market Authority (FMA).

Cooking with fresh produce is a favorite past time in Alabama, and through the “Buy Fresh, Buy Local” campaign, the FMA showcases the benefits of purchasing local produce.

Pam Sanders, manager of the Pioneer Farmers Market in Troy said in spite of the extremely hot and dry weather, the local farmers market has a lot to offer buyers.

“We’ve had a good number of producers and a lot of buyers,” Sanders said.

“The Pioneer Farmers Market opens at 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday and at 7 a.m. on Saturday in the parking lot behind First Methodist Church in Troy. And, we have produce fresh from the farm, and it’s good quality, and you can’t beat the prices.”

And, Sanders said for those who want to enter the FMA “Buy Local” recipe contest, the Pioneer Farmers Market is the place to shop.

The Pioneer Farmers Market has tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, peppers, red potatoes, field corn, sweet corn, blueberries and blackberries and peaches from Chilton County.

“Not only will you get produce that will enhance any recipe, you’ll be supporting our local producers,” she said.

“We have some great cooks in Pike County, and I hope that some of them will enter the ‘Buy Local’ recipe contest. It will be good to have winners from our county.”

Contestants are asked to submit recipes using in season Alabama grown produce by the 15th of each month until Oct. 15. Entries can be submitted via e-mail to brooke.thorington@fma.alabama.gov or by mail to the Alabama Farmers Market Authority, 770 Washington Ave., Suite 330, Montgomery, AL 36103: Attention Recipe Contest.

Include your name, phone number and mailing address on each entry. Contestants may submit an unlimited number of recipes. Entries will be judged by Holly Herrick.

Winners will receive an “Alabama Buy Fresh Buy Local” prize pack, and the winning recipes will be featured on the FMA Web site at www.buylocalalabama.com and www.fma.alabama.gov.

The Southern Farmers Market Cookbook that will be presented to the winners includes more than 75 recipes using fresh, locally grown produce. The book features produce grown in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

When looking for places to “Buy Fresh Buy Local” produce, visit the FMA Web site for a listing of farmers markets across the state, roadside stands and u-pick operations.