Farmer’s Market planning ongoing
Published 11:00 pm Thursday, January 26, 2012
The Pike County Farmers Market organizational meeting will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1 at the Pike County Extension Office.
All producers who plan to participate in the market and those who would like more information are encouraged to attend.
“This initial meeting is very important because it’s an opportunity for the producers who participated last year to offer their suggestion as to how we could make the market better,” said Pam Sanders, market manager. “Even with the drought conditions the last growing season, we had good participation from our producers and good support from the community.
“The Farmers Market is the place to go for high quality, farm-fresh produce at very affordable prices. With the high cost of fresh vegetables and fruits in the supermarkets, shoppers are finding that farmers’ markets are the best places to buy produce.”
Most of the produce at the Pike County Farmers Market is grown in Pike and nearby counties.
“That means that what you buy at the local farmers market was harvested earlier in the day and often just hours before,” Sanders said. “It’s truly fresh from the farm.”
Sanders said there are some products, such as peaches, that are not grown locally and are trucked to the Pike County Farmers Market from groves outside the area.
“Peaches from Chilton County are always popular,” Sanders said. “Peaches are not grown commercially in our area so local producers bring them to us and there are advantages in that because the market offers fresh produce from outlying areas that is not readily available here.
The Pike County Farmers Market producers accept vouchers from the Alabama Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program.
“The vouchers are issued to qualified senior adults and the vouchers help the seniors who often have difficulty living on a fixed income,” Sanders said. “They also help area produce farmers by giving them a ready, local market to sell their produce.”
Vouchers in the amount of $30 are issued via mail to those who qualify. The vouchers may be redeemed at farmers markets across the state.
“Application for the Alabama Farmers Market Authority vouchers must be made online at the authority’s website at fma.alabama.gov/seniornutrition/.
Hassie Green, director of the Lillian D. Green Nutrition Center in Troy said some seniors don’t have access to the Internet and, therefore, aren’t able to make application online.
“Last year, many of our seniors didn’t realize they had to make application online because that was something new,” Green said.
“So, they didn’t get to take advantage of the Alabama Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program. We didn’t want that to happen again so we have asked for and received permission to print out copies of the application form. Seniors may come by the Colley Senior Complex, fill out the application and we’ll put it into the computer for them. This is service that we want to provide for our senior adults.”
For more information regarding making application for the Alabama Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, call Green at 334-566-0201.