National Farmers Market Week
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Happy National Farmers Market Week!
The week of August 2–8, 2020 was proclaimed by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue as National Farmers Market Week. For twenty-one years the USDA has supported local producers by encouraging Americans to shop their local farmers’ markets. This year farmers’ markets have quickly adapted to implement safe practices, following COVID-19 guidelines. Our local markets are no exception. Despite the challenges of this year, markets have continued to provide the community with access to locally produced agricultural products.
Farmers’ markets promote community health by providing access to high-quality nutritious foods. Markets also contribute to the local economy. According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service’ 2015 Local Food Marketing Practices Survey, farmers’ markets contribute approximately $9 billion each year to the U.S. economy.
In Wilkes County, our Farmers Market has long served as a gathering place for the community. Often baked goods, crafts, and live music can be found alongside the bountiful produce. In a typical year, taste tests would be offered at the Wilkes County Farmers Market featuring local produce. Although this year looks quite different, you can still enjoy delicious locally grown produce and meats at home.
Take this week as an opportunity to purchase goods from a local farmer! To find a market and other local goods near you download the Visit NC Farms App or visit the Got to Be NC Agriculture website. Below are some favorite seasonal recipes.
Greek Tomato Salad
4 medium tomatoes, sliced
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 small cucumber, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons vinegar
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Combine the tomatoes, onions, peppers, and cucumbers in a bowl.
In a small bowl, mix the basil, olive oil, vinegar, and garlic together and add this mixture to the vegetables.
Stir until combined. Garnish with feta cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Sweet Summer Peach Salsa
1 1/2 pounds of tomatoes, diced
2 bell peppers, diced
2 jalapenos, finely diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 pound of peaches, pitted and diced
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, minced
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapenos, onions, and peaches.
Add the cilantro, lime juice, and black pepper to the mixture. Mix well.
Serve immediately, or chill for 1-2 hours to let the flavor develop.