Eat a peach

The crowd bustles every Saturday morning at the Village Center Farmers’ Market.

The crowd bustles every Saturday morning at the Village Center Farmers’ Market.

Photo By Nick Higman

Village Shopping Center

California Ave And Booth St.
Reno, NV 89509

OK foodies, now is your chance to get it while the getting’s good! The farmers are back for the summer with all of your favorite fruits and vegetables—like cherries, strawberries, peaches, heirloom tomatoes and melons … you get the message. Nothing beats the flavor of fresh produce that comes directly from the farmer. If you have ever tasted the difference between a store-bought, forced-ripened peach and a juicy, tree-ripened peach purchased from a farmers’ market, you will already know that there is no comparison. The farmers’ market peach wins hands down. I can still remember the first time a bit into an heirloom ambrosia melon, I was overcome with joy, and I won’t ever forget how good it was—but I am a bit of a fanatic.

On Saturday mornings, the Village Center Farmers’ Market, on the corner of California Avenue and Booth Street, is going strong with more than 30 vendors and a wide array of artisan foods, flowers and crafts. For a number of years, this has been one of the best farmers’ markets in Reno. During the months of June through October, you can make it a fun day for yourself or bring the whole family—kids love it, too. Each booth has samples of sweet treats, and it’s a great way to get your kids excited about eating healthy food.

During the summer months, it becomes a way of life for Renoites to enjoy a little sun on their backs and stock the house up with ripe fruits, fresh flowers, local honey, garden décor and artisan-made sauces, dips, cheeses and countless goodies. There is no doubt in my mind that this is Reno’s favorite farmer’s market. When I see how many hundreds of people accumulate between 8 and 9 a.m., I get the sense of a strong local community.

There are so many benefits of shopping at farmer’s markets I could talk about it all day. First, I should quote Hippocrates: “Let food be your medicine.” Produce that is picked at the peak of the season is higher in nutrients and the phytochemicals that prevent cancer, strengthen collagen proteins, decrease cholesterol, protect against asthma, bronchitis and cataracts—each color of vegetable and fruit has its own unique phytonutrient that protects us from disease. So just remember to eat a rainbow of food colors instead of trying to remember each color’s phytochemical. Another reason why you benefit from shopping at a farmer’s market is because it benefits regional farmers and strengthens the local community. Also, market prices are sometimes lower than at grocery stores, although—buyer be aware—they are often higher. Last, one of the biggest reasons why we all benefit from markets is the impact on the environment. Our existing method of food transportation requires enormous amounts of energy and resources. Fossil fuel use creates several environmental problems. Much of the produce we buy on a daily basis from grocery stores has to travel more than a thousand miles before it reaches us.

To me, it seems so right in so many ways. Enjoy the Reno market on Saturdays at California and Booth, you might discover something new and exciting.

This is part two of a series documenting restaurant reviewer Dave Kidder’s exploration of local farmers’ markets.