Farm aid

Leslie Myers of Milton Family Farms assists a customer at the Tuesday Sparks United Methodist Church Farmer’s Market.

Leslie Myers of Milton Family Farms assists a customer at the Tuesday Sparks United Methodist Church Farmer’s Market.

Photo By Nick Higman

Sparks United Methodist Church

1231 Pyramid Way
Sparks, NV 89431

(775) 358-0925

With warm weather here and summer coming soon, the farmers are back in full force at the open air markets in Reno and Sparks, bringing the season’s bounties with them. It’s time to incorporate a trip to the farmers’ markets into your schedule once or twice a week. Summertime is a time to eat food that is light and healthy. Not only do you feel good about eating, but you also feel physically good when you eat plenty of organic produce. It’s like putting good gas in your car—it will run smoother and get better mileage. When you put cheap gas in your car, it sputters more, and the mileage goes down—like when you eat produce that is full of pesticides, herbicides and God-knows-what-else commercial farmers use, you always feel tired and sick.

Locally grown organic produce is feel-good food. Buying your weekly produce from farmers’ markets is so good in so many ways. It puts your hard-earned money back in to the local economy, it supports good environmental policy, and it promotes your own health and well-being.

You might say, “It’s too expensive!” But produce from farmers’ markets is the same price or even cheaper than it is at major chain grocery stores. And, in the long run, you will have better health, which will save you money in many different ways.

The Sparks United Methodist Church Farmer’s Market, every Tuesday morning in the parking lot of the church in Sparks, is not as big as the Hometowne Farmer’s Market every Thursday evening in Victorian Square, but it is not lacking in certified organic produce. The quality of the produce here is as good as any market I’ve been to—and that includes several along the coastal communities of California, a Mecca of farmers’ markets. The Tuesday market is no frills, it’s strictly produce. No bands playing or screaming kids running around amped up on cotton candy and soda while their parents consume copious amounts of beer and then drive them home. This is a true farmers’ market, not a “meat market” that also sells produce.

One of the organic farmers at the Tuesday morning market is Heidi Watanabe of Watanabe Farm in Sacramento. Watanabe has been coming to the market for at least five years. She is primarily known for her amazing heirloom tomatoes, but this early in the season, she has beautiful spring onions, green garlic, summer squash (zucchini, yellow and green globe and patty pan), red beets, kale and an assortment of freshly picked herbs—basil, rosemary, mint and thyme.

The late spring vegetables are only here once a year, and when they are gone, you’ll miss them.

The summer fruits and vegetables, like heirloom tomatoes, peaches and nectarines are only about two or three weeks from being ready. But even before that, get down to the market and treat yourself right with some sweet spring organic produce. Your body will thank you.