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Autumn at the Farmers’ Market

SPECIAL TO THE PULSE BY SUZANNE SNOW –

School has started and despite the golden hot days, we are on our way to Autumn. For many gardeners in Polk County, it’s harvest season. I know I am spending time almost every day canning, freezing, or dehydrating the abundance of my garden.

At the Polk County Farmers’ Market (held Tues., Thurs., and Sat. 7 AM at the Mena Depot,) business seems to slow down this time of year, but the local food growers are still bringing in the harvest to sell. There are many good reasons to come shop at the market, from supporting the local economy to expanding your taste buds by trying something new. We still have the Summer staples like tomatoes, okra, beans, and cucumbers, and we are starting to bring in Autumn crops like pears, apples, and carrots, and in a few weeks it will be back to greens, salad lettuces, and cabbage. Don’t forget the jams and handmade soaps, occasionally we even have some delicious baked goods. We have a small group of consistent sellers who say they plan to set up at the market until the first week of October, if not longer.

Many of us could add some fruit and veggies to our diet, so why not buy some from a gardener or farmer who you can meet and chat with? If your kids are picky eaters, involving them in the process of buying and preparing produce to eat can help them connect with their food and have fun. You never know, they might start to love their veggies when they are fresh from the market!

The market is also a great way to turn your garden extras into cash. We are still taking vendors but if you’d rather start fresh next year, plan a little extra space into your garden this Winter. You can make some money and have fun connecting with other gardeners in a friendly environment.

For more information on how to sell or how to get involved, please email me at suzannesnow@gardener.com I hope to see you at the market!

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