25 July 2018

Napa Farmers Market Makes Fruits and Veggies Affordable

by Cara Mae Wooledge

Napa Register

The Napa Farmers Market wants to make fresh fruits and veggies accessible and affordable for all of its customers. This is why the market offers a Market Match program to individuals and families with CalFresh (“food stamp”) benefits. The farmers market doubles each CalFresh dollar a shopper spends at the market. Customers simply swipe their EBT card at the information booth and receive twice the value in tokens to use at the Napa Farmers Market for fresh produce.

The Napa Farmers Market has been selected as one of the 40-plus local nonprofit organizations to be featured in the 2018 Napa Valley Give!Guide. The goal of the Give!Guide is to raise funds for and awareness of the exceptional work of nonprofits serving Napa County. Between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31, visit napavalleygiveguide.org to make a tax-deductible donation to any of the featured nonprofits. Your donation can be as small as $10, or you can make a larger donation but divide it among multiple nonprofits. Any dollars you allocate to the Napa Farmers Market will be used to support the Market Match program.

You don’t have to wait until November to support people in need of fresh fruits and vegetables. Every Tuesday and Saturday the market invites you to “Nourish Napa.” When you’re shopping at the market, buy a little extra produce and drop it off at the education station, next to the information booth. Your donated produce will be taken that day to local organizations, such as the Napa Food Bank or The Table, where it will reach people in need. If you prefer, you can donate cash and market staff will purchase produce on your behalf for the Nourish Napa program.

Besides making produce more affordable, the Napa Farmers Market hosts activities to make fruits and veggies more enticing, especially for families with picky eaters. Every Saturday at 10 a.m. we host a chef cooking demonstration, featuring a local chef or food celebrity who makes a recipe using ingredients found at the market. After the demo, enjoy a sample, grab the recipe and pick up the ingredients at the market so you can recreate the dish at home.

Getting kids involved with fruits and veggies is one way to help produce get from the plate into their mouths. Think of your visit to the Napa Farmers Market as a fun outing rather than a shopping trip. At 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., the education station hosts story time, when kids hear stories and parents can take a break. At 11 a.m., we welcome youngsters for some fun nutrition education and produce tasting. Kids are more likely to try fruits and veggies when they see other little ones eating them, too.

Radio Show: “Farmers Fresh Hour” has officially kicked off on KVON 1440 AM. “Farmers Fresh Hour” is sponsored by American Ag Credit and airs every Thursday from 10-11 a.m. Tune in each week to hear representatives from the Napa Farmers Market or St. Helena Farmers Market chat with growers, food experts and chefs. Get the stories behind the food, tips for healthy living and ideas for how to turn your farmers market purchases into fantastic meals.

Corn, Tomato and Green Chile Salad

Corn is another sweet pick of the summer season. This recipe is adapted from “Healthy Latino Recipes Made with Love,” a book that features easy, family-friendly recipes. Come by the Education Station and pick up a free copy.

4 medium tomatoes, diced

1/2 cup sliced green onions

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 jalapeño chile, minced

1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil

1 tablespoon lime juice

Salt

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Add salt to taste. To make this side dish into a meal, add diced cooked chicken or serve over salad greens.

Cara Mae Wooledge is the Napa Farmers Market assistant manager and education director. She is a community advocate who thinks healthy options should be easy and fun.