Local farmers market opens at BKs parking lot in Huntington and supports young farmers' college funds.
Ashley Stilson is a senior in high school this year and for the last four years she has been adding to her college fund by selling the produce she grows each summer. Ashley is just one of the seven Stilson children that are hoping to make enough money for college. The Moss family of Orangeville has also created summer jobs growing corn for their four children so they can earn extra money for college. Like so many of our other local farmers, these families depend on a portion of their income from the produce or livestock they sell.
In a small rural community like ours, small businesses and local farmers don't compete well with the large chain grocery stores in neighboring counties or cheap produce vendors that pass through our town quickly. These kinds of larger businesses entice customers away from our local businesses and doesn't support our local economy. Our farmers usually sell what they can and give away the rest because there are not enough customers to buy their produce and they can't beat the discount store prices. This is harmful to smaller economies and smaller businesses eventually dry up.
Some people may not know that both Carbon and Emery counties have been without a dairy for awhile until recently when C2 Farms moved from Sanpete Valley to Huntington and with them comes their beef cattle, milk cows and five small children. They depend on the sale of their beef, milk and produce to local customers in order to support their growing family. In order to keep a dairy here in our community we need to support their business, even if it costs a few extra cents more than the discount store.
Sometimes farmers find themselves selling the same product as another farmer like tomatoes and then neither gets the full benefit of their labors because they are both selling the same product. Farmers like Karl and Robyn Healy rely on selling more than one kind of product. The Healy's keep bees for honey (which has helped Karl's arthritis), a few different kinds of produce, as well as the best rhubarb and zucchini bread in both counties.
For a little extra pocket change into these family's college funds and driving a little further out of our way we could support our local farmers at the new farmers market located at BKs north parking lot every Tuesday and Saturday evenings. The market will be open from 4-6 p.m. beginning Aug. 30 until about Oct. 22 (depending on the freeze).
You will be able to purchase produce at the peak of freshness because its grown right here from our local farms and doesn't require long distance transport. The Moss', Stilson's and other farmers pick their corn and beets first thing in the morning before coming to the market so you are getting the freshest produce available. These fresh foods have the highest amount of vitamins and minerals you can buy because they are so fresh. You might even get a loaf of Robyn Healy's melt-in-your-mouth rhubarb and zucchini bread if you come early enough because they sell so fast. There is nothing quite as wonderful as eating fresh homemade bread, freshly picked corn on the cob, or vine ripened tomatoes. There will be local livestock farmers available also so you can place an order for some cuts of meat as well.
Have you ever tried beets before? Both the root and the greens complement each other beautifully when they are cooked correctly. You can bake the root for two hours at 250 degrees and mix it with the leaves after they have been wilted on low heat for a few minutes. Add a little butter for mineral absorption and salt to taste. This amazing vegetable has such a high concentration of vitamins and minerals that they are used to make natural vitamin supplements. They contain special substances that protect the liver and stimulate bile production for digestion. Beets and their tops have been used successfully in cancer therapies. If you haven't tried beets or other exceptional kinds of produce we will also have cooking demonstrations so you can learn how to prepare these foods properly for the greatest amount of vitamins, minerals, and enjoyment. Samples will be provided and recipes are available for you to try at home.
We have also put together a local list of farmers so you can contact them as a continuing customer. If you are reading this and you are a local farmer who has not been contacted about the new Emery County farmers market, please contact Anne Cox for more information and so we can add you to this list at 801-687-2345. If you are reading this and realize the importance of supporting our local businesses and helping our economy thrive, come join us and help support a few students from our community through college beginning this coming Aug. 30.