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Notes from the farmers market

– In addition to such standards as corn, tomatoes, okra and squash, check vendors’ offerings for smaller amounts of “backyard” and “neighbors'” offerings ó figs, apples, pears, berries, etc.
– It’s high season for melons and cantaloupe.
– Butter beans and October beans are beginning to be available.
– You can still find lots of green beans.
This Saturday will be another Wild Turkey Farms day, with assorted pork products. They come to the farmers market on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month.
Here are some questions and answers that you might find useful when shopping at the farmers market.
Q: What’s the difference between organic produce and produce raised without chemicals and insecticides?
A: Legal use of “organic” requires growing on soil that has been free of chemicals and insecticides for at least three years, plus government inspections of the operation. “Raised without chemicals and insecticides” means just that ó with no formal certification.
Q: What’s the difference between those two categories and “local?”
A: Locally grown produce may have been grown with some insecticides and fertilizer, though not as much as would be used in mass commercial production. Local foods are increasingly preferred over organically raised food from large, national operations that has been shipped a long distance.
Q: How do I know what procedures a local grower uses?
A: Ask. You may visit the farm, too, if you ask.
The farmers market, at the corner of South Main and Bank streets, is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday and Saturday.
Arrive early for best selection.
ó Compiled by
Sara Pitzer

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