A bit of “alphabet soup” here outlines a valuable program for both North Carolina farmers’ markets and low income local residents. A long standing program, WIC (Women, Infants and Children) has been available for those who qualify. Now WIC recipients can receive coupons allowing them to buy fresh produce at their local farmers’ market. The program, dubbed FMNP (Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program) is designed to provide nutritious food for low income families, and can only be used at farmers’ markets.
“This is a beneficial situation for all of us,” says Yancey County Farmers’ Market president Robert Thompson. “Families get the freshest produce available and local growers benefit from the sales.”
FMNP coupons are now available from the Yancey County Health Department. Those who already qualify for WIC coupons can receive FMNP coupons. They are then used like cash to purchase fresh fruits and veggies at the farmers’ market.
Fresh flowers at the market: An often overlooked product available at the market is fresh cut flowers. Several market members offer these beautiful items – either as individual flowers or as arrangements. For folks who don’t have flower gardens but still want flowers for decoration, the farmers’ market is the ideal spot to find fresh, locally grown flowers.
Market entering in peak season for produce: Listed below is a list of fresh Yancey-grown products available at the Farmers’ Market. The list continues to grow each week as more and more products are coming off the farms to the market. For the next several months this wide variety of items will continue to be available. Since the market is a “producer” market, everything sold is grown or made by the seller, offering the customer the chance to talk to the grower of their food. Farmers are proud of what they produce, and they are more than willing to discuss how and what they grow.
This week look for snap beans, beets, blueberries, black raspberries, broccoli, carrots, chives, cucumbers (pickling and slicing), eggplant, fresh herbs (mint, cilantro, dill, basil), fennel, garlic, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, onions, potatoes, salad mix, scallions, summer squash, Swiss chard, and turnips. Other farm products available include eggs, goat cheese, seeds, cut flowers and arrangements, beef, and pork. Homemade jams and jellies, as well as fresh baked goods abound, and a wide variety of plants –both annuals and perennials – are also available. You’ll also find a variety of local crafts. Of course, there are always hot and cold drinks, plus market souvenirs to round out your visit.
The market is open each Saturday from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm. It is located behind the Burnsville Town Center – Hwy 19E at South Main Street.