Eat Local Placer and Nevada, an effort managed by the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE), is kicking off a series of tasting events at the Auburn Farmers’ Market on Saturdays. The project, which is funded by a grant from the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant program, is designed to connect local consumers with local specialty crop growers.
“This project will raise awareness of the health and community benefits of eating local produce,” said UCCE’s Cindy Fake, who is leading the effort. “We have two major objectives – to increase the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables within our local communities, and to increase produce sales for local farmers. We’ll be working with PlacerGROWN, Nevada County Grown, and other community organizations.”
The tastings feature local, seasonal fruits, vegetables, and nuts.
“We’ll also provide recipes and nutritional information,” Fake said. “It’s a great way to learn new ways to prepare fruits and vegetables that grow in our area.”
Customers can also participate in surveys designed to help improve access to local fruits and vegetables. Tastings will run from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. at the Foothill Farmers’ Market in Auburn (the farmers’ market is open from 8 a.m. until noon).
Over the next three Saturdays, customers at the Auburn Farmers’ Market will be able to sample the following recipes:
· Jan. 19: Winter Squash Soup with Almond Butter
· Jan. 26: Quick-boiled Cabbage with Soy Sauce and Sesame
· Feb. 2: Potato Soup with Collard Greens
After sampling the recipes prepared by Courtney McDonald, customers can find the featured ingredients by looking for the Eat Local Placer and Nevada logo in farmers’ stalls.
“We are suggesting that folks ‘Follow the Fork,’” said Fake, referring to the project’s logo.
UCCE works in partnership with local farmers and ranchers to build and strengthen the local food system. The organization is dedicated to supporting the local agricultural community and helping it grow and thrive through a variety of educational and community building programs.
For more information, and for an updated schedule of tastings, go to www.facebook.com/EatLocalPlacerAndNevada.