Did you know that many farmers markets in Utah are already open for the season? That’s right! The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food has released a set of COVID-19 guidelines for Farmers Markets, creating safe environments to support our local growers and put healthy food on our tables. You can read more about the guidelines and find locations of local farmers markets by clicking the links below:
Shopping at farmers markets provides many benefits to our community and families. Just to name a few:
- Supporting local producers helps strengthen the local economy by preserving farms and small ranches and creating jobs.
- Locally produced food is often higher in quality and freshness because it doesn’t travel long distances before reaching your table.
- There is a sense of community at your farmers market! Get to know your local growers and their business. Learn about the products they offer and what makes them tick.
- Farmers markets are just plain fun! Many offer a variety of local products beyond produce, such as flowers, hand-made crafts, herbs, and body care products.
In addition to the benefits listed above, many farmers markets also accept SNAP EBT benefits. Here’s how it works:
STEP 1 – Bring your SNAP EBT Horizon card to a participating farmers market info booth or farm stand before you shop.
STEP 2 – Decide how much money you would like to spend. The attendant at the booth will swipe your card for the requested amount, and will give you wooden tokens worth one dollar each that you can use to purchase food from vendors at the market. You can use the tokens right away or save them for another day.
Not all markets accept SNAP EBT benefits, so it is important to check with the market before you go. You can find more information and a list of participating markets by clicking here. Another great benefit from shopping at farmers markets is the Double Up Food Bucks Program. Check out the flyer below for more info.
The Double Up Food Bucks program is a great way to maximize your SNAP benefits. Visit your local farmers market and take advantage of it!
With all that fresh, local produce on hand, you might need a few new recipes for your menu plan. Garden Veggie Pizza is what I decided to try.
I used a pre-baked pizza crust like the recipe calls for. If you’re up to making your own, try our Three Ingredient Pizza Dough or Whole Wheat Pizza Dough recipes, found here. If you need some protein on your plate, add grilled chicken or black beans to your pizza. If you don’t like the veggies it calls for, swap them out for something else. You could use spinach, broccoli, or mushrooms. If you have grown your own fresh herbs, or stumble upon some at the Farmers Market, add those to the recipe n place of the Italian seasoning. A pizza crust is your own personal canvas. For more amazing veggie recipes, click here. Enjoy!
Candi Merritt & Becky Egli
Certified Nutrition Education Assistants