Going green not only reason for Farmers Market

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Most of the vendors and shoppers at McCook Main Street's Farmers Market haven't heard of the 100-mile diet, but they're adherents nonetheless.

The diet was invented in 2005 by James MacKinnon and Alisa Smith of Vancouver, V.C., who wanted to reduce their "carbon footprint" and "ecological footprint: while supporting local food systems.

Their one-year experiment involved eating only food grown within 100 miles of their apartment. That included not only produce, but also meat and dairy products from animals that ate local feed and were packaged locally. You can read about it at:


"Green" concerns may be great reasons for taking part in the local farmers markets, but most of us are more concerned about simpler issues.

Producers and shoppers enjoy meeting neighbors and friends while trading superb fresh produce, food products and baked goods.

The local farmers market is running out of room at its traditional site on B Street, and while organizers had hoped to move it to Norris Park, it will now move to the old West Ward block now owned by the City of McCook. That block is bordered by West Fifth and Fourth and C and D streets. Vendors will enter from D Street.

It will be open every Saturday morning beginning July 5, and run through mid-September. Hours are 8 a.m. to about noon.

There is no charge for vendors or shoppers, but items offered for sale must be home-grown produce or home-baked goods such as breads, cookies, cakes, rolls and fruit pies.

Cream pies and baked goods requiring refrigeration are not permitted, and meat vendors must have a special permit and the required refrigeration.

As a special incentive, low-income senior citizens can obtain coupons to purchase fresh produce at Nebraska farmers markets and roadside stands.

To be eligible, participants must be 60 years of age or older, and a single household's gross income cannot exceed $19,240, and a two-person household's gross income cannot exceed $25,900.

Older adults wanting to be considered for the program must provide documentation of age and income eligibility when they register.

More information is available by contacting Sue Chipman at the McCook Heritage Senior Center, (308) 345-1760.

Judging from the spring weather we've had so far, there should be a bumper crop of fresh produce available for the Main Street Farmers Market, set to open only 18 days from now.

Whether you're doing it to be environmentally responsible, or just want to know where your food came from, don't forget to add the Farmers Market to your Saturday morning activities.

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