With so many people stuck at home these past few weeks, gardening can be a great way to get outside for fresh air - and do something productive. If you happen to end up with more produce than you can consume, there will soon be a local outlet for that. Or if you are someone who may not have much of a green thumb but rather enjoy the fruits of someone else’s labor, this outlet is for you, too.
While at one time community Farmer’s Markets may have been in question of taking place this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic, less restrictive DHMs have now made that possible.
Gothenburg Chamber of Commerce Director Deb Egenberger presented a request to the city council on June 16, for use of Ehmen Park for the 2020 Farmer’s Market. As in years past, vendors will have their items for sale along the east side of the park, and will require the closure of Avenue F between 15th and 16th Streets between the hours of 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. each Thursday. The season will begin July 16, and run through Sept. 10.
Something new this year will be the addition of food trucks at the market. Egenberger said that as of now she has at least one food vendor, and may have another by the opening of the season.
The Farmer’s Market will be managed again this year by Gothenburg Discount Pharmacy with administration by the Gothenburg Chamber. Determination of suitability of items for sale and sale procedures will be handled by an on-site market coordinator from the pharmacy.
Any vendor selling from the back of a pickup must set up to allow the buyers to remain on the grass. The street will not be blocked off to traffic during the market. All produce must be grown by the vendor, unless pre-approved by the market coordinator.
The Gothenburg Farmer’s Market will once again be participating in the Nebraska Department of Agriculture’s Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP). Vouchers for fresh produce are available to seniors through this program, and vendors must be certified to accept the vouchers.
Only fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs, and honey for human consumption may be purchased with the vouchers. Low-income seniors, generally defined as individuals who are at least 60 years old and who have household incomes of not more than 185% of the federal poverty income guidelines are the targeted recipients of SFMNP benefits.
The SFMNP is administered through a federal/state partnership in which the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) provides cash grants to state agencies such as the State Departments of Agriculture and Area Agencies on Aging. The Gothenburg Senior Center is assisting seniors with obtaining the coupons for the program. For more information on the SFMNP, contact the senior center at 537-7465.