Farmers Markets give you the chance to enjoy locally grown produce 

Edith Lovett

Pulaski County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences

Today's is "Father's Day." Don't forget to give your dad or favorite male a phone call, invite him to lunch, or recognize him in some way. Father's Day is a once a year event so show your favorite male how much you care.

Wednesday, June 19, will be the "Longest Day of Play" in Pulaski County. The first 200 children, 18 years of age or younger, will be given free admission to the SomeSplash Water Park, plus free sun screen lotion. Registration begins at 10:00 o'clock at the water park.

It's the time of the year to enjoy those fresh, garden vegetables. Growing your own garden allows you to choose the vegetables you enjoy most and can save you money on healthy foods for your family. You can also enjoy fresh, locally grown produce by visiting a "farmers' market". You will find fresh green beans, broccoli, cucumbers, kale, and a variety of salad greens, radishes, spinach, Swiss chard, cabbage, onions, zucchini and other fresh products. Take the time to visit one of the farmer's sites in the county before doing your grocery shopping.

Here are some tips for shopping at the Somerset Farmers Market on South 27, near the Somerset Mall, and is opened from 8:00 to 2:00 on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The Pulaski Growers Farmers Market is opened on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7:00 am to 11:00 at the Old Food Fair parking lot in downtown Somerset. Don't forget the other farmers that sell products from their farm, or along the highway.

Try something new. If the farmer has a new vegetable you haven't tried, give it try. Look for vegetables that aren't available at the grocery store. Purchase produce at the peak of their season for the best quality and cheapest price. A limited supply can drive the cost up; look for produce that is most available for the best deal. Not sure how to prepare a local dish? Farmers know delicious ways to use their products and are a great resource for food preparation tips. Check with your extension office for new recipes. Don't let the weather keep you away. Bad or uncomfortable weather can keep customers from visiting the market, but the markets will be opened. Farmers' may be more willing to offer a deal if there are less customers. Most markets are open, rain or shine.

If you have a child who is a picky eater and will only eat certain vegetables, or refuse foods based on certain color or texture, don't worry about their eating, as long as your child is healthy, growing normally and has plenty of energy. The child is most likely getting needed nutrients. If you have one of these children let your child be a produce picker at the market. Allow them to pick out fruits and vegetables at the market. Have your child help you prepare meals at home. Children learn about food and get excited about tasting food when they help make meals. Allow your children to add ingredients, scrub vegetables or help stir food. Offer food choices to your children. Rather than ask, "Do you want broccoli for dinner, ask which would you like for dinner, broccoli or cauliflower?

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Zucchini Snack Bars

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/3 cup sugar

1 large egg

1/3 cup low fat or fat free milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup shredded zucchini

2 cups finely chopped fruits (such a raisins, dried apples, prunes, etc.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease an 8 inch square baking pan. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add butter, sugar, egg, milk and vanilla and beat until smooth. Stir in zucchini and dried fruit evenly into the mixture. Then spread batter into greased pan Bake 25 minutes or until done. Allow to cool.

Events At Pulaski Extension Office

Sample "Hawaiian Pizza at the Calendar Food Class on Tuesday, June 18. The class begins at 11:30. Please call 679-6361 to register.

Longest Day of Play, Wednesday, June 19 at the SomerSplash Water Park. The first 200 students under the age of 18 gets in free. Those 12 years of age or younger must be accompanied by an adult. Registration begins at 10:00.

Food Processing Classes will be held Thursday and Friday, June 20 and 21 at the Extension Office. The Classes begin at 10:00 each day. Thursday we will be doing "water bath" canning, freezing, using the food saver; Friday we will preserve food using the two types of pressure canners. Call the Extension Office at 679-6361 to register. We will also check your pressure canner gauge lid for accuracy free. Just bring your lid in for a checkup.

Mary McAdoo will be teaching a crocheting and knitting class Thursday, June 20 starring at 11:30 at the Home Demonstration House. No classes will be held during July, August and September.

Denise Salter will be teaching a "card making class" on Monday, June 24, starting at 10:00 o'clock. This groups meet in the Home Demonstration House.

The Pulaski County Extension Homemakers Council will meet on Monday, June 24 at 11:30 for their by-monthly meeting.