I was present because the School of Public Health hosted the meeting, but more importantly because I selfishly wanted to live in a city that has a Farmers' Market, having lived in other places where I experienced the benefits of eating yummy locally grown produce and shopping in a healthy, natural environment that allows you to chat with the people who grow your food.
Chef Nori prepares gourmet meal for Farmers
what they purchase and have actually increased the amount of fruits and vege tables they consume since shopping at the Brownsville Farmers' Market, which is a great benefit to their health."
Current initiatives include a Farmers' Market voucher program in conjunction with BISD Parental Involvement and Proyecto Juan Diego, research and education. Department of Agriculture provided the ability for the market to accept electronic benefit transfers from the Lone Star card (food stamps) making healthy, locally grown foods more accessible to more of the population. Our customer surveys indicate folks from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds come to the market, are very satisfied with Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 39.5mm
On the other hand, local folks have been able to make some money, or at least break even, on what they grow and sell, and there is enormous potential for generating even more income. Developing the "market for the Mar ket" is a process as the community is educated about the benefits of locally grown produce, and farmers and backyard gardeners develop their strategies for growing volume and figure out what sells.
The culmination of this feast, which was serenaded by musicians, was a delectable mango strawberry liquor infused "tres leches" dessert that was to die for. The added beauty of the gathering was that the dishes were Omega Speedmaster 57 Wrist
A couple of years ago organizers of the market realized the farmers needed more venues to sell in order to pro duce more volume, so farmers' markets opened on South Padre Island, in Harlingen and now Omega Seamaster 300 Vs Rolex Submariner several in the upper Valley. Price competition from the big box stores and larger grocers is fierce, but the Farmers' Market fills a unique niche in our community. It was never meant to replace larger stores but rather provide an additional alter native with the added value of supporting the local economy and educating the community about where food comes from and the importance of fruits and vegetables in our diet.
The brunch was delicious, complete and very healthy. This wasn't an exclusively vegetarian affair by any means as it featured fresh caught Gulf shrimp, and locally grown tilapia, free range chicken and beef. None of the guests left hungry, but neither did we feel as stuffed as we might normally following a meal of several courses. Her book is a result of her research on folks who make a living as small farmers in Texas. She is actually in the Valley researching her next book about local farm and food communities.
You see, less than five years ago a group of individuals representing several local non profit organizations, health clinics, hospitals, higher education, the city of Brownsville and the School of Public Health sat in a confer ence room dreaming of a Brownsville Farmers' Market.
Keely and Michael Rodriguez attended the fundraiser because, they said, "We love the market and want to make it accessible to everyone in Brownsville. The market helps us introduce our kids to good, healthy food. We just want to support it any way we can and don't ever want it to go away! Also, we are big fans of Chef Nori and we knew this meal would be amazing!"
Back at the fundraiser, blue grass tunes plucked on the banjo, guitar and bass by the lively band Mr. Whiskey livened up the small space, and folks were recognized for their continued support of the Farmers' Market, includ ing Chef Nori and his staff for donating their time and talent to produce the delicious meal.
This was the scene that a diverse group of foodies recently encountered when they gathered to share a gourmet brunch prepared by the talented Chef Nori at his restaurant, Caf Shiraz, in Brownsville.
Folks mingled and chatted over glasses of mimosa made with fresh squeezed, locally grown oranges. Cassandra Andrews, a UTB TSC student and native of Trinidad, shared that the food and the market remind her of her Car ibbean Island home where her mother grew most of what they ate, and local vendors sold fresh fruits and vegeta bles on every corner. "In our small yard we had chickens, ducks, fruit trees and a small garden. Here and in Dal las where I lived before, people eat so much processed food. The Farmers' Market is awesome and reminds me of home."
We each left the event with the gift of a small herb plant, donated by Debbie Cox, the "plant lady" at the Farm ers' Market. I walked out with my cilantro seedling in hand, marveling at how far the market, and Brownsville as a community, has progressed over the last several years.
fundraising and grant writing to get the market off the ground, and it continues to take enormous amounts of time and effort by volunteer board members, the city, the growers, Market Manager Jack Morfitt and others who make it happen every Saturday morning.
Even Chef Nori took time from the kitchen to share a few words with the crowd. "A local produce market is im portant to every city. It helps me produce a nice product and I am glad to have it here."
cre ated almost entirely from ingredients sold at the Brownsville Farmers' Market and prepared for a fundraiser brunch to support the market's efforts to reach lower income folks in our community so they too can have access to fresh, locally grown produce.
The longer term vision of the market is to "promote policy and environmental changes that make healthy foods and active lifestyles an easy choice for all families in South Texas."
The Brownsville Farmers' Market opened in the fall of 2008 at Linear Park in the beautiful Mitte Cultural Dis trict. If you have the misconception that this type of venture in a community such as Brownsville is immediately profitable, think again. It took all of the collaborating entities, individuals and institutions donating, volunteering, Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Master Chronometer
"I am so fortunate to be here," she said. "I am impressed with the level of support for your market and I am hopeful that it will continue to grow and benefit local farmers and the community at large."
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