Thank the farmers this month…and try a new melon

Thank the farmers this month…and try a new melon

CONCORD, CA (August 2, 2021) — Aug. 1-7 is Farmers’ Market Week, and we are taking the whole month to celebrate and thank the farmers and the community who have supported their local farmers’ market through this last really tough year.

The resilience of small farmers during this past year of pandemic, drought, and farmers’ market closures has been truly remarkable. Their commitment to bringing fresh wholesome produce to their local community, their inherent love of farming, and their can-do spirit have been inspiring.

The pandemic has made it clear that local food systems with short supply chains are a necessity and can adapt to change. Throughout the pandemic, local small farmers continued to grow and harvest crops, altering their methods or growing patterns as they adjusted to the “new normal.”

Growing a business

Corporate food systems were not nearly as flexible when it came to supplying the public with their products because of the lack of transportation and product availability.

Farmers’ markets provide one of the few direct-to-consumer entry points for new farmers, ranchers, and other local products allowing them to start small and grow their business. Growers who sell locally and directly were able to hire more workers and grow their crops more sustainably this past year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Farmers’ markets saw a large increase in the use of EBT benefits and Market Match programs. With the loss of many jobs due to pandemic closures the need for fresh produce increased exponentially. Last year, over $1million in benefits were distributed at PCFMA markets with over $900,000 in EBT/Market Match/WIC benefits to over 6,800 participants. The Market Match program doubles the value of your EBT purchases so your budget stretches further. The need for these programs is evident.

As the state of California opens up and the markets are back in business, farmers are planting crops, delivering their produce to farmers’ markets, and welcoming customers who are returning in greater numbers than before as they rediscover the importance of their local farmers’ market to the community and their health.

We have our dedicated farmers and their ability to grow quality produce to thank for that. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in California!

Melons and corn

Thank the farmers this month…and try a new melon
Concord Farmers market photos by Pete Cruz

This month we are featuring melons and corn which are both at their peak of deliciousness. There are many varieties of melons available at your local farmers’ market. Cantaloupe, watermelon, and honeydew are the most familiar, but other less commonly known are equally tasty. Try bitter melon, Korean melon, and winter melon. Other delicious varieties are Golden dew, Hami and Golden Hami, Gailia, Orange Dew, and Canary. Discover something new to add to your recipe repertoire.

Visit both your Tuesday and Thursday Concord Farmers’ Markets this month to find luscious melons from J&J Ramos and Resendiz Farms of Hughson and sweet Brentwood corn from G&S Farms. Thank your farmers for persevering so you can have the best in local fresh produce. Thanks also to farmers’ market customers who hung in there and supported their local farmers and farmers’ markets through it all.

Honeydew Melon Smoothies

  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup mint
  • Juice of one lime
  • 3 cups water or coconut water
  • 3 cups honeydew, cubed and frozen, from a small, ripe honeydew

Cube and freeze honeydew. Combine ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth. Also delicious with a jigger of gin or white rum.

The Concord Farmers Market is open 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays year-round at Todos Santos Plaza. This summer also visit the Thursday Music and Market. Thursday Farmers Market starts at 4 p.m. and the free concert starts at 6:30 p.m. Parking available in nearby structures and on the street. For more information, visit