One day it’s 70 degrees out and the next day it plummets to 28 degrees. It may seem like Mother Nature can’t make up her mind whether spring is on the way, but I guarantee that Alabama farmers know and have their rows planned and some already planted.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are on the way to farmers markets, roadside farm stands, and u-pick farms soon. If you’re 60 or over, with qualifying income, you can buy $30 a month of fresh Alabama produce at a farmer’s market simply by applying for a free certificate from the Alabama Farmers Market Authority.
You can support your local farmer. You can also enjoy a fun day’s outing with family (hint: lots of farmers markets have special activities your grandkids might enjoy). The certificates can be used to purchase fresh vegetables, fruit, cut herbs, and honey.
You qualify for the $30 monthly certificate if you’re a senior 60 or over and your individual monthly income is $1,756. That amount increases on a sliding scale up to a monthly income of $6,067 if you’re a family of eight. To apply, you can visit the Extension office at the Frank Green Building at 415 Fifth Avenue East, Oneonta, on scheduled registration days. In person registration will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Wednesdays, Feb. 10 and March 10, and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays, Feb. 24 and March 24.
The Extension office telephone number is 205-274-2129. You can also apply online any time at www. fma.alabama.gov/seniornutrition/. Farms that are certified to accept the $30 certificates will display signs about the program. If you’re unsure, you can call the Alabama Farmers Market Authority at 877-774-9519.
Lastly, if you’re looking for tasty ways to use up all those fresh fruits and vegetables, look for our free “Living Well” recipes on the Extension website at www.aces.edu. Fun fact
Did you know that beekeepers often label their honey to show the type of flower or even the location of the flowers which bees use to produce their honey? Beekeepers love to share these details so make sure to ask them when you visit the farmer’s market.
Spring is just around the corner!