Jim Adamson, an organizer of the popular event, reports that vendors have been lined up for Thursday including vendors who have the training and certification needed to accept coupons provided to senior citizens through a state program.
Once you're at the Farmers Market you can find most varieties of vegetables, plus baked goods and affordable prices. The market features only Iowa-grown produce that's harvested in Cherokee and surrounding counties.
The market also features art and craft items that are made with skill, artistry or precision and sold at the Cherokee Area Farmers Market by the people who make the items.
You have to get to the market early because much of the produce is sold out fast.
Available at the CFM is the Farmers Market Nutrition Program of the Iowa's Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.
Coupons are available to eligible senior citizens when they fill out a form at the Hy-Vee Food Store in Cherokee during the hours of 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Eligible senior citizens must bring identification with them to prove their eligibility for the coupons and must be at least 60 years old at the time they apply for the coupons. Also, there is an income threshold that must be met. A single person must have an income of no more than $20,036.00 and a married couple must have an income
of no more than $26,955.00 and all applicants must reside in Cherokee County.
Applicants for coupons may bring along a copy of their income tax form from the most recent year and that will be accepted as proof they are eligible for the coupons.
The coupons may be used in place of cash to purchase fruits and vegetables from a certified vendor at the Cherokee Area Farmers Market (CAFM). A certified vendor is one who has completed training offered by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS).
A certified vendor will have a colorful sign from IDALS showing that the vendor completed the training and is eligible to accept FMNP coupons as payment for fruits and vegetables.
This program is designed to promote healthy eating habits through the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. The program encourages Iowa's seniors to purchase directly form the farmer and to support the local farmers who participate in the program.
Here is a list of items to be available for sale along with a list of some of the venders at the Cherokee Area Farmers. Scott and Deb Koch-green beans, lettuce, broccoli, potatoes and radishes; Wayne Nafe-zucchini, cucumbers, onions and potatoes; Randy and Rochelle Hofmeyer-whole wheat bread, raisin bread, chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, banana bread, strawberry bread, caramel cinnamon rolls, Italian parmesan bread and eggs; Dave Carlson-beets, onions, peas; Virginia Snip-tomatoes, beets, hot peppers, rhubarb, sweet peppers, peas, beet greens, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, kale, conllards, radishes and kohirabi; Loyd Reineke-honey.
Those interested in being vendors should contact Jim Adamson at 229-9502. There is a fee of $5 per day or $30 for the season to be a vendor.