Senior Farmers#039; Market coupons available

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Russty Parrish and the Farmers Market Committee have worked hard to make the new Butler County Farmers Markets a reality. Although the lack of rainfall has affected the crop, there should be some good fruits and vegetables available. The market in Greenville opens on Saturday, June 1 at the Fairgrounds; the Georgiana farmers market opens Thursday, June 6 at the pavilion in the Hank Williams Park. The markets should help the farmers and provide a source of "just picked" produce. Kind of like having your own garden without the work.

To encourage people to buy from local farmers markets, the State Farmers Market Authority is making available coupons which can be spent for produce at approved farmers' markets around the state. In Butler County, the coupons will be offered to qualifying senior adults.

To qualify for the free coupons, you must be sixty years old or older. There is an income limitation too, that applies to the total household income. Total monthly income for the household must not exceed:$1,366.00 per month for a household of one, $1,841.00 per month for a household of two, and $2,316.00 per month for a household of three.

If there happens to be more than one qualifying adult in a household, each would receive a coupon book.

There are a limited number of coupon books available for Butler County.

To register and receive the coupons one must apply either at the Georgiana Senior Center on Palmer Avenue or the Greenville Senior Center on Cedar Street. The dates at both centers are June 5,6,12 and 13. The time in Georgiana is 9:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. and in Greenville, from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. One will be asked to sign a form certifying that he/she qualify by age and income and the coupon book will be issued. Qualified individuals do not have to be a participant at one of the senior centers to qualify. There is a minimum of "red tape" and it should not take long.

The coupon book contains five coupons worth $4 each and can be used to purchase fruits, vegetables and herbs at the approved farmers markets. There will be no change.

I hope those who qualify will register for the coupon books and spend them at our local farmers' markets. Nutritionists say we should all eat more fruits and vegetables – at least five servings a day. Fruits and vegetables give us antioxidants, fiber, and many vitamins and minerals. Some of them help protect us from cancers.

When individuals get ready to prepare fruits and vegetables, they should wash them thoroughly with cool tap water. Don't use a soap or detergent. Rough-skinned vegetables and fruits like potatoes, cucumbers or cantaloupe should be scrubbed with a vegetable brush. Of course, greens need to be washed through several changes of water to remove grit.

Anyone having enough fruits or vegetables to can or freeze and are not sure of the recommended procedures, may call me at 382-5111.