Farm Beat

John Holland: Low-income seniors can get farmers market coupons

jholland@modbee.comMay 9, 2014 

Once again, low-income seniors in Stanislaus County can get $20 worth of coupons for select farmers markets.

The coupons can be picked up at markets in Modesto, Patterson and Riverbank on three days this month. They are available to residents 60 and older who have annual incomes of up to $1,799 a month for a one-person household or $2,425 for two.

The coupons can be used to buy fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs and honey. They are issued only once a year on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Area Agency on Aging announced this schedule:

•  Patterson: 4 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Patterson Certified Farmers Market, in the parking lot of True Value, 1040 W. Las Palmas Ave.

•  Modesto: 8 to 10 a.m. May 22 at the Modesto Certified Farmers Market, on 16th Street between H and I streets. Coupons also will be available at Senior Awareness Day, taking place in the adjacent Stanislaus County Library from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day. It will provide information on food stamps, Medicare and other services.

•  Riverbank: 5 to 7 p.m. May 28 at the Riverbank Certified Farmers Market, at the community center, Santa Fe Street between Sixth and Seventh streets.

The funding comes from the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which aims to get older people to increase their intake of fruits and vegetables. More information is at (209) 558-8698.

FARMS OF TUOLUMNE TOUR – The seventh annual Farms of Tuolumne County Farm and Ranch Tour will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 14. It will feature the Groveland area for the first time.

Participants may drive to the five stops in any order after buying tickets, which are $8 in advance or $10 that day. Those 18 and younger get in for free.

The sites are the Lazy G Bar Ranch, which has horses; Deer Creek Cherry Farm; Mountain Sage Nursery; Big Creek Meadow Ranch, which has sheep; and Red Tail Ranch, an egg producer.

Farms of Tuolumne County is a nonprofit group that promotes agriculture in this area. It has long been dominated by beef cattle, but diversified ventures now dot the landscape.

The tour is close to where the Rim fire burned last year, and another chance for the county’s tourism sector to rebound from recent tough times.

More information is at (209) 928-3775 or www.tcfarms.org.

Got an idea for the Farm Beat? Contact John Holland at jholland@modbee.com or (209) 578-2385.

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