Cass County Local Food Policy Council Promotes Local Produce Purchases at Harvest Market

(Atlantic) This week the Cass County Local Food Policy Council voted to provide $200 to the Harvest Market which will be held the Monday before Thanksgiving, November 25 from 3:00 to 7:00 PM at the Cass County Community Center in Atlantic.

Harvest Market Manager Brigham Hoegh said the funding is for produce coupons which will be handed out to the first 50 visitors to the Harvest Market with the goal of encouraging market customers to include locally-grown produce in their holiday meals.

“Really the idea here is, let’s make some more room on those holiday tables for produce,” said Hoegh. “A lot of folks know there is squash and sweet potatoes that you can buy at a Harvest Market, but many people don’t realize that a lot of the vendors that we have are local growers that have high tunnels so they are planting leafy greens and they’ve got carrots and other, kind of what you might associate with summer produce, available at Harvest Market as well.”

Earlier this year the Cass County Local Food Policy Council also granted $1,300 to Produce in the Park, the parent organization of Harvest Market, to encourage area residents to visit Cass County farmers’ markets and to eat locally-grown produce. Most of that funding was used for coupons redeemable for produce, and the rest was used to reimburse Guest Chefs at Produce in the Park for purchasing produce ingredients from local growers. The grant initially included funding to provide free produce snacks to kids visiting Produce in the Park, but a Farm to School grant was later awarded to the market for that specific purpose.

Brigham Hoegh said Produce in the Park is currently surveying Cass County and surrounding communities. The Produce in the Park Board wants to make sure they are meeting the needs of the community. Whether you’ve been to Produce in the Park or not, your feedback is appreciated.

“The real incentive to take it is that everybody who takes it is entered to win a $25 gift card to Harvest Market,” said Hoegh. “The survey is open until the day before Harvest Market, November 24th, and the Market is on the 25th.”

The Produce in the Park survey can be found online through www.produceintheparkatlanticiowa.com or at www.facebook.com/ProduceInThePark. Printed copies of the survey can be found at locations including the Atlantic Public Library at the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce. Winners will be announced the day of the market.