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June 12, 2007   Email to Friend 

Brooke Thorington
(334) 242-2618
June 12, 2007

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The Alabama Farmers Market Authority (FMA), in conjunction with farmers markets opening across the state, has announced the launch of a "recipe of the month" feature on its Web site, focusing on recipes using in-season, locally grown fruits and vegetables.

"When something is ripe and picked off the vine in the morning and on your table that night, the taste is incredible," said FMA Director Don Wambles.

The recipe of the month is available on the FMA Web site at www.buylocalalabama.com and www.fma.alabama.gov, along with other recipes that showcase the benefits of purchasing local produce.

The popularity of farmers markets has grown in Alabama. In 1995 only 17 farmers markets existed. Today, there are 95.

"Customers and vendors enjoy visiting with each other at farmers markets. You can ask a vendor what kind of tomatoes they have and where their farm is located," said Wambles.

Statistics show that produce purchased in supermarkets, may have been shipped from distant states and countries traveling an average of 1,300 miles for as long as a week to 14 days. "When produce is at the height of ripeness, you can taste the exceptional flavor and benefit from more nutrients," said Wambles. "It's nice to know where your produce comes from and that it is grown for taste, not to be shipped for an extended period."

Recipes of the month will run until the end of September. If you would like to contribute a recipe to be considered for recipe of the month e-mail your recipe along with name and city to brooke.thorington@fma.alabama.gov.

The FMA, established in 1965, is a single state agency that assists with marketing agricultural products by providing information and leadership to farmers and local governments.

To assure the consumer a better quality product at a reasonable price and a fair return to the producer, the FMA provides assistance to producers marketing their products. Farms of participating vendors are also inspected.

A nine-member board of directors controls the FMA with one member from each congressional district, one at-large, and the commissioner of agriculture and industries.

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