What to expect at farmers markets around Reno this year

The temperatures are heating up and so are farmers' markets in the Reno area.

Thanks to a wet winter, the availability of warm season crops at local farmers markets is being delayed.

Items such as melons, tomatoes, and even flowers will not be at the market for weeks. Tim Coverston with First Fruits Sustainable Farms told News 4 he expects having melons as early as August.

Shirley Sponsler, the owner of the farmers markets, said this might be the first year in some time that there won't be local watermelons by the Fourth of July.

Nevertheless, the markets are getting more of a variety this year. You can expect to see corn earlier this year, and Sponsler has added natural beef and seafood vendors to her locations.

Sponsler said that in the past it was difficult to find local ranchers who could supply pasture-raised natural beef. The Sanford Ranch Beef is one of four ranchers to be featured this season.

Sanford Ranch Beef owner Mike Sanford said there are many benefits to a market. "We get to go out there, and if they (customers) have questions, they can ask us about different cuts or different ways to prepare beef," he said. "It gives us a chance to interact with them."

As the markets continue to grow, so does the competition.

"There are certain vendors that we only allow one of those vendors in the market because their product does not have as much demand as other products and we want whoever is here to do a good business," said Sponsler.

Next week, Shirley's Farmers Markets will start accepting Food Assistance Programs, including SNAP, Senior Nutrition, WIC and Farm Fresh Kids. For questions, check with the market manager.

Shirley's Farmers Markets 2017 Schedule:

- The Summit on 13925 S. Virginia, Reno (Center Plaza)

Tuesdays, June 6 to September 26

9 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.

- The Sands Hotel/ Casino (Arlington Side Parking Lot)

Thursdays June 8 to August 24

4 p.m.- 8:00 p.m.

- The Village Center, California and Booth Street

Saturdays June 3 to September 30

8 a.m.- 1 p.m.

- The Summit on 13925 S. Virginia, Reno (Center Plaza)

Saturday, June 3 to September 30

9 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.

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