August is chock full of National food holidays: National IPA Day (August 7), National S’mores and National Banana Split Day (August 10), National Rum Day (August 16), National Sweet Tea Day (August 21), National Peach Pie Day (August 24), National Cherry Popsicle Day (August 26) and the list goes on and on. Apparently there is a ridiculous, yet fun, national food holiday for every day of the year (for a complete list visit foodimentary.com).
Beyond the silly, this is also National Farmers Market Week, started by the USDA 16 years ago to honor the important role that our farmers markets play in our local economies. “Farmers markets benefit communities by offering healthy, wholesome food while local farmers and ranchers benefit from new ways to present their products to customers.” said USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack in Washington DC last month. I think I can safely say that Secretary Vilsack is preaching to the choir when it comes to farmers markets and the readers of Edible Long Island. Over the past few years we have established a bit of a love affair with our local farmers markets. From Long Beach to Westhampton and Great Neck to Rocky Point, we count over 37 weekly farmers markets that are enthusiastically supported by Long Islanders (kids, too) who have come to value their local foodshed, while reaping its tasty rewards.
National Farmers Market Week comes to an end this weekend (although our farmers markets will, thankfully, continue to be open until late in the fall). Friday August 7 is Grown on Long Island Day, an annual celebration of all things farmy on Long Island. Head out to the Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Suffolk County Farm in Yaphank to savor the best of our local farms and to cheer on the competitors in this year’s Seafood Throwdown. There will be farm animals, wagon rides and a scavenger hunt for the kids and food and wine tastings for those of age. Could there be a better way to celebrate your local foodshed?