March 3rd, 2014 is an optional deadline for those that qualify as farmers to file their tax returns, pay the tax due and not be subject to tax penalities. This special deadline has been in place for many years. March 3rd should be the unofficial “Thank a Farmer” day in the Valley. I urge you to search out and buy from a local grower and help him or her in their endeavors in this potentially trying year for farmers.
There are several ways you can support a local grower. When you are in a supermarket, look for the produce marked with local labels and packing houses in the Valley. Go more local by searching for nearby Farmers markets. There are several in Fresno including one held year round on Wednesday morning in front of Kaiser Permanente. Another year round farmers market is on the corner of Blackstone and Shaw at the Vineyard Farmers Market.
Soon the strawberries will be in season and you’ll be able to find Strawberry stands on various corners in Fresno. Later on Stone fruit will be in season.
If you want to support your local farmer even more, consider joining a Community Supported Agriculuture, or CSA offering. You can find several farmers that participate in CSA’s by looking online. You’ll then pay a monthly amount and every week pick up seasonal fruits and vegetables.
You’ll find that in addition to helping a local family, you’ll get fresher fruits and vegetables and find that food prepared with these fresh ingredients tastes better too.
So on March 3rd while those of us here at the office are ensuring we have filed all the farmers’ tax returns timely for the year, eat something grown by a local grower!