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Farmers celebrate fruit and veggies month

September 30, 2010 5:46:36 PM PDT
Farmers' market vendors and their staff received a gift today from the San Francisco Department of Public Health in celebration of National Fruit and Vegetable Month.

Laura Brainin-Rodriguez, coordinator of the department's Feeling Good Project, was busy delivering gift bags to the to the participants of San Francisco's Heart of the City Farmers' Market on a hot weekday morning in the crowded United Nations Plaza.

"We're here to thank you for all the beautiful food you bring year round," Brainin-Rodriguez said as she handed out reusable shopping bags that contained aprons and cookbooks, among other items.

The department has been giving gifts to the farmers for the last 10 years, Brainin-Rodriguez said.

Past gifts included reusable lunch bags and baseball caps.

Brainin-Rodriguez was stationed at the Feeling Good Project's booth, where market attendees were given heath and fitness facts and encouraged to eat fruits and vegetables.

Ed Ferguson, a supervisor for Schletewitz Family Farms in Sanger, located in the Central Valley, said he's been selling the farm's grapes, raisins, walnuts and peaches since the market began nearly 30 years ago.

"We really appreciate it," Ferguson said of the gifts.

San Francisco resident Gordon King, a shopper who carried three bags full of goods -- including orchids and jalapenos -- said he comes to the market because of the prices and the friendliness.

"I shop sensibly and consciously," King said.

"I'm all for farmers' markets," he said, lauding the farmers for drawing attention to healthy food. "It's a wonderful movement."

San Francisco's Heart of the City Farmers' Market takes place on Sundays and Wednesdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. near the Civic Center.


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