‘The Produce Lady’ launches e-newsletter to promote N.C. fruits and veggies

KANNAPOLIS, NC – The Produce Lady, a program of N.C. MarketReady, continues its educational outreach to North Carolina fresh produce growers and consumers with the launch of an e-newsletter. The monthly newsletter encourages N.C. families to eat healthy fruits and vegetables purchased at local farmers markets. It includes selection tips, health benefits and recipes.

Each issue will focus on a seasonal crop -– apples in September, for example -– and will assist consumers with selection and preparation tips for the fruit or vegetable. Each issue also will feature a “what’s in season” list that highlights other available produce items.

“Our research shows that consumers want more information on how to prepare fruits and vegetables,” says Leah Chester-Davis, coordinator of The Produce Lady program. “In addition to sending to our mailing list, we encourage farmers to share this important educational tool with their customers at the market.”

Anyone can view the inaugural September 2010 issue or subscribe to the newsletter by visiting The Produce Lady Web site (www.theproducelady.org) and clicking the newsletter banner on the right menu bar. The Produce Lady newsletter further expands the program’s educational outreach efforts, which also include the Web site, a video series, healthy recipes and a blog (http://theproducelady.wordpress.com). The Produce Lady is Brenda Sutton, director of N.C. Cooperative Extension in Rockingham County.

The addition of The Produce Lady newsletter is part of a project funded by a grant of nearly $100,000 from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission. The grant, focused on strengthening markets for farmers and educating consumers, provides funding through 2012.

N.C. MarketReady, a program of N.C. Cooperative Extension based at the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis, coordinates The Produce Lady efforts, such as farmers market appearances; recipes; a video series for farmers and consumers; and other educational resources, which can be found at www.theproducelady.org.

Media Contact: Leah Chester-Davis, coordinator of communications and community outreach, N.C. MarketReady, 704-250-5406, leah_chester-davis@ncsu.edu

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