Farmers market season kicks off in Lake Tahoe |

Farmers market season kicks off in Lake Tahoe

Claire Cudahy
Erik Kisbye of Schletewitz Family Farms in Sanger, California serves up a peach sample to a customer at the first Farmers Market of the season at Kahle Community Park on Wednesday, May 24.
Claire Cudahy / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

As the snow continues to melt in the mountains, California and Nevada farmers and makers are preparing for a busy summer of markets on Lake Tahoe’s South Shore.

Wednesday, May 24, marked the kick-off of the season with the first farmers market at Kahle Community Park in Stateline.

“This year we are focusing on bringing up more Nevada farmers,” said Steve Rozier of Lake Tahoe Markets. Rozier and his wife Jill organize the market at Kahle, as well as one at Lake Tahoe School in Incline Village.

“As the season progresses we are also looking at hosting cooking demonstrations out here and having some sort of live music,” said Rozier.

Though the growing season has been delayed slightly for some Nevada farmers due to the harsh winter, Tim Coverston of First Fruits Sustainable Farms in Fallon, Nevada was at the market selling honey and eggs.

“Our chickens are pastured in about a 60-acre pasture, so they are pretty much running wild and free,” said Coverston, who also grows produce and raises pigs.

Erik Kisbye of Schletewitz Family Farms in Sanger, California was passing out samples of clementines, peaches, nectarines, pluots and tomatoes.

“We’ve been coming here for years,” said Kisbye, who drove five hours to sell his fruit at the market. “We have a really good crop this year — it’s all ripe and delicious.”

Eschewing traditional farming methods for an indoor aeroponic growing system, Brian Harasha of Jazi’s Greenz was on hand selling microgreens.

“I can grow them in four to five days and have a pound of food off of one tray,” said Harasha. “I come from a nutritional background, and they are super nutritious. I really like the micro basil, micro dill and micro arugula.”

Harasha has one indoor farm in Carson City and a second in South Lake Tahoe.

“Microgreens are just what brought me into this world. I am growing fresh basil and bell peppers and all sorts of herbs, inside, year-round in these aeroponic towers that use very little water. It recycles it,” explained Harasha who is also experimenting with growing unique mushrooms, like pink oyster and lion’s mane.

Tristan Schwab, a fisherman and South Lake Tahoe resident, drew customers at the farmers market in with the alluring scent of smoked tuna.

“We’re Diamond Head Tuna, commercial fisherman trying to cut out the canneries because they are crooked,” said Schwab. “We’re trying to help the fisherman as well as the consumer.”

Started by captain Mick Diamond, another South Lake Tahoe resident, Schwab and a co-op of fisherman catch and can fish from around the U.S.

“I fish in Alaska in Bristol Bay. My captain Mick Diamond, he fishes Oregon, Hawaii and Mexico,” explained Schwab.

Unlike other name-brand canneries, said Schwab, Diamond Head Tuna does not fill its cans with juice and preservatives.

“These cans are totally full, and the only preservative we use is a pinch of salt,” he explained.

The farmers market at Kahle Community Park takes place every Wednesday from 4 – 7 p.m.

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