Joy’s Honey Ranch

Leonard Joy has been beekeeping for over 30 years. He has about 60 hives near the North Valleys area to provide enough wildflower honey to sell at local farmers’ markets.

His wife, Jackie helps him set up their original honey, their bees wax and a few honey sticks for people to taste. Everything is locally made except the honey sticks.

Leonard, although a bee keeper for over 30 years, shares his first year at the Sparks Farmers' Market with his wife, Jackie.

Leonard, although a bee keeper for over 30 years, shares his first year at the Sparks Farmers’ Market with his wife, Jackie.

It has been known that local honey may have a few positive effects on a person’s health.

“[Local] honey can help allergies but it may not help you if the bees aren’t collecting the pollen [allergen] you’re allergic to,” Leonard said.

Health is not the only factor in considering local honey. Leonard and Jackie both agreed that fresh honey has a bouquet that tastes much better.

“It has no [artificial] flavor, other than what the bees do [themselves],” Leonard said.

The bees’ wax the Joy’s make is a simple product that can be used for a multitude of things like candles, crayons and even moustache wax.

Although Leonard has been doing this a long time, he admits to making some decisions that, if handled differently, could have avoided him a sting.

“I’ve only been stung when I’ve done something dumb,” Leonard said.


Tips to remember when you’ve been stung:

  • Scrape the stinger with a credit card of some sort to avoid pinching the stinger and squeezing the poison into your body.
  • Take a pain reliever like ibuprofen.
  • Ice it, the swelling will go down and it will numb the pain a bit.
  • Toothpaste can also help the sting by making you feel like your itching, when you’re not!

Tips from Leonard and wikihow


Susie’s Original Syrup Spreads

Warm, buttery, sweet waffles may not be the first thing you’d think of finding at a farmers’ market.

Amanda and Greg Adams, husband and wife team, have brought exactly that to Sparks Farmers’ Market.  With their flavored syrup spreads, consumers can get a delectable treat in between bites of fresh peach samples and raw spinach.

DSC_5402Susie’s Original Syrup Spreads, a business that started just June 1st of this year, is making a big impression on the market goers.

“[The spreads] are well-received,” Amanda said. “The product is completely new and people are really loving it.”

The idea came from Amanda’s mom, Susie Olsen, who the company is named after. Susie made a maple syrup spread and shared the unique recipe with her children. Amanda has been delightfully eating the syrup spread since she was young and passes along the sweet treat to her children.

After altering the recipe a bit for production and creating many innovative flavors, Amanda and Greg set out to “spread” the word. They started with farmers’ markets because they are a place where you can get close to the consumer, talk to them and learn what they like.

“Farmers’ Markets are the easiest way to get the product out there,” Greg said. “People can try it and taste it.”

The classic flavors include Maple, Caramel Macchiato, Blackberry Cheesecake, Strawberry Cheesecake, S’mores and Butter Pecan, which is their most popular. There are different size tubs for sale but you can also grab a waffle for one with your favorite spread. Overall, though, they have created over 30 different flavors including some exotics like bubble gum and even a peanut butter and chocolate flavor.

In time, Susie’s Original Syrup Spreads hope to be in stores with seasonal flavors like Egg Nog and Pumpkin Pie.

If you haven’t yet tried it, every flavor is out to sample at the Sparks’ Farmers Market and the Adams encourage you to sample them all to find your favorite flavor. Find out more about Susie’s Original Syrup Spreads on their website or their Facebook.

The six classic syrup spread flavors. Photo courtesy Susie's Food website.

The six classic syrup spread flavors. Photo courtesy Susie’s Food website.

Check out the many uses (from Susie’s Foods website):

Susie’s Original Syrup Spreads… so many uses!

  • You can try them on: Waffles, Pancakes, French Toast, Crepes, Bagels, Toast, Rolls, Biscuits, Croissants, Corn Bread, Fried Bread, Scones… and any other warm bread you can think of!
    Try a spoonful of any of our flavors in a bowl of Oatmeal, Cream of Wheat or any other hot breakfast cereal.
  • Put a dollop of our Maple or Butter Pecan flavored spreads on a baked Yam or Sweet Potato.
  • Candy some nuts in a frying pan with a scoop of our Butter Pecan flavored spread, and try them on a salad
  • Try some of our Maple flavored spread on baked salmon, chicken, pork chops, bacon, or any other meats you can think of… you decide, the choices are endless!
  • Melt any of our spreads and pour them over fresh popped popcorn for a yummy gourmet treat… and you get to decide how sweet you want it!

Think of another use? Add it to the list!

Rain is a Good Thing

Rain is typically a good thing for farmers, as it is a source of water for their crops, and is good for their soil. However, a farmer selling his goods at the Sparks Farmers’ Market, as well as market vendors and food trucks, rain may not always be a good thing.

“Rain, who wants to go shopping in the rain? Well I hope people show,” said Cheryl Bartee, owner of All About the Bling.

The Sparks Farmers’ Market welcomed rain this past week on Victorian Square, and some were worried about the possibility of less shoppers attending the market; but rain or shine, the market was still a big hit!

“Sometimes the weather doesn’t matter, we have regulars,” said Deana Sheehan, a fruit vendor at Sparks Farmers’ Market.

For some, it was a welcome change from the blistering heat of the prior week’s Sparks Farmers’ Market.

“Hopefully it will help. Last week it was so hot!” said Ken Jolly, owner of Butcher Boy.

In true Reno fashion, the rain quickly cleared up and the weather was nice and sunny again, just in time for the Nugget’s cooking demonstration. The market-goers enjoyed the rest of the farmers’ market, and farmers and vendors could relax again.


Weekly Cooking Demo Recipes

Each week at the Sparks Farmers’ Market, one of the Nugget’s own banquet or restaurant chefs prepares a cooking demonstration for market goers. The entree that is prepared in the demonstration is also sold at the Nugget food and beverage booth directly next to the cooking demonstration stage.

Each week is a different delicious dish, made with items that can be found every Thursday at the Sparks Farmers’ Market.

Be sure to come by the front entrance of John Ascuaga’s Nugget on Victorian Avenue each Thursday at 6pm. The very last Sparks Farmers’ Market is August 22, so make sure to attend one of these great demos!

Below are the recipes of the past cooking demonstrations. Tonight, Chef Mark Lee will be preparing Pulled Pork Sliders. Stay tuned for more recipes!

Tonight, 7/25/2013

Pulled Pork



Marinated Salmon




White Bean Shrimp


Thai Spring Roll




BBQ Burger



chicken wrap





chicken sate recipe


All About the Bling

A new vendor from Texas at her first Sparks Farmers' Market.

Cheryl Bartee, a new vendor from Texas at her first Sparks Farmers’ Market.


For Cheryl Bartee, a good wardrobe starts with the bling, which is why she began her own jewelry line in May 2012, All About the Bling Jewelry Boutique.

This past Thursday was Cheryl’s first time at Sparks Farmers’ Market, and she was very excited to start selling some of her pieces.  Cheryl just recently moved to the Reno area from Dallas, Texas with her husband, and loves it here in Northern Nevada.

Before selling at Sparks Farmers’ Market, Cheryl’s business was solely online.  She has an amazing deal on shipping, which is $6.00 for anything purchased under $49.99, and if your order is $50.00 or more your shipping is free!

More jewelry from All About the Bling.

Some of the handmade jewelry from All About the Bling Jewelry Boutique.

You can find a little pink ribbon on many of Cheryl’s pieces of jewelry in support for Breast Cancer Awareness.  Cheryl is a cancer survivor, and says that anyone who buys a piece of jewelry in support of breast cancer awareness “will get a special little treat.”

Cheryl makes about 80% of her own jewelry, so each piece is unique.  To see more of her creations, visit her website at, and like her on Facebook.