Saturdays in downtown Turlock will be much fruitier come May, as the Turlock Certified Farmers Market decided to move the event from Fridays to Saturdays for the 2015 season.
"The Turlock community reached out to us last year and the board of directors and I felt it was time to have a Saturday market," said market manager Derek Griffin.
Since its return to Turlock in 2010, the farmers market has been held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays in downtown Turlock. The hours will remain the same for the upcoming season, set to begin May 2 and run through October on Saturdays, and still be located on S. Broadway and Main streets.
The news was well received by Ellie and Charley’s Natural Garden. Ellie and Charley Fernandez had petitioned the market's board of directors last year to move the event to the weekend.
Earlier this month the Fernandez' started looking for a different farmers market at which to sell their produce come spring. Charley Fernandez said he had heard the board of directors weren't going to move the market's run day — at least not in time for the upcoming season — and he was making plans to find another area Saturday market with an open space.
"I'm really happy for that. I think it's going to turn the market around," said Charley Fernandez about the Turlock market's move to Saturday.
While Fernandez is hoping the change in market days will bring more visitors to his booth, Griffin reported that one of the reasons the farmers market board decided to make the move in May was because of the event's recent success.
"We felt we were in a strong enough position to make that transition, having enough vendors committed going into our sixth year," said Griffin. "It's the right time to do it; everything had come together for us to do it this year."
The 2014 farmers market featured over 40 vendors at its peak during the summer. Griffin also credited increases in revenue to elements such as the market’s acceptance of Electronic Benefit Transfer (food stamps) and its newly awarded nonprofit status.
With the move to Saturday, the farmers market will likely discontinue its night market events, however, new offerings are in the works.
"We plan to try new things," Griffin said. "We're in the early planning stages for events like a 5K and cooking demonstrations and a chili cook off, more events like that. We'll have the same events we've always had like Kids Day and Bike to the Market Week and Stan State Market Day. Saturday is just better to bring specialized community events."
For updated information as the 2015 farmers market season approaches, visit .turlockmarket.org.