Kids and vegetables don’t always see eye to eye.
However, Friday’s Turlock Certified Farmers' Market seemed to bring a momentary end to the age old vendetta as children and adults gathered to partake in the market's first annual “Children's Day.”
The event hosted an array of child-oriented activities including a farm animal petting area, balloon twister, cotton candy, face painting, visits from the Turlock Fire and Police departments and even a story time section.
Market manager Derek Griffin gave life to the idea after he noted that children at previous markets seemed to be attracted to things like balloons and fire trucks.
“It was something I just kind of thought of,” said Griffin. “One day we had a lot of trucks lined up and the kids seemed to be drawn in by the balloons.”
One of the main attractions of the event was the petting zoo, where children got a chance to touch and pet some common farm animals including roosters, goats and geese.
Francine Simbalenko said she brought her son Zane to the first annual Children's Day because the event offered a fun and safe learning experience for her kids.
“I love it,” said Simbalenko. “It’s especially important as parents that we help our kids learn about animals and agriculture."
Amber Rodin, another parent who watched as her children were handed custom crafted balloons, said the event offered Turlock community members something to do.
“After the fair, there really isn't much to do,” said Rodin. “I’m glad they made this available to us.”
Griffin said that after seeing the success of the inaugural event, he is hoping to have another Children’s Day sometime in October.
The next Turlock Farmers Market, which is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 1.p.m. on Friday on Broadway between Main and Market streets, will be part of a federal celebration of “National Farmers Market Week,” an effort sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to support and celebrate farmers markets all across the country.
In 1994, the U.S. Department of Agriculture began publishing the National Directory of Farmers Markets, which list farmers markets known to operate in the U.S. The directory began with 1,755 markets in 1994 and now lists 7,864 as of 2012. The online farmers market list can be found at: farmersmarkets.usda.gov.
The directory lists 14 farmers markets within 20 miles of Turlock, including five in Modesto, and markets in Ceres, Patterson, Merced, Atwater, Oakdale and Riverbank.