Those looking forward to the fresh fruits and vegetables, locally made meats, cheeses and bakery treats found at the Turlock Certified Farmers Market won’t have to wait as long this year for the market season to start. The TCFM will open on April 22 this year, two weeks earlier than previous seasons, and close in mid-October.
“We wanted to catch more of the early fruit season; last year we didn’t get many cherries. We wanted to take advantage of that and it also coincides with losing some of the produce in the fall,” said market manager Derek Griffin. “We wanted to keep the market open during peak produce season.”
This will be the market’s eighth season and second year at its new location at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds.
“I think the move to the new location was good for us because there’s so much room to grow now,” said Griffin. “And on a lot of weekends, other events are going on at the fairgrounds, so the community benefits from all of that.”
Griffin said all of the market’s regular vendors will be returning this year and at least six new ones will be joining the market lineup, to make for over 55 on opening day.
“It has turned into a one-stop shopping location,” said Griffin.
In TCFM’s off season, Griffin starting working for the California Farmers Market Association. He said the experience has allowed him to network with Bay Area vendors and serve as a liaison between farmers and markets in both areas.
“A lot of vendors here in Valley are now getting into Bay Area markets on Turlock off days,” said Griffin. “It’s amazing how much we really have here in this state.”
Along with an increase in vendors, Turlock’s market will feature more weekly promotions and cooking demonstrations.
The market’s opening day will be a celebration including a live band, the Resendiz Fruit Barn Kiddie Train, kids craft area, cooking demonstration, face painter, balloon twister and “all the food vendors that the Turlock community has come to love,” according to Griffin.
The Turlock Certified Farmers Market will run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays from April 22 to Oct. 14 at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds, accept for the two Saturdays during the fair in mid-July. For more information, visit turlockmarket.org.