Fresh produce, supporting local farmers and getting some good deals are just a few of the reasons that locals are diehard fans of the Turlock Certified Farmers Market. And this week they can celebrate the market along with fresh food lovers across the country as part of National Farmers Market Week.
U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary A.G. Kawamura declared the week of Aug. 1 to 7 as National Farmers Market Week to “recognize the state’s certified farmers markets for their roles in assisting with healthy diets and ensuring the overall success of farmers markets nationally.”
“California’s certified farmers markets are an important venue to bring farmers and consumers together,” Kawamura said. “In addition to providing healthy food, certified farmers markets conduct outreach on nutrition and wholesome eating habits, and are a great way for consumers to buy California Grown.”
Turlockers agree with Kawamura and said they value the local farmers market which is held every Friday morning in downtown Turlock.
“It’s important because it supports local farmers and gardens,” said Turlock resident Audrey Rola as she looked for jalapeño and cheese focaccia rolls. “It draws Turlock residents back to local businesses and supports downtown.”
Her Hughson friends even drove to Turlock to support the local farmers.
“Our husbands all are farmers so we are directly supporting them here,” said Staci Coelho, Hughson resident. “It is also nice to know where the food comes from; it is grown locally and we know that the food is taken care of.”
Currently, California leads the nation with nearly 600 certified farmers markets with five of those in Stanislaus County — two in Modesto, one in Oakdale, one in Riverbank and one in Turlock. It is estimated that 2,200 certified agricultural producers sell produce in the California certified farmers markets.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture started the Certified Farmers Market program in 1977 making it the first in the nation to “provide consumers with the assurance that they are buying directly from producers.”
“Farmers markets celebrate the relationships all consumers have with farms,” Kawamura said. “We are fortunate that many farmers markets operate year round because of our state’s ability to grow a cornucopia of different products.”
The Turlock Certified Farmers Market doesn’t operate year round, but is open 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. rain or shine on Fridays until Nov. 26.
“It is important to support local business and local farmers,” said Greg Jacquay, Turlock resident. “We have to keep (farmers markets) local. The local part is important.”
To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail email@example.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.