My wife Ellie and I of Ellie & Charley's Natural Garden, a small organic produce farm in Patterson, are just one of many participants of the Turlock Certified Farmers Market. We have been doing farmers markets for almost 25 years and were shocked to learn that the City of Turlock wants to place the established Turlock Farmers Market venue up for grabs. This is very unusual and unheard of.
Most, if not all, farmers markets are members of the California Association of Farmers Markets headed by Mr. Dan Best of Sacramento. He represents markets that encounter problems and is the liaison to the State of California Department of Food and Agriculture as well as the State Legislature. Our present Turlock Certified Farmers Market, its manager Derek Griffin and the Board of Directors are perhaps the best we have ever worked with. The Main Street venue and atmosphere are excellent, clean, inviting and above all, the many customers and citizens who take advantage of this gem of community summer weekly event are enjoyable and appreciative of our organic offerings.
Our immediate concern is that we are presently planting and preparing for, hopefully, the May 2016 farmers market opening. It takes time to grow market crops like broccoli, cauliflower, onions, garlic, greens and so much more. We hope the present and very successful Turlock Certified Farmers Market will continue as is so that the area's small farmers and the people of Turlock will continue to enjoy each other and see who grows their food. Life is so short and the capture of fleeting moments of pleasure and healthy satisfaction is a rare gift for all of us.
Someone once said, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." The people of Turlock deserve a great farmers market — they now have one, leave it be.
Ellie and Charley Fernandez