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It’s that wonderful time of year again when Valley spring crops are at their peak and summer crops are just around the corner. That’s right, it’s farmers market season!
Each year, it is my pleasure to provide you with a roundup of the many wonderful farmers markets all across the Fresno area. Without further adieu, I present to you:
The 2018 FresYes Guide to Farmers Markets
(All markets are linked to web pages with additional information for your easy reference.)
The Vineyard Farmers Market
The Vineyard Farmers Market, now in its 38th year of operation, is a Fresno staple operating twice weekly, year round (rain or shine). It’s located under the beautiful, vine-covered arbor on the northwest corner of Blackstone and Shaw avenues in central Fresno.
The Vineyard operates on Wednesdays from 3-6 p.m. and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to noon.
The Saturday vendors tend to be a bit more plentiful than the Wednesday vendors, but you can find everything from fresh, organic stone fruit and berries to locally made gourmet cheeses, artisan chocolate, and farm-fresh eggs on both days.
My best tips are:
- Be sure to check out Thao Farms at the far west end of the arbor for some of the best and most varied vegetables you’ll find anywhere.
- Arrive early during the summer if you want to get the greatest variety in berries. Mendoza Farms is very popular and always has a line (though it moves quickly!).
- Go early on a Saturday and enjoy a pastry from La Boulangerie and a coffee from Fabiano’s before you shop for the week’s produce. It’s heaven!
More info: Vineyard Farmers Market
Fresno Kaiser Farmers Market
The Fresno Kaiser Farmers Market is offered right in front of the Kaiser medical campus on Fresno Street, just north of Herndon, every Wednesday throughout the year.
During the winter months, the market begins at 9 a.m. and goes until 1:30 p.m. During spring and summer, it runs from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (weather permitting year round).
At the Kaiser market, you can shop for fresh produce, gluten-free baked goods, pickled vegetables and olives, freshly squeezed juices, and even handmade, natural soaps!
This market is a great place to take a lunch break because Casa de Tamales and Raw Fresno are there, so you can enjoy a locally sourced lunch while you peruse the offerings of more than 20 regular vendors and 10+ rotating seasonal vendors. Bliss Baking offers gluten-free pastries on the first and third week of each month, and Bread and Butter offers international pastries and desserts on the 2nd and 4th weeks of the month.
More info: Kaiser Farmers Market
River Park Farmers Market
The River Park Farmers Market is now a year-round market, taking place every Tuesday evening from 5-9 p.m. The market sets up directly west of Edwards theater and focuses on organic and locally grown produce, as well as prepared foods like Mexican-style corn on the cob (elote), tacos, and shaved ice.
The River Park Farmers Market also provides free entertainment such as live music, dance performances, and appearances of popular characters and heroes, such as Captain America, for meet and greets with kids (and the young at heart!)
More info: River Park Farmers Market
Old Town Clovis Farmers Market
This is actually a two-part market.
One part is the year-round market that happens from 8-11:30 a.m. every Saturday in the old DMV parking lot at 625 Pollasky Ave. in Clovis.
The other, perhaps better-known, market is the one that happens Friday evenings from 5:30-9 p.m. beginning the first weekend in May and running through the end of September.
Vendors at each are extremely varied and offer everything from delicious fruits and nuts to fresh lobster and chicken chow mein. Though the Saturday morning market is considerably smaller than the seasonal, Friday night market (which offers live entertainment, music, children’s activities, and food trucks) it is not light on options.
More info: Old Town Clovis Farmers Market
The Market on Kern
This farmers market takes place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays, May through October, on Kern Street between M and N streets. The market offers those of us working and living downtown an awesome opportunity to buy some of the best produce around.
The Market on Kern features a great selection of produce as well as handmade gifts and ready-to-enjoy foods. Please note: this part of Kern Street is closed to traffic during the weekly market, and parking in the area is mostly metered, so having a few quarters on hand will make for a smooth experience.
More info: The Market on Kern
Manchester Center Farmers Market
This year-round farmers market takes place in the Manchester Center parking lot on the corner of Blackstone and Shields every Friday from 8 a.m. until dusk.
Vendors offer local produce, and a variety of international foods are provided by multiple food trucks. If you’re looking for a tasty lunch and some fruits and veggies to take home for the weekend, Manchester’s Farmers Market may be the perfect stop for you.
More info: Manchester Center Farmers Market
You really can’t go wrong with fresh produce and products from any of these markets. See you out there!