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If one of your goals for 2020 is to eat healthier, a great place to turn is a local farmers market. The Fresno area is full of them. In recent years many have begun to operate year-round. FresYes wants to make it easy for you to shop the local markets. Here’s your guide to what you’ll find when you go.
When: Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Where: Fresno Medical Center, 7300 N. Fresno St.
Kaiser Permanente is encouraging patients and the community to eat healthy, by hosting a weekly farmers market in their parking lot.
“At Kaiser Permanente, we believe that eating more fruits and vegetables is part of good health,” said Meredith Murillo, Communications Manager for Kaiser Permanente Fresno. “That’s why we’ve opened a farmers market outside our medical center.”
The first Kaiser based farmers market started in 2003 in Oakland. The Fresno market opened two years later. More than 50 Kaiser Permanente locations now offer a farm market.
“There are many health benefits associated with eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains,” Murillo said. “A diet built around fresh, seasonal produce is the cornerstone of preventive medicine. And if you shop at a farmers market, you are more likely to cook, which is another key to good health.”
In addition to fruits and vegetable vendors, shoppers will find eggs, honey, jams, nuts, whole-grain baked goods, ready-to-eat snacks, flowers, succulents and other items at the Kaiser Fresno market.
“There’s lots to see,” Murillo said. “We are grateful for the community support we receive for the market. We have many regular, weekly shoppers who support our local farmers and vendors. The community support has really fostered a communal, positive atmosphere.”
When: Tuesdays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Between Macys and Yard House
The River Park Farmers Market started in 1999, shortly after the shopping center opened. It’s exploded in size in recent years and includes food trucks and live entertainment.
Shoppers will find vendors selling one-of-a-kind items and products produced right here in the Central Valley. Organizers say more than 300 different varieties of fruits and vegetables are sold each year at their market.
John Hinkle, of Hinkle’s Honey, is a vendor at the River Park Farmers Market. Nine years ago he got interested in working with bees after a long career as a diesel mechanic. The beekeeper loves educating the people who stop by his booth.
“Some of the health benefits of honey is that there are nutrients from plants,” Hinkle says. “There are antibodies produced by the bee as the nectar is turned into honey, also there are pollens that are beneficial to the immune system and many other health benefits.”
Extracting the honey from the hive and bottling it, is hard work. “The response from the public is great,” Hinkle says. “They seem to enjoy learning about the facts about honey and we have a lot of returning customers that really love the taste and benefits.”
In addition to the River Park Farmers Market, Hinkle’s Honey can be found at the Valley Fresh Farmers Market at Valley Children’s Hospital on Fridays and at the Market on Kern, which takes place in downtown Fresno on Wednesdays from May through October.
When: Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Where: Pollasky between Fifth Street and Bullard Avenue in Clovis
When you think of Old Town Clovis, many people think of the Friday night farmers market that takes place in the summer. A couple years back Clovis started hosting a year-round market, that’s much smaller in size.
Ferrer Farm from Madera is one of the popular vendors you’ll find at the Saturday market. They have a wide variety to choose from. They sell lots of greens, such as kale, swiss chard, lettuce, cilantro and spinach. As well as broccoli, cauliflower, citrus, tomatoes, peppers, stone fruit and more.
“We have been selling our product at the local farmers markets for about the last ten years,” said Tania Mitchum, of Ferrer Farm. “I love serving my Old Town people. They always make us feel loved and appreciated. Our customers are like family to us. We want to always provide them with the best quality and customer service possible because they sure deserve it.”
Mitchum’s parents Ignacio and Maria Ferrer own their family farm. She and her husband help run the markets and are proud of the work they do in the community. In addition to the Old Town Farmers Market, you can find them Tuesdays at River Park and Wednesdays at Kaiser.
When: Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to Noon
Where: 100 W. Shaw (Northwest corner of Blackstone and Shaw, behind Eyeglass World)
In order to be a vendor at The Vineyard Farmers Market, you have to be local and you must agree to a farm tour inspection. That’s because quality and safety is of the utmost importance.
Tristan Pursell and his family are regular shoppers. “Love me some Vineyard,” he says. “I go a few times per month. Kids love it. The fresh fruits are always great to buy. I love that they have a local coffee vendor and pastry vendor.”
Flo Cheung Jones has been visiting The Vineyard Farmers Market for the past 14 years. “I love the Asian stands,” she said. “There is a stand where the mother and her daughter have run for years, selling snow pea shoots. I love the varieties of carrots, beets, radishes.”
When: Fridays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Blackstone and Shields Avenues
This market is a favorite for folks that work at the offices in and around Manchester Center.
In addition to selling fruits and veggies, there are lots of lunchtime options. Many of the food vendors specialize in Mexican dishes, including seafood, fruit cups and refreshing aguas frescas.