Though we’re a few weeks away from the official start of spring, readers have already been asking for an updated list of outdoor farmers markets to look forward to this spring and summer.
So, lovely readers, here is where you can enjoy the freshest, tastiest, and ripest produce the Fresno area has to offer. (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 35th year of operation, is a Fresno staple operating twice weekly, year round (rain or shine), 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 to locally made gourmet cheeses, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and flavored roasted coffees both days.
My best tips are:
1. 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.
2. 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!).
3. Go early on a Saturday and enjoy a pastry from La Boulangerie 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.
More info: Kaiser Farmers Market
Marketplace at El Paseo Farmers Market
Located in the new Marketplace at El Paseo Shopping Center at Herndon Ave. and Highway 99 in northwest Fresno, this weekly market is now in its second year.
It operates from 7 a.m. to noon every Saturday and boasts an impressive 70 vendors per season, including growers, food vendors, and local artists. Not bad for the new kid on the block!
More info: Marketplace at El Paseo
River Park Farmers Market
The River Park farmers market officially opens for the season on Tuesday, March 21, and will run throughout the spring and summer. Taking place Tuesday evenings from 5-9 p.m., it sets up directly west of Edwards theater and focuses on organic and locally grown produce.
The last time I attended, I saw—in addition to the many fruit and veggies stands—a delicious elote truck (corn on the cob served with all the fixings!), a funnel cake vendor, and several local artists.
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 shaved ice! 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
Market on Kern
The downtown Fresno Market on Kern begins a little later in the season, but offers those of us working and living downtown an awesome opportunity to buy some of the best produce around.
Each Wednesday from May-September, this market offers a great selection of produce as well as handmade gifts and ready-to-enjoy foods. Kern Street is closed to traffic between M and N streets for this seasonal, weekly market, which operates from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
More info: Market on Kern
You really can’t go wrong with fresh produce and products from any of these markets. In the quest to live healthier, a farmers market can be an essential asset.
See you out there!