With the warmer spring weather upon us, and a sultry Valley summer just ahead I thought it would be a wonderful time to do an updated Farmers’ Market round-up for all of you lovely readers, so you can enjoy the freshest, tastiest and ripest product the Fresno area has to offer. (All markets are linked in their titles to web pages with additional information for your easy reference.)
The following Farmers’ Markets are currently operating:
The Vineyard is a Fresno staple, hosted twice weekly all year long under the beautiful, vined arbor on the northwest corner of Blackstone and Shaw Avenues in Central Fresno. The Saturday vendors tend to be a bit more plentiful than the Wednesday vendors – however fresh Valley produce can be purchased and enjoyed fully both days of the week.
More restaurants/bakeries and services join in the fun (in addition to growers) on Saturday mornings, but you can find everything from fresh, organic stone fruit to locally made gourmet cheeses, fresh squeezed orange juice, and flavored roasted coffees at the Vineyard. My best tips are to 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, and arrive early during the summer if you want to get the greatest variety in berries, as I. Mendoza Farms is very popular and always has a line (though it moves quickly!).
The Vineyard operates on Wednesdays from 3-6pm and Saturdays from 7am to noon. (Go early on a Saturday, and enjoy a pastry from La Boulangerie before you shop for the week’s produce. It’s heaven!
The Fresno Kaiser Farmers’ Market is a great thing offered right in front of the Fresno Kaiser Medical Campus on Fresno, just North of Herndon every Wednesday throughout the year. During the winter months, the market begins at 9am and goes until 1:30pm and during spring and summer, the market begins a tad earlier, and runs from 8am – 1:30pm.
This market is a great place to take a lunch break to, because Dusty Buns and Raw Fresno both join in the fun every Wednesday, so you can enjoy a locally source lunch while you peruse the offerings of the 21 regular vendors and 10+ rotating seasonal vendors.
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!
Located in the new Market Place at El Paseo Shopping Center at Herndon Avenue and 99 in Northwest Fresno, this weekly market operates from 7am to 12pm 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!
Taking place in the very center of River Park (for those new to the area, River Park is our largest shopping area, located on Blackstone near Alluvial/El Paseo), this market sets up directly West of Edward’s Theater, Tuesday evenings from 5-9pm and focuses on organic and locally grown produce. I was in the area this past week, and also noticed the delicious Elotes truck (corn on the cobb served with all the fixings!) and a funnel cake vendor were there, as were a few artists and other vendors. Though the number of vendors seems smaller compared to other markets currently, there’s still plenty to enjoy at this weekly, year-round market.
This is actually a two-part market, offering a year-round option on Saturday mornings in the old DMV parking lot (625 Pollasky Avenue, at Bullard in Clovis) from 8-11:30am and Friday evenings from 5:30-9pm 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, so if you’re in Clovis and looking for locally grown goodness, be sure to check out the Saturday morning markets in addition to those held on Friday nights.
The Downtown Fresno Market on Kern begins in just a few short weeks and offers those of us working and living Downtown an awesome opportunity to buy some of the best produce around each Wednesday, May-September. Offering a great selection of produce as well as handmade goods and ready-to-enjoy foods, this market is the perfect way to spend a lunch break while also stocking up on a few groceries and gifts.
Kern Street is closed to traffic between M and N for this seasonal, weekly market which kicks off its 2016 season on May 4th. The Market on Kern operates from 9am to 2pm.