Farmers market season in bloom

By: ToLewis, The Press Tribune
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Farmers market season is open and with the addition of two new markets in Roseville, fresh, locally grown produce is available nearly every day of the week. The Foothill Farmers’ Market Association launched its new Thursday market at Mahany Park in Roseville this week with about 30 different vendors, 20 of which were local farmers. The market will run from 8:30 a.m. to noon every Thursday through Sept. 29, but site manager Bob Bonk said hours might be adjusted somewhat depending on the customer base. Another new market to Roseville is the Farmers’ Bizarre, which began Friday at the Civic Center Plaza in Downtown Roseville. The Farmers’ Bizarre will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Friday through Sept. 30. Put on by Sierra Fresh Farmers’ Markets, which also runs the market at Downtown Tuesday Nights in Roseville, the bazaar began with about 13 vendors offering arts, crafts, food and local produce. Billie Jean Salle, who runs Sierra Fresh, said her definition of local is anything grown within 50 miles of Roseville and almost all of the produce at the Bizarre and the Tuesday night market comes from the South Placer area. “That is the heart of our vendor pool,” said Salle, who is also a farmer and owns Salle Orchards in Wheatland. Bonk said inclement weather of late has kept warm weather crops from fully ripening, but he expects to see more crops making it to the markets soon. “That’s one of the problems when you do buy locally is the weather dictates,” Bonk said. “I would expect that in about two or three weeks we’ll have a much better selection and we’ll start to see the tomatoes.” Jack Smith, head chef at Sunset Whitney Country Club in Rocklin, said he always buys local produce because of the flavor and health benefits. “It’s better than anything you can get at a grocery store,” Smith said. “It’s a better taste, and you provide for the city you’re in by helping the farmers.” Salle said the benefits of buying local produce are dealing directly with the farmer and getting produce that was most likely picked that day or the day before. “You can’t go to the grocery store and ask the produce guy what his farming practices are,” Salle said. “You can come to the market and talk to the farmer and they are going to tell you how they pick it, how to cook it, how to store it and give you ideas on recipes.” Kevin Kringle, of Antelope, said he shops at farmers markets to support local farmers and for the flavor and freshness of the product. “They pick it ripe,” Kringle said. “The tomatoes from other places, they pick it and put it in nitrogen to make it red. It’s just not as good for you and you can taste the difference.” With the two new farmers markets in Roseville, Monday and Wednesday are the only days of the week where a farmers market is not happening in South Placer. Farmers markets are held: Each Tuesday at Whole Foods at the Fountains and Downtown Tuesday Nights in Downtown Roseville, Thursday at Mahany Park, Friday at Civic Center Plaza, Saturday at RC Willey in Rocklin and Sunday at the Quarry Ponds Plaza in Granite Bay. For a complete list of local farmers markets, dates and times, visit and Toby Lewis can be reached at ---------- Market Watch Where and when to find a farmers market in the Roseville area: Tuesday Whole Foods Market at the Fountains, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (year-round) Downtown Tuesday Nights, Downtown Roseville, 5 to 9 p.m. (now through July 26) Thursday Mahany Park, 1545 Pleasant Grove Blvd., 8 a.m. to noon (June 2 to Sept. 29) Friday Farmer’s Bizarre, Civic Center Plaza, Downtown Roseville, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (June 3 to Sept. 30) Saturday RC Willey parking lot at Blue Oaks, 6636 Lonetree Blvd. 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (year-round) Sunday Quarry Ponds Town Center, 5550 Douglas Blvd., Granite Bay, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (June 5 to Oct. 16)