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209 FARM FRESH

Living in SJ Valley gives you world’s best access to fresh produce

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209 FARM FRESH

Customers look for the perfect peach at the DePalma Farms booth at the Ripon Farmers Market that ended its 2014 run last week. There are still plenty of farmers markets and roadside produce stands ...

HIME ROMERO/The 209


POSTED July 25, 2014 6:51 p.m.



Finding fresh produce isn’t hard in the 209.

That’s a given considering  the San Joaquin Valley produces nearly half of this nation’s domestically grown fruits, vegetables and nuts according to the  United States Department of Agriculture. Essentially no one else in this country — or perhaps the world — has access to such a variety of locally grown farm fresh produce.

Besides seasonal and year round produce stands dotting country roads as well as major highways such as East Highway 120 between Manteca and Escalon where you will find a half dozen farm vendors, virtually every community has a farmers market.

And while some have ended for the summer such as in Ripon and Ceres, there are still plenty going full bore. Many also offer entertainment.

And if you want a change of scenery, the farmers markets just over the hill in Pleasant and Livermore can be a pleasant diversion.

For example, if you want a half day excursion, the market Saturday morning in Pleasanton may be the perfect destination. It literally livens up Pleasanton’s downtown thanks to it being one of the largest around and the fact it is within a block of restaurants with large expansive outdoor seating under stately trees as well as nearby specialty shops.

A quick rundown of 15 farmers markets are as follows:

 

TUESDAY

MANTECA: The Manteca farmers market is from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays through the end of August.

STOCKTON: The University Park farmers market is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Harding Way and California Street.

WEDNESDAY

LATHROP: The Lathrop farmers market is from 4 to 8 p.m. through October in the Target parking lot at Louise Avenue and River Island Parkway.

TRACY: The Wednesday Tracy farmers market is from 4 to 10 p.m. at 10th Street between Central and B Street through Nov. 19. The quickest way from Manteca is to take Interstate 205 to the Tracy Boulevard exit and turn left. Take Tracy Boulevard to 11th Street and then turn left. Next turn right on B Street and then take first left to 10th Street.  It should take 23 minutes to cover the 13.9 miles

THURSDAY

MODESTO: The Modesto farmers market is from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Nov. 20 alongside the Stanislaus County Library on 16th Street between H and I streets in downtown Modesto. From Manteca take Highway 99 south using Exit 226A for Central Modesto and merge (go straight) onto 5th Street. Then turn left on I Street and it will take you to the market.  It should take 26 minutes to go 18 miles. It should take 13 minutes to cover the 12 miles.

LIVERMORE: The Livermore farmers market is from 4 to 8 p.m. through Oct. 16 at Carnegie Park at Third & J Streets in downtown Livermore. From Manteca take Interstate 205 which turns into Interstate 580 to Exit 52B for N. Livermore Ave. and then turn left on Livermore Avenue. Turn right on Second Street to reach the market. It should take 40 minutes to cover the 35 miles.

ESCALON: The Escalon farmers market is at the Main Street Park from 4:30 to 7 p.m. through August. Take Highway 120 east to Escalon and turn right at the second traffic signal onto Main Street.

FRIDAY

TURLOCK: The Turlock farmers market is from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. through October. It is in downtown Turlock at Main Street and Broadway. From Manteca take Highway 99 south to Main Street and head east.

STOCKTON: The Stockton farmers market is from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on East Main Street in front of the Bob Hope Theatre and runs through Oct. 28. The quickest way from Manteca is to take Highway 99 north to the Cross-town Freeway (Highway 4 West). Take Exit 66B form Stanislaus Street and turn right. Turn left at the second cross street to reach East Main. It should take 21 minutes to go 15 miles.

SATURDAY

MODESTO: The Modesto farmers market is from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Nov. 20 alongside the Stanislaus County Library on 16th Street between H and I streets in downtown Modesto. From Manteca take Highway 99 south using Exit 226A for Central Modesto and merge (go straight) onto 5th Street. Then turn left on I Street and it will take you to the market.  It should take 26 minutes to go 18 miles

STOCKTON: The Stockton farmers market is from 5:30 to 11 a.m. under the Cross-town Freeway between El Dorado and San Joaquin streets across from St, Mary’s Catholic Church and is open year round. The quickest way from Manteca is to take Highway 99 north to the Cross-town Freeway (Highway 4 West). Take Exit 66B form Stanislaus Street but go straight and merge into Washington Street. The destination is on your right. Turn left at the second cross street to reach East Main. It should take 20 minutes to go 14 miles.

PLEASANTON: The Pleasanton farmers market is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Main and W. Angela Street in downtown Pleasanton year round. From Manteca take Interstate 205 which turns into Interstate 580 to Exit 47 for Tassajara Road toward Santa Rita Road. Turn left onto Tassajara Road and continue onto Santa Rita Road which turns into Main Street. Then turn left onto W. Angela Road. It should take 48 minutes to go 42 miles.

SUNDAY

TRACY: The Sunday Tracy farmers market is from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at West Valley Mall through the end of October. The quickest way from Manteca is to take Interstate 205 to the Naglee Road exit and turn right.

LIVERMORE: The Livermore farmers market is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Historic Train Depot at Railroad Avenue and L Street in downtown Livermore is open year round. From Manteca take Interstate 205 which turns into Interstate 580 to Springtown Boulevard/First Street and keep left at the fork and follow signs for First Street/Downtown Livermore Avenue. Turn right on First Street and then right on Railroad Avenue to reach the market. It should take 40 minutes to cover the 35 miles.

STOCKTON: The Park West Place farmers market is open every Sunday through Dec. 28 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Pak West Shopping Center. From Manteca take the 120 Bypass and head north on Interstate 5 to the Eight Mile Road exit. Turn left and travel to Trinity Parkway where you will turn left. The market is in front of the Lowe’s garden center.

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