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Farmers market draws people to Library Park Tuesday evenings
Polynesian dancers wow the crowd with their moves. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL


• WHAT: Farmers market
• WHERE: Library Park in downtown Manteca
• WHEN: Tuesdays from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.
• MORE INFO: Call the Manteca Convention & Visitors Bureau at 823-7229

Eddie Moya worked hard on Tuesday afternoon to make sure that everything being presented to customers at the De Palma Farms booth located dead-center in the row of professional produce growers that make the Manteca Convention and Visitors Bureau weekly Farmer’s Market what it is at the end of the day.

Rows of fresh cantaloupe are accentuated by towering piles of sweet corn. Vine ripe tomatoes and freshly picked cooking additives like fresh cilantro and homegrown chives are available to give customers a little extra flavor kick when they’re preparing their favorite dish.

According to Moya – who has been a staple of the De Palma Farms booth since the Farmer’s Market season opened earlier this year – seeing the crowds grow every week make the effort of hauling the farm-fresh produce and setting it up for customers more than worthwhile at the end of the day.

“There have been a lot more people here each and every week than there were last week, and it’s good to see that sort of growth,” Moya said. “Events like this are great because you get the chance to mingle with our customers and make recommendations based on what they tell you that they like – not something that you always get to do and often something that will lead to someone coming back.”

And for regular shoppers like Carol Casillas, the booths with wide variety of freshly picked fruits and vegetables give more than enough reason to come back each and every week to stock up for some healthy summer cuisine.

Throw in a community environment that caters to families and individual shoppers alike, and it’s easy to see why couples like the Casillas’ are regular staples as the weekly gathering.

“It’s nice to be able to look forward to an event like this every year where so many people get together in such a great environment,” Casillas said. “Of course we like the fresh produce that’s available every time that we come out, but we also enjoy the experience of being out here with other people in the community that are also enjoying themselves.”

For the second week in a row, Robert Johnson was all smiles as he was goofing around with his grandson Carson Rich on the grass in Library Park just out in front of the performance gazebo.
While Johnson is a relatively new Manteca resident – calling “The Family City” home for just over two years – he says it’s events like the weekly summer Farmer’s Market gatherings that make him feel at home when he sets out to meet new people right in his own backyard.
“At first I was surprised about the overall number of people that came out to events like this, and the atmosphere is really friendly and family-oriented,” Johnson said while playing with his grandson and waiting for his wife to finish up her produce shopping. “It’s events like this that make me realize that I made a good choice when I decided to make Manteca my home.”