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Fisher is spark plug behind farmers market
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A field of lavender ready to bloom is one of Tara Fisher’s favorites. She plans to add the lavender to her booth in coming weeks. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin
RIPON - Tara Fisher has done it all on the farm, made her mark as an outstanding student at University of California, Santa Cruz and served as a probation officer  and unit supervisor in Santa Cruz County .

Now she’s the spark plug behind Ripon’s farmers’ market that debuts Thursday at 4 p.m. on Main Street in downtown Ripon.

Tara works side by side with her dad at the 100-acre Fisher Nursery on Highway 120 near its intersection with French Camp Road. That’s in addition to putting on educational workshops in personal communication interviewing skills with probation departments in the Central Valley and the Bay Area.

There will be 15 vendors this week with Tara expecting more as the market evolves throughout the summer.  First is Helen Caetano with the Tank House Gift Shop with gifts and candies, followed by Fishers Farms with stone fruit and heirloom tomatoes.

Steve Chinchiolo will have cherries, apples and some stone fruit.  Dan Bava’s booth is offering vegetables and tomatoes, Gale Langum with honey, Gloria Erickson with eggs, Lorina Cajias of Lorina’s Edible Gardens with herbs; DaPalma Farm, stone fruit and vegetables, Debra Sweeney Handley with jewelry, M&M Brittney Dog Treats, Ratto Farm with vegetables, Jessop Farm with berries, Dale Johnson with kettle corn, and PMZ Real Estate is going to have an informational booth.  

Alli Johnson promises to have a unique demonstration highlighting her new downtown Ripon shop showing homeowners how to make their homes as beautiful as they can possibly be with her array of home décor.  Ripon police are planning to have a children’s fingerprinting identification station set up at the market.

The entertainment will be provided by a mariachi band, sponsored by Taqueria Ripon.

The farmers’ event of May 27 plans to have a bean cook-off competition between the Ripon Fire Department and the Ripon Police Department.  Instructors from Janis Music are planning to be on site to perform for the evening event during its second week.   

Tara admittedly likes people, organizing enterprises and the farming skills she finds in her blood.  

“It’s in the genes,” she said.

Heirloom tomatoes are their first crop that she is excited about – a really good seller.  They have assorted vegetables and trying out some new things like fingerling tomatoes, kale this year, peppers, okra and what she describes as their “awesome stone fruit.”  They also grow cherries, peaches, apricots and nectarines, Asian pears, fuju persimmons, almonds and walnuts.  

They sell their products at their Highway 120 fruit stand and at other farmers’ markets in Manteca, and Twain Harte.  John Mangelos at Ripon’s Barnwood Restaurant patronizes the Fisher Farm for his fresh vegetables and fruits, she added, hoping for other restaurants to learn of the quality at their farming enterprise.

Their first harvest coming this week is Early Treat peaches – a very delicate fruit with an exceptional flavor, she said.  Coming on the heels of the first peach variety will be the Black Tartarian Cherries.  After that come the Bing cherries and apricots.  As the season moves on they will harvest grapes and nectarines.

She said their “Shady Lady” tomatoes are a favorite – a people’s choice variety.