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Hot time at opening farmers market of season
Jeramya Johnson reaches for a carrot Tuesday at the Manteca Farmers Market summer opening at Library Park. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL


• WHAT: Downtown Manteca Certified Farmers Market
• WHEN: Every Tuesday through the end of August from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.
• WHERE: Library Park
• MORE INFO: Call 823-7229

The heat wasn’t enough to keep Josh Johnson inside Tuesday afternoon.

Not when there was fresh fruit to shop for.

With his family in tow, Johnson made sure that the Manteca Farmer’s Market was on the list of places to hit before heading home for the night.

The smells. The textures. The tastes.

Johnson’s son Jeramya even gave the event his blessing – reaching up on one table and grabbing a carrot that he promptly put into the canvas shopping bag that was hooked over his shoulder like a seasoned shopper.

“We enjoy the family atmosphere and being able to come out here and support local farmers,” Johnson said. “It’s a chance to be out and stock up on the things that we consume the most. It’s the best place to shop for them all at.”

While a fresh breeze kept the otherwise overwhelming heat bearable, a fresh crop of local farmers supplied everything from berries to beans -- the start of the second season since returning to Downtown Manteca after construction at Library Park forced the operation temporarily set-up at the Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley.

Between now and the end of August, thousands of shoppers will make the Tuesday afternoon bazaar – which runs from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. each night – a regular part of their week. As many as a dozen different local farms will have everything from herbs to berries for sale. Merchants with unique wares will tap into the event with booths of their own.

Dawn Sanders of Ripon’s DePalma Farms said that she’s been serving Manteca residents for more than a decade and has grown to know many of them on a first-name basis.

The fruits and vegetables at the DePalma booth might change between now and the end of the season, but the same smiling faces, Sanders said, will make their appearances every week as they stock up on the fresh quality goods that they’ve come to trust.

“The customers here are just the best. Not only do we see the same people every week, but it’s the same customers that come back every year,” she said. “That makes coming out here worthwhile. Knowing that you have that kind of support is great.”