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Among offerings at Ripon farmers market
Heather Crooker of E&H Farms serves up gourmet mushrooms at the Ripon Farmers Market on Thursday.

E&H Farms of Oakdale is a regular at the Thursday evening Ripon Farmers Market.

This certified organic produce stand features gourmet mushrooms – included are King Trumpet, Maitake, Shiitake, Beech, and Oyster – found in some of the best restaurants and desired by the home chef, according to E&H Farms online site (

The Ripon Farmers Market in the Studio Joy parking lot, 929 W. Main St., is one of the few places locally that offers E&H Farms’ gourmet mushrooms.

The other places, besides Ripon and Oakdale, are in San Francisco, Oakland, Newark, Berkeley, Vallejo, Hayward, Fresno, Walnut Creek, San Leandro and San Rafael.

Heather Crooker is one of the reasons for bringing the flavorful and aesthetically pleasing gourmet mushrooms to Ripon. She not only works for E&H Farms but also serves on the board for Garden Joy, which was founded in 2016 as a small children’s garden program – Oak Valley Youth Garden – before partnering with Studio Joy some two years later.

Garden Joy cultivates wellness and community via hands-on garden program, with local youngsters, in particular, benefitting from this program.

They’ve learned how to garden, including planting and harvesting produce, in turn, donating what's grown here to local food pantries, according to Garden Joy president and founder Sarah Dirpinian.

Garden Joy is an educational program funded in part by the Ripon Farmers Market – held each Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. through Sept. 29. – with support also coming from Strand Ace Hardware.

“All of the proceeds (from the farmers market) go to Garden Joy,” said Crooker, who helped organized the event that featured 42 vendors with live music on this day.

She added that the musical acts, food trucks and beer vendors work on a rotational basis.

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