“It’s actually a really fun experience,” said Amari Barfield, a 14-year-old freshmen at Patterson High School and market volunteer. “You get to socialize with so many people and they are all so nice.”
Carol and Marion Bogdanich, directors of the Patterson farmers’ market, stated it was important to get the entire community involved, including the youth, whom they believe will find workplace experience and fun while learning about the importance of nutrition and different varieties of fruits and vegetables.
“You’d be surprised how little people know about fruits and vegetables,” said Carol. “We offer so many different types of things you wouldn’t be able to find in SaveMart. We also carry a large variety of cool weather crops from Hollister because of Ledesma Farms. They are a vendor out of Gustine and Hollister.”
Local vendors sell a variety of products, including homemade jam with local fruit, local honey and even gourmet skin care from Sciabica’s, one of the oldest companies in Modesto from 1936 which provides products healthy enough to eat.
Other vendors include the Pampered Chef, Party Lite, Scentsy Wickless, Avon, Cap’n Coop’s Kettle Corn, Doc’s BBQ and Classy Closet.
The Health Educational Council also offers free cookbooks (African American, Anglo, Chinese and Latino) inspired by fresh produce and basic ingredients found in even the barest of cabinets, according to Linda Guerra, a spokesman for the company.
On July 28, she gave over 300 cookbooks away at the Vintage Faire Mall in Modesto as well as provided a kids camp day.
What makes the market special compared to other big name retail stores is the market’s policy, which is to sell freshly picked produce instead of varieties bred with tougher skin for long range shipping.
“Our products are made here and sold here,” said Carol. “Buying from the market keeps your money within our community and economy.”
“Our goal is for more people to come and be an exciting place for customers and vendors,” said Marion. “We would like to thank our regular customers for their support and are always looking for new vendors.”
The market hopes to open on Saturdays in the near future depending on their outreach efforts.
Contact Brooke Borba at 892-6187, ext. 24, or firstname.lastname@example.org