MODESTO -- Another farmers market is launching in Modesto, this one outside Orchard Supply Hardware on Sisk Road.
The market will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays from this week through September. It is a branch of the Modesto Certified Farmers Market, held Thursdays and Saturdays on 16th Street.
OSH is a fitting site, if you know the history of the chain. Prune growers and other farmers started it in San Jose in 1931 as a cooperative for buying farm supplies.
"It just felt like an interesting sort of tie-in," said Rick Saunders, director of marketing for OSH. "There's increased interest in the Orchard stores with people buying things that grow."
OSH, still based in San Jose, has 88 stores around the state, including two in Modesto and one each in Turlock, Merced, Sonora and Manteca.
This is not the first time a farmers market has sprouted on the asphalt outside a retail store. Vintage Faire Mall is in the second season of its Sunday market. Patterson beat Modesto on the hardware store front, starting a market in the True Value Shopping Center.
The Sisk market will have fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as prepared foods. The opening day will feature music, face painting and a drawing for a $50 shopping spree at the market.
"Friday morning seemed like a good choice," market manager Marie Uber said. "Another thing we were looking to do was to create another market for our vendors."
Farmers markets were few and far between when the 16th Street venue started in 1979. They have spread as consumers realize the value of fresh, local food and farmers look to increase their income by selling directly.
The markets are moving into their peak season as June arrives, with cherries, apricots, peaches, tomatoes, corn and other fresh produce, as well as nuts and dried fruit from last year and other items.
Bee staff writer John Holland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2385.
AT A GLANCE
Farmers markets in and near Stanislaus County include:
Modesto Certified Farmers Market
16th Street between H and I streets, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursdays and Saturdays through Dec. 15
Orchard Supply Hardware branch of Modesto Certified Farmers Market
2800 Sisk Road, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays through September
Downtown Plaza Street Faire & Farmers Market
1021 10th St., Modesto, 4 to 8 p.m. Fridays through mid-October
Vintage Faire Farmers Market
Vintage Faire Mall, Modesto, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 21
Turlock Farmers Market
Main Street and Broadway, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays through October
Oakdale Farmers Market
Third Avenue between E and F streets, 5 to 7:30 p.m. Thursdays from June 7 to Aug. 30
Patterson Farmers Market
True Value Shopping Center, 1040 W. Las Palmas Ave., 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays through September
Riverbank Farmers Market
2505 Patterson Road, 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays through Sept. 1
Ripon Farmers Market
Main Street between Stockton and Nourse avenues, 4 to 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Aug. 2
Downtown Open Market, Livingston
5 to 9 p.m. Thursdays through October
Gustine Certified Farmers Market
Schmidt Park, 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through September
Rocca Park, Main Street, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 21
Sonora Certified Farmers Market
Theall and Stewart streets, 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturdays through Oct. 20