MODESTO — The Modesto Certified Farmers Market, which will launch its 35th season Saturday, looks as healthy as ever.
It will offer fruits, vegetables, nuts, cheese and other foods to people who if they know what's good for them will make it to the 16th Street location.
"People are very excited to see the market start up again," manager Marie Uber said.
Opening day will feature an Easter egg hunt, drawings for gift certificates and music by Sandy Maule.
Vendors will offer early-spring produce such as strawberries and greens, as well as nuts and dried fruit from last year's harvest. Modesto Junior College poultry students will sell eggs. Other booths will offer barbecued meats, baked goods and more.
Later spring and summer will bring apricots, peaches, cherries, tomatoes, peppers and other items.
The market, founded in 1979, was an early player in the revival of direct marketing of farm products, a common practice before refrigeration and supermarkets. The downtown Merced market, which operates year-round, followed in 1980.
Farmers markets will open later in the spring at Vintage Faire Mall, Tenth Street Place, west Modesto, Turlock, Patterson, Oakdale, Sonora and several other places. Some will run well into fall.
The 16th Street market opened in May over most of its history but moved to an early April start in 2011. This year's kickoff is even earlier so the Easter activities can be offered.
Bee staff writer John Holland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2385.
AT A GLANCE
WHAT: Modesto Certified Farmers Market
WHEN: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, starting this week; same hours Thursdays starting in May; season runs to late fall
WHERE: 16th Street between H and I streets
EGG HUNT: For children up to 10; sign-ups start at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, hunt at 10 a.m.