Turlock gets fresh again

TURLOCK — Thanks to a combined effort of business owners, city officials and students, a farmers market returned to downtown Turlock on Friday morning.

Booths lined Broadway on both sides of Main Street, with farmers on the north side and other vendors on the south side.

Trina Walley, executive director of the Turlock Downtown Association and interim director of the market, was happy with Friday's event. Eight farmers brought everything from herbs to onions to honey. And seven bakers, merchants and restaurants sold wares from their booths.

"I've been looking forward to this," said Julia Paul, picking up some nuts from the Inzana Ranch booth. "It's beautiful."

She said her only regret was that her late husband, former Stanislaus County Supervisor Joash Paul, wasn't there to see it. "He was rah, rah, rah about everything Turlock."

Years ago, Turlock had a successful Thursday evening market. It moved in 1998 during downtown renovations that widened streets and sidewalks and laid new sewer and water lines. From 2001 to 2003, there was no market; in 2004, it reopened Saturday mornings with a gourmet theme.

The Downtown Property Association gave up on the effort when it didn't draw crowds or vendors. Private efforts to keep it going failed.

The new market has been several months in the making. Students in an executive master's of business administration program at California State University, Stanislaus, adopted the project. A board of directors was formed and the research project became reality.

"It was a real team effort," Walley said. "We had people going to other markets and talking to farmers. This is a really good start."

The market runs on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. through November.

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Bee staff writer Patty Guerra can be reached at or 578-2343.