Dec 08, 2019
Customers browsing through the varieties of fruit at the River Park Farmers Market, Sep. 13, 2016. (Christian Ortuno/The Collegian)

Local farmers market promotes healthy lifestyle

Once a week by River Park in Fresno, farmers and vendors gather to sell their produce.

Ten to 15 vendors sell vegetables, fruits, nuts, honey, wine and even some desserts. It’s a place for people to get all-natural, locally grown and produced products – a health nut’s dream.

With all the variety in products, as well as the many vendors, what is the main goal of the farmers market? Strictly to sell, or also to advertise? Most of the vendors have their own stores, while some have only the farm.

Sumner Peck Ranch, one local favorite, sells almost everything you could want. There are fruits, vegetables, wine, honey, nuts and potatoes. This vendor has a store, a large ranch and a farm.

Colby Bauer, long-time employee of the ranch, said, “I love working for this store. Everything is grown at the ranch and then put into the store. The ranch is huge, and even the wine is made there. It’s all pure and natural, I really appreciate that.”

Bauer said he isn’t always concerned with eating super healthy food. He said he “loves his tacos and burgers,” but is happy and believes in the company with its belief in giving the city good products that are handled well.

One might think there was a festival going on with how packed the market is on Tuesday nights. It’s thronged with people of all ages, and there’s so much selection. There are even organic cupcakes for those with a sweet tooth.

“I love that it’s so close to my apartment but I also love to know I’m getting a great product,” said Local Taylor Scilufo, who attends every Tuesday. “The people also make it so much more interesting, and I’d rather pay them than the grocery store.”

Scilufo is your average health enthusiast with a minimalistic diet and a fairly clean eater. However, she said she does “love the cupcakes for a special treat.”

A lot of the vendors at the market have a side that is organic and another that isn’t.

Candace Johnson, assistant manager at Bella Fruita, explained that “everything has all of the freshness in it. If it isn’t organic, that just means we added another ingredient that we didn’t make.”

Emilie Vark is the epitome of healthy.

“Being an athlete and gluten-free, this is the best place to come to get the best fruits and veggies,” Vark said. “That’s typically all I get, and I’m never disappointed. I also love coming here for the atmosphere, all the people and locals. This is what makes our city and they give to us, so I love to give back and show my support.”

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