By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Farmers market goes '50s
Impalas, P.T. Cruisers, Elvis and poodle skirts descended on Whitmore Park Wednesday for Farmers Market.

The market runs noon to 6 p.m. every Wednesday but something special is offered on the first Wednesday of the month. Last week it took on a Fifties theme.

Loudes Perez, an organizer of the market for Ceres Partnership for Healthy Children, wore a poodle skirt she rented for the event. She was there with her two daughters, Maribella Olide and Rachel Olide.

George Zalvala of Modesto, decked out as a 1970s Elvis, crooned to old Elvis tunes.

It was slower than Perez wanted to see.

The push for a regular Farmers Market was made by the Ceres Partnership for Healthy Children and the Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program. The agency heard concerns from parents that they couldn't find fresh fruits and vegetables and with childhood obesity being a concern in Ceres, decided to initiate the farm-to-market outlet.

"They would like to see better sales," said Perez of the produce merchants.

The choice was made to select the Ceres Farmers Market for Wednesdays rather than Saturdays. Perez said she didn't believe that a Ceres market could compete with the established Modesto market, now in its 29th year.

Some merchants are very happy. Ruiz Produce has reported brisk sales mostly due to the variety of their produce offerings. Tables set up by DePalma Farms of Oakdale and Bravos Produce are doing well, said Perez.

Being located at Whitmore Park within sight of the freeway has brought in business.

"We're getting customers from Turlock who see us and are repeat customers."

"An advantage of our market is we take EBT," said Perez.

EBT stands for Electronic Benefit Transfer and is part of the food stamp program. Recipients who qualify are given a plastic debit card that allows them to buy fruits and vegetables from farmers market venues.

Perez said that WIC coupons are also accepted. WIC stands for Women, Infants and Children and offers government financial aid to struggling mothers.

In July the market will be accepting county senior vouchers. Seniors must be over the age of 52 and qualify under income guidelines.