Oak Park Farmers Market is open as essential service

Before we get to the apricots, flowers and honey this year at the Oak Park Farmers Market, we need to line up six feet apart, wash our hands and put on our face mask. That’s the drill during the pandemic.

Market manager Joany Titherington says she met every pandemic challenge so she could open the market, starting May 2 in McClatchy Park, at Fifth Avenue and 35th Street. In addition to the Saturday market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the park now hosts a market on Wednesdays from 3 to 7 p.m. Food trucks are part of both market days.

“It’s been a challenge,” Titherington says. “We’re considered an essential service so we could open.”

The number of vendors has yet to return to the robust numbers of years past, but a full complement of 36 vendors is expected by July.

Everyone does have to wait for the farmer to select and bag the produce. On May 9, all vendors sold out.

Among this season’s new venders are Darcy and Ryan Rodriguez from Zena Foods. They sell pita bread and Middle Eastern sauce like baba ganoush. Also new is Rachel Carter of Buckeye Blossoms from Fruitridge Manor. She sold out early the day before Mother’s Day.

Returnees include Glenn Baldwin with herb starts from Six O’Clock Farm, and Ansally Stuyt from Stuyt Dairy in Escalon.

Other familiar stands were selling strawberries, honey, fresh fish, organic meats, eggs and breads.

In June, Titherington hopes to start the Oak Park Fresh to You website for customers to order online in advance and pick up their produce at the curb. The program will start with a maximum of 25 customers.

For further information, call Joany Titherington at 916 704-2843.

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