The Oak Park Farmers Market may well be the fresh-food equivalent of Cheers — a place where everybody knows your name. Just ask market regulars Michele Emery and Sheila Osborne, who greet each other with a hug as they arrive for the market’s season opener on May 7.
“We’re a community,” Emery explains. “We’re family.”
Osborne adds: “I live for this market, from May till November.”
Oak Park Farmers Market — held at McClatchy Park — is one of 24 certified farmers markets in Sacramento County, about half operating seasonally from May through November. Joany Titherington manages this market, sponsored by NeighborWorks Sacramento, and she strives for a diverse mix of goodies including organic fruits and vegetables, baked goods and specialty items.
The market’s seventh season began with about 20 vendors; 80 percent of whom live within 25 miles of the park, Titherington says. Many returning vendors have become market favorites, with customers lining up for organic produce from Heavy Dirt Farm in Davis, vegetable starts from Cherry Hill Farms in Fair Oaks, DavePops gourmet popsicles, Fresh Way fish and Yolanda’s Tamales. Aoyama Farm from Fresno County missed last year’s market but has returned for a second season.