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Weather Cooperates For Farmers Market Opening

POSTED June 8, 2011 1:15 a.m.
After several days of unstable weather, the sun did its June duty and came out to kick off the first evening of the Oakdale Certified Farmers Market on Thursday, June 2.
The opening of the event brought out several residents, many wearing shorts and sunglasses, some pushing baby strollers, looking for deals on fresh produce, nuts, honey, and new to the market this year, hummus.
A “certified” farmers market means the county agriculture department inspects the farms for quality and that the produce is grown in the area.
Sheila Burch of Burch Bees of Modesto was back this year with multiple versions of her honey. This time she offered orange blossom, wildflower, sage, and alfalfa.
“The types change throughout the year,” said Burch. “I’m glad to be back to see everyone I met last year.”
Monet Bonson of Oakdale was offering her Basque piperade, a crossover sauce of tomato, onion, paprika and other spices, along with several recipes to go with it. Her company, Beret Rouge, offers a variety of the sauces for cooking and using as a dip.
Bonson was quick to point out the Basque region is an area between France and Spain where food is simple but exquisite.
“In the Basque country, food is created and savored together,” Bonson said.
Margaret Ruggles of Oakdale said she came to the farmers market specifically to get more of the piperade sauce from Beret Rouge.
Farah Soltane and Lar Diaz of Hummus Heaven traveled all the way from San Leandro to offer their hummus for the first time in Oakdale. Hummus is a dip made from cooked, mashed chickpeas, blended with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. It is a popular food throughout the Middle East.
“We like the people here and want them to get addicted to it,” Soltane said of their hummus. “We’ll be back for the rest of the markets this season too.”
Also permeating the event was the smell of meat on the grill coming from Medlen’s House of Beef on one end of Third Avenue and Castro’s Filipino Barbeque on the other end. In between was the aroma of freshly popped kettle corn from Cap’n Coops of Empire.
The City of Oakdale Certified Farmers Market is on Thursday evenings from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on North Third Avenue, between E and F streets, and runs through Sept. 29.
Anyone interested in participating as a vendor or entertainer should contact the City of Oakdale Parks and Recreation Department at 845-3591.
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