The sun was shining as locals gathered to sell freshly grown produce at the Chamber Community Farmers Market in Willows on Saturday.

Every week, vendors can go to the Tractor Supply Co. parking lot in Willows to sell their produce to the public. 

Jamie Millen, chairperson of the farmers market and president of the Willows Chamber of Commerce, said the market has been taking place for about four years.

“There is a demand for fresh produce,” Millen said. “... When we go to the stores, who knows how old it is. It’s fresh produce but how long did it take to get there and when was it picked in the field.”

She said the vendors pick their produce within a couple of days.

“So everything here is fresh so that you have an opportunity to eat really wholesome food,” Millen said.

 

– Eileen Niblack, who was working one of the booths at the market, said her son, Lane Niblack, 11, has had a love of gardening for the last five years.

“He’s quite the gardener,” Eileen Niblack said. “He started loving gardening at a young age … I don’t know where he got it from but he loves to do it and he does a really good job.”

She said Lane was unable to attend this week because of a baseball game but her and her daughter, Mallory Niblack, were working the stand at the farmers market. 

Eileen Niblack said they were selling garlic, hot peppers, sweet peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, squash and more. They are even certified to sell eggs. 

“We have different things later on,” she said. “We’ll have some peaches, nectarines, plums.”

She said they have a Facebook page, Artois Farms, where people can get more information. 

 

– Marni Adams was set up with various citrus fruits at the market and was also selling handmade potholder/towels.

“A friend of mine does the potholders and I go and match up the (towel) and sew it to it and fancy buttons,” Adams said.

She said the person who lives across the street from her has a garden in his backyard where they grow tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and more. 

The farmers market, she said, gives people a chance to purchase fresh produce for less money.

“They can get fresh vegetables a lot cheaper than what you get at the stores and a variety,” Adams said. “When our tomatoes come out, I do the heirlooms so I get a lot of people that come out because heirlooms in stores are outrageously sparse and I can sell them to (people) for $1.50 a pound.”

 

– Marcelle Flanagan of Sunflower Produce said they were selling jellies, squash, cucumbers, lemons, peppers and more. 

Flanagan said they enjoy seeing people and selling their produce.

“People can get fresh produce (at the market), we like to grow it,” she said. “... We just think it’s great for people to have fresh produce.”

 

– Greg Yancy, owner of Yancy Farms, said they have been in business for 26 years and this is Yancy’s last season. 

Yancy’s stand was bustling with customers picking from a variety of produce like apricots, onions and more. 

Yancy said he plans to retire and so the ranch is up for sale. He said they’re moving to Idaho in a few years – as he plans to work his job at Sierra Pacific until then. 

“The biggest worry is for people to produce what I produce,” Yancy said. 

He said they produce more than 500 fruit trees and thousands of tomatoes.  

His brother, sister-in-law, mother and father all work at the ranch – which is open seven days a week. 

“My farm runs seven days a week and it hums with customers all day long,” Yancy said. 

He said they have been set up at the Willows farmers market since it started.

“The community comes out to support local, that’s what it’s all about,” Yancy said. 

 

The Chamber Community Farmers Market will be open every Saturday  through Aug. 31 from 8 a.m.-11 a.m. (or until vendors decide to leave) at the Tractor Supply Co. parking lot, 811 N Humboldt Ave., Willows. 

Vendors can sell fresh fruits, vegetables, crafts and more. 

It costs $10 for a vendor to set up a booth and they can pay at the farmers market.

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