A certified farmers market opened for business on Wednesday outside Sutter County Museum for the first time, allowing people to get out, enjoy some fresh air and the sweet aroma of fresh, local produce. 

“Fresh fruit close to town,” said Joaquin Garcia, a 52-year resident of Yuba City and farmers market fan. “We love strawberries.” 

Multiple vendors sold peaches, nectarines, cherries, basil, onions, carrots, garlic, to name a few. In addition, master gardeners Jan Kendel and Barbara Kiernan set up shop selling tomato plants, bell peppers, jalapenos and Anaheim pepper plants. 

Jessica Hougen, museum director and curator for the Sutter County Museum, said the opening of a farmers market at 1333 Butte House Road was planned for a while. 

“I wanted to do something that would be a draw for the property and help build awareness for the community,” Hougen said.”The farmers market could be a really good fit for us. We have the history of (agriculture) inside our building; let’s have some present-day (agriculture) outside our building.” 

The market will be open every Wednesday from 4-7 p.m. A second market in town will open on Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon at the Town Fountain on Plumas Street. 

“We have a big enough population base that we could support two farmers markets during the week,” Hougen said. 

Due to the ongoing public health crisis amid the coronavirus pandemic, Hougen said the market will abide by all county guidelines that include mandatory facial coverings and social distancing of six feet apart for individuals not together. 

All the vendors had masks and gloves on while stocking and selling their product. Daljit Dhillon of Dhillon Farm, said he travels all over Northern California selling his product at farmers markets for the last 26 years. 

Dhillon said the freshness of the product outside is perhaps the biggest benefit of coming to a farmers market. 

“Getting out of the house,” he said. 

Most everyone has been sheltered in place for nearly three months due to the pandemic, so when activities like a farmers market begin to resume in town it’s more than likely that there will be a solid turnout. 

Kendel, affiliated with Sutter-Yuba University of California Cooperative Extension, said people were showing up well before 4 p.m. on Wednesday. 

“I think everybody was missing the farmers market and fresh fruit,” Kendel said. 

Kendel said half of her allotted succulents were sold in the first hour of the market. 

Most of what Kendel and Kiernan sell is geared toward veteran gardeners looking to add to their space at home. 

She said as master gardeners they also field a ton of questions about gardening. 

The Wednesday market is scheduled to run through September with plans to eventually move the vendors to the four-acre Harter Park, Hougen said. 

For more information, visit the Sutter County Museum Facebook page. 

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