It’s Back! The Lodi Certified Farmers Market has returned to its downtown roots. “We are excited to be able to bring the market back downtown this year. The City helped us a great deal, for which we are grateful. Our board told us we have to get it back because the community loves it,” said The Chamber’s Operations Director Karen Alvarez. Ms. Alvarez also shared, “Marina Narvarte, the Chamber’s Membership Director, did a really good job telling of the value of the market to the community and how it benefits the downtown businesses." We have more Chamber Member sponsors than the Market has ever had since the Chamber took it over in 2013. Ms. Narvarte said, “The member sponsors want in because they recognize how the community loves this event; it truly is where the people of the community come to meet. This year they will see friends they have not seen for over a year or so! A lot of businesses want to be a part of this market and the good vibes it creates for so many people.”
The shadow of Covid is still an influence and precaution within the market. There is no Beer Garden or Wine Garden because those two things bring people together in a closer environment. Of course, the restaurants will be serving those libations inside their establishments and outside under tents in the parking spaces. The parking space offers prime people-watching seats for the always moving people in the street.
“The close observer will notice the pandemic has reduced the number of farmers and other vendors they might be looking for from the last downtown market in 2019. Many smaller vendors or operators called it quits in 2020, as did some of the brick & mortar stores downtown. Even with the occupied space filled with tasting room and dining tents there are even more empty spaces. Without the grant from the city, we would not been able to make ends meet this year. We hope they are able to come back next year as things continue to improve,” Alvarez said.
Will there be enough of the old market that people won’t be disappointed?
Oh yes, the best of the best are all back, Lockeford Sausage, Ferrari Organic Farms, Toledo Farms, J and J Ramos, KC Flowers, Cheese Central, Movable Feast, Hummus Heaven, the temptations of Rosa’s Bakery and The Pie Company, Costa’s BIG Truck, and some great new additions like Loco Poke, Flavor Fusion and others. "Do not miss opening night; the Cherries and Blueberries are huge and bursting with flavor right now," said Pat Patrick, Chamber CEO.
The Lodi Certified Farmers Market on School Street will appear Every Thursday evening 5 to 8 PM with last market on August 26th. Social Distance, Mask-Up and come on down.
Want to pick produce like a pro, create a sweet treat the whole family will love, or get the most out of your cherries once you bring them home?
Well, keep reading and meet one of our Lodi Certified Farmers Market local farmers, Missy Gotelli. Missy Gotelli and her family-owned business, Gotelli Farms, are a 4th generation cherry farm located right here in San Joaquin County. They grow several varieties of cherries from Brooks to Rainier and even experimental ones with no names! So, join us and learn about cherries from a true expert.
Pick like a pro
This Thursday Gotelli Farms will be featuring the popular Coral Cherry. This cherry is generally colored red to darker red and is firm to the touch. The trick to picking these cherries is they don’t need to be dark red to be sweet! And lucky for you, Gotelli Farms is already doing the work and “color picking” their first batch – which allows them to handpick only the ripe ones. So, if it looks good to eat, then it is good to eat!
How to store
Once you bring your cherries home, make sure to store them properly to get the longest shelf life out of them. Pour your cherries into a colander and rinse them with cool water. Lay them out on a paper towel until they are completely dry. Then you can throw them in a bowl and place in your refrigerator. No cover needed!
Now for the best part…eating them. Missy shared her very simple go-to “sweet treat” recipe and we’re sure you’re going to love it. Plus, the best part is, it’s only 2 ingredients:
- 1 Cup Milk Chocolate Fondue – roughly chopped (Missy prefers the brand Sephra found at Smart & Final or on Amazon.com
- 1 Basket of Cherries
Cherries must be completely dry and chilled before you dip. Prep your tray with parchment or wax paper. Take the chopped chocolate and melt in a microwave-safe bowl uncovered for 60 seconds. Take out, stir and repeat for 30 seconds or until the chocolate is melted. Once completely melted dip the cherries immediately into the melted chocolate by holding the stem and covering as far as you like. Pull out and let the excess drop back into the bowl and place on a parchment-lined plate and place in the refrigerator. Let cool for an hour and then enjoy your treat!
*Remember to warn about the pits.
Be sure to put your new cherry knowledge to good use and head to the Lodi Certified Farmers Market downtown every Thursday night from 5pm to 8pm, May 13th through August 26th and visit Gotelli Farms at the red and white tent!