of fruit has reached a supermarket, it’s been in the system
for up to two weeks. Fruit has to be picked green in order
to be the correct level of ripe by the time it is put in the
“The USDA estimates that the food just moving in
California moves an average of 1,500 miles and is owned
by six different [entities] in its trip,” Hayden said.
A piece of fruit at the farmer’s market, on the other
hand, is typically less than a day old, and ripened to the
perfect level of sweetness.
In addition to excellent and healthy produce and food,
Virginia Sellers, Morgan Hill Farmers Market
Founder & Manager 1987-2019
Hayden sees a farmers’ market as a place where people can
come together to mix and mingle with their neighbors,
sharing recipes and cultures. “You see a lot of strollers,
walkers, canes, all walks of life. When people go there they
feel camaraderie,” Hayden said.
Emily Brown, a Morgan Hill resident for nine years and
mother of two children, said she loves the farmer’s market,
“Because I always bump into friends, my kids’ teachers,
people from the gym and it feels like such a small town.
And the local fresh fruits and veggies and baked goods are
better than any grocery store in town.”
Addie Weatherall, age 13, who grew up attending the
farmer’s market with her parents, and later her younger
sister Avery, age 8, said, “The farmer’s market is a kid-
friendly place and a great way to find locally sourced fruit
Farmers' markets are also good for the farmer, Hayden
said, allowing them to cut out the middlemen and sell
direct to the customer for cash in hand. “They don’t have
to take on those midlevel functions such as packing
The Morgan Hill Market on Depot Street, is open every
Saturday, 9 am to 1 pm, year-round.
GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN
Gilroy Farmers' Market
In Gilroy, Salvadore Ascencio, Executive Director of T&C
Farmers’ Markets found the perfect location for a farmers'
market in the parking lot adjacent to Luigi Aprea School.
The market is located within walking distance of 1000
homes and situated beside a playground, perfect for fami-
lies with young children. With the support of the Gilroy
Chamber of Commerce, the market held its grand open-
ing in December, 2019.
Though the market has had a humble start, Ascencio
anticipates an explosion on the same scale as Morgan Hill’s
market. Customers can find fresh fruits and veggies, flow-
ers, bakery items, artisan soaps, Greek food and hummus,
and a garlic-based sauce vendor. On the near horizon
are strawberries, tangerines and an olive oil vendor, and
Ascencio is responding to community demand for coffee
and smoked meats.
“We’re doing baby steps,” Ascencio said.
What matters most to him is promoting healthy eating
and living. A former athlete himself, he said, “In our small
way we want to try to counter the billions of dollars fast
food companies make.”
T&C also supports the local food bank at St. Joseph
Family Center with unsold produce.
“From a business perspective it provides local farm-
ers and artisans an opportunity to grow,” said Gilroy
Chamber of Commerce CEO, Mark Turner.
As an example, Ascencio pointed out that the owner of
the bakery items, The Perfect Crumb, started out selling
only to farmer’s markets before opening her own shop.
And the owner of the San Benito Soap Company has been
so successful with her soaps, she also aspires to open a
brick and mortar location soon.
In addition to being a hub for great food, Turner
emphasized that farmers’ markets are “a place to gather.
People can come together and neighbors can connect with
one another. It’s a safe place to be.”
Gilroy resident Krissy Ruano, who walked to the mar-
ket with her husband and young son, agreed.
“We love getting out. It’s nice to have something to do.
We love supporting the local businesses and the fresh-
ness of the produce. It’s a fun thing to do with the family,”
She and her husband figure out what they want to
cook for the week and then purchase the vegetables and
Ascencio loves the slower, more leisurely pace of the
market, and watching people stop to talk to one another,
“It almost has a festival feel to it. It’s a fun place to be.
There are so many benefits beyond the health benefits.”
Turner added, “People are coming together and build-
ing the relationships that are necessary for community.”
The Gilroy Farmers' Market, 9225 Calle del Rey, is
open every Saturday, 10 am to 2 pm, year-round.