A Fresh Holiday… Thanksgiving Can Be a Locally Grown Affair


by Paula Parrish, Stockton Record Staff Writer
November 16, 2005

Donald McGee, 35, has been coming to the Stockton Certified Farmers Market for almost 20 years, and he’ll be back again this weekend, because every Thanksgiving, he’s the chef in charge at his house.

“Just looking around here right now, I see 50 things I can use for Thanksgiving dinner – like those tomatoes, snap beans, green onions, mustard greens and those yams over there,” he said Saturday morning.

He smiled, pointing in a wide circle toward the vendors lining the bustling market downtown under the Crosstown Freeway between El Dorado and San Joaquin streets.

“You’ve got to get your produce here, because it’s so fresh, there’s nothing like it in the stores,” he said.

“Buy locally” has been a rallying cry for years, for everyone from environmentalists to food lovers. Their reasons range from helping to preserve the planet by eschewing industrially produced foods and encouraging sustainable farming, to having fresher, less-traveled food and a personal relationship with the farmers and ranchers who produce it.

If you live in the San Joaquin Valley – one of the most bountiful growing regions in the country – you don’t have to go far to buy local produce and a local turkey for your holiday meal. Green beans, potatoes, nuts and sweet potatoes should be available at the Stockton farmers markets this weekend and in the Dillard’s parking lot next Wednesday.