Martha Turner - Mar / Apr 19

Director Martha Turner studied and taught art, which is why she loves running the children’s crafts booth at the farmers market. When she’s not gardening, babysitting or leading the market, she enjoys artistic pursuits, including pastels.
Martha Turner
When Orange Home Grown Director Martha Turner’s daughter, Megan Penn, came to her mom with the idea of establishing a farmers market in Orange, Turner knew she needed to help out.  She just didn’t anticipate how successful the project would become. 
“For two years, we met once a week to talk about starting a farmers market,” she says.  “We just couldn’t walk away, because it was just so much fun.”
After plenty of planning, including organizing nonprofit licenses, managing vendors and coordinating with the fire department, the Orange Home Grown Farmers & Artisans Market opened to serve the community.
With a Bachelor of Art in Art and Home Economics from California State University, Northridge, and a teaching credential in art from the University of California, Irvine, Turner is right at home with her focus responsibility at the market, which is running the arts and crafts booth for children.  Her table centers the activities around food discovery, including how items taste and feel.
While the market has allowed her to continue her passion for art and teaching, Turner’s favorite aspect is the sense of camaraderie she’s experienced at OHG.
“The board really loves Orange, and we’re always trying to come up with ideas for how to bring in more sense of community and involvement,” she says.
After the painstaking planning, Turner says that the board members were shocked at how fruitful the market—and everything that followed—turned out.
“The best thing about this whole journey has been that it was a total surprise,” she says.  “We had no idea it’d be this successful.”
Orange Home Grown Vice President Glory Johnson, who has worked with Turner throughout the years, says that Turner’s dedication has made OHG the ideal nonprofit.
“Martha is tireless,” says Johnson.  “On several occasions, we’ve been exhausted while working on OHG projects, but she won’t stop until things are perfect.  The board and organization is so fortunate to have her.”
Beyond forging a work relationship, Johnson has found a lifelong friend in Turner.
“If you ever select your friends, and if you’re fortunate enough to choose the people around you, you’d want a circle of Marthas,” she says.
When she’s not at the market, Turner finds time to babysit her grandchildren, garden and travel.  Her favorite places to visit are in Europe, specifically England’s Lake District.
“Europe is like Disneyland for adults,” she says.  “It’s really a different world.  Just travel all you can, every chance you get.”

1537 East Chapman Ave, Orange CA 92866

Published in the Mar / Apr 19 edition of the Old Towne Orange Plaza Review

Article Written by Yuki Klotz-Burwell, Photo by Kayli Gennaro

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