I am on vacation. My first week off with a Saturday in it in 11 years. So here I am, up in Bellaire at the Shanty Creek resort. Nearby is Torch Lake; Charlevoix is about 30 miles north. Don’t you love living in a state where all you have to say is “Up North” and everyone just nods their approval? We get it.
So the storm came through, and no one knew how it would impact the market with so many out of power. I live a few blocks from the pavilion and was without power as well. But beautiful weather last Saturday and a will to get back to normal saw upwards of 4,000 people come to market. DTE Energy joined in with pallets of free water, ice, even free flashlights.
In market news, things are just peachy. Yes, peaches are now available, which means the market is shifting into overdrive.
Green beans, yellow beans, golden beets, peppers, new potatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, summer squash, garlic, scallions, mixed greens, lettuce, snap peas … and raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries – produce is coming to market in great abundance.
Still to come and best of all are summer sweet corn and field tomatoes.
An important announcement is that the Market is relocating to Farmington High School this week to make way for the return of the Founders Festival to downtown Farmington. What with Grand River closed Saturday morning for a color run and parade, and Farmington Road closed for crafter staging, what’s a market to do? Find open access.
Shiawassee Street is open and accessible, and that’s why we chose Farmington High. The market will set up on the east side of the school near the tennis courts and visible to Shiawassee. The parking is wide open, too. All our farmers are coming, along with select vendors such as Mugs Coffee & Grub. Can’t have a farmers market without a good cup of coffee, right?
And in the spirit of festiveness, we will feature the acoustic guitar expression of market veteran Mark Reitenga. We open at 9 a.m. For more information, including a complete list of vendors, please visit www.farmingtonfarmersmarket.com.
Saturday, July 24, brings the return of POP! – the Power of Produce. This nationally acclaimed program at markets all across the country teaches kids ages 4 to 12 where food comes in a way that is fun, informative for parents and educational for the whole family. Like so many other programs, POP! sat out last year’s COVID-19 summer.
But it returns this summer with certain adjustments to make sure it’s safe for our unvaccinated age group. You’ll find a larger POP! layout in Riley Park and programs designed to meet safety standards but still offer fun things to do as you learn about healthy food and earn a $3 voucher to shop the market.
Then we’ll kick off August with the return of the annual Farmington Farmers Market Elks Corn Roast on Aug. 7 as we celebrate National Farmers Market Week.
All in all, the market is getting bigger as our farmers weigh in with the growing bounty from their fields. We are at the threshold of peak season – a magical time of year for an abundance of nutritious, delicious food. I am always awestruck by the sheer beauty of our farm tables that display all of nature’s colors brought to our community by the nurturing hands of our Michigan farmers, growers, producers and foragers.
As early American playwright William Saroyan said simply, “In the time of your life, live.” I have never felt more alive than when I’m at my community farmers market.
Until next time, then and as always, here’s saying, ”See you at the market!”
For more information about the market, visit www.farmingtonfarmersmarket.com. Walt Gajewski is the Farmington Farmers Market manager.
The display at Beaverland Farms’ stand shows the array of produce the Market’s farmers offer. (Farmington Farmers Market photo)
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