Local products, fresh food, and wine. These are the many benefits of the Meridian Winter Farmers’ Market. Benefits township residents may want to take advantage of. Meridian Township keeps its farmers’ market schedule active during the cold months from December through April. The township hosts its indoor winter farmers’ market on the first and third Saturdays of each month in meridian mall.
The Bath Farmers Market gives local vendors and farmers the opportunity to come together to promote healthy lifestyles, encourage entrepreneurship. All while supporting the local economy, according to the farmers market mission statement.
Every week, no matter the weather or the season, the farmers market is open for the community to buy from vendors, increase the access to healthy food options, and a gathering place to build a stronger sense of community. Shoppers can find a wide variety of food options from produce from local farms, baked goods, and ready-to-go dinners. Stevie Gonzales of Alicia’s Authentic Mexican Deli and Catering has been a part of the farmers market for the past six years. He has formed a strong connection with the customers and said he believes the farmers market is more than a place to sell food.
Fresh is the word many of us like to hear when it comes to our nutrition. Questions of our food being organic or processed can be a frequent concern. However, no matter how you like your food, many of us can rely on our local farmers markets to supply locally-owned and grown produce year round. In Holt, that includes low-income customers. The Holt Farmers Market, which is owned and operated by the Delhi Downtown Development Authority (DDA), has been supplying local residents of every income the last couple of years.
DEWITT — The Downtown DeWitt Farmers Market is a one-stop shop for fresh produce, locally-sourced meat and eggs, an assortment of home goods, and a hefty dose of community engagement. The farmers market, which is run by the DeWitt Downtown Development Authority, brought in an average of 1,000 attendees in 2015. “Last year, we had a pretty tremendous showing with both vendors and attendance,” said Linda Kahler, Market Manager and DDA Coordinator. As for this year, Kahler said attendees “can expect higher foot traffic and more of a variety of vendors … which will allow our shoppers to have a more diverse shopping experience.”
The growing attendance rates of Downtown DeWitt’s Farmers Market are not unique to DeWitt, as farmers markets nationwide are experiencing a rise in popularity among consumers. Official surveys from the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirm this trend.
On an unusually sunny, warm day in mid-February, the Meridian Township Farmers’ Market inside the Meridian Mall could have comfortably taken place its usual outdoor location. The pleasant weather, however, did not stop many shoppers from stopping in the mall to partake in the Winter Farmers’ Market Feb. 20. The Meridian Township Farmers’ Market has been around for over 40 years and is offered throughout all four seasons annually. In the other three seasons, the market takes place at the Central Park Pavilion on Marsh Road.
LANSING- Five years ago, the construction of a new building along downtown’s river trail was completed, serving as a new home for the Lansing City Market, an establishment serving Lansing since 1909. What was planned to be a great gain for locals has not pleased all. Many who remember the old market are not satisfied with the new market’s lack of farmer’s market characteristics. However, city officials and the Lansing City Market itself said the facility has evolved from the traditional model. “My problems with the ‘city market’, is that ‘the city’ has taken away the image of the ‘farmers market’ where local growers would be welcome to bring their home grown and homemade goods for sale,” said Alice Florida, long-time Lansing resident.
The American people will soon face the repercussions of recent governmental changes. From the Affordable Care Act to recent cuts in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, many people will find their lives changed, including folks who live within the two small Michigan towns of Bath and Dewitt. Affordable Health Care Act effects many
Tom Isanhart, auxiliary member at the Dewitt Veterans of Foreign Wars, says that the Affordable Health Care Act has not yet affected him. “It won’t affect me much, but it’ll effect everyone else,” said Isanhart. “Many will lose coverage because their employers would rather pay the fines than pay the costs of coverage.”
With food stamps being cut earlier this month, many are concerned by the loss of meals for families.
In today’s impersonal world, where people often buy their food at a supermarket, a farmer’s market can help create a special sense of community. Dru Montri, the owner of Ten Hens Farm in Bath and the director of the Michigan Farmer’s Market Association, was approached to help begin the Bath Farmer’s Market in 2010. “I think people in the town were starved for something to happen,” said Jeff Garrity, the owner of Laughing Crane Farm, which maintains a booth at the market. Garrity, who is also the township treasurer, said that a total of 53 people showed up at the initial organizing meeting, a significant turnout for a town of roughly 2,000. Towns across the nation are set up in neighborhoods, supermarkets and impersonal settings.
A local farmer’s market is finishing out its season this October, continuing a mission to bring farm fresh produce to the traditionally undeserved South Lansing community. “In order to help people out, we have alternative payments,” said Jenae Ridge, the South Lansing Farmer’s Market manager. “We accept EBT and WIC Project Fresh, as well as credit card.”
Ridge finds the most special part of the farmer’s market to be the way that the vendors and customers treat each other. “I think the community between the vendors is special, and also the customers,” said Ridge. “The vendors have really gotten to know each other.
The Meridian Township farmers market in the Central Park Pavilion, now has 40 years of experience and allows people to get fresh Michigan made products. The market is a food and plant based farmers market that attracts between 20-25 vendors on Wednesdays and 40-45 vendors on Saturday. It is located next to the municipal building on Marsh Road. “On Saturdays, we have to place some of our vendors near the historical park” said Christine Miller, Meridian Township farmers market manager. Christine, who is entering her sixth season as farmers market manager, explained that the market allows people on Bridge cards to come and pay using that method.