Fall items find their way into Meridian market

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By Julie Angell
The Meridian Times

Fall favorites have made their debut at the Meridian Farmers’ Market in the Central Park Pavilion.

Pumpkins, gourds, mums and more autumn decor were a splash of color amid the produce sold at the market.

The market is transitioning into fall, but will have the same hours as the summer, with markets open on Wednesdays and Saturdays. This is the market’s 41st year selling local produce under the pavilion, and market manager Christine Miller said it still attracts people looking for healthy, homegrown alternatives. The fall items that pop up around the market in mid-September are always a highlight, she said.

With one health food store just down the road and another under construction, residents know they have plenty of options when they want to eat healthy.

“They’re (Meridian Township) definitely health conscious,” Miller said. “They’re very well educated in how their food is raised …”

Miller also owns Spartan Country Meats and had several coolers full of chicken, turkey, rabbit, pork and eggs. Vendors at the market have had their experience with cold temperatures and a decrease in their food supply.

Winter is approaching, but Miller isn’t too worried about her supply of eggs. Cold temperatures reduce egg production, she said, but Spartan Country Meats plans on being proactive this year.

Another creature that has had to make up for a major loss in numbers is the bee. After being stung by winter’s wrath, beekeepers are doing what they can to sell more honey.

“The fall is more robust,” Dave Jackway, owner of Jackway Apiary, said as he pointed to one of his jars.

Sticky honey was dripped onto small plastic spoons and tasted by customers. Even after a large decrease in his honey quota for the year, Jackway has been generous with free samples. He remains optimistic about the cold temperatures up ahead.

“If bees have enough food, they’ll get through the winter,” he said.

The types of flowers visited by bees affect the honey’s flavor. Goldenrod is one plant that makes the fall honey more robust and richer in flavor, Jackway said.

Among the many health benefits linked to honey, Jackway said that a natural cure for allergies is what keeps his customers happy and sniffle-free. The pollen in the honey helps with allergies, customers say.

Walking along the market, bright reds attracted customers to Diana Tennes’ stand, where she was selling apples and an interesting beverage to accompany them. Apple cider slushies are some of her family business’ best sellers, she said.

Tennes’ family owns The Country Mill, based out of Charlotte, Michigan. Like some other vendors at the Meridian market, The Country Mill makes its way around the Lansing area selling fresh produce for each season.

The fall farmers’ market located at the Central Park Pavilion runs through the end of October, every Wednesday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Julie Angell

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