The Meridian Township Farmers Market has closed for business at its normal location, the Central Park Pavilion, for the 2014 summer/fall season.
The market, which is normally open from 8 a.m to 2 p.m on Wednesdays and Saturdays, will be closed for four weeks before changing back to its indoor location.
Wilbur Hochstetler,owner of Country Products, a vendor in the farmers market, says the market closing has its pros and cons. Hochstetler says even though he will not be making as much money over these next few weeks, at least, “ I don’t have to get up at two or three in the morning to load my trailer.” Hochstetler said that he thoroughly enjoys what he does, but this time off is always good because it “gives me a little break.”
Hochstetler can afford to take a break for only so long, because the day before Thanksgiving, he will be back in business.
“I take orders for fresh turkeys,” said Hochstetler. When Hochstetler comes into the market on Wednesday, Nov. 26, he will be receiving orders for fresh turkeys to be filled that day. Once the market is closed, he drives back to Country Products, which is located in Charlotte, Michigan which is approximately 30 miles southwest of Meridian Township.
Hochstetler has a business partner in Charlotte who raises the turkeys for sale throughout the year. Hochstetler drives from the farmers market to Charlotte to pick up the fresh turkeys, before returning that evening to the customer back in Meridian Township.
Most vendors are not located that far away.
Dennis Greenman, owner of Greenman Farm Produce is located in Holt, Mich. which is just half the distance of Charlotte.
Greenman Farm Produce just completed its 34th year of work at the Meridian Township Farmers Market. Greenman Farm Produce sells both fruits and vegetables, in addition to pumpkins, squash and gourds, according to employee Lisa Wilburn. Since all the food will stay fresh for different amounts of time, they need to figure out what to do with all the produce that is not purchased.
“Mr. Greenman donates anything he doesn’t sell,” said Wilburn. Twice a week, from July to October, Greenman Farm Produce donates its produce to the Holt Community Food Bank to be dispersed among the needy.
According to the manager, Christine Miller, these are just two of the “45 vendors on Saturday, or 15 to 20 on Wednesday” that can tend to show up. Miller said that the market is usually busiest in the fall, however it does get business in the winter.
Starting in December, “We will have our Winter Farmer’s Market,” which will be located in the Meridian Mall on the first and third Saturday of every month until April, said Miller.