Allen Farmers Market vendors have moved indoors to sell their products.
Because of this shift, residents can continue to access fresh produce and other products during the cold months. The market on Lansing’s east side operates outdoors through Oct. 31.
This shift first started in 2013, when the Allen Neighborhood Center underwent expansion to create an indoor marketplace. The center established the farmers market in 2004 to help area residents access produce and other locally processed foods, as well as offer small local farmers and artisans a market for their goods. It became the first farmers market became the first in Michigan to accept food stamps in 2005.
“We were particularly excited about the prospect of having a year-round farmers market,” said Joan Nelson, executive director of Allen Neighborhood Center. “There are 25 farmers markets in mid-Michigan, but only three of us are year-round. Many of our farmers have hoop houses, and they grow produce year-round. In November and December, and even January, they will have lots of harvest still that they have stored.”
During the peak of the season, the farmers market will draw 900 to 1,000 people, every Wednesday, and those numbers numbers drop to between 400 and 600 people in the later months of the year. The market is open every Wednesday with hours of operation dependant on the season.