Meridian Farmers’ Market Holds Weekend Event, Reflects on 50 Years of Operation

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The Meridian Farmers’ Market held its biweekly sale at the Meridian Mall on Saturday, March 16. Vendors old and new from across the state attended the event and sold various baked goods, flowers and produce, crafts, and food to-go.

Herb Confer, owner of Sandy Ridge Maple Products, had his stall set up at the market on Saturday. As a maple syrup producer, Confer can sell more than your average maple syrup: he sells everything from maple sugar to maple cotton candy.

“I’m a maple syrup producer. We run a licensed facility, and we have a licensed kitchen, so it allows us to make products other than just maple syrup. So we have the flavor-enhanced syrups, we have the maple mustard, we have our cotton candy,” explained Confer.

The Sandy Ridge Farm had its maple syrup stall set up at the Meridian Farmers’ Market on Mar. 16. | Photo

The Sandy Ridge Farm has been in the market for roughly 13 years, so their continued involvement during the 50th anniversary of the Meridian Farmers’ Market has been impactful for Confer and his business.

“Anything that has been in existence for 50 years is a commitment– a commitment from both the community, the vendors, and the township. They all have to work together. It’s awesome,” said Confer.

Newer businesses at the Meridian Farmers’ Market also appreciate the community’s commitment to making 50 years of operation a success. Mónica Peters, co-owner of Summer Nights Apiaries LLC, hopes that business from the township stays strong so she can continue to sell at the market in years to come.

“We have to reach out to more people, so we can go back to that time when we had better relationships and better stuff on tables… you’re supporting your local people [at the market]. You’re putting food on their tables,” explained Peters.

Peters and her husband have been selling honey at the farmers’ market for two years and recently added new products to their lineup.

“Well we are beekeepers. Our main product is honey, but you know, we ran out with the winter. I really love the market, and I wanted to keep coming, so I started into the chocolate world last year, and now we’re here in the winter with the chocolate, but our main product is honey products,” explained Peters.

Summer Nights Apiaries LLC, co-owned by Mónica Peters, offers a wide variety of honey and chocolate products at the bi-weekly farmers’ market weekends. | Photo

Though Peters has not sold at the Meridian Farmers’ Market for long, she encourages the community to support the market as often as possible.

“Because it’s local. Because mostly it’s made for people who care about health. Because it’s better quality and you support small businesses… and it’s made with love. Made from people that are in your community, for people in the community. And I think everything is really high quality,” said Peters.

Other vendors at the farmer’s market agree with Peters’s mindset. Malinda Barr, owner of The Beeswax Barrn, believes that community members can rely on the farmers’ market for both special occasions and everyday purchases.

“You can come to a farmers’ market– especially Meridian’s Farmers’ Market– and buy all of your weekly groceries in one stop. One stop. From bread to honey to meat and produce and fish and vegetables, you can buy everything you’ll eat all week long. Everything you should eat all week long from the farmers’ market,” explained Barr.

Malinda Barr, owner of The Beeswax Barrn, speaks with a customer about her 100% beeswax candles at the Meridian Farmers’ Market. | Photo

In addition to 50+ vendors in attendance on a typical Saturday, the Meridian Farmers’ Market also offers volunteer musician sign-ups for its Saturday market days and food truck sign-ups for its Wednesday market days, which run from June to October.

Beginning in June, the Meridian Farmers’ Market will continue to celebrate its 50th anniversary with themed stories, timelines, photos, and social media posts from the 50th anniversary celebration committee.

“I happen to be serving on the 50th-anniversary celebration committee, so we’re putting together a whole timeline to celebrate each decade in June, July, August, September, and October. We’ll celebrate a different decade of the farmer’s market,” explained Barr.

In the meantime, the community can continue to enjoy the bi-weekly farmers’ market days at the Meridian Mall, support local vendors, and enjoy live music by local musicians. Summer farmers’ market days will begin on May 4th and will be held at the Marketplace on the Green Pavilion in Okemos, Michigan. For more information, you can visit .

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