Weekly farm and flea markets stimulate local economies by attracting visitors to shop for homegrown products. They offer a place to buy fresh fruit, vegetables, soaps, jellies, baked goods, antiques and crafts from local crafters and family-owned farms.
It’s still a bit too early for most Michigan-grown produce; however, market vendors will have early-season crops and other items for sale starting this month.
Greenville Flea and Farmers Market — in the old Meijer parking lot — opened last month. With 1,000 vehicles driving by each hour, market coordinator Senior Pastor Tommy Turner says it’s a prime location. A $10 weekly donation secures an 18-foot by 30-foot space. Proceeds benefit Community Outreach Program, specifically the food pantry and renovation of the old Meijer building.
“We’re doing well and have vendors who have committed to the entire summer,” Turner said. “I expect it to get busier as the weather gets warmer, so I encourage people to call to reserve a spot.”
Mary Roush, the coordinator of Howard City Farmers Market, said rhubarb and asparagus are two of the early crops people will find for sale in downtown Howard City at the corner of Edgerton and Ensley streets, behind the old depot.
“Everything is Michigan-grown at our market,” Roush said. “Most crops won’t be ready for a while, but starting May 12, we’ll have other items – hanging baskets, annuals, perennial flowers and maple syrup.”
Ralph Field, 95, of McBride, has been farming his whole life, and this year is no different. He plans to sell his garden produce at both the Trufant and Greenville farmers markets.
“I sell three days a week in the summer,” Field said. “I grow just about everything — tomatoes, broccoli, red potatoes, radishes, strawberries. I’m a bit behind this year, but I’m feeling better now and worked outside today for the first time without my cane.”
So far, Field has his garden plowed and potatoes planted. He hopes to get all remaining crops in the ground this week, provided both the weather and his body cooperate.
Local farmers markets, contacts and hours of operation:
Carson City Hospital Farmers Market
(989) 584-3971, ext. 216
Mondays, 8 a.m. to noon – beginning in June
Edmore Farmers Market
Bike trailhead, one block south of M-46 on Lewis Street
Aaron Hadley, (989) 427-3787
Tuesdays, 4 to 7 p.m., and Fridays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. – opening June 1
Greenville Flea and Farmers Market
Old Meijer – 1220 N. Lafayette St.
Pastor Tommy Turner, (616) 225-9999
Fridays and Saturdays, 7 a.m. to dark — open now
Greenville Farmers Market
Veterans Park on W. Washington
Gae Wolfe, (616) 754-5697
Open Tuesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon — opening May 15
Howard City Farmers Market
Corner of Edgerton and Ensley streets, behind the depot
Mary Roush, (231) 937-5570
Open Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. — starting May 12
Ionia Farmers Market
N.E. corner of W. Adams and S. Steele in Pavilion
Linda Curtis, (616) 527-1420
Open Wednesdays, 3 to 7 p.m., Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. — starting in July
Rockford Farmers Market
South Squire Street parking lot
Kim McKay, (616) 866-1537
Open Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. — starting June 2
Six Lakes Flea Market
303 W. North Railroad in Six Lakes
Open Fridays, June through October
Trufant Auction and Flea Market
303 N. C St. in Trufant
Open Thursdays, June through October