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Wednesday, May 20,2009

To market

by Josh Garvey

The signs of summer are showing in full force. The sun is out, Bell’s Oberon is on tap, roads are starting to close down for construction, and the farmers markets are starting to open up. Here’s a look at the markets in and around Lansing. Stop by one to pick up some Michigan grown food.


The Allen Street Market kicks off its season today. This year, the market will feature about 12 farmers and 20 booths.
Benefits of this market include close proximity for Eastside residents and occasional festivals, which get underway with a June 24 Strawberry Festival, featuring live music and demonstrations on uses for strawberries.
Corner of Allen and Kalamazoo streets in Lansing. Hours: 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Oct. 28.


The DeWitt Farmers Market has a new meeting day and time this year. Market coordinator Kellie Warner said six vendors are on board, with more likely to join as the season goes on. To encourage more farmers to participate, the market has lowered the cost to be a distributor this year.Downtown Dewitt, half a block north of the intersection of Bridge and Main streets. Hours: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays, June 2 through Oct. 13.


At the Grand Ledge Farmers Market, vendors are offered a different payment option, in which smaller growers are able to donate a percentage of what they sell, instead of a flat rate. Organizer Terrance Augustine said the flexible payment plan is meant to attract smaller scale farmers with an extra bushel. 213 Bridge St., Grand Ledge. Hours: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, June 13 through Oct. 24.


The Holt Farmers Market is open for its second year of operation in the old firehouse on Cedar Street. As of last week, Chuck Grinnell, the market manager, said a reopening celebration and a senior shuttle service are in the works, but nothing is official yet.2150 Cedar St., Holt. Hours: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 28 & 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays, July 9 through Oct. 29.


Open year round with a variety of crafts, specialty foods and flowers, the Lansing City Market, a 70-year stalwart in downtown Lansing, is also a great place to find fresh produce during the growing season. Recently, the market has partnered with 89.7 FM WLNZ to offer free concerts at noon on Fridays through the summer, so shoppers can listen while they browse with the market’s 30 vendors. 333 N. Cedar St., Lansing. Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday & Friday; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.


The Meridian Township Farmers Market features more than 30 vendors, some coming from as far as Sault Ste Marie, home of one fish merchant. 5151 Marsh Road, Okemos. Hours: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 31 and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays, July 1 through Oct. 31.


First Sundays in Old Town are about more than art in the summer time, thanks to the Old Town Farmers Market. The market has 10 vendors signed up this year, with room for more. In addition to foodstuffs, each market will feature some sort of demonstration, such as a day dedicated to rose pruning and another on patio gardening. Corner of Grand River Avenue and Turner Street. Hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. first Sunday of the month, June 7 through Oct. 6.


And finally, Williamston Farmers Market gets also gets under way this week. In addition to regular food vendors, Williamston Chamber of Commerce members will set up booths once a month to help promote local business and foods. 161 E. Grand River Ave., Williamston. 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays, May 21 through Oct. 15.

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