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Since its start in 2009, the East Lansing Farmers Market has been successful in bringing fresh, farm-grown Michigan produce to the community members. With an estimated 1,000 visitors on market days, this annual event is sure to increase that number, come Sunday. That’ll be the day that the Pretty Shaky String Band and Chad Benson are set to perform as part of the annual Autumn Fest in celebration of the changing weather. Also included are free cider and donuts, horse-and-wagon rides, an outdoor fire pit and fall children’s activities hosted by the Community Relations Coalition and East Lansing Public Library. The fest will also feature a full array of Michigan produce and products including fresh apples, pumpkins, sweet corn, different gourds and freshlymade apple butter.
The growers-only market is located in an inviting, warm and open-air atmosphere, accessible very easily from the Michigan State University campus and also from downtown East Lansing.
Along with farm-fresh Michigan produce and products, fresh fruits and vegetables, artisan bread, meats, cheese, flowers, honey, maple syrup etc. are also available for the customers. The vernacular nature of this unique market ensures that every item sold by vendors is 100 percent homegrown. Vendors ensure that they either grow their own produce or make their own products. This market embodies the robust and diverse nature of the Michigan produce which will be on full display at the Autumn Fest. A checklist is posted online every week for customers to preview what the ELFM has to offer, including a preview of what vendors will be selling at the upcoming market. Another exciting feature in the market is the acceptance of SNAP/Bridge cards which allows customers to stretch their dollars with the Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) program. When a customer swipes the SNAP/Bridge card, they are given $1 wooden tokens to purchase eligible food products with participating vendors. A Fair Food Network’s grant allows the DUFB program to “match” the SNAP/ bridge card dollars spent at farmer’s markets, with which customers can receive a dollar for dollar match (up to $20), eligible for spending on fresh fruit and vegetables grown in Michigan.
For example, if a customer spends $150 on their SNAP/ Bridge Card, they receive an extra $15 to spend at the market.
Even after the Autumn fest, the 2017 season will continue on Sundays from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. in Valley Court Park through the end of October.
"Autumn Fest" Sunday, Oct. 8 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
FREE Valley Court Park 280 Valley Court East Lansing cityofeastlansing.com/ farmersmarket