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Springfield market returns with local, natural produce



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Market Manager Laura Haselhuhn is ready for this year's opening, June 17. Photos by Mary Keck (click for larger version)
June 06, 2012 - The Springfield Farmers Market is back for its second year with more vendors and an even wider variety of products. The "naturally local" market starts June 17 with a first birthday kick-off and will continue through Oct. 14, every Sunday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Market Manager Laura Haselhuhn is looking forward to this year's market. Haselhuhn attended the MIFMA Farmers Market Manager Certificate Program and learned a lot that is going to be applied to the market this year.

The market will be accepting Michigan Bridge cards and also has a new and improved logo.

The market's new logo features the phrase "naturally local." Haselhuhn said the market features only Michigan businesses, vendors and products, most centered around the Davisburg area. She also said naturally, although loosely defined, is there to emphasize that vendors are using sustainable agriculture practices.

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Doug and Sheila Russell-Olsen of Olsen Farms were vendors at the market last year and are looking forward to selling their products again this year.

Last year, they sold fresh berries, jams, and some produce. This year they have expanded their vegetable garden to over 3,000 square feet and will also be selling tree-fruit jams since not everyone can eat the seeds found in berry jams. Additionally, they will be selling a variety of dried beans not found at the grocery store.

The Olsen's said selling their produce at the market was a lot of fun, even more than they anticipated. The vendors were all very supportive of each other and would barter back and forth for products. The Olsens said as long as they don't lose money, they will continue to sell at the market because of the environment it provides.

Haselhuhn said there are a lot of advantages to buying local instead of from a chain store – you get to know your farmer and where your produce is coming from, it's a big economic driver for the local community, and some vendors use it as a springboard to start their own businesses.

"This way you're helping some girl go to dance class or some kid take karate lessons rather than some CEO get his third house," Doug said.

For information, check www.springfield farmersmarket.wordpress.com.

BY KRYSTEN COOPER

Special to the Clarkston News

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