Harvest time is here
Michigan grown bounty arrives at Farmers' Market
August 10, 2011 - Last Saturday's official count tallied 1,249 shoppers at Clarkston Farmers' Market – more are expected as the season's main harvest arrives.
|Anissa Howard, Clarkston Farmers' Market director, displays the new Crop Calendar, drawn by Zachary Meyer, 16. Photo illustration by Phil Custodio (click for larger version)|
"The harvest is about two weeks late this year – it's just now getting in," said Anissa Howard, Clarkston Farmers' Market founder and director.
A wide variety of local produce, fruit and vegetable growers participate in the market, Howard said.
"Growers and food artists at this market are excited to provide their freshest, most highly prized fruits and vegetables," she said. "We have many organic growers at our market as well as some conventional growers from the area and an abundance of fresh foods coming in now."
The market includes organic grass-fed beef, fresh organic eggs, raw cheeses, granolas, salad dressings, salsas, oils and vinegars, baked goods, mushroom kits, llama and alpaca fibers, fresh cut flowers, perennial plants, breads, spreads, open-pollinated corn chips, dried fruits, gnocchi and other pastas, coloring books, handmade jewelry, honey jarred and comb, maple syrup, turkeys and herbs, soaps and knife-sharpening, polish foods, locally made hot dogs, frozen cider slushies and donuts, fresh fair trade/organic coffee, and balloon art.
"People want organic food – who's growing their food is more important to them," Howard said. "We provide a glossary free to the public that explains some of the growing methods farmers use. I am also happy to help people find what they are looking for when they come down to the farmers' market on Saturday mornings."
Local artist Zachary Meyer, 16, drew a full-color "Clarkston Farmers' Market Amazing Crop Calendar," with help from Howard and another grower. The calendar shows when each fruit and vegetable comes into season.
"This will allow everyone to see when each fruit and vegetable comes in and goes out of season each Michigan year," Howard said. "Fridge copies will be available soon."
Copies will be available by the market's yellow "welcome" umbrellas.
The market receives no funding from Clarkston and Independence Township, and depends on volunteers and fund raisers, including handwoven baskets and coffee.
"This Saturday we will also have Clarkston Farmers' Market t-shirts for sale as well as extra large rain umbrellas to make the market more colorful, and more dry, when people are shopping the market on rainy days," Howard said. "This market is run by a bunch of good-hearted volunteers and the property is loaned to us to use for the market on Saturday mornings."
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Volunteers include Dave, Derenda, Rachel and Maria LeFevre, Mary and Gary Windram, Kelly and David Minnick and the three Minnick Maidens, Les Roggenbuck, Gary Campbell, Louise Kasl, Amy Martocci, Leah and Matt Davis, Jame Howard, the Angelini brothers Mark and Paul, Sharon Matzelle, and Joe Wauldron.
For more information, check www.clarkstonfarmersmarket.org.
Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.