Source: Sherman Publications

New place for market

by Krysten Cooper

June 13, 2012

The Clarkston Farmers Market is getting ready for its eighth year with a new location at Renaissance High School on Waldon Road. The market will open on June 23 and continue each Saturday from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. through Oct. 13.

Anissa Howard, who started the market, remembers its first year, 2005.

“I started knocking on people’s doors if they looked like they were growing food,” she said about finding vendors.

She was able to find 12 growers and food artists who were vendors at the first Clarkston Farmers Market. Last year, they had 52 vendors and hope to see even more this year.

With the growing amount of vendors, the market was happy when Renaissance offered the parking lot for the farmers market. Howard said the ground at the old location was hilly and very hard to set up a table. At the new location, the ground is flat. There is also a lot of room for the market to expand.

Additionally, there is more parking and indoor bathrooms. Howard also said the high school has a registered kitchen and, in the future, the market may be able to use the facilities to offer programming for kids to go along with the market.

“The new location is a step in the right direction,” said Mark Angelini, a long-time market volunteer, adding there is a very supportive relationship between the market and the school.

Another important aspect of the new site is the visibility from Waldon Road. Howard said the market is non-profit and therefore it is hard to advertise. With the new location, lots of people will see it and be able to stop in easily.

Another change to the market this year is the website. Angelini manages the new website, which is much cleaner than it was in the past. In addition, anyone interested in being a vendor can simply download an application from www.clarkstonfarmers and fill it out. If you are a grower, you will also be asked to complete a short survey so the market can be clear about your growing practices.

Underlying all the new changes, however, are the same local Michigan products the market has sold in the past. Howard said there is a nice selection of organic growers and the food tastes wonderful. The market is also a great way to get to know the people you are buying from and continue to get products from them after the market has closed for the season.

Angelini agreed it was important to get to know growers and said buying at a local market is very important.

“When you buy your food from a local producer, you’re showing them it’s important to you they should be able to make a living growing their products.”

It’s also important for the economic welfare of those farmers and their future generations, he added.

For more information, email or call 248-821-4769.