Thursday, October 22, 2020

The 10th season of The East Lansing Farmer's Market is set to kick off Sunday

June 2, 2018
<p>Phil Throop from Wildflower Eco Farm introduces a product to a customer during the East Lansing Farmer's Market on June 4, 2017 at Valley Court Park. The East Lansing Farmer's Market is a growers-only market and every item sold by vendors is homegrown.&nbsp;</p>

Phil Throop from Wildflower Eco Farm introduces a product to a customer during the East Lansing Farmer's Market on June 4, 2017 at Valley Court Park. The East Lansing Farmer's Market is a growers-only market and every item sold by vendors is homegrown. 

This season of The East Lansing Farmer's Market is getting underway on Sunday, June 3 at 10 a.m. at Valley Court Park. 

The event takes place from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Sundays until Oct. 28, and provides local residents the opportunity to buy many types of locally grown produce from 32 different vendors that will be in attendance this year.

Karla Forrest-Hewitt, the market manager said, "any vendor at our market has to make and source their products from Michigan, so it's 100 percent Michigan grown."

This year marks the 10th season of the market and East Lansing Mayor Mark Meadows said the event has grown quite well and is much more used now than in years past. 

"Typically these actions grow, and this one has followed that same, you know, avenue," Meadows said. 

Because the market has become much more popular in recent years, the city has had to make renovations to the park in order to accommodate it.

"We put in some features in the park to make the farmer's market easier to run," East Lansing Mayor Pro-Tem Erik Altmann said. Some upgrades Altmann mentioned include a canopy for the musicians, a redoing of the parking lot to make the ground more smooth for the vendors to set up their stands and handicapped parking for customers. 

Heather Surface, the stewardship and community events specialist for the city of East Lansing said that East Lansing is a bit of a food desert and this event offers the community members an opportunity to buy healthy, locally sourced food.

"It allows people to be able to walk to get their groceries and since our market does have such diverse offerings people can get their entire week's groceries at the market," Surface said. "It promotes community, and it promotes health not just healthy eating but also healthy activity in walking or riding your bike to the market." 

Although there are over 30 vendors that will be in attendance this season, Surface said that the city tries to "reduce redundancy in the market" in order to help all of the vendors be successful. 

"I think just showing that variety helps people feel better about the money that they do spend in the market," Surface said. "I think it becomes a community gathering place, and, you know, a nice amenity for the citizens of the city of East Lansing to go to and it's walkable for most of the community anyway," Meadows said. 

The first 150 customers at the market on Sunday will receive a reusable market bag, cupcakes and cookies in honor of the event's anniversary. 

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