East Lansing Farmers Market welcomed community members on Sunday Oct. 16 to celebrate the fall season during the annual Autumn Fest.
Participants, families and students alike had a variety of activities to choose from with a petting zoo, live music, crafts and vendors carrying locally grown produce.
The East Lansing Farmers Market requires their vendors to sell products that are 100% homegrown or homemade.
“We get most of our business from farmers markets,” Summer Nights Apiaries’ Egerton Peters said. “People get to come up and actually talk to us and see what we have (and) we give away free samples so people get to try it … it brings people together.”
While the mission of farmers markets allows for small business vendors to get their produce and products out to the public, they also prioritize sustainability by minimizing the amount of waste and pollution they create versus corporate farms.
Mycophile’s Garden, seller of mushrooms grown in West Michigan, was also in attendance at Autumn Fest. Representative Jake Benjamin said the business is especially inclined towards promoting sustainability through the production of their mushrooms.
“The business has been around for about eight years and I’ve been working for them for two,” Benjamin said. “As far as mushroom farming goes, it’s actually a very sustainable, cheap source of protein. It’s super water efficient and we’re also able to use recycled materials to produce a product that has no kinds of fat, very low carbohydrates and high levels of protein. Making them more available to people helps with the whole of sustainability.”
Bryan Droscha, member of the Droscha Sugarbush family, said their maple syrup has long been available at the East Lansing Farmers Market, participating in previous Autumn Fest special events.
“Our family’s been making maple syrup for over 100 years on our family farm,” Droscha said. “In the last decade or so we’ve taken it to the next level. We do markets, retail and private label as well …we’ve been at this market for about six years.”
Similar to Peters, Droscha said the customers’ face-to-face interaction with the seller is important. He noted the importance of the East Lansing Farmers Market’s dedication to ensuring all of the vendors are selling sustainably produced goods.
“(Attending farmers markets) promotes sustainability because you get to meet the person that created the product,” Droscha said. “(What is) unique about the East Lansing market is that if you don’t produce (the product), you can’t be a vendor here. It has stopped people from buying and reselling … everything is sustainable.”
A visitor to the East Lansing Farmers Market can find a multitude of locally grown and sourced sustainable products every Sunday through Oct. 30 from 10 a.m to 2 p.m.
Support student media!
Please consider donating to The State News and help fund the future of journalism.
Share and discuss “East Lansing Farmers Market hosts annual Autumn Fest” on social media.