Our New Farmers Market

RandyM(z5 SWMich)February 22, 2006

I just read in our local paper that there will be a new Farmers Market starting up this spring.

It will be located in our small community in SW Michigan.

The market is scheduled to start in late May and run through the end of the harvest season.

We are mostly surrounded by farms and fruit orchards and I imagine a lot of local produce will be offered.

The buyers will probably be well to do Chicago people for the most part.

Sadly, I do not have growing room on my property so I'll have to buy or barter for what I will sell.

Can anyone tell me what might sell well in this situation?

I am thinking about varieties of peppers and Salsa's.

thanks for your help

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So this new Market will NOT be a producer only Market? Seems kinda odd to be that a brand new start-up Market would let resellers in. If this is the case I think its a very bad move.

People go to FM for fresh localy grown food not wholesale grocery store food. One does not need a bunch of land to sell at a FM.

Resellers bad!
Local Farmers good!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 10:50AM
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neil_allen(z5/6 Chi IL)

Are you talking about Three Oaks? I think they're trying for stuff that's all locally grown, even if it isn't grown by the seller.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 11:38AM
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johanna_h(Z5 SW MI)

If it is the one in Three Oaks, here's part of the report from the South County Gazette:

"The group [proposing the market] said in their proposal that they want 'to feature local growers, with an emphasis on pesticide-free goods, but not excluding any group.'

"Also, they want 'to stay away from craft items that are not garden- or farm-related' in order 'to keep the market moe about local agricultue and the diversity of food grown here.'"

Later in the article it says "the group asks that vendors produce 60 percent of what they bring to the market, noting that "the other 40 percent should be raised locally and/or made of natural materials."

Personally while I'm really excited about a market here, I think 60 percent seems kind of low. Where I used to live there was a market that was dominated by two farms that trucked in produce from Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida... I suspect most of the public was clueless that their red June tomatoes, peppers, etc. came from nowhere nearby.

The Three Oaks market proposes charging vendors $40 for the full season or $10/Saturday, on a first-come basis. That seems pretty fair to me. While there are many fruit stands and so on around here, you have to go up to St. Joseph to get to real vendor-produced food. I'm in Galien and I look forward to shopping, and perhaps participating.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 6:07PM
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RandyM(z5 SWMich)

Yes it is the Three Oaks Market.
I can almost hit a golfball from my house to where it will be.
As for growing, my house is situated right in the middle of my 1/4 acre lot.
It is really laid out weird.

Having been laid off from my real world job, this news is really good. Thats why I'm looking to sell there.
Hmmm...maybe I can make a small greehouse.

hey thanks for the input.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 6:47PM
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neil_allen(z5/6 Chi IL)

We may see you there. My wife and I have a weekend farm in Galien on Olive Branch where we grow lavender and other flowers for drying. We're committed to a market elsewhere for several Saturdays this season, and we need time for growing and harvesting, but we like to support local businesses and projects and we've done well at special markets in Berrien Springs and Union Pier. Please post here if you get any further information on who the market manager will be, application process (or lack thereof), etc.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 7:30AM
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FWIW Any farmers market vendor in the state of Michigan who does not sell primarily their own produce must first obtain a license from the Michigan Department of Agriculture.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2006 at 9:47AM
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The new Three Oaks farmers' market starts at the end of May, 2006. The new Web site includes vendor information, an application, and contact info. http://www.threeoaksfarmersmarket.com

Here is a link that might be useful: Three Oaks Farmers Market

    Bookmark   May 10, 2006 at 6:40PM
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A neighbor up the hill has a couple acres of strawberries - some of the field, he allows u-pick.

I used to sell at a "non producers-only" market. The strawberry grower brought a pickup load of berries to the market one morning and found that his competition was from people selling his own berries. Another retail opportunity lost.

The kids aren't interested in farming. These folks plan on subdividing.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2006 at 10:36AM
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neil_allen(z5/6 Chi IL)

If it doesn't rain, we'll be there on Saturday.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2006 at 7:41AM
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johanna_h(Z5 SW MI)

Forecast is mostly sunny and 77! See you there!


    Bookmark   May 23, 2006 at 8:07PM
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