Last Friday, Our Kitchen Table hosted the vendors serving the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market for a 2011 market season review and 2012 season preview. At the beginning of last season, about a dozen farmers and growers indicated interest in selling at our two market locations. However, throughout the season, only a faithful three or four kept coming back regularly.
As managers of the markets, OKT hopes to attract more vendors who will commit to being at the markets week in and week out. Even though the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market has been running for quite a few years, roadblocks along the way have forced quite a few location changes. This has made it difficult for the market to gain momentum. The 2011 market season brought yet another location change. Growers expecting larger profits pulled out early on.
On the bright side, both the Garfield Park and Gerald R Ford School locations built a good community of customers by the end of the 2011 season. Even though vendor numbers were low, each week our customers found the produce they wanted to buy. The markets never sold out! These customers kept our faithful vendors coming back―and committed to returning next season. In fact, our vendors are now planning next year’s gardens to grow more of the specific foods that market customers will enjoy.
Would you like to see more variety and more vendors at the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market? The best way to make that happen is to shop more at the market. Our vendors are good folks who enjoy doing a good turn—but they also need to go home with a little money in their pockets!
What would you like vendors to sell at the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market next year? Contact OKT and let us know! OKTable1@gmail.com.
Did you have a chance to get out and support your community farmers’ market? This past season, the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market locations tallied more than 1,400 residents in attendance. These market patrons did more than go home with healthy produce, they created two vibrant community spaces where neighbors got to know each other, children discovered “real” food, hundreds attended educational activities and all ages joined in for a little exercise via the Cupid Shuffle.
You see, the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market is about more than doing business. While it is important that our local farmers and growers go home with money in their pockets, it’s even more important that community comes out and grows their own food power.
Food power is waking up healthier in the morning so you can do better at work and school. Food power is knowing that eating certain fresh fruits and vegetables can mean fewer asthma attacks or less arthritis pain. Food power is a pregnant mother providing her unborn child nourishment that keeps her baby in the womb until term while building his or her highly intelligent brain. Food power is saying no to the unhealthy foods that make you overweight, damage your heart or cause diabetes. Food power is saying yes to whole foods that empower you to live life on your own terms―without the burden of added medical expenses.
Dancercise at the Gerald R Ford market location -- The Cupid Shuffle!
Please support your Southeast Area Farmers Market. Do you have suggestions for how Our Kitchen Table can make the market a better experience? Tell us! Are there any whole foods that you would like us to make available next season? Let us know! You can email us at OKTable1@gmail.com or call 616-570-0218. Or, stop by a Community Potluck and Cook-in. The Southeast Area Farmer’s Market is sponsoring these one Friday evening each month at Gerald R Ford Middle School. (Check back for dates and times.)