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Kalamazoo Farmer’s Market

June 28, 2010

  • 1204 Bank Street
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49001
  • (269) 337-8899
  • Website

One of the really cool things about living in Michigan is the abundance of fresh produce.  Before moving to Lansing two years ago, I had never been to a farmer’s market.  They’re not nearly as popular in Central Illinois as they are here.  In fact, my mother-in-law, who worked in produce at a supermarket for 30 years went to her FIRST farmer’s market last week.  It’s just not something that is promoted or executed as well in Illinois as it is here in Michigan.

J and I decided to get my butt out of bed earlier than I usually do on Saturday’s because my job has me working what is basically a second shift on weekends.  If we can’t go out to dinner, we’ll go out to breakfast instead.  After breakfast, we’re hoping to make the Kalamazoo Farmer’s Market a weekly trip.

Our first excursion to the market located on Bank Street just west of Portage Street in the Edison neighborhood was this past Saturday and we found a much bigger farmer’s market than we expected.

When we turned on to Bank Street from Stockbridge Avenue, we immediately noticed there were a lot of people.  There were cars lining the streets and people walking in the neighborhood with bags full of fresh produce.  It was around 11:00 by the time we made it there and our experience at other markets around the state is things start winding down by then.  Not at the Kalamazoo market. 

We found a parking spot on the street along Marketplace Boulevard and walked the half block back towards the market.  The vendor space is set up in a giant u.  Most of the spots are covered by a permanent structure, but there were some vendors not under the pavilion who set up pop-up tents to sell their wares.

The first vendor we came to, we hit the jackpot.  J was incredibly excited to find fresh raspberries, blueberries, peaches, and cherries.  She had only intended on buying the raspberries and blueberries, but was talked into the cherries when she realized they had a mix and match at 3 for $10…and once you bought ten bucks, you got peaches for free.  So for $10, she walked with enough fresh fruit to last the week.

We continued to make our way through the very crowded marketplace stopping to see what others were offering.  J took notice of the Otto’s Chicken vendor, but most of the good meat was already sold out.  We also came to a vendor who was selling homemade tortilla chips and salsa.  We didn’t buy right away, but before we went left, we went back and bought a bag of chips and some medium salsa.

J’s already planning on making a return trip after she gets off work on Tuesday to pick up some fresh lettuce.  We were afraid it would go bad before we really had a chance to eat it, but every vendor who had it had delicious looking fresh greens.

The things being sold at the Kalamazoo Farmer’s Market aren’t too surprising.  What is surprising is how many people were taking advantage of this wonderful opportunity.  A lot of the vendors are now taking EBT which is fantastic.  There’s always a big deal being made about how hard it is to eat healthy on low income assistance programs, but the Kalamazoo Farmer’s Market makes it easy.

I have a pretty good feeling I will not be sleeping in on Saturday’s anymore.  We’ve been looking forward to summer for quite some time just for the amazing fruits and veggies that Michigan produces.  The Kalamazoo Farmer’s Market is a great resource for the community and I’m already looking forward to next Saturday.

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