Farmer's markets are pretty, aren't they? And small markets like this one are great because the people are so darn friendly. I took these pictures back in August, but every Sunday was just as lovely.
I bought farm-raised chickens from Hampshire Farms this summer - they taste more chicken-y than the insipid boneless skinless blobs of flesh from the grocery store. I know they were raised humanely and fed well with organic feed grown right there on the farm. Nice to think about. And the leftovers made outstanding stock.
This little block long street in Grand Blanc goes directly from the City Hall to the Physician's Park. It's a nice place for outdoor events. The city planners want to put up stores there to generate revenue, but this useage as an event venue is great in the meantime. We need walkable places where the cars aren't zooming past!
The free acoustic music and the presence of the Heritage Museum folks were homey touches (and I bought a nice handmade rug) and on the last day the vendors on the end with the grill looked like they were having a good time. I should have taken a picture of my friends staffing the Master Gardener information and outreach table, another friendly touch. We spent some nice times kibitzing. Next year I'll have to bring my camera and get some more pics.
I especially appreciated the Sunday market in Grand Blanc because the vendors were all selling their own products and their own local produce. They didn't drive to Detroit's Eastern Market to pick it up early in the morning and resell it to me in the afternoon.
My friend Pat was selling her certified organically grown veggies, so lucky for us, we were able to pick up our CSA half share at the local market here in Grand Blanc every week instead of the farther drive to the Flint Market or the even farther drive to her farm.
I didn't have to spend time in the produce department at the grocery store at all this summer. Between what we grew in our small yard (tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and herbs, sour cherries, rhubarb and strawberries) and the 1/2 share of the CSA we had nearly everything I wanted.
We pick our own blueberries and raspberries at our favorite local berry farms, and get our apples and cider at Porter's Orchard in Goodrich. But on visiting the market on Sunday I had the chance to pick up the necessary odds and ends that Pat didn't grow - pumpkins, plums, sweet cherries, real apple cider vinegar (the organic kind with mother) from Al-Mar Orchard, and local organic eggplant and onions from Lawrence Farms.
Next week is the last official week of our 20 week CSA agreement, but Pat has bonus food still to harvest because the weather has been so darn good, and we'll get to go to the Flint Farmer's Market to pick it up there.
I think I posted this before, but here's Pat again... a happy memory for the winter.