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Viva Italia!
 

Wake up to September’s dewy-wet Saturday mornings, and let your senses savor that moment of filtered light, a falling leaf or perhaps a drift of woodsmoke that sparks the silent shift from late summer to early fall.  Let the mind’s eye be aware as you make your way to Saturday market. The harvest is here! 
 
This is my favorite time of year because we are plentiful with summer stock while unloading crates of apples, pumpkins and the oh, so many varieties of colorful squash to complement sweet corn, peppers, tomatoes, beans, greens, beets, potatoes, onions, garlic and so much more. This  is the season for canning, so don’t be surprised to see people leaving the market with whole bushel baskets of fresh-picked Michigan produce.  And haven’t we all been waiting for a long drink of apple cider to go with a Petey’s donut?  

I don’t know about you, but for me food takes on a whole new appeal as morning temperatures dip a bit. This weekend in downtown Farmington, we are going to celebrate food through the eyes of international culture as we welcome the flavors of Italy to downtown Farmington…
 

Your market this week

 
It's “Viva Italia” this Saturday as we celebrate the flavors of Italy with a cultural blessing, rousing procession and a festive ringing of the market bell at 9 a.m. to open this special day. The strolling vocals of Barbara Fallone, accompanied by the stirring accordion and mandolin play of area locals David and Francesco, will add a European street feel to your strolls past market tents. Children’s activities will abound, from making herb sachets with Robin Danto from MSU Oakland County to learning about where food comes from at our monthly Kids’ POP! Club stand. POP, of “Power or Produce” engages kids to sample new things, answer a  food challenge and meet our farmers, all while shopping our farm stands with free $3 vouchers thanks to Beaumont and the Farmington Farmington Hills Foundation for Youth and Families. 
 
At 10 a.m., enjoy lively gnocchi making with a demo hosted by Gerryanna Luscri of Farmington along with her talented brother Anthony Iadipaolo. Gerryanna and husband Frank recently moved to downtown Farmington and are quickly getting involved in community life here.  “We are proud to help sponsor Italian American Day through our company, EQS Logistics, and also to participate hands on, sharing our culture and love for the food here at our beautiful farmers market” said Luscri. She added that Frank, who is also vice-president of the Italian American League of Livonia, will be participating in the market with freshly made pasta and crusty Cantoro’s Italian bread.  Proceeds from sales will benefit children’s language classes.
 
Brick oven pizza in the park with Gio Vara will headline our offerings of delicious Italian fare.  Impasto, a popular Italian food truck, will set up near the market’s west entrance with inspired original wraps that are griddled on both sides and rolled with cheese, vegetables and choice of meat.  On the north side, the Farmington Elks will be grilling up Italian sausage, peppers and onions.  Try a delicious meatball sub made special for this day by U.P. Pasties.  Mama Rita’s of Livonia will be selling their classic chewy Italian bread, traditional Ciambella bread, garlic bread and more. 
 
At 11 am, the spirited Amici band entertains in Riley Park.  Enjoy the sights the sounds and all the good food at the market’s own “Bella Mercato Cantina” with a glass of vino or an ice cold draft of Peroni.  Be sure to take a chance on winning a fabulous Italian gift basket donated by the Livonia Italian Bakey. All proceeds will benfit the farmers market.
 
Many of our regular vendors also will be there, including the Italian Cooks, Old World Olive Oil Company, the Pasta Shop, Holy Cannoli’s, Kitchen Descendants (vegetarian lasagna) and the Stock Pot Sisters. In all, more than 15 Michigan growers along with 35 artisan vendors will make this market day a must-visit!
 
Italian American Day at the farmers market is made possible by a close collaboration and admiration between the Farmington Farmers Market and the Italian American League of Livonia. Proud contributing sponsors include Cantoro Italian Market, EQS Logistics, Antonio’s Cucina, Rotondo Construction, Villanova Construction, AJL Home Sales and the Livonia Italian Bakery, all wishing you to “mangia bene, vive bene” (eat well, live well) at the Farmington Farmers Market. 
 
With so much to do and so little time. I better run to get ready for market. So until next time, here’s saying, “Ti vediamo sul mercato!” See you at the market!
 

Walt Gajewski
Market Manager

Market Manager, Walt Gajewski    

If you have any additional questions, comments or suggestions about the market feel free to email us at market@downtownfarmington.org or click here to find us on Facebook at Farmington Farmers & Artisans Market. Please Like Us on Facebook so we can keep you updated on "Saturday life in a Michigan small town!"