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Farm life at the market: It’s all here

By Walt Gajewski
Market Manager
July 27, 2022

Back up the truck! Peak produce season has squarely arrived in downtown Farmington!  

This is it folks, that, sweet market moment we’ve all been waiting for: the arrival of sweet corn, peaches, blueberries, blackberries, field and heirloom tomatoes, even granny smith apples and so much more. You’ll just have to come and see for yourself because now all of our farmers are in tow and spread out across 50,000 square feet of open space known as the Farmington Farmers & Artisans Market.   

Our mantra is “Real Food. Real Farms.” We’re updating our market map to welcome another amongst our far-flung family of farmers, foragers and producers. Next time you’re at the market, say hey to the Greener Things Farm Collective, a 100% fully certified organic farm out of Ann Arbor. Right now, we’ve got them set up on the south bricks, and, with just  a couple of weeks under their belt, well, Farmington feels like home. Jill Lada, who operates the farmstand for Green Things, was surprised to be serving customers from Ann Arbor this past Saturday in Farmington!  “We’ve got customers following us, I guess,” she said with a laugh. “It must be the vibe this market sends out. It’s just amazing here.” The farm’s produce, flower sprays and displays of abundance create a natural waterfall of colors – amazing for a small but mighty impressive 10 x 10 station.  

So we have big farms and small farms, and they complement each other well. The bigger farms have the acreage for sweet corn, melons and large squash, and they also have the equipment, as in combines, mechanical pickers, conveyors. Small farms tend towards sustainable, organic-like and certified-organic practices; think pulling weeds and flicking off bugs. Altogether it’s farm life brought to Farmington. I think it’s something we should all embrace, appreciate and be grateful for. Let’s not take abundance for granted nor those who work hard to provide for us. I feel blessed. And, as Forrest Gump would say, “That’s all I have to say about that.”

Your market this week

Sponsored by Beaumont and Essential Family Chiropractic and following a two-year Covid-induced hiatus, the 6th annual Farmers Market “Fit as a Fiddle” Health Day returns to trumpet this year’s market slogan “Come to Market – For the Health of it.” (I thought of that myself.  Corny Expressions Unlimited.) 

We open at 9 a.m., but come early to hear the the hot fiddle of Wildwood tuning up to help Farmington Mayor Sara Bowman lead a casual 5k run at 9:30 a.m. through adjacent streets and neighborhoods. Meet in Riley Park. It’s free and all are welcome. When you hear “Eye of the Tiger” on fiddle, it’s time to hit the streets!    

At 10 a.m., the Farmington Walkabouts welcome special guest walker Dr. Joseph Williams, who will answer your health questions as he leads a 1.5 mile-walk from the market down to Shiawassee Park and back. Side note: Doc Joe, as I call him, is my primary care physician. I picked him after going on one of these walks with him.

At 11 a.m. on the south bricks, Robin Danto from MSU-Oakland County will host a free cooking demo on how to build a better salad and share samples. She’ll also share recipes for homemade dressings. At noon, find yourself in Riley Park for a calorie-burning tap dance performance by Detroit Tap Repertory.

And all day these healthful resources will be on hand:

  • Free blood pressure and sleep quality screenings with Oakland University’s School of Nursing, 

  • Chair massages. 

  • Chances for a free one-month unlimited membership at Five Lakes Crossfit with fun challenges and demos. There’s a kids hulu hoop contest, pushup contest, movement demos and and a learn-to-jumprope workshop. (I’m down for that, in more ways than one!)

  • Free samples of kombucha- and CBD-infused teas offered by Care by Design of Farmington.

  • Help from Medicare expert Judith Koens in demystifying the maze of Medicare by answering your questions about signing up. I turn 65 this year, so if you see someone raising their hand a lot on Saturday, that would be me.

And surrounding it all will be all that freshly picked, nutritious produce. So, until next time and as always, here’s saying: “See you at the market.”