If you’re lacking a green thumb or growing impatient for your own garden to come in, the wait for fresh produce is nearly over.
The will return to the corner of First and Elm streets later this month for the second consecutive summer. The market opens at noon June 16 with 16 vendors bringing locally grown and produced items to sell.
Farmer John and his Barnyard Express will help celebrate the opening from 1 to 3 p.m. Games, a bounce house, prizes and activities will entertain children attending the market. There also will be a sidewalk chalk art contest with prizes awarded.
Farmers will provide plenty of in-season fresh produce and flowers for customers to choose from. Farms including Gaier Farms, Springbrook Farms, Vandalia Garden Blueberries and Future Farmers of America will be on hand selling their crops.
All Sisters Bakery, Rheinland Farms German Bakery and will be selling pastries, bread, cookies and other treats.
Kettle Korn of Michigan, Evie’s Tamales, Hog Wild Sausage, Juanita’s Salsa and Chips and Love’s Cool Breeze Pies will supply shoppers looking to buy prepared items.
The market also will feature vendors DTL Herbs, Hoffman’s Honey, Hot Scent Soy Collection Candles and Michigan Fresh Roast Coffee selling locally produced products.
Melanie McCoy, general manager of , came up with the idea to bring a farmers market to Wyandotte. The city's Downtown Development Authority and the have teamed up to make it happen. Wayne Metro finds vendors and handles the financial aspects of the market. The DDA is responsible for event marketing and promotion.
said she is looking forward to the return of the market.
“It’s so hard to find good, fresh produce,” she said. “It’s something we’ve needed in this area for a long time.”
Everything sold at the market must be grown or produced locally. Armada is the furthest location from which produce will travel.
Rankine said her favorite part of the market is the produce.
“I don’t even have to look at it,” she said. “I just know that it’s good. Sometimes it can be hit or miss at the grocery stores.”
The market participates in Project Produce, a program that allows customers to purchase produce and deposit it in a specially designated cart at the market. At the end of the day, the donated food is given to the soup kitchen at the Wyandotte and to the , which operates out of in Wyandotte.
Wyandotte Patch is the sponsor of this year's Project Produce.
The market also benefits downtown Wyandotte businesses by generating foot traffic in the area. Many businesses are offering discounts to customers who bring in a guidebook from the farmers market.
Rankine said she hasn’t received any negative feedback on the market. The only request she frequently receives is whether it will extend into a two-day market anytime soon. Rankine said many of the vendors currently have commitments to other markets on Saturday. She said Wyandotte is trying to prove itself as a viable market in hopes of drawing vendors here on Saturdays, as well.
“I hope that we draw more people down to the market and everybody buys something,” Rankine said. “Then we can have more vendors.”
Rankine also hopes it eventually expands into an open-air market so vendors don’t have to bring their own tents.
Throughout the summer, the market will be offering special events and activities for shoppers. Several of the events are geared toward children in the hopes of encouraging healthier eating.
The farmers market is cross-promoting for the first time with for the “Go Green! Kids Art Show at the Market." The library will host a family fun night on June 20 where children can make a craft to enter into the contest. Youth Librarian Kelly Ray said she is happy to collaborate with the farmers market.
“As a library, we have always been community minded,” Ray said. “We are very pleased to work cooperatively with other programs throughout Wyandotte.”
Winning art from the contest will be on display at during the .