Farmers, artisans, bakers, and other local sellers are gearing up for the upcoming Farmers Markets in Fenton and Linden. The Fenton Farmers Market starts Thursday at 5 p.m. and coincides with the , which begins at 7 p.m.. The Fenton Market continues each Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. through September 29.
Linden’s Farmers Market runs on Wednesdays from 5 to 8 p.m., starting July 27 and running through September 14. Vendors will line Tickner Street, which will be closed to through traffic, adjacent to the library. The Linden Market corresponds with the Music by the Mill series that kicks off the same day with rock group The Black Sheep at the Linden Mill gazebo at 7 p.m.
Due to increased demand by shoppers and sellers, two weeks were added to the front end of the Fenton and Linden markets. In addition, vendors at both markets can now accept EBT and Bridge cards as well as credit cards.
“I am very excited that we can now accept EBT, Bridge Cards and credit cards. It allows vendors to provide healthy choices to lower income residents," said Patricia Roeske, local produce and meat vendor. "Vendors have always wanted to offer this, but it’s nice that the market organizers can take on the responsibility and expense.”
In 2010, both the Fenton and Linden Farmers Markets underwent a “rapid market survey” conducted by the Michigan Farmers Market Association, giving the communities data about the community impact of the farmers markets.
According to the report, Fenton’s market brought approximately 1,700 patrons each night and in the 10 week market season, shoppers spent an additional $83,000 at local businesses on nights that they attended the market. There were 78 vendors in Fenton’s Market last year. The Linden Farmers Market, with 20 vendors, brought $16,250 to Linden businesses in its six week season.
The Fenton Farmers Market will feature several new elements as well as vendors. Produce wagons will be available to shoppers. For a donation to the market, a wagon can be borrowed to cart produce from the market to their vehicles.
“Produce wagons will help with sales of pumpkins and watermelons – larger items that might persuade someone who is wondering how they might get the produce to their cars," Roeske said
Market manager Stephanie McMunigal, described some additional family-friendly opportunities, “Childtime will host a Children’s Activity area at the Fenton Farmers Market that will feature various activities, such as, dance, gymnastics, music, and more.”
Both markets will have new vendors, especially bakers – a request made by shoppers in last year’s market surveys. The new bakery “Crust” will be amongst the new vendors at the Fenton market.
Fenton residents will soon see new lamp post banners featuring the new market logo and reminders of the market days and times. The sponsored the purchase of these banners.
The Fenton and Linden Farmers Market is supported by the City of Fenton Downtown Development Authority, the City of Linden Downtown Development Authority, , and many market sponsors. Both markets are accepting additional vendors at this time, especially hobby growers.
To apply or for more information contact Southern Lakes Parks & Recreation at (810) 714-2011 or email Market Manager, Stephanie McMunigal at firstname.lastname@example.org.