Farmers market brings locals despite lagging economy
Jan Pauquette has attended Mount Pleasant’s farmers’ market for more than 30 years.
The Isabella County resident grows and sells her own perennial flowers and herbs right out of her van.
“Either I’m not very smart or it’s worthwhile,” Pauquette said.
She said when she first started selling goods at the farmers’ market people didn’t know what perennials were.
There were very few variations on perennials, the annually blooming flowers and herbs, she said.
The economy has also hurt the business since she first started.
“We’ve done probably about 60 or 70 percent of what we did last year, and that was a drop from the year before,” Pauquette said.
Despite suffering sales, Pauquette said gardening gives her a chance to create works of art.
“I can express myself in a garden,” Pauquette said.
She said wild daisies were the first thing she ever planted.
She raised her daughter Shawn Schalm to garden. Schalm has known plants for as long as she can remember.
The duo sell their goods together at the farmers’ market as a family business.
“My mom is an excellent gardener,” Schalm said. “Any time I have a question on gardening, I always go to my mom.”
Schalm said her mother designed all of her gardens which take up the majority of their yard.
She is now raising her 7-year-old Dylan to plant gardens.
Schalm said her husband works as a chef at the Woodland Hospice and uses herbs and vegetables from their gardens in his dishes.
She said she enjoys planting bright and attractive flowers for hummingbirds.
She has always enjoyed the farmers’ market, Pauquette said.
“I think it’s excellent,” Pauquette said. “It gives me a chance to talk to a lot of gardeners. They’re great people.”
Pauquette and her daughter are not the only ones that enjoy selling homegrown delicacies at the farmers’ market.
Clare resident Katie Bugbee has been selling kettle corn and cider slushies for three seasons.
“Corn is good,” she said. “Everybody’s recipe is a little different.”
The markets are held every Thursday from June to October from 6 to 10 a.m.
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