Mount Pleasant Farmers' Market prepares for 2022 season
The Mount Pleasant Parks and Recreation Department is gearing up for the 2022 season of the Mount Pleasant Farmers' Market.
The farmers market consists of both a Thursday market located at the Island Park South Shelter open from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and a Saturday market located on Broadway Street from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Thursday market, which is the bigger of the two, will begin May 5 and run through Oct. 27 with vendors selling a wide range of items such as Michigan-grown produce, flowers, baked goods and other homemade and artisan made products.
The Saturday market will run from June 18 to Oct. 8. Despite the Saturday market having fewer vendors, the two markets will carry many of the same products.
“When I think about the market, bright vibrant colors come to mind,” City of Mount Pleasant Recreation Coordinator Carol Moody said. “Whether it's the strawberries, tomatoes or corn, they're fresh and in season. (These products) come from Michigan, so it has less travel time to get to our market.”
The market will also consist of a number of different activities and experiences for customers to take part in while shopping.
“It’s not just going to the store, it's kind of a little bit more of what I would call an experience,” Moody said. “We’ll have cooking demonstrations throughout the summer. We also will have musicians that will play.”
The market is also scheduled to host a number of special themed days such as a health and wellness expo day that will occur during National Farmers Market Week, and programs for children such as “Garden Heroes'” which encourages kids to get involved with the shopping.
The Mount Pleasant Parks and Recreation Department is also searching for new vendors to fill certain product categories that the market is currently missing such as a coffee vendor or a pasta vendor.
Though the registration deadline has passed, the market will continue to accept applications all season. Interested vendors can reach out to the Mount Pleasant Parks and Recreation Department directly or find the links to the application on the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market website.
The market has also renewed its commitment to assisting citizens of Mount Pleasant facing food insecurity through a number of food assistance programs.
“If somebody has a Bridge Card, they can use that to shop at the market,” Moody said. “Additionally, if you use a Bridge Card, the money that you take off of your card (can be matched). We can match up to $20 per market day through a program called Double Up Food Bucks. So that $20 you took off of your Bridge Card, you now have $40 to shop and spend.”
School-aged children who received a Pandemic-EBT card may also use it at the market. These individuals are also eligible for the Double Up Food Bucks program.
The market also has a six-week program known as “Prescription for Health,” which is a nutrition-based program targeted at people who have underlying health concerns. The program includes things such as cooking classes and nutrition education. It ends with participants receiving tokens for free fresh food at the market. Those interested can find more information on the Mount Pleasant Farmers' Market website.
“Hopefully through that six-week program they are learning more about the nutrition facts of our food and then shopping to get fresh stuff too,” Moody said.
“We’re excited,” Moody said. “The season is here, and we are going to be having nicer weather so come and check it out. Before I started working with the farmers market, I always thought food just came from the grocery store but there is so much more to it and it’s just such a fun atmosphere to shop in and check out.”