'It's a good thing': Fulton Street Farmers Market reopens

By Samantha Butcher | 5/7/12 1:28am

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GVL / Eric Coulter
Visser Farms lays out their goods at the Fulton Street Farmers Market

by Eric Coulter / Lanthorn

Alan and Fran Jones have only been vending at the Fulton Street Farmers Market for a year, but that didn’t stop them from enjoying the turnout at Saturday’s ribbon cutting ceremony, which marked the completion of the market’s second renovation phase and the opening of its 90th season.

“We love it,” Alan said. “We keep looking up the thing and going, ‘yes!’”

His wife echoed his sentiment, organizing the vegetables on their stand.

“It’s cool because you can see everyone coming,” Fran said.

The Joneses, who run Greenrock Farm in Stanton, Mich., occupied one of 118 booths during Saturday’s bustling opening day. Hundreds of shoppers turned out for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which featured Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell, and stayed to sample the wide array of vegetables, plants, breads, soaps and everything in between.

Midway down the newly widened rows of vendors, Len Goodells was receiving assistance from his grandson Avory, 11.

“He’s the best farmer here,” said a customer, smiling at Goodells’ young assistant as he handed her purchase to her.

Farmers’ stands were mounded high with spring harvests of asparagus, rhubarb, garlic, greens, morels and a selection of greenhouse tomatoes, but food wasn’t the only thing available for purchase.

Sue Ann Carpenter of The Sassy Ewe, who sat weaving wool into yarn underneath the market’s new covered structure, said she was enjoying the turnout and the new construction. “It’s a good thing,” she said.

Michael Vanderbrug, of Trillium Haven Farm in Jenison, said he was impressed by the size of the structure.

“It’s started out great,” he said. “The crowd’s great and it was fun to see the ribbon cutting, and see Heartwell out here.” The final phase of the $2.6 million renovation, which would add a heated, indoor space to house up to 10 vendors year-round, is pending additional funds.

The Fulton Street Farmers Market is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., with an Artisan Market on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. starting June 10.

For more information, visit www.fultonstreetmarket.org.

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