GV Farmers Market returns
Started by Susan Sloop six years ago, the Grand Valley Farmers Market aims to promote sustainability and community. With the emergence of a technological age, in which consumer is often separated from their food, markets such as these seek to reconnect the local grower and consumer.
According to the Ada Village Farmers Market, if every Michigan family spent $10 at a market, it would add $37 million to the Michigan state economy.
Of course, the market is not purely done for the economic gain — it also promotes artisan foods. Kay Hart, the farmers market manager, has been slowly expanding the diversity of the vendors. This year will include kettle corn, cupcakes, jerky and produce, among other products.
“I’m hoping with every year that we get the word out,” Hart said.
The main goals of the program are to “be healthier and hopefully eating healthier will lead to a healthier lifestyle,” Hart said.
Hart added student involvement is highly sought after by the organization.
“I’d love to get the students more involved,” Hart said.
In fact, some GVSU students will be hosting a booth at this year’s market.
Hosted in parking Lot F, farmers markets will be held every Wednesday from June 6 to Sept. 26 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The only week that it will not run is the first week of classes.
For students living downtown, the YMCA on Lake Michigan Drive will be hosting its farmers market.
Brought back for the second year, the successful program received new funds from the national YMCA. The first year of the program was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in hopes of putting healthier foods in the hands of more people and for a lower price.
Students can participate in the program either through purchasing the products or volunteering. Those interested in volunteering can contact Nicole Hansen at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition to selling products, the YMCA will be offering face painting and other events for children in order to foster a sense of community among patrons.
“We’re looking forward to offer this great opportunity,” Hansen said.
The produce offered at the YMCA’s market will include organically grown products. These products are grown without additional fertilizers to, as Hansen described, keep it as “pure as possible.”
The program will run June 7 to Sept. 21 every Thursday from 3p.m. to 7 p.m.