June brings us a bounty of fresh produce and you can find it all at the Sara Hardy Downtown Farmers Market. Find out how the 2020 season went and how they plan to continue a successful 2021 season.
Featured in the June 2021 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine. Subscribe.
The Sara Hardy Downtown Farmers Market in Traverse City had less than 10 vendors when it was taken over by the DDA in 1984. Since then, it’s grown to include more than 115 area farmers, making it one of the three largest markets in the state. Longtime vendors include Altonen Orchards, Buchan’s Blueberry Hill, Hall Farms, Forest Garden Organic Farm and Maple Ridge Orchard.
“After a year like 2020, I’m more excited than ever to see new products from old faces,” says DDA Downtown Experience Coordinator Nick Viox [Editor’s Note: Nick recently accepted a position with Parallel 45 Theatre as the producing director after eight years with the DDA]. One vendor with new goodies is Modern Bird. Look for blueberry jam muffins, cake-style and stuffed paczki-style doughnuts and ever-changing seasonal treats like pies and coffee cakes made with fruits from the market.
In 2020, to help promote social distancing, the DDA launched an online marketplace allowing customers to place orders throughout the week for pick-up on market days instead of walking through the typically crowded lot. The online market was also offered this winter and was such a success that the DDA plans to operate it year-round in the future.
This summer’s market will continue to offer online shopping, and masks and social distancing will be required for those browsing in person. “But know that under those masks, our farmers are absolutely smiling and happy to see you,” Nick says.