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E-M:/ Sweetwater Local Foods Market REPORT #5 (July 30, 2005)
- Subject: E-M:/ Sweetwater Local Foods Market REPORT #5 (July 30, 2005)
- From: Christopher Bedford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Sun, 31 Jul 2005 09:09:11 -0400
- Delivered-to: email@example.com
- Delivered-to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- List-name: Enviro-Mich
- Reply-to: Christopher Bedford <email@example.com>
Enviro-Mich message from Christopher Bedford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To the Sweetwater Market Friends and Family,
The Sweetwater Local Foods Market’s GRAND OPENING has just ended, and
in our opinion it was a success. Here’s what happened.
The opening ceremony began at 9am with a blessing of the market by Tom
Wagner, pastor & member of Muskegon Cooperating Churches. Two
politicians spoke - Senator Gerald Van Woerkom [34^th District], Chair
of the Michigan Senate Agriculture Committee – and Pat Jordan,
Supervisor of Muskegon Charter Township, where our market resides.
Senator Van Woerkom touted the attraction agriculture projects like the
Sweetwater Market has for visitors to West Michigan. Supervisor Jordan
spoke of his deep personal connection to healthy food businesses. His
family owned the Health Hutt chain of health food stores up until 1991.
At 9:15 am the two leaders – one a Republican and one a Democrat –
joined together to ring the new Sweetwater Local Foods Market bell to
officially open the market. We found the old farmyard bell in an
antique shop at 3pm on Friday. Lew Jancek, Diana’s father, quickly
constructed a great base Friday night, and it was painted and ready to
go by dusk. Thanks again to Lew.
Once again the weather produced a perfect Michigan summer day. And the
market hosted a steady, flow of customers – some repeat and some new.
When asked, “How did you hear about the market?” many replied “from a
friend.” A good sign.
Rae Jean Erickson arranged for live music for the opening – Mary Jo
Stewart and a singer named simply Anisa. Both solo singers performed
beautifully at the opening and throughout the market day. Thanks to
Channel 13 news, WZZM-TV (ABC), showed up a little after noon. They did
a report on the market that was incredible. They teased the story
throughout their 6pm newscast and then got our market’s message exactly
right. Everyone is starting to think about their food, how it is
produced, and where it comes from.
And Sweetwater’s “heathy, humane, homegrown” food was abundant and
delicious this market day.
Jim Loe of Funny Farm had a steady stream of customers buying up piles
of his specialty certified organic produce including baby purple
carrots. Jim, we steamed a bunch of those carrots with nothing added
and they were sweet & delicious.
Nathan Creswick of Creswick Farms solved his childcare dilemma and
joined us for our Grand Opening Ceremony Day, after planning not to
attend. His Muskegon base continues to grow, with customers buying out
his Garlic Kielbasa and other favorites. Next week, he will have
nitrite-free smoked bacon – a signature item for his farm.
Paul Keiser of Ag & Health Alive was joined once again by his mother
Jeannette. He sold more of those tasty apricots, along with books &
organic garden supplies. We're using Maxicrop purchased from Paul for
the first time this year and already seeing the difference in greener,
stronger plants. Jeanette, who is 95 years old, is our unofficial
“queen of the market”.
Dennise and son Matthew Wright of Liberty Family Farm did a lively meat
business. Dennise & husband Andy are working hard to develop their West
Michigan customer base after moving here from eastern Michigan.
Gayle Filbrun of Happy Hill Farms sold his Salatin style free-range
chicken to a lot of repeat customers including some of the market’s
farmers. We missed seeing one of his children this week; Gayle said
daughter Ester will return next week.
Kimon Kotos sold a dozen of Bernie Ware’s certified organic fruit pies
and a large pile of the Brick Oven Bakery’s organic bread. Bernie’s
pies are simply the best we have ever tasted. How he gets that perfect
flaky crust from whole wheat is a mystery to us, but we're glad he
Anna Timmerman was away at a Future Farmers of America leadership
retreat. Her father and brother came to staff her popup in her place.
They did a good business and Anna's father talked about how “markets
like this are key to the survival of small farmers.” Amen.
Diana Jancek of Harmony Gardens was joined by Patrice Bobier of
Earthscape/Full Circle Farms to sell a wide variety of healthy stuff.
Diana’s freshly picked, organic but not certified tomatoes disappeared
in minutes after opening. Patrice sold lots of those huge red onions
again, and customers marvelled at the size of the gold and orange
juicing carrots. This "community tent" was also joined for an hour by
Lois Jancek of Fruitland Berry Farm who quickly sold out her first of
the season delicious blackberries.
The demand for the Meerman’s Raw Milk Aged cheese continues to grow.
The Lamont Cheddar sold well this week. After tasting the Gouda
w/Chives, Diana’s grandson, Logan asked for "five more, please". This
is really great cheese.
We sold lots of coffee and tea with the help of Logan and Maya Jancek.
Thanks to them.
Dr. Norbert Gerondale answered health and nutrition questions under our
new banner announcing our guest expert of the day. Visiting this tent
were a bunch of Norb’s patients whose banter made the market hours
lively. Norb and his wife Susan are great contributors to the success
of the market. The Market will do more and more education and outreach
on nutrition as the season continues.
Thanks to all who volunteered.
Susan & Norb Gerondale
Rae Jean Erickson
Michael Anderson, for his continued work on our website,
…and to the Health Hutt for donating the tea and coffee.
The Market continues to be an incubator for change, as we are getting
weekly inquiries from new farmers asking not only how to enter the
market, but wanting information about how to begin their own organic
practice. We are talking about how we can be more intentional and
effective in this role.
Thanks to everyone.
Peace and good food,
Diana Jancek & Chris Bedford
Sweetwater Local Foods Market co-Managers
#6543 Hancock Road
Montague, MI 49437
The Sweetwater Local Foods Market is Michigan's FIRST Farmers Market to
exclusively sell humanely raised animal products and
chemical-free/Certified Organic fruits and vegetables. SATURDAYS
8am-1pm in the parking lot of Russ' Restaurant at the intersection of
Route 31 and M120 (Holton Road) in Muskegon.
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