Farmers markets provide top quality produce, goods

The trend toward putting more locally grown food on the dinner table has taken hold across the country, including in the central Upper Peninsula.

There are small farms popping up across rural locations in the region where quality vegetables, livestock and fruits are being produced. In addition, there are more small producers of perennial plants, honey and jams operating in the area.

While these operations are healthy for the region, it was always a challenge to get these products to residents and visitors to the area who wanted them – but not anymore.

In recent years the growth of small-town farmers markets has paralleled the expansion of small farms, much to the delight of consumers.

The farmers market season is under way, as well, with the one in downtown Marquette kicking off the season last Saturday and the Negaunee market opening Wednesday.

In Marquette, more than 40 vendors converged on the Commons area off South Third Street, where pleasant weather drew a good crowd of shoppers.

In addition, there was a variety of other items available, including woodworking, wax candles, herbal remedies, jewelry and fabric merchandise.

The Marquette market will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 26.

In Negaunee, the Jackson Mine Farmers and Crafters Market is again being held at Miner’s Park. This market, too, offers a wide variety of items for sale from regional farmers and crafters.

The market will run from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Sept. 18.

Forsyth Township residents will also have the opportunity to pick up some locally grown and organic food this summer, with the Gwinn Farmers Market set to start the season June 13.

There are about 10 vendors, mostly with food available, signed up for the Gwinn market, which will run from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursdays through September.