By Sue Moore
Hungry for fresh produce? So are most of the people who answered a survey conducted this winter by the Vicksburg Farmers’ Market staff. Over 150 people responded, asking in particular for more vegetables and fruits at the local market which will kick off its 2016 season on Friday, May 20, at the community pavilion.
Besides the seven regular vegetable vendors at the market, three new veggie vendors have signed up for the season, along with a pork vendor, which the market has not seen in its six years of existence. The survey also revealed that a majority of those answering would like to see an evening market.
“We will give it a try with the first one scheduled for Friday, June 24,” said Carol Meyer-Niedzwiecki, in her second year as operations manager at the market. “That is the evening that the Revolutionary War re-enactors will be coming to the village for their Battle of Sunset Lake. We think they would like to visit the market for fresh food to use in their encampment at the Recreation Park. Plus, our usual customers will get a chance to talk to the visitors and get an insight on the weekend’s activities.”
It was also suggested in the survey that customers at the market enjoyed the music that the Kalamazoo Folk Life organization provided each week. June Kucks, Vicksburg’s own dulcimer player, has volunteered to schedule many diverse entertainers for the last two years and will keep recruiting the Folk Life members to perform each week as they volunteer their talents.
Carol LaFrance, the events manager for the market, has lined up the special Kid’s Plate offering each month on the third Friday in June, July and August. She is working on licensing for food demonstrations at the pavilion, called “Eating Healthy on a Budget.” Her goal is to have a special event at the market each week from the opening day on May 20 until the closing on Friday, October 7.
Vendors who have been staples at the market will be back again with vegetables, fruit, baked goods, beef and beefalo, granola bars, bread products, plants, flowers, maple syrup, home-made mustard, jams and jellies.
Parking at the pavilion has been overseen by Don Wiertella. He has enhanced the vehicle pattern to increase the number of parking spaces and accessibility for handicap parking. During the weekend of the Lions Club’s Summer Festival, the entire market will move south to the Historic Village grounds on July 22.