The Lowell Area Farmers' Market, held in Veterans’ Memorial Parking Lot on Thursdays, will be extending its hours through the month of September. The market will now be open from 9 am until 3 pm. In addition to locally grown produce, the market features cut flowers, honey, maple syrup, locally made foods and natural health and beauty products.
Despite the wet and chilly weather earlier this spring that caused a late start for a number of farms as well as postponing the opening date of the market itself, there is an abundant selection of fruits and vegetables to choose from. You can currently find tomatoes, cabbage, zucchini, pickles, eggplant, melons, corn, onions, green beans, and beets for sale. Apples should be available soon, as well. The market allows for vendors to commit either weekly or monthly, so there is always something new to discover.
“It [the weather] did affect outside crops, but we have high tunnels. They still grow in the soil, though. So that way, it keeps it warmer in there – it’s like big greenhouses. It’s the big plastic hoops, but they’re 70 feet long by 30 feet wide with doors on each end. It traps the heat inside, so when the sun comes out it keeps it warm enough to grow crops. We had tomatoes before almost everybody else did,” said Chris Harper, of Stauffer Farms, a regular vendor at the farmers' market. They were able to get a head start on the growing season by employing high tunnels.
There is something special about market days in Lowell, with lots of people coming out to shop for seasonal items, enjoy the sunshine and share recipe ideas. “I never know how to prepare beets,” one market-goer mentioned, “but someone today told me how to roast them, so I’m going to try that!”
The vendors at the market are always happy to help and build relationships with shoppers. “We do the Lowell Market, Ionia Market; we also do the Belding Bizarre once a month. We’re also looking at setting up at Jones’ Market one day a week, they asked us to come there, but I love Lowell. My daughter actually lives here. People are nice and we have repeat customers,” said Harper.
The Lowell Area Farmers' Market will continue on Thursdays through the end of September in the Veterans' Memorial parking lot across from the Riverwalk Plaza entrance. For more information visit: https://www.discoverlowell.org/farmers-market/.