Auburn Farmers Market kicks off its 2021 season with food trucks and more

The Auburn Farmers Market doesn’t officially open until June 15, but you can get seeds, plants, and handmade goods at the Early Market on Thursdays from now until then.

The Auburn Farmers Market, located inside Auburn City Park, opened for its early season the first week of May.

“We’re trying to bring in more people who are selling plants and seeds and things to plant your garden,” says Market Manager Robin Devereaux-Nelson, and is working at finding vendors interested in the early market. Devereaux-Nelson says she also wants to capture some of the spring flower vendors with hanging baskets and potted plants, too.

The Auburn Farmers Market opens for the 2021 season on June 15.You can find a handful of vendors at the market from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursdays until the opening day celebration on June 15.

“We’re having a special event, a Friends of Auburn Recognition Celebration, on June 15th to kick off the season,” she says. At 3:30 p.m. June 15, donors and grantors who have supported Auburn Parks and Recreation will be honored. The celebration also will include food trucks, music, and ice cream.

This summer, Devereaux-Nelson says she’s hoping to see the market grow beyond fresh fruits and vegetables.

Devereaux-Nelson says this year’s vendors include NOM NOM Ninja, a Saginaw based hibachi steak-sandwich truck, and Bad Wolf BBQ, a Freeland-based food truck.

She says the market also is promoting #eatlocalfood and will let shoppers know where their food comes from.

Vendors still are needed at the market, located just off US-10 in the Auburn City Park. “We do have a few sellers who buy food from the Amish and re-sell it, but it is still locally grown in Michigan,” Devereaux-Nelson says, but there will be signs on each vendor’s table indicating where their food comes from. “We’re really promoting the #eatlocalfood this year.” 

Like last year, Devereaux-Nelson is bringing back the Market Munchkins program, which provides coupons for fresh fruits and vegetables to kids between 4 and 14 years old. The market will also accept Project Fresh coupons through WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) and Project Senior Market Fresh coupons offered by the USDA through the Michigan State University Extension office.

She applied to bring in the federal SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), but COVID-19 has slowed progress on government approvals. Devereaux-Nelson hopes to have SNAP in place by the time the market opens in June.

With room for 42 vendors under the pavilion, Devereaux-Nelson says she’s hoping to see a lot more available this year, too.

“It’s really economical for vendors,” she says. Vendors pay $8 a day for a highly-visible location just off US-10, making the program a win-win for both sellers and shoppers looking for fresh, locally-grown food.

In support of the Farmer’s Market and the Auburn Park, Devereaux-Nelson says they’ve got two special events planned this year, too.

On June 5, Walk in the Park & Craft Fair will feature more than 80 vendors, musicians and food, to help raise money to make the park more accessible. The park features some ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) amenities, but the path between them is deteriorating, so the June event will help re-pave the path. Then, in October, another benefit will support the Market Munchkins and Farmer’s Market projects.

The Auburn Farmer’s Market is open 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays from June 15 – Sept. 30 in the pavilion at Auburn City Park.