2024 season of Midland Area Farmers Market kicks off

Spring is in the air, and that means the smell of fresh produce, flowers, sweet treats, and more awaits in the open-air farmer’s market in downtown Midland. The 2024 season of the Midland Area Farmers Market kicked off May 4 and continues through the fall at the Dow Diamond East parking lot. The market is open on Wednesday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and provides a local spot for all ingredients needed for an outdoor picnic on the patio or grilling on the deck. 

The market has a rich history and has been around since the ‘40s despite a few location changes. No matter the setting, the market’s mission is to provide a place for local farmers to provide produce to community members.

Midland Farmer's market food trucks
Director of Midland Area Farmers Market, Emily Lyons, says the market has grown since then. 

“Some of the regulations have changed, I think for the better, so that eggs, meat, dairy, and all of the things that are processed or made in licensed facilities can all be sold at a farmer’s market now,” she says. “We can allow cottage food vendors, certain sizes of wineries, and cideries to be part of the farmer’s market. Ultimately, we’re very interested in supporting agribusiness and food access to the region.”

There is a rotating list of various local, regional, daily, and weekly vendors featuring Michigan businesses selling farm-fresh produce, juices, flowers and plants, pet treats, baked goods, and other agribusiness-related items. Most vendors are from the surrounding region, representing the Saginaw, Midland, Bay, Isabella, Gladwin, and Clare counties.

“We have a fair amount of new vendors this year,” says Lyons. “I’m excited to say after many years of not having it, and people inquiring about it, we will have a knife and tool sharpener back this year.”

Some of this year’s vendors include Crepes Et Amis, Thistle Dew Creamery, Michelle’s Flowers and Produce, Brandt Farms, Ignite Donuts, Papa’s Pumpkin Patch, The Cheese People of Grand Rapids, Beck’s Bees, Tri-City Mushroom, Paul’s Produce Farm, Bad Wolf BBQ, Veloce Wood Fired Foods, Creation Coffee, and more. Online interactive maps are available to help shoppers plan their Wednesday or Saturday visit to the market. 

Lyons says there are many benefits to shopping locally at farmer's markets versus the big chains. Not only are the produce and goods typically fresher, but there’s also the chance to interact directly with the growers and makers of the items. 

“Shopping at a farmer’s market is much more relational than it is shopping at a grocery store, and so we’re here for community, gathering, and for relationship-building,” Lyons says. 

A full day at the Midland Farmer's Market

In partnership with Isabella Bank, the market offers a token program for shoppers to use their debit, credit, or Bridge card. They can also participate in the Double Up Food Bucks program for buying Michigan-grown produce with a Bridge card (matched up to $20 per day). They’re also hosting Prescription for Health classes in partnership with MyMichigan Health, taught by MSU Extension Food Navigator. There are also reusable shopping bags for patrons, courtesy of Dow Credit Union.

The Midland Area Farmers Market is open rain-or-shine on Wednesdays and Saturdays, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 4 through Oct. 26, located at Dow Diamond East parking lot. They also have season extenders on the first three Saturdays in November from 9 a.m. to noon.

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Read more articles by Sarah Spohn.

Sarah Spohn is a Lansing native, but every day finds a new interesting person, place, or thing in towns all over Michigan, leaving her truly smitten with the mitten. She received her degrees in journalism and professional communications and provides coverage for various publications locally, regionally, and nationally — writing stories on small businesses, arts and culture, dining, community, and anything Michigan-made. You can find her in a record shop, a local concert, or eating one too many desserts at a bakery. If by chance, she’s not at any of those places, you can contact her at sarahspohn.news@gmail.com.