There are few places better than a farmers’ market in fall, and for its part, the Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market does not disappoint. At 7 am every Saturday morning, the market comes alive!
Over a hundred vendors set up shop in the outdoor pavilion next to the Kerrytown Shopping Center, selling everything from fresh produce to baked goods to glazed pottery. Tables are laden with eggplant, squash, peppers, tomatoes, bins of fresh greens measured out for you on the spot, potatoes of half a dozen varieties, and since it is the season – apples of every color and size, including the best Honeycrisp apples you may ever eat.
But then there are the baked goods – freshly baked croissants, French baguettes, and gluten-free brownies. There are meat vendors, cheese vendors, honey and maple syrup – and even Pesto Paul, who sells exclusively the best and most parmesan-packed basil pesto ever created.
Not to mention the artisans - selling handmade soaps, beautiful solid wood cutting boards, and, currently, tiny witch’s head sculptures shaped out of clay.
To use the cliché, there is something for everyone, and even if you’re not convinced, your first trip will change your mind.
Aside from being packed with vendors, the Saturday market is consistently packed with shoppers. Having just recently celebrated its 95th birthday, the market is greatly revered by the community and has an impressive following of loyal customers each with a unique list of essential items from favorited vendors. As a newbie to the market, or at least as an infrequent frequenter, the sheer number of vendors and diversity of options can be extremely overwhelming – so to make things easier, here are a few local favorites (in no particular order) that you shouldn’t pass by.
- Alex Nemeth – He sells mostly apples this time of year, and naturally and most wonderfully, apple cider. Alex is a grandfather-figure at market and besides being one of the nicest men you’ll ever meet, makes truly delicious apple cider.
- Xiong’s Produce – For all your Asian produce needs, Xiong’s is the place to go. Though they sell your basic produce, they also have a very unique spread of products that includes the radish-like vegetable known as kohlrabi as well as the dark-leaved Chinese spinach and Thai basil.
- Grandma’s Kitchen and Brookside Farm – Donna Puehler goes by Grandma at the market and can usually be found sitting next to a table full of homemade cookies and pies. Next to her is her real-life best friend, Carol Brooks, who seasonally sells blueberries as well as a assortment of treats including cotton candy and, on warm days, snow cones.
- White Lotus Farms – Always staffed by a quirky bunch of incredibly knowledgeable foodies, White Lotus sells fresh produce, as well as artisanal breads, pastries and handmade butters and cheeses. It’s really a one-stop shop.
While it may sound like a bit of a chore to get out of bed on a Saturday morning, the Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market makes it worth the effort. So plan ahead if you have to, and enjoy that fall sunshine bright and early at the market.
Saturday Market Hours are currently 7 am – 3 pm. The market runs year-around, but it will be open at 8 am from January to April.
There is a Wednesday market that runs from 7 am – 3 pm now through December.
For more information about hours, events, vendors, and the market itself, check out the Market website at: http://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/parks-places/farmers-market/Pages/default.aspx#vendors