A Watershed Moment: Our Goodness is Growing: Fulton Street Farmers Market Improvements

On the September 6 episode of “A Watershed Moment,” we hear from Christine Helms-Maletic (of the Midtown Neighborhood Association) talk about the Fulton Street Farmers Market and their “Our Goodness is Growing” campaign.

Memories of the Fulton Street Farmers Market are plentiful among Grand Rapids residents who have a long tradition of coming to the market with their parents and grandparents since it first opened in 1922. Some even recall when live chickens, ducks and rabbits were on sale there.

The Farmers Market is an integral part of the Grand Rapids (and surrounding area) communities, and not just for nostalgia reasons.

“Buying farm-fresh food adds to the nutritional health for the lower-moderate income neighborhoods where the market is located”, says Helms-Maletic. “Also, when people shop at the Farmers Market, they are also likely to visit other locally-owned businesses on the same day. So in addition to supporting local agriculture and family farms, the Market helps the Grand Rapids’ economy.”

In order to improve the experience for existing patrons and preserve it for future generations, a capital campaign has begun for the Fulton Street Farmers Market’s renovation. New features will include permanent open-air sheds for vendors, a 2,000-square-foot indoor building for indoor vendors and wheelchair accessible restrooms as well as restrooms on the north side of the market. To avoid a larger carbon footprint, the improvements will not include any expansions.

There will be a benefit dinner at From the Heart Yoga Center on September 16 from 6-9 p.m.  In addition to dinner (with locally-grown ingredients prepared by local restaurants), participants will enjoy a silent auction and music by local musicians. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased by calling 328-9547 or by visiting the Fulton Street Farmer’s Market Office (near Fulton St) or several other area businesses.

The Market is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8am to 3pm. Its 200 different vendors (throughout the year) host about 11,000 shoppers per week. Opening the first Saturday in May, the Market is open until the last Saturday before Christmas, with a winter market that runs Saturdays, January through April, from 10am to 1pm. Also, some may not be aware that food stamps and Bridge Cards are accepted at the Market.

Please visit the Fulton Street Farmers Market website or the “Our Goodness is Growing” website to donate and to get more information about this project and the market itself.

Listen to the full interview here.

“A Watershed Moment” is a weekly radio program focused on environmental news and happenings in West Michigan, plus solutions for living a greener life.  Broadcast on WYCE-FM 88.1 on Tuesdays at 8:30am and 5:30pm, this program is produced by Grand Rapids Community Media  Center and West Michigan Environmental Action Council.

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