WHAT’S NEXT?: People getting back to basics at farmers markets

By January 29, 2014Bigger Picture

With an ever-growing local food movement, people from throughout the state are seeing a return to the basic ways of life.

Urban agriculture businesses, “community supported agriculture,” countless farmers markets, backyard chicken coops — and the list goes on. Many people are gravitating away from the grocery stores and back to the days of buying fresh produce at the market and knowing the farmer who grows their food. It’s what some refer to as “back to basics living.”

In Washtenaw County, farmers markets abound, as well as CSAs and many food-based businesses.Farmers markets are seeing an increase in vendors, as well as customers. Many have been around for several years, including the Ann Arbor Farmers Market, which is 92 years old. The producers-only market has an average of 30 vendors in the winter and near 100 in the summer.

Throughout the past several years, it has added new vendors and has seen a growth in its customer base. Some markets throughout the county are offered year round so residents are able to get fresh produce throughout the year, much of which is grown in hoop houses, an inexpensive greenhouse that can be used throughout the year.