Dorothy Feltner, VISTA, reporting in. I have to play catch up on my work. I took a very long drive up through Michigan to Duluth, MN and back last week. I will be posting twice this week to make up for it! Along my journey I had the joys of checking up on the local food scenes that I used to be a part of and investigating ones I haven’t seen yet. Most notably I visited Detroit’s Eastern Market and Marquette’s Food Co-op.
Detroit’s Eastern Market was a massive 3 blocks long and had so many things it was almost impossible to look at them all. I was most impressed by a farmer who’s main focus was on heirloom tomatoes. He grew a lot of varieties, some which looked really cool. A few looked like varieties that we call Tommy Toes around the holler. The general diversity of vendors types at this market has contributed to the market’s long standing success. I think it is something to be considered when building up a farmer’s market. There is an overall lack of crafters at our local markets and I think that adding variety will bring more people out to the markets nearby.
Marquette, MI is my hometown, way up on the shore of Lake Superior. I was a frequenter at the Marquette Food Co-op and when I left they were in the process of moving to a bigger building and creating a food hub. It was nice to visit their new facility, which I was impressed by. It gave me hope that small towns like Marquette (about 21,532 people in 2012 according to Google) can have a thriving local food economy. The city also curiously had an influx of people with dreadlocks since I last visited.