May 25 • 11:20 PM

Bountiful crop boosts Imlay farmers market

August 13, 2008
IMLAY CITY — The produce is coming in—and the customers are coming out, say dealers at the Imlay City Farmers Market.

Ken Penzien, owner of Penzien Farms on Brown City Road, said it's a good year for zucchini, squash, melons, tomatoes, sweet corn, beans, peppers and red and white potatoes.

The benefit of the strong harvest is increasing numbers of buyers at the downtown market, located at the corner of Main and Third streets.

"Everything is moving," said Penzien, "but the best sellers at this time of year are the corn, tomatoes and the melons. Those seem to be the favorites."

Penzien was one of 11 vendors displaying their wares at the market on Thursday. He says the Imlay City location has been working out fine.

Ken Penzien of Penzien Farms unloads another bucket of sweet corn at the Imlay farmers market. photo by Tom Wearing.
"This is our third year at this market," said Penzien. "We started out with it on Day 1, and we keep going 'til the end."

Another vendor, Dawne Worden of Earth's Legacy in North Branch, anticipates continued growth at the hometown market.

Worden sells flowers, herbs, handmade soaps, lip balms and fruit. In the autumn, her biggest seller is mums.

"This is my second year in Imlay City and it continues to improve," Worden said. "Business is always best when the vegetables come in. That's what people automatically think of when it comes to a farmers market—the vegetables."

As for the flowers, perennials are always popular, but it's the mums that bring people out to the market, she said.

"I like the atmosphere of the market," said Worden. "And I like the people. But it's a lot of work setting up and tearing down every week.

The Imlay City market relies heavily on local residents as customers. But out-of-towners sometimes find their way to town in search of fresh produce.

"It's a fun place to come," said Gary Butterfield of Deford, who was accompanied by wife Rebekah. "We come here a couple times a month in the summer.

"In the past week, we've attended the Blueberry Festival, the (Eastern Michigan) Fair, and today we're going to eat at Nacho's; so we stopped by the farmers market."

Another visitor was Vicki Anthes of St. John's, who was passing through town while on a business trip to Port Austin.

On Thursday, she was trying on necklaces made of freshwater pearls and shells at the "Two Country Miles" tent. "I think I like this one," she said.

Sponsored weekly by the Imlay City Downtown Development Authority, the Farmers Market is open on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through October.

In addition to the Imlay City location, farmers markets are open in Almont and Capac during the summer and autumn months.

In Almont, a farmers market takes place every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the corner of Main and School streets.

In Capac, a farmers market is open on Main Street at various days and times throughout the week.

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