Hello! Took notice earlier this week of the Holland Sentinel article announcing the inaugural Outdoor Winter Market, with the first market day being today (January 17th). True, there would be just six vendors - a far cry from the 50 sellers during the summer farmers market - but that's better than no vendors at all.
To quote from the article: "The market hopes people will take adavantage of the opportunity to buy fresh, local produce even in winter while at the same time supporting farmers in the off-season."
Sounded good to us, so we headed down to the Outdoor Winter Market this morning. The small cluster of vendors was arranged in a semi-circle, with a small fire in the center to cast off a bit of heat. There was even a guy performing for tips on his guitar, just like the regular farmers market has.
A steady stream of shoppers came and went while we were there, and I got the sense that customers were, indeed, glad to buy fresh, local produce at a time of year when most of the grocery store fruits and vegetables are from hundreds or even thousands of miles away.
And what did we buy?
A rutabaga, turnips, parsnips and Ida Red apples. We also could have purchased eggs, garlic, beets, kale, leeks, microgreens, breads, dried beans, wool products and more.
So all in all, not bad for the first-ever day of the Outdoor Winter Market. If you live in the area and would like to visit it yourself, the remaining dates are February 7th, February 21st, March 7th and March 21st. The time is 9 am to noon, and the location is the same as the summer farmers market (Civic Center lot at 8th and Pine Streets).
It almost felt like summer today: sunny and upper 30's as we walked over to the market location. I didn't even need to put on mittens or a hat.
Of course, I know that summer is really several months away yet, but it sure was nice to have a bit of "summer in winter" today.