By Aimee Bingham Osinski email@example.com
Dana Queen, addressed City Council with her first end of season report for the Farmers Market. The Dexter Farmers Market spent its 14th year at the covered site, adjacent to the library and Mill Creek Park. Dana took over as market manager March 27, 2019. The Council seemed impressed with the amount of work she’d put into the market, thus far and I certainly was too.
Dana has lots of ideas for the market, some of which she started implementing this past year. Her current pet project is tasty Tuesday. She’d like to get local restaurants, food carts, and trucks to come down on a typically slow restaurant nights and sell some food. What a great idea; eat dinner while you shop. Ideally, she’d have it every Tuesday, but at least once per month, a tasty Tuesday at the market. As a mom, this sounds very convenient, feed my kids while I pick up local, fresh food? Every Saturday there was a free concert and the bike medic was there helping fix bikes for free, throughout May and June. During the summer the market began accepting Snap benefits and secured a grant to double up food bucks, which is great for people living with little resources. It enables their dollar to go further, which makes it easier for people to obtain fresh healthy food, all while supporting the local farmer, who due to a difficult growing season, may have struggled. Everyone wins when a market can do that. If you receive benefits, you are encouraged to shop at the farmers market and your food dollars are doubled.
Dana has hosted several fun events and is looking to do more for next season. Last season she had a mother’s day flower pot painting event and a father's day apron painting event. There was a basket giveaway, chalk the block, pumpkin painting, and a dog costume contest for Halloween.
I spoke with Dana about her vision for the future of the market. She explained that Saturdays are already pretty good, but she’d like to add a few more vendors.She thinks with the bakers and the fire roasted coffee guy selling by the cup, a nice breakfast while you shop will be enjoyable. She’s also looking to add educational events to Saturday; a dietician, a chef demo, and a honey bee advocate, plus the events from last year. On Tuesdays, she’s working hard to implement Tasty Tuesdays and she’s also focused on bringing out more vendors, to the north end while hosting events on the South end. She’s also been working on a new design and logo and searching for local businesses to sponsor to help pay for musicians, prizes, and advertise.
To sum it up, the farmers market is in good energetic hands. The market is open May-October, Saturday 8am-1pm and Tuesday 2-6pm. A vendor application can be found online at www.dextermi.gov under Farmers Market. If you’d like to participate or sponsor an event contact Dana Queen at firstname.lastname@example.org.