tomorrow’s thanksgiving farmers market

Tomorrow, at the Corner Brewery, our friends at Growing Hope will be hosting a special pre-Thanksgiving indoor farmers market (pdf). The event is scheduled to run from 3:00 to 7:00… Following is a really quick interview I just did with Amanda Edmonds, the Executive Director of Growing Hope:

MARK: So, Amanda, what should we expect to see tomorrow? How many vendors? What kinds of stuff?

AMANDA: There will be veggies, holiday greens, honey, baked goods, cider, a few turkeys, & other gifts and goodies. Locavorious is also going to be doing their first share distribution there (but that’s for people who are already members) of locally-grown frozen! We’ve got three vendors who do greens in hoophouses (including us!!!!)… Many of our vendors were in a wait and see mode as to what veggies they’d have, though — so no guarantees. And what we have may go fast… We’ll also have some fresh herbs.

MARK: So, other than working on renovations to the Growing Hope Center, and caring for the plants in the hoophouse, what will you be doing this winter?

AMANDA: Raising money, budgeting, planning, orienting our five new full-time VISTAs who start in December (yay!), getting ready for the springtime, evaluating, documenting, et al… Always lots to do– running a nonprofit is a lot about the back-end stuff that continues all year. We’re also continuing to teach regularly in classrooms at East Middle School, West Middle School, & Head Start– throughout the year. Our after-school summer program– Roots & Shoots– has continued into the fall, because the kids don’t want to stop… And, one of our core programs– the Community & School Garden Development Institute– happens in January and February (for groups who want to develop gardens in Spring 09).

MARK: And what do we have to look forward to this Spring as far as our local farmers markets are concerned?

AMANDA: We’ve been overjoyed by the growth this year– sales were $65,000, compared to $28,000 last year. Food stamp sales were 6 times what they were last year, and some market days at the Tuesday Downtown Ypsi Farmers’ Market had over 800 people. We were psyched at how many new vendors we had too. We’re looking forward to really more of that growth– more customers=more sales=more vendors=more money in the local economy=more fresh healthy food for people=happy Ypsilanti.

If current trends continue, we’re going to see a growing percentage of our food coming from local sources, so come out tomorrow, have a beer, and meet the local farmers who either already are, or soon will be feeding your family.

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  1. Posted November 25, 2008 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    I love this organization. Cheers to you Amanda and the other folks at Growing Hope!

  2. Brent
    Posted November 25, 2008 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    This is awesome! I needed a few more things for Thanksgiving and was just wishing this morning that I could do the Tuesday farmer’s market.

  3. Posted November 25, 2008 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    I’ll be seeing ya this afternoon…

  4. Paw
    Posted November 25, 2008 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    If by “vegetables” you means “guns” I will be there.

  5. amanda
    Posted November 25, 2008 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for EVERYONE who came out! There were a lot of you, and it was so warm and cozy, and lots to choose from, and a good time. …so much so that the vendors made up and all signed a petition to try to get us to do it again. And giant thanks to our outgoing market manager– Rachel C– who really made the incredible market run so smoothly– and *grow*– all season, as well as the other Growing Hopers… I know they’re not as embedded in or in front of the community like me, so don’t get enough recognition– but Meg, Terry, Karen, Roy, RachL, Laurie, and all the rest of the faces you see around GH are who it couldn’t be done without… Not to mention uber volunteers like Stephanie at the market and a billion more I can’t even begin to name… If we weren’t in a rockin’ super-supportive community like Ypsi, where people are not only inspired to make change, but all about just doing it, we couldn’t do what we do…

  6. mark
    Posted November 26, 2008 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    The market turned out beautifully, Amanda. Congratulations to you and your staff for pulling off a great event.

  7. mark
    Posted November 26, 2008 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know if it would be possible, but, while we’re waiting for the Freighthouse to get open, I wonder if some kind of deal might be struck with the folks at the Brewery so that during the winter we could have indoor markets there during the day… I realize it would be a hassle to move furniture around on a regular basis, but maybe there’s a way to work it… If that doesn’t work, is there another space that might? How about a Saturday morning at a church?

  8. Old Goat' Wife
    Posted November 27, 2008 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    I am sure that the Corner enjoyed more business than usual last Tuesday. I stopped and shopped and saw many friends shopping w/a glass of beer in hand. The place was packed. It would seem to be mutually beneficial to the Gref’s and our community to repeat that success.

  9. Old Goat' Wife
    Posted November 27, 2008 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    Nothin’ like a nice cold one to encourage spending while perusing the vendors. Some of them had just about sold out their wares. Never had it like this at the freight house!

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