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Posted on Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

Pittsfield Township considering farmers market to open in June

By Kody Klein

Pittsfield Township may establish its own farmers market as early as June if the township Board of Trustees votes to authorize it at its meeting on Wednesday.


Edwin King of Frog Holler Farm talks about the growing season at his stand at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market last July. Pittsfield Township is considering starting a farmers market in June.

Angela J. Cesere | file photo

"We’re in favor of it in general," said Trustee Michael Yi. "It’s always good to support our local farmers and provide fresh fruits and vegetables and dairy to our residents."

Starting June 6, the market would take place every Thursday from 2 to 7 p.m. in the east parking area of the Pittsfield Township Administration Building, 6201 W. Michigan Ave., pending approval from the township attorney, Jim Fink.

Yi said the trustees have been looking for ways to support local agriculture for some time.

"From the very start we took office, we talked about community farming—providing people with plots of lands where they can grow their own food within our township," Yi said. "But this might be a more practical step. It will get a much larger audience to local farms and give people the opportunity to get fresh, local produce."

According to a memorandum from Trish Reilly, the township's deputy supervisor, the market's 40 spaces would be open exclusively to Michigan producers and artisans. Most of those spaces would be reserved for food vendors, but eight would be open to vendors of other items.

Vendors would pay a $50 fee to rent a 10-foot-by-10-foot space for the season.

The township would hire a manager to work 10 to 15 hours per week running the market. The manager would be considered a temporary township employee, earning $18 per hour.

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Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 4:21 p.m.

There are a lot of farms in the direct vicinity that do not attend the Ypsi or Ann Arbor markets, so there is little threat of vendor competition. Even though it is on the same day as the Westside Ann Arbor market, it is away far for many farmers as well as consumers. The Cobblestone market is at the exact same time as the Downtown Ypsilanti Farmer's Markets yet both markets did well last year & continue to be popular with both farmers and customers alike. The assumption that more farmer's markets somehow hurt growers is based in the idea that demand for local food is static or that it is already at capacity in some way, when there is much more room for growth. No one seems to complain when there's too many chain supermarkets around...

Basic Bob

Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 1:06 a.m.

Pending Jim Fink's approval?


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 1:29 p.m.

Wish they would put it farther north in the township! This is basically in one corner of the twp, very near Saline, and not serving much of the population centers. How about somewhere along State St. for example?


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 2:35 p.m.

ok, and where does the twp own a large parking lot north of Mich Ave? Montibellar is the only one I can think of and it certainly doesn't have the accessibility that they have at their main lot. As slow as the Mich ave traffic moves, you could swing through for some fresh veggies and only miss 1 or 2 light rotations.

Katrease Stafford

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 1:06 p.m.

This is great news for the Pittsfield Township community. The other communities that already have them-- Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, Saline, etc.-- seem to really love them. It's great to have many options to buy and support locally sourced food/products.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 1:04 p.m.

I would love this! It's less than 2 mi from home and it fits with my weekly schedule perfectly!


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 11:42 a.m.

Why is it that those who already have a Farmers Market don't want other communities to have one? If I want to go to one I should have to drive to Saline or Milan when gas prices are what they are. Or I should have to deal with the congestion of Ann Arbor. And I might point out also that competition is supposed to be part of the free enterprise system.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 1:54 p.m.

The Ypsilanti Farmer's Markets, especially the Downtown one, are really great and really affordable. You also have to consider not just your cost to drive to different markets, but the farmers' costs as well, both in terms of gas and time. Making it a little more convenient for consumers might have a negative impact on the farmers, which may in turn drive up the cost for consumers. While you may have to drive three or even ten miles to get to a farmer's market that's convenient for you, farmers or their employees are driving hundreds of miles to get to all the different farmer's markets.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 12:20 p.m.

Bah, I got mine, you don't need yours. Seriously though, the Zingermanesque prices at a lot of the stands in the AA farmers market are out of line. They need good competition. Too bad this won't be on Saturdays.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 11:27 a.m.

I would think this was unwise if it were to compete with other local markets in Saline, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, or Milan. Being on Thursday means it does not compete but compliments Saline, but what about others? Not every little community needs a market, but rather we should support the markets in the city centers.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 3:46 p.m.

You pretty much defined the reason we have urban sprawl. I'm very much for the markets, and I do live within five miles of one of the markets, however, the Pittsfiled TWP location is five miles from the saline location; so if they were on the same day it would be competition, however if they work together it may be complimentary.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 3:09 p.m.

Not everyone wants to drive downtown or saline. I'd be willing to bet you live close by one already.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 10:32 a.m.

Great trying to park in Oz....go for it....

Vivienne Armentrout

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 10:19 a.m.

I love farmers' markets and the opportunity to buy locally. But one thing I've become aware of is that there is a limit to how many markets a local grower can come to and still have time to do the many hours of work required on the farm. We've really been proliferating markets lately and I wonder how many new producers are also coming up who can appear at them. Note that this time is the same as the Westside Farmers' Market in Ann Arbor - I hope that the two markets don't start competing with each other for vendors.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 2:29 p.m.

Mousedeva, Cobblestone Farm is in Ann Arbor on Packard. And I might and that it is well into Ann Arbor.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 1:12 p.m.

I'd like to also note that it would take away from the already established market at Cobblestone Farm which I believe is also in Pittsfield. Why not expand at that location? Or at least merge them to the Mich Ave area. I always find it absurd that there is so much competition for the same thing within a small medium-farmer's markets, social groups, whatever!


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 11:17 a.m.

As I was reading this article I was going to point this out as well. A Pittsfield market is a wonderful idea but I think their timing will cause some issue. I think it will be very difficult to pull consumers and vendors away from the Westside market.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 10:17 a.m.

I would love this! I think it's a great idea