Reflections on a day at the Howell Farmers Market

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I spent Mothers Day at the Howell Farmers Market.

Along with my husband and kid, I handed out cards and balloons to promote this website.

Nicole Stone, The Livingston Post’s sales director, handled the market in Brighton on Saturday. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t as cooperative for her crew on Saturday as it was for mine on Sunday.

While it started out kind of dark and cool, Sunday turned out be an absolutely lovely day, one during which I made some observations.

The Farmers Market is, in truth, a dog parade. There were all manner of dogs at the market, all shapes, sizes and looks. Some were quite large and lumbering; one was so tiny that I feared for his life as he walked around the market on a leash. Some breeds were easily recognizable, while some looked like they were created as part of a middle school cloning assignment. Some lucky dogs spent their time at the market in the arms of their owners. And everyone loves puppies!

There IS such a thing as purple asparagus. Take that, Sister Pius, my first-grade teacher who was highly critical of my choice of colors for my vegetable coloring-book assignment.

Shoppers shared that the purple variety has a snappier texture and nuttier taste than the green. I forgot to ask whether your pee still has that telltale asparagus smell after you eat it.

There is a “style” to putting entry forms in a fish bowl. The Livingston Post has a lovely gardening basket that it’s giving away to one lucky person. I didn’t realize that there are so many different ways to fold entry forms. On Sunday, there were actually four orgami-ed entries dropped into our fishbowl.

It’s definitely an election year. There were several packs of people in bright, matching T-shirts hanging out at the market all day long. At first I thought they were a field trip vigilant of keeping tack of their participants, but they were, in fact, there to advertise their favorite candidates (however, the folks at my booth wearing The Livingston Post T-shirts were simply exercising exquisite fashion sense).

There are a couple people in Livingston County who don’t use the Internet. Seriously. Enough said.

You can get some beautiful plants at the market. I watched amazing hanging baskets and colorful flats of annuals whiz by. I look forward to going back next week as a customer.

You can tell the experienced market shoppers by their gear. From professional-looking wagons to handled baskets, the folks who frequent farmers markets for shopping come prepared. Sunday’s most popular basket style features a colorful cloth body topped by a padded handle, similar to this one:

There is a rhythm to the market. While traffic was steady throughout the day, it ebbed and flowed. The Livingston Post balloon-blowing team quickly learned to adjust its pace to keep up with the busy times by stocking up inflated balloons during the slower times.

Music makes the market go ‘round. One of the very nicest things about the Howell Farmers Market is the entertainment. It was a pleasure to have a musical backdrop to the day on Sunday.

It’s more than a market; it’s a party. Yeah, people go to the market to get great produce, food items, plants and other stuff. But people also go to the market to enjoy the company of others. It was my pleasure to get caught up with people I’ve not seen in years, and to make some new contacts, all in the relaxed market atmosphere.

Most kids love balloons; most dogs do not.

The Brighton Farmers Market is open 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, May through October, in the Municipal Lot in downtown Brighton.

The Howell Farmers Market is open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays, May through October, on State Street and Clinton Street by the historical Livingston County Courthouse.

About Maria Stuart 212 Articles
Journalist Maria Stuart lives in Howell. She worked at The Livingston County Press/Livingston County Daily Press & Argus as a reporter, editor and managing editor from 1990-2009. She is often spotted holding court at Uptown Coffeehouse. You can check out her website by clicking here.