The Rapidian

Metro Health Farmers Market: A treasure hunt every week

The Metro Health Farmers Market is celebrating 13 years of serving the community with fresh, locally grown food.
Underwriting support from:

Metro Health Farm Market

The Metro Health Farm Market is open Thursdays from 9am-2pm May-October. There is no cost to visit the Farm Market and parking is free. The Farm Market is located in the Metro Health Village at 5900 Byron Center Ave, SW, Wyoming, MI 49519. To learn more, visit: https://metrohealth.net/about-metro-health/live-healthy/farm-market/ .

 

Michelle Rademacher, Head of Community Health and Wellness

Michelle Rademacher, Head of Community Health and Wellness

What started with four local vendors selling fresh food out of their tailgates 13 years ago has expanded to one of the largest farm markets in West Michigan. Beginning the second week of May, and continuing every week into October, the Metro Health – University of Michigan Health Farm Market is a destination for families, community members and hospital staff.

“We are an organization that serves the community both inside and outside of its walls,” says Metro Health’s Head of Community Health and Wellness Michelle Rademacher. “It’s the goal of the Farm Market to amplify the benefits of eating fresh, locally grown foods and produce, and promote overall wellness.”

Since launching in 2006, the market has grown to accommodate 52 vendors, most of whom set up shop week after week, every single year. “Our vendors are incredible,” Rademacher says. “They support us, each other and the people who visit the market every Thursday.”

Rademacher says the vendors are always willing to discuss the preparation of their food and educate the community about how those foods were grown. She also points out the diversity of products available at the market. “I’m a huge kettle corn junkie, so I always make my way to that vendor! The blueberry products are also a big hit.”

You can also find items like children’s clothes, handmade crafts, plants, coffee, breads, and much more. “Every day feels like a treasure hunt at the market,” Rademacher notes. “I even find birthday and holiday gifts here.”

Rademacher emphasizes that the Farm Market is not only a place to find fresh goods at a low price, it’s also an opportunity to encourage the community to buy local. “When you buy from here, you’re supporting farms and their employees right here in West Michigan. Metro Health believes in supporting local businesses and building up the local economy.”

To ensure the market is accessible to everyone, EBT and Bridge cards are accepted for whatever amount the family chooses. After that, Metro Health pitches in $20 to be used on produce.

The Farm Market perfectly blends Metro Health’s passion for the community with its mission to promote health and wellness. Every year, the market hosts Kids Day and Health and Wellness Day. The events are a chance for Metro Health physicians, nurses and staff to interact with families in a fun way that also educates. Parents and kids learn about health topics such as wellness visits, how to perform CPR, safe sleep habits and the importance of nutrition.

“We’re able to provide this extension of services that not every hospital has the ability to do,” says Rademacher. “It’s a privilege to give back by offering this amazing market to the community.”

Here is a list of some of the items available at the Farm Market right now:

  • Blueberries (berries, pies, donuts, muffins)
  • Coffee (brewed, beans)
  • Clothes
  • Handmade crafts (wood working, artwork)
  • Plants (flowers, succulents)
  • Cherries
  • Peaches
  • Radishes
  • Zucchini
  • Onions
  • Lettuce
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Beans
  • Celery
  • Cauliflower

 

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