"Yes, we have no bananas, we have no bananas today!
We've string beans, and onions, cabashes, and scallions,
All sorts of fruit, and say...
We have an old fashioned tomato, a Long Island potato,
But, yes, we have no banans,
We have no bananas today!"
This 1923 top hit song, written by Louis Prima, describes a small, city produce market. At that time, Northville Farmers Market was thriving in the old Opera House, once located on the east side of North Center Street. Situated on the ground floor, the Market was next to a meat market, and a laundry. Although the ornate grand staircase rose from the entry level , the shops all had sawdust floors. Then, as now, the Market was stocked with locally grown produce and flowers from area farmers. Louis Prima's song lyrics are a good description of our Farmers Market today.
There are over 220 farmers markets in Michigan this year, and each has a different atmosphere. Some markets are bustling with energy, some are a cozy local gathering place, and some are a community event with activities and entertainment. "Farmers markets bring farmers and consumers together and often act as a centerpiece of community vitality," says the Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA).
Michigan has the greatest diversity of local produce than any state other than California. Each farmers market forms its own policies about the produce they sell. Some markets sell fresh produce grown 30 miles or less from the market, or within the county where the market is located. Other markets will sell lemons, oranges, and avocados along with their other produce, all of it purchased from a large wholesale company. Some markets require not only locally grown, but are a "producers market" which means that the grower, or a family member, is the person selling the produce.
Although MIFMA is the supportive, and instructive organization behind Michigan farmers markets, it does not set policies for markets, allowing each market it's own individuality.
The Northville Farmers Market is a producers market. Our policy is "Michigan made-Michigan grown". This helps insure that the produce you buy is very fresh, and local. We only carry produce that is ripe and in season here in Michigan. You may not be able to buy tomatoes yet, or peaches, or sweet corn. You won't find avocados or lemons---but the sweet red Michigan strawberries were just picked yesterday!
...and yes, we have no bananas!
See you at the Market!