Text: R. Collins // Photography: Mt. Pleasant Farmers’ Market
Among its hundreds of acres of quality golf courses and organic, educational—and delicious—family farms, the Mt. Pleasant area in central Michigan is a destination for exploring the game and unique regional ingredients. Visitors can do both, in no particular order, at any of the area’s 11 golf courses and in the heart of Mt. Pleasant at its local Farmer’s Market.
Hosted every Thursday and Saturday inside Island Park and then downtown’s Broadway Street, respectively, the Farmer’s Market offers its community and guests a sensory shopping experience not offered in a retail store.
“It gets your senses excited; you have all the smells whether it’s kettle corn being cooked or food trucks or fresh strawberries. Then your eyes get the other immediate input—everything is so colorful and vibrant,” said Carol Moody, manager of the Farmer’s Market and recreation coordinator at the Mt. Pleasant Parks and Recreation department.
Right now, visitors can find more than 20 produce types at the market such as local favorites like Shalom Vegetables and Brandt Family farms—which is the market’s longest tenant. Also offered are cheeses, meats, jam, fudge, and fresh bakes, and non-food goods like flowers and soap. As the seasons change, familiar cool crops and squash varieties from Michigan’s fall produce calendar will also make an appearance. Of course, one major perk of market shopping, whatever the season, is being able to engage with the experts.
“The great part about the market is you get the opportunity to have that interaction with the person who grows [your food], so you can find out what their growing practices are or how to cook something,” Moody said.
You can also happen upon more unexpected activities at the market like kids’ scavenger hunts, outdoor yoga, and sometimes even cooking demonstrations. For many, the market serves as a pop-up hub for enjoying quality time among good food and good people. The same is true for Moody, who hails from southern California but notes that despite Mt. Pleasant’s more rural setting, not much has changed in the way of access to regional bests.
“I still feel like we have access to everything. It’s not that it’s a slower pace, but you know your neighbor. You get a chance to meet people and interact a little bit more. It has a community feel; I think that’s one of the things I like about it,” Moody said.
Those craving more of the outdoors in Mt. Pleasant can head south to Pleasant Hills Golf Club for the area’s namesake “good times place to play golf.” For more information about Mt. Pleasant golf and its many outdoor activities for the end of summer, visit meetmtp.com.
More to explore in Mt. Pleasant:
Island Park | 331 N Main St.
This park near the Farmer’s Market boasts a splash pad, skate park, fishing deck, and sports fields, and it is encircled by the scenic Chippewa River.
Ponder Coffee Company | 1027 S Franklin St.
On the way to the market, grab a pick-me-up from Ponder Coffee Company or sample their generous waffle menu.