Our News In Inkster, Wayne, and Westland, Michigan
Inkster Harvest Market Day
After the initial letter from the city of Inkster suggesting to move the launch of the Inkster Farmer’s Market to Summer 2021, Joyce Phillips, the market manager, continued to develop infrastructure for the market. While a launch in summer 2020 was not feasible, the Inkster Task Force decided to present the Farmer’s Market as a one-day harvest market in October. This market day was planned to introduce the market to the Inkster community and will be hosted at the Inkster task force building – formerly the Chase building – in Inkster.
While Joyce met with venders, approached various farmers, a planning committee specific to the Farmers Market was created. This committee through the Inkster Task force was the main sponsor of the event. Other sponsorship and partnership came from Mother’s Pantry and FEAST Detroit, a commercial kitchen and processing center out of Inkster. As the Task Force planned, they had support of Joe Lesausky from Michigan Farmers Market Association who shared different stipulations for current procedures.
The Inkster Harvest Market Day was Wednesday, Oct 7th from 3-7pm. The market was spaced in consideration of social distancing for 6-7 vendors. The market was cash only with no fee for participation to shoppers or venders. Turnout was around 50-60 people with some people arriving based on seeing marketing and some people attending because they were driving by and wanted to see what the activity was. It was very windy so tents couldn’t be safely set up but people were happy to wear masks and adhere to distancing. “People were happy to get out and wander around after being indoors all summer. They did obey the covid restrictions, and the atmosphere was really nice,” said Joyce Phillips.
Surveys were passed out to those who attended with questions regarding frequency of the market, types of vendors people would like, how often they would frequent the market in the summer. The surveys were filled out on site and much of the feedback was positive. One major item of feedback was just a desire for more fresh fruits and vegetables. For the vendor that did come with fresh produce, it was still late in the season. At an upcoming Task Force meeting, the results of these surveys will be reviewed and evaluated. One of Joyce’s major takeaways for the market came from survey responses; “One of the questions on the survey was ‘did you think a farmers market was a good project for the city?’ and overwhelmingly everyone thought that having one was a good idea, it was needed, and that people would patronize”.
While the Harvest Market was a great success and introduction to the community, with even more of a runway to network and advertise, it could be expected to have an even higher turnout in the future. “All in all it was great and everyone was pleased with how it went.”