It’s that time of year when we’re all dreaming of warmer weather and fresh produce, so we thought it would be a good time to restart the Detroit Eats! photo essay project, which started in July. This is the fifth market profile in the series.
The Downtown Farmers’ Market wins the best-dressed shoppers award, attracting all of the business-casual-clad folk from their offices during lunch breaks. Seeing high heels and polished leather loafers stroll around the garden seems both out of place and charming at the same time. The Downtown Market is not only a place to grab some delicious food, but also provides a platform for new folks to learn about the urban farming movement happening within the city.
The Downtown Farmers’ Market is nestled between busy one-way streets and multi-story buildings in the Lafayette Greens garden. It’s down the street from Lafayette Coney Island (or American Coney Island, depending on which side of the age-old battle you sit).
The garden is teeming with raised beds growing flowers, herbs, fruits and veggies. It is decorated with crafty bird houses and friendly robots made from recycled materials. The inviting space serves as an educational center for those wandering by downtown, modeling how much can be both grown and taught on such a small plot of land. Helpful informational placards are displayed near each bed, and staff members are on hand to answer the questions of those who wander in to explore. There are workshops held in the garden sponsored by the Greening of Detroit, as well as cooking demos sponsored by Compuware (who originally commissioned the creation of Lafayette Greens).
The market is run by Greg Willerer of Brother Nature Produce. Brother Nature, possibly most known for their spicy greens and edible flowers, is a farm located two-fold in Detroit and Port Huron. It appropriately reflects the mixed crowd of commuting suburbanites and resident Detroiters who shop at the Downtown Farmers’ Market.
The market also features tasty treats from Brooklyn St. Local, a restaurant located just across the Lodge Freeway in Corktown. Marissa, staffing the table, doesn’t seem to mind a swarm of bees happily sipping drops of her ice-cold Arnold Palmer. The buzz of the bees matches the busy buzz of downtown.
Last summer, the Downtown Farmers’ Market was open every Thursday from 11a.m.-4 p.m. at 132 W Lafayette Blvd. We’re hoping they’ll be back in force in 2015.