This is the first market profile of Detroit Eats! photo essay project.
In the backyard of the plum colored house at 2360 Yemans, a young boy scales down the trunk of a very climable looking tree. When he lands on the ground, he is surrounded by several tables and talkative neighbors, the average weekly makeup of the Hamtramck Farmers’ Market. His name is Ivan, he is nine years-old, and a regular at the Hamtramck Farmers’ Market.
There is a sign on the garage that reads Never Mind the Dog. Beware of the Owner. Yet, as I enter, I am greeted with many “hellos” and warm smiles making me feel like I’m arriving at a family get-together, except I do not actually know anyone there.
“Ice cream! Ice cream!” yells a little girl, no older than three, selling imaginary ice cream cones out of her pop up tent. Her ability to sell tasty treats must have rubbed off from her only customer and mother, Angel. Angel operates the Tiny Acres booth, and lives in the house that hosts this weekly market. Tiny Acres is an urban farm consisting of three lots of raised beds located in Hamtramck. Its inventory proudly boasts organic and non-GMO produce, delicious jams and jellies, granola, and even balms and sunblock.
Angel introduces me to the other vendors including Pam, owner of Pamelot Soap Co, a pink-haired woman selling all natural perfumes with a necklace that says FIERCE, and Kaitlyn and Chris-Teena the owners of Jane of All Trades, a mobile coffee stand. “There’s supposed to be some punk rock kid,” she explains, motioning to the empty table, “but he’s a punk rock kid so he flaked.”
Regardless of the missing vendor, the market still has an diverse array of products from Pamelot’s goat’s milk soaps to Jane of All Trades’ Whipped Up Greek Iced Coffee (I’m not sure what makes it Greek, you’ll have to try it for yourself!). Ivan operates the welcome table with a charmingly business-like attitude. When asked what his favorite part of the market was, he shrugged and said “Just selling to people, and giving them products of food.” Earlier, he offered me a sample of some local bread, thoroughly briefing me on the pros and cons of its flavor.
With such welcoming people, and the fact that it is held in the backyard of someone’s home, the Hamtramck Farmers’ Market is as “local” as local food can get. The market has created a space for neighbors to hang out, eat, and laugh together on a weekly basis. By opening her backyard to the neighborhood, Angel and her family exemplify the ability for local food to foster community, and prove the Beware of Owner sign to be completely false.
The Hamtramck Farmers’ Market is open every Saturday from 2-6 pm at 2360 Yemans. The market is one of 14 Detroit Community Markets supported by the Detroit Food & Fitness Collaborative.
For the first time, the Hamtramck Market is proud to accept SNAP/Bridge Cards this year for eligible items.