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Main Street Calumet Farmers Market transitions indoors

CALUMET — The Farmers Market is moving indoors on Saturday, Oct.17, said Main Street Calumet Executive Director Leah Polzien, in a Monday email. On Saturday, the event will occur in the former Calumet and Hecla Mining Company Drill Shop, which is located behind the high school and middle school. The Cool Season Market will run each Saturday, from Oct. 17 through Dec. 19, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

“As fall cools into winter, the Main Street Calumet Farmers Market usually winds down,” said Polzien, “and it’s simply too cold for vendors to stand outside for hours at a time.”

For the past few years, she said, vendors and the Farmers Market Committee have discussed hosting an indoor market for the fall and early winter, and this year it is finally happening. This year the market ended its outdoor run on October 10th in an effort to avoid a snowy finish.

Nichole and Matt Boersma, who farm at Boersma Family Roots, are popular vendors at the market. Polzien said they are excited about this new opportunity, saying they have had many market patrons express their disappointment with the market ending the past few seasons.

“The great news is,” Nichole said, “it doesn’t have to end, just because it’s getting cold! With the indoor market local produce will still be available even after we get a little snow”.

The former C&H Drill Shop, also home to the Copper Country Curling Club, is owned by Calumet Township. The building has undergone significant improvements over the past several years, and is now partially heated and has bathroom facilities, Polzien said.

“Between the timber frame, masonry walls and huge arched windows,” she said, “the structure is really something to see, and it’s high, open framework feels like a good fit for a market.”

Polzien said, however, that with the COVID-19 pandemic, and the increasing number of positive test cases, all attendees must must wear a face covering, maintain social distancing, and attendance will be limited according to e Michigan Farmers Market Association guidelines.

The market will continue to be focused on food, but with an additional sprinkling of artisan crafters to allow customers to pick up the perfect hand crafted gift as the holiday season approaches. Customers can expect many of the same local food vendors and products from the summer market including: hearty cool weather crops from North Harvest CSA, and Boersma Family Roots, baked goods from Teach to Taste, fresh trout and white fish from Keweenaw Fish Co., and mushrooms from Superior Mycology.

Polzien said that Main Street Calumet is proud to host the Farmers Market as it provides healthy local food and because it provides a testing ground for entrepreneurs.

“We hope to see some of the folks who are starting out at the Farmers Market expanding their offerings in other ways,” said Polzien, “possibly transitioning to commercial kitchen products or to brick and mortar operations.”

Ashley TenHarmsel, of North Harvest CSA, may be one of those entrepreneurs, who reported, “we will be starting the cool season market with fresh produce but will then transition to value added products like a line of sourdough bread offerings and smoked chilis I’ve been working on”.

To learn more about which vendors will attend each week, follow the Main Street Calumet Farmers Market on Facebook or Instagram at @calcityfarmmarket or visit the calendar on our website https://www.mainstreetcalumet.com/farmers-market.html.

“If you grow food, create commercial or cottage food products or value added artisan products and would like to be a vendor at the market please,” Polzien said, “reach out to marketmanager@mainstreetcalumet.com.”

To visit the Farmers Market Saturday, on Red Jacket Road, turn into the driveway just north of the Calumet Township Offices (also the school driveway), and continue towards the CLK Schools. Continue though the school parking lot to the Drill Shop/Curling Club building with is parallel with the school playground. Signs will guide visitors.

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