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Farm and artisan market returns in Dowagiac

Dowagiac has been without a farmers market since 2007, but due to popular demand, one is returning May 28.

According to Vickie Phillipson of the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce, the Farm & Artisan Market will be open every Wednesday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will be downtown on the lawn of the Dowagiac Area History Museum, at the intersection of Division and Railroad streets. The market will stay open through mid- to late-October, or as long as have farmers have produce and fruit to sell, Phillipson said.

The market’s opening coincides with the start of asparagus season, and its closing date will be during apple season.

Market offerings will include vegetables, berries, tree fruit, herbs, pumpkins, Indian corn, popcorn, sweet breads, cupcakes, coffee and eggs. Non-food items will consist of pottery, porcelain, soaps, candles, bath products, crafts, baskets, art, handmade woodwork, gourds, plants and flowers.

Vendors may rent space at the market for $10 a day. Organizers plan to appoint a market master prior to the grand opening date. The market master will see that vendors’ needs are met.

Phillipson said 10 growers and artisans have signed up to participate. Included are Dussel’s Farm Market & Greenhouse of Cassopolis, Eckler’s Produce & Greenhouse of Niles and Sprague Farms of Dowagiac. Backyard growers are also welcome to sell at the downtown market. According to Phillipson, market officials are talking with a food vendor to provide on-site barbecue.

Dowagiac’s central business district last hosted a farmers market in 2007. The Dowagiac Downtown Development Authority, the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce and the Dowagiac Area History Museum have worked together to make the market a reality.

Steve Arsenau, director of the Dowagiac Area History Museum, is working with Phillipson on getting the farmers market up and running.

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