As I am typing right now I can’t help but think about gingersnap cookies. Odd, but true. I bought a small bag of these cookies, oatmeal cookies, and even one large sourdough chocolate chip cookie at the Gladwin Farmers Market this past weekend. Yes, I have a cookie problem. The problem was, that there were too many delicious cookie options at the market!
When I was headed to the Gladwin Farmers Market that morning I expected to be making healthy choices among fresh produce. Perhaps I would be preparing an exquisite salad from my market findings come lunchtime. I did not expect to be hounding cookies like a rabid cookie beast in the parking lot. I didn’t have the restraint to wait until I hopped in my truck to eat them in secret, you know, like a normal person. Consequently, I was forced to share some of these cookies with my kids.
That sounds selfish, please hear me out… Grandma had already bought my kiddos donuts at the market. So now, maybe you can empathize with me? Those cookies were supposed to be mommy’s cookies!
Let’s get back on topic by starting with the basics. The Gladwin Farmers Market operates on Saturday mornings from 9 AM to 1 PM from the second Saturday of May until the second Saturday of October at 200 North State Street. It is a smaller venue but I appreciate that it has a pavilion and easy access to clean restrooms.
The Gladwin Farmers market was full of unexpected surprises from a superfluous variety of baked goods to unique homespun goods. Some of my favorite handcrafted finds included a wool dryer ball (a natural, reusable alternative to dryer sheets), bar soap (I dare you to go smell the brown one called “Dirty Boy” – upon smelling I could not contain my chuckle! Comment below and I MIGHT reveal the scent…) and upcycled soy candles.
More traditional farmers’ market finds were fresh farm eggs, honey, jams, maple syrup, black walnuts, asparagus and garden plants.
Made in the Mitten
I visited with several of the vendors at the market that morning and as you might expect, they were all friendly and engaging individuals. What you might not expect is Jean’s sense of humor. Jean, of “Made in the Mitten by Jean,” is one crafty and cheeky woman.
Jean had a wonderful assortment of handmade home goods, many of which are upcycled. Upcycling is a creative way to reuse waste materials or unwanted products, turning them into new materials or products considered to be of greater quality. The candles I so admired are a great example here; Jean found the glasses and teacups at second-hand stores or antique shops and uses soy wax not just for a better burn time, but it’s also easier to clean out the containers once again for reuse. That’s recycling power threefold!
Here’s where Jean’s humor really shined, I could not stop reading the pendants attached to all her candles!
I’ve shown some of the more bold sayings here, but truly, there seemed to be a candle charm for everyone.
M.E.’s Green Acres
I also met interesting couples at the Gladwin Farmers Market. Rich and Cindy own a small farm business called M.E.’s Green Acres. The couple moved to Michigan from Chicago, Illinois 8 years ago. Using organic practices, they carry over 130 all-natural, non-toxic skincare products and non-toxic cleaning products.
If you can believe it, they provide other products as well. In fact, I heard Cindy is quite the baker. Unfortunately, and as you might recall, I bought ALL the cookies leading up to her booth! Next time I’ll be sure to find M.E.‘s Green Acres first.
Friends of the Gladwin County District Library
Another couple, Ed and Barbara, were with Friends of the Gladwin County District Library (GCDL). They had loads of used books at their stand of all genres. I found it curious that there were no prices to be seen so, of course, I made the inquiry. Pick a book, any book, or as many books as you’d like – you can choose what to pay! All money raised at the Friends booth goes toward invaluable community programs put on by the GCDL.
I was so impressed by this support concept Friends provides the GCDL that I became more talkative than usual.
You likely don’t know me, but that’s a TON of talking. Poor Grandma soon became very busy with my sugar buzzed boys! Do recall, she contributed to that problem, too!
Anyhow, I was able to get better acquainted with Ed and Barbara at the book stand. They have been married for 59 years! I just love learning about couples married for so long as they seem to be in great shortage today. I would have been a fool to not ask for their advice on the topic of a happy union; “what books do you recommend on marriage?” To which Ed instinctively and earnestly replied, “The Bible.”
As one and all would expect, my reaction:
Michigander, Kristen Bell.
Overall, I did not expect such a wide variety of goods for sale at the Gladwin Farmers Market. Nor did I expect that I would be reminded of the key to a blissful marriage. (Elated sigh.) But one should expect that I will visit the Gladwin Farmers Market again and again.
Footnote: Another unexpected gem was found right next to the Gladwin Farmers market; the Gladwin County Historical Society Museum. My family enjoyed each of the several traditional buildings on site. To our amazement, there were signs posted saying “Please touch” – this museum is a parent’s dream. I suppose it’s a dream come true for the kids, too!
For more unexpected local treasures, check out the Ultimate Michigan Spring Bucket List.