Farmers Market has found the perfect place to grow

THE WORD FRESH HAS a number of meanings — and all of them are good. Fresh is clean, wholesome, inviting, healthy and good.

All of that fits the Plymouth Farmers Market, which is making the most of a fresh start in a new location this year.

After years of struggling to get a foothold and find just the right spot – a fitting struggle for farmers, it would seem – the market has found good soil and the right conditions in the parking lot of the Fairfield Plaza shopping center on Eastern Avenue.

That might seem like a contradiction in terms, a farmers market flourishing in an asphalt parking lot, but the numbers don’t lie.

In six weeks, the number of customers at the market has grown more than three-fold after already exceeding past average numbers in the opening week.

That’s important, because most of what’s being sold at the farmers market has a limited shelf life, so vendors need to move their product quickly and they need customers to sell their fresh goods to.

Officials of the Sheboygan County Interfaith Organization couldn’t be more ecstatic about the results in the Plymouth Farmers Market’s new home.

“This is really great. We really love it,” Judy Tauschek, farmers market coordinator for the SCIO, said of the new location for the Plymouth market.

Earlier locations such as Plymouth City Park and the Generations intergenerational center limited either the size or the visibility of the market and like trying to grow produce in poor soil or limited space, the results were not appetizing – or fresh.

Now the market can be seen – and easily driven to – on one of the city’s busiest streets, in close proximity to several busy and popular business establishments. That’s drawing customers and growing great business for the Plymouth Farmers Market.

SCIO officials have worked long and hard to try to grow the Plymouth Farmers Market, searching for the right answers and reaching out to local officials and the community to find out how to make it work. Those efforts appear to have succeeded tremendously this year.

The SCIO sponsors farmers markets in Sheboygan on Wednesdays and Sundays as well as the Plymouth market, while Elkhart Lake hosts a large, popular market on Saturdays. All of them support local farmers and gardeners, as well as local artisans, craftspeople and food makers and provide wholesome food that all of us can use in our diets that just taste better, too.

All of that adds up to a good reason to make Plymouth’s and the other area farmers markets a regular stop on shopping trips.

It’s a really fresh idea, any way you define it.

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