A longstanding center of community activity, the Dixboro village green lay uncharacteristically dormant in the early 2000s. But last year, the new Dixboro Farmers’ Market started bringing people back to the green–about twenty vendors and 350 visitors on a typical Friday night. “There’s no better way to bring people together than with good food and good conversation,” market manager Jason Gold says.
Dixboro, which runs from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m., is just one of several new farmers’ markets that have sprung up around town in recent years. Among them are the Pittsfield Township Farmers Market (2 p.m.-7 p.m. Thursday at the township administration building), the Westside Farmers’ Market (3 p.m.-7 p.m. Thursday in the Zingerman’s Roadhouse parking lot), and Cobblestone Farm Market (4-7 p.m. Tuesday).
“People may still be getting some of their food in other places, but they want fresh food,” says Evan Dayringer, a member of Cobblestone Farm Market’s organizing committee. “You don’t have to drive out to some big box store. It’s right on your commute home.”
Organizers see their operations as more localized complements to the Ann Arbor Farmers Market (7 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Wednesday, plus a dinner-oriented evening market 4 p.m.-8 p.m. Wednesday), rather than competitors. Gold says there’s room for even more markets in Ann Arbor. “Even if every neighborhood in Ann Arbor had a farmers’ market, the Ann Arbor Farmers Market would still exist and still do very well,” Gold says. “We can’t saturate the market by offering really good food.”