PHOTO STORY: Dowagiac’s Farm & Artisan Market kicks off summer season

DOWAGIAC — The first week of June brings with it the return of one of the area’s most anticipated summer programs.

Dowagiac’s Farm & Artisan Market opened for the season Wednesday. The Wednesday and Saturday market is hosted from 9 to 2 p.m. upon the grounds of the Dowagiac Area History Museum throughout the summer.

“A sure sign summer is right around the corner is the opening of our Dowagiac Farm & Artisan Market, which kicks off its season this week,” said Vickie Phillipson, program director of the Dowagiac Downtown Development Authority.

“Every week consumers can find something new at the market, as fruits and vegetables come into season,” Phillipson said.  “Growers this week featured rhubarb and asparagus, and anticipate strawberries to be another week out.”

Space is available at the market for $10 a day. The market is open to local farmers, backyard growers, businesses and local artisans, who would like to sell their fruit and produce, annuals and perennials, baked goods, and other Michigan or hand-made products downtown.

Sisters Beth Johnston and Kim Dagostino were happy to be back for their third year at the market. The duo shares a booth where Johnston, of Johnston Farm in Sodus, offers guests farm fresh eggs and produce from her farm, while Dagostino offers a variety of baked breads and hand-made quilted market bags.

“The group of vendors that come to this market are the best,” Johnston said. “I’ve visited other farm markets, and I love the atmosphere. This one is my favorite. The vendors treat each other like family because we see each other so often.”

“I couldn’t wait to come back,” Dagostino said. “We were excited when it started back up again. It’s so much fun and everyone is so nice and friendly here.”

Evonne Gaskin, of Cassopolis, was a first-time vendor at the artisan market, though she has frequented many markets over three years offering assorted plants, wind chimes and more. Gaskin, who owns EMGEM Rock Shop, 149 N. Broadway St., Cassopolis, plans on setting up shop every Wednesday with the possibility of Saturdays as well.

“I typically do gem and jewelry shows but those were shut down,” she said. “This gives me the opportunity to get out again.”

For more information or to register for booth space, call the Dowagiac DDA at (269) 782-8212 or by email at VPhillipson@Dowagiac.org

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