2017-06-22 / Life in Leelanau

All five farmers markets open

By Jay Bushen
Of The Enterprise staff


DANA BOOMER of Still Point Market was selling everything from maple syrup to oyster mushrooms to peonies last Thursday at the Leland farmers market. DANA BOOMER of Still Point Market was selling everything from maple syrup to oyster mushrooms to peonies last Thursday at the Leland farmers market. Leelanau County farmers markets are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.

You could come home with asparagus, mushrooms, strawberries or maple syrup; you might come home with a Ziploc bag full of roasted maple-ginger walnuts and tart cherries.

Frank Ditzler of Northport is hoping to send customers home with the latter this summer after he and his wife started Leelanau Gourmet in March.

“My daughter had them on a salad, and my wife and I ended up eating all the nuts she didn’t put on the salad,” Ditzler said from his stand at the Leland farmers market last Thursday. “We needed a source of income and figured we could sell these at the farmers markets. Since we’re in cherry country, we figured we’d add tart cherries.”


AMONG THE vendors at Leelanau County farmers markets this year is Leelanau Gourmet, which is owned by Frank and Bobbie Ditzler of Northport. AMONG THE vendors at Leelanau County farmers markets this year is Leelanau Gourmet, which is owned by Frank and Bobbie Ditzler of Northport. The Ditzlers roast raw walnuts in their oven, marinate them with maple syrup and spices, roast them again, and bag them with and without cherries.

Customers can purchase one bag for $5 or five bags for $20 and eat them with salads, cereals, oatmeal, yogurt, baked goods, ice cream, and more.

“We’re encouraged with the comments we get,” Ditzler said. “It’s something new and different.”

Variety is the spice of life at Leelanau County farmers markets as new vendors continue to expand the array of offerings at all five locations.

Customers can snatch up everything from Gill’s Pier Ranch yak meat to Peninsula Pops popsicles to shiitake mushrooms from Still Point Market.

“We’ve always got new vendors coming in,” said Dana Boomer of Still Point Market. “It’s really nice to have the mix of produce vendors, bakers, prepared food vendors, craft vendors and everything else. At all of our markets, we’ve got a pretty good mix.”

Here’s what you need to know about each of the five Leelanau County farmers market locations this summer:

EMPIRE: The small-but-mighty Empire farmers market, which is held next to the post office every Saturday through Sept. 9, has a loyal customer base and usually stays busy all summer. Seven vendors will be on site this year.

GLEN ARBOR: The Glen Arbor farmers market, which takes place Tuesdays behind the Glen Arbor Township Hall on Western Avenue through Sept. 12, is billed as the busiest among the five county markets and features the most total vendors.

LELAND: The Leland farmers market, held Thursdays in a Leland Public School parking lot through Sept. 7, is often the least-crowded market in Leelanau. Ten vendors are on site this year, including three produce vendors.

NORTHPORT: The breadwinner of all county markets benefits from boat traffic, local traffic and the second most vendors in the county. Twentynine vendors will set up shop near the marina on Fridays through Sept. 7, including eight produce vendors.

SUTTONS BAY: The longest-running farmers market in the county will continue every Saturday at North Park through Oct. 28. A well-rounded mix of 23 vendors is on hand this year, including six produce vendors.

All markets are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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