It's fresh. It's local. And this Saturday, it's open for business.

photo by stevendepolo

Mark your calendar for the start of the 90th season of Michigan's largest farmers market, the Fulton Street Farmers Market in Grand Rapids. Set your alarm for this Saturday morning, May 5, and begin your weekend with a stroll through the wonderful sights, sounds, and smells of the 118 booths in the newly renovated facility at 1147 E. Fulton.

As you make your way down the long aisle of this open-air market (now with a covered roof), you'll find fresh produce and aromatic breads; meat and eggs from local farms; and sauces and syrups you wont be able to refuse. There really is something for everyone, so bring your shopping bag--you're sure to fill it!

If you've visited the market before, you'll see both new and familiar vendors, like Blueberry Heritage Farm and the Lubber family farm (try their Little Rooster Bread!). Several vendors have been selling here for generations, including Tanis Orchards--a vendor since 1931. I love to take my time checking out each vendor, looking through their booths and learning more about their craft. And I always leave with a bag spilling over with goodness.

Parking is available at the market and you can usually find a space, but Saturdays get busy. If it's too congested, you can park at the Salvation Army, next to the market. RAPID Bus Route 14 has a stop near the market, too. And if you prefer to hop on your bike, you'll be pleased to see the nice new bike racks, added as part of the recent $2.7 million renovation.

Hours:

Beginning this Saturday, May 5, 2012

8:00 a.m. 3:00 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturday (May 5 Dec. 22, 2012)

* local tip: some vendors leave early depending on the weather and how busy it is. It's best to get here by 1-ish if you can

4:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday evenings, June - September

11:00 a.m. 3:00 p.m. Sunday ARTisans Market

At the ARTisans market, you'll find local handmade items, sold by their creators, like journals made from recycled book covers by Butch Cash or Sarah Eddy's woolies, adorable diaper covers she makes from lambswool, merino wool and cashmere.

See you there!