Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal

Welcome to Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal, a blog written by the newspaper's staff at A2 Journal, a new, weekly, community newspaper covering Ann Arbor. This blog is a place for members of the newspaper's staff to write their thoughts, observations, opinions and other informative pieces they put together while covering the rich history, interesting people, institutions and traditions that make Ann Arbor such a unique community.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Meet the Faces Behind Ann Arbor Farmers' Market

The Ann Arbor Farmers' Market marks a milestone this year as it celebrates 90 years. This morning, Lisa Allmendinger and I met at the market in Kerrytown to talk with some of the vendors. She plans on featuring one each week in our new publication, A2 Journal. I also shot video and will produce that soon to be uploaded on MiCentral, a photo and video sharing Web site associated with our newspaper.

We met some wonderful people, who were so cheerful and happy to talk about their experiences at the Ann Arbor Farmers' Market. Among the longtime vendors was Ray Blandwoski of Willis, who was selling beautiful begonias. He has been a regular at the market for three decades and has been selling begonias at the market for the last 20 years. His favorite colors are pink and apricot.

Debbie Marx of Flint, who has been selling her natural crystal and stone jewelry at the Ann Arbor Farmers' Market for 18 years, was a great interview. She shared lots of interesting insight and information. Ann Arbor, she said, is "an earring town," but she has seen sales of her $5 and $10 necklaces pick up in the struggling economy.

A familiar name in western Washtenaw County at the farmers' market was Matthew Fusilier. His family, who farms 300 acres in Manchester, has been coming to the Ann Arbor market for years, selling up to 20 different items of produce and fruit.

A new face at the market was Laura Lannen, who is selling gourmet cupcakes at $3.25 each. She recently started La Cake in Ann Arbor, and has been a regular every Saturday with plans to start coming on Wednesdays in July.

John Savanna, owner of Mill Pond Bread, and his employee, Sarah Ladd of Ann Arbor, were super friendly, offering us some of their delicious baked goods. John has been a familiar face at the market since 1980. He offers 60 kinds of bread at his store near Chelsea. Sarah says she enjoys the multi-grain breads the most.

Another western Washtenaw County regular we talked to Saturday was Richard Andres of Tantre Farm. He has been coming to the market since 2000 and farming in Sylvan Township since 1989. Richard's produce and vegetables are certified organic and he has a huge following at the Ann Arbor Farmers' Market.

All of these people, as well as market manager Molly Notarianni, will be featured in our video, so please check it out. It should be online by Monday.

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