2 questions with Auburn Hills Farmers’ Market director Leigh Wilson

auburn hills farmers market logoSummer is my favorite time of year in Michigan. I love being able to enjoy the pool, longer days, and family time, but it’s an especially great time to refresh and cleanse from school year-snacking.

Summertime allows for a lot more freedom and time to eat clean and healthy. Farmers markets are a great feature of Michigan summers that help promote this clean and healthy eating. No matter how big or small the community, farmers markets allow for a fun way for you to get involved and support local businesses.

In 2010, Auburn Hills took advantage of the opportunity by creating its own farmers’ market, and has since provided an outlet for local farmers and a means for its community to eat healthier.

The Auburn Hills Farmers’ Market is located in beautiful and quaint downtown Auburn Hills, and offers a pleasant experience with shopping and live music. I recently spoke with market master Leigh Wilson to gain some insight about the importance and benefits of having a farmers market in the community.

Neha Jain: What are some benefits to having a farmers’ market in a community like Auburn Hills?

Leigh Wilson: Benefits of having a farmers’ market in any community include easy access for residents to fresh, local produce. This is especially true in what are known as food “deserts,” typically lower-income areas where grocery stores are not as common as party-type stores. Farmers’ markets also give community residents a place to get out and interact with members of their community in both a social and economic way. They pull residents into the community, helping them to be more aware of new businesses (including full storefronts) that have opened. Markets also provide local small entrepreneurs a venue to start their businesses before they have the customer base to support a full storefront business model.

NJ: What kinds of health benefits can buying local provide?

LW: One health benefit of buying local is that fresh food has not had the time post-harvest or (post)-making to lose its nutritional value or freshness. This leads to increased fiber and vitamin/mineral bio-availability. Additionally, food that hasn’t been transported across the country or ocean has a much lower environmental impact on our planet. ♦

Vendors to the Auburn Hills Farmers’ Market come from all over southeast Michigan, like Lake Orion, Flint, White Lake, Sanilac, Troy, Attica, Rochester, and Farmington Hills, and sell everything from produce, to soap, art and jewelry.

The market is open every Thursday through Oct. 10 from 3-7 p.m.

What are your favorite parts of visiting a farmers market?

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