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Dec 7, 2011 09:16 PM

The Old Winery Farmers Market - Farmington, Michigan [DTW]

Didn't know if anyone heard about this...

There is a new winter farmers market opening in Farmington in the old winery building at Grand River and Orchard Lake.

It's supposed to be a lot of the Farmington Farmers Market regular season vendors. There will be some local produce (hoop house and winter type vegetable) and some produce from Florida, meat, eggs, cheese and a lot of local artisan type food vendors. They will have McClure's Pickles and I've heard a cafe of some kind.

I'm definitely going to check it out. The flyer says the hours are 9am to 2pm.

Pretty cool that they are opening for the winter. We are always looking for something fun to do during the winter months.

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  1. Well, this seems.....AWESOME. A little light on produce, but what more can one expect Dec-Apr.

    Note--- "hours of 9am-2pm" refer generally to Saturdays.

    Thanks Bro'

    PS goatgolfer: looks like a couple vendors* are marrying fire/smoke + meat. Just fyi.
    *Red Wood Grill and Captain John's Smokehouse

    1 Reply
    1. re: VTB

      I asked about Captain John's and they said they just backed out, I think the website hasn't been updated, as it was a recent change. Red Wood has the coolest set up, a grill in a wagon but they only do outside events so they won't be there until the March or April dates.

      Garden Gate Farm will be carrying their own meat, they are the ones that gave me the flyer and told me about the place. They are certified naturally grown with excellent pork and beef, pretty decent sausages, eggs and produce.

      As far as produce goes...yeah, the winter is tough for a farmers market in that regard but kudos to them for stepping out and providing a local shopping venue with local and artisan vendors. They told me there would be four or five produce vendors.

      There are several baked goods vendors including a great sourdough bread guy and another french pastry company (Golden Wheat). They have killer croissants!!!

      Apparently Cheeky Monkeys will not only be making baked goods but also offering sandwiches, salads, and soups. I had no idea they previously owned a restaurant. Garden Gate's daughter (I can't remember her name) will be making crepes too.

      I think I asked Garden Gate a thousand questions but I'm sure I missed something. Thanks for noting the Saturday only hours, VTB!!

    2. Do they still have an antique flea market there? I remember seeing some flyers about that a year or so ago.

      Cerainly sounds worth checking out.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Fibber McGee

        No...this has nothing to do with the farmers market. It's a different group of people and it is supposed to be way more upscale than the flea market.

        1. re: Jack Freeman

          I know they're not the same thing. I was just curious if the venue was still holding the flea market. Sorry, I was piggybacking.

          Either way, I will check the farmer's market out. I share your sentiment about things to do in the winter months in the area.

      2. I went to this Saturday. It's cool! A little small at this point, but I'm sure it will expand. Lots and lots of locally-grown and locally-produced goods, food and otherwise (pottery, candles, jewelry, knit items, garden stuff). I bought some chips and hot sauce for a gift. There is also a cafe inside but we didn't try it out.

        9 Replies
        1. re: IndyGirl

          Yeah, it is nice. Granted, I can’t say it would be worth it to drive there from far away, unless a person was really “jones-ing” for the farmers market vibe and just couldn’t wait until springtime. But, I guess I fall into that cursed category, so I’ll be back. Heck, FM vendors have to pay bills in the winter, too, so why not bring business to them year 'round?

          I went the first week and my wife went the second week (yesterday). During the first week I got some sourdough bread from Fostoria which, while not pronounced in sourness, was wonderful in texture! That baker has serious skills. I also got some croissants, grass fed milk cheeses, organic popcorn seeds, pasta, spinach pastry, and a good/big homemade crepe from some adorable rosy round-face Mennonite looking farm girls*. I’m happy with everything I got. *I think their Mom runs the whole market, and she seems to posses quite the business mind, so I’m only 99% sure that the whole adorable Mennonite thing is genuine (if it is not, don’t say anything and ruin it for me).

          I also got a cup of Cheeky Monkey “Bistro Blend” coffee—darn, that is fine—and I bought a pound of Breakfast Blend beans because the Bistro Blend was sold out. This stuff is roasted on Thursdays and sold on Saturdays: fresh! I brought my bag home and poured it in a lidded mason jar. When I unscrewed that lid the next morning, the CO2 and aromatics made a very audible “hiss, poof.” I love that. Being the socially inept person I am, I called the Cheeky Monkey guy “Marty” ---his wife’s name (Marti), rather than Alex. But, hey, it’s all good.

          My wife says this week someone was selling hot pasties(?) with gravy which looked delicious, but the line was too long for her. (I think they were sold hot last week, too, but maybe I missed them due to the power outage.)

          FYI Though there is no FM on Christmas Eve or New Years Eve Saturdays, they’re going to hold an Old Winery market day this Friday 12/23 from 5pm to 9pm. (Seems risky to me, but that’s why I am a salary worker rather than a businessperson.)

          PS Please post if you have tried (@OWFM) the Garden Gate family farm’s pasture raised meats, and/or if you know where they are processed. I’m curious to try them, although I like my frozen meats in vacuum sealed plastic (BPA be damned), rather than in freezer paper. I do really, really want to stop buying grocery store meats. But, I also don’t want to have to buy by the half carcass, or drive 50 miles to get it or do mail order. Maybe this is another topic for GL CH postings…

          Thanks again for all the tips Jack Freeman.

          1. re: VTB

            VTB..loved to hear your review of The Old Winery. There is something warm and sweet about this market. It's local and I really like the farmers/vendors.

            Rest assured the whole "adorable Mennonite thing" is very real . Friends of ours who have a work share in their CSA have been to their farm and absolutely verified that it was a Mennonite farm. Jean (the mom) is very business-minded and I was told that she is the co-market master with Alex from Cheeky Monkeys. I'm very thorough in my

            We bought sausage and a pork roast last week from Garden Gate. They were really quite tasty! Apparently they process all the meat at the certified butcher shop on their farm. The husband, Neil, is the butcher. The meat is in butcher paper but is wrapped with plastic inside the paper. I specifically asked about vacuum packaging and they explained that the plastic and paper combo was the best to avoid freezer burn. I can't say I know if that is accurate as we didn't keep the meat around long enough for it to burn! They also mentioned that purchasing a vacuum sealing machine would cost upwards of $ 5,000,so that may be part of it as well.

            We hung out at the cafe for several hours playing Battleship with my son, eating crepes, an awesome sandwich from Cheeky Monkeys, can't think what the sandwich was called but it had ham and pineapple chutney, we also enjoyed some of their cookies and coffee..good stuff!

            My wife bought two pasties from U.P. Pasties. Haven't tried them yet but as far as I know they are only sold frozen, I think they have chicken or turkey pot pie as well.

            I'm sure we probably crossed paths last week. We will have to introduce our families sometime.

            1. re: VTB

              I am a Garden Gate CSA customer for a few years now. Yes, the Mennonite thing is real, Jean is quite the business woman, and Neil is an exceptional butcher. Thier boys are hard working and all learning a trade too (well except the baby!) Neil's bacon is the best ever by far and I am very particular about bacon! His pork chops are also delicious. They also have beef cuts available that Neil butchers as well. That said, their CSA is the best around and I have tried a few. The produce is top quality and they respect that the CSA members should get the best of the harvest and the best variety. It is heavy on staples and I have yet to have a "what the heck is this and what do I do with it moment". It it a very, very generous share. Get in while you still can!

              1. re: coakwood

                Okay, then. Either I or my wife will try to pick up some Garden Gate meat this Friday. If the meat really is processed on the farm, then that is about a good as my dreams get.

                If I see a guy across the room playing Battleship--and drinking a Starbucks takeout frappuccino--I'll know it is Jack Freeman and I will certainly say Hi. I'm the bald 47y.o. bespeckled slightly built guy (Hellllllllo LAYYYDIES!!!!). Otherwise, we'll have to meet in 2012 once DTW Chowhounders become re-motivated for a get together meal (things kind of fizzled in Q4). Cheers

                1. re: VTB

                  Looks like the Goat is going to have to get back on the job and make some meetups. Probably too close for this Friday but I'll get back in the game and crepes, pasties and battleship might work. I am going this Friday to the market as well. Sounds too good to pass up; besides, Santa has to eat too.

                  1. re: goatgolfer

                    You could volunteer Oppsie, maybe?
                    PS--the OWFM vendors are a little bit unsettled. The ones you think will be there don't show, and ones you never expected just suddenly appear. Such is the life of an upstart FM.

                    @JF: just kidding about the Starbucks.

                    1. re: VTB

                      Not sure what you mean by that...the vendors haven't all commited to the entire season..only about 25 of the 37 are full season vendors the rest come and go.

                      The website has the schedule of vendors. They do this to add variety to the market. As far as I know there hasn't been anyone that didn't show up? Oh wait..the raw milk guy had a flood at his house and missed but that was the only one that wasn't there that was supposed to be..unless I missed something!

                      1. re: Jack Freeman

                        I could be wrong. It just seemed as though numerous vendors listed on the web site were not there (hot meats, Sunflour Bakehaus, etc.), though there were others IN attendance which didn't seem to be listed (Grassfield's Cheesemaker, etc.). I wasn't taking a close accounting of things, so perhaps I spoke imprecisely.

                        ALSO, though I said they are closed on Saturday New Years Eve, I may have spoken too soon. The market masters apparently are calling the vendors, to try to corral a critical mass of product sellers to make the 31st worthwhile. More to follow, I'm sure. (PS pineapple chutney on a ham sandwich--what a great idea)

                  2. re: VTB

                    HA...Starbucks, that definitely will not be me! I don't think you will be disappointed in Garden Gate's meat, it's really very good.