Farmington market celebrates with Elks Corn Roast, POP

During a week that recognizes farmers markets across the country, the Farmington Farmers and Artisans Market will celebrate with a fundraising corn roast, a children’s produce program, music, and more.

Open Saturday, August 10, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., the market hosts the 13th Annual Elks Corn Roast, with Elks Club members serving up Michigan sweet corn for “a buck an ear.” Elk Steve Luce said the corn is soaked the day before and cooking starts as soon as the grill is fired up.

Corn Roast
(John Castine)

“It’s a really cool thing,” he said. “We’ll sell about 500 ears of corn. We get great support from the farmers, they all donate the corn.”

Because market vendors Fusilier Family Farms, Goetz Family Farms, and Gass Centennial Farm provide all that corn at no cost, funds go directly to the club’s work in the community, providing scholarships, programs for veterans, and camp experiences for kids with disabilities, Luce said.

There will be half a dozen volunteers at the Corn Roast tent, he added, noting that committee chair Rebecca Sockow and volunteer Kevin Goshorn go above and beyond to make it happen.

Kevin Chistiansen Elks Corn Roast
Farmington Economic and Community Development Director Kevin Christiansen digs in at last year’s Elks Corn Roast. (John Castine)

Corn and the market go hand-in-hand this time of year, Market Master Walt Gajewski said.

“If there is one question I get asked the most, it’s ‘When will there be sweetcorn?’,” he said. “Well, there’s no better way to shout it out than a good old fashioned corn roast. Our farmers donate fresh-picked, pride of Michigan sweetcorn, and the Elks do what they do best… serve the community. I  can’t think of a better way to celebrate National Farmers Market Week!”

The Farmers Market Coalition launched National Farmers Market Week to recognize the importance of markets to farmers, consumers, and communities. According to the organization’s website:

”We call it our triple bottom line. Farmers earn fair prices for the fruits of their labor by selling directly to consumers. Consumers gain access to fresh, nutritious, local produce. Communities regain a figurative “town square,” experiencing the many positive outcomes of foot traffic and animated public space.”

Saturday also marks the third Power of Produce (POP) day for kids ages 4-12, accompanied by a parent. At the POP booth, participants learn about fresh produce offered at the market and earn POP bucks that they can redeem with market growers.

Look for 43 vendors this week at the Walter E. Sundquist Farmington Pavilion and Riley Park in downtown Farmington, along with STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) activities hosted by the Warner Middle School robotics team. Local musician Larry Arbour will bring music to the market starting at 10 a.m., and Mayfair Co-op Preschool will run the Little Sprouts tent.

Learn more about the market at farmingtonfarmersmarket.com