The Warren Farmers Market is my favorite, and one of the only ones I make an effort to get to. It runs every Sunday, May through October, from 9am to 2pm and is situated in the City Square, which is just north of 12 Mile, on Van Dyke. It seems to be growing in popularity, but I went today around noon and it was not overwhelmingly crowded and we were able to find a parking spot no problem. The thing I like about this market, is that it's not huge, so not quite as overwhelming as, say, Eastern Market. There are so many people selling the same things at Eastern Market, that it's hard to know if you're getting the best deal. The Warren Farmers Market is still small and contained enough that you could easily circle the area first and make sure you get the best deal on what you want. I didn't do this today and I needed cherry or grape tomatoes and the first table that had them wanted $3 a pint. I passed it up and the next table had them for $2.50, so I bought them. Sure enough, one of the last tables we saw had them for $2. The vendors surround a large water fountain that you'll find tons of kids running around in. There's also other kid's activities (today there was a scavenger hunt), a hot dog cart right upon entry, live music (today's was an acoustic guitar and violin) and a good variety of vendors. Every produce vendor will be happy to tell you where they grow. The booth I got my tomatoes from even volunteered that they don't use any pesticides at all, but can't say they are organic because it's hard/expensive to get certified as organic. Small-time farmers have enough trouble making a profit, so I can't blame them. Everything I got today was grown locally (in Michigan, I mean), except for some gorgeous apricots, which I was told were from "Glades". The prices are also incredibly reasonable, and I'm guessing you can negotiate them down closer to 2:00p when people are about to close up shop. I walked out of there today with 5 gorgeous tomatoes, a pint of grape tomatoes, 5 peaches, a pint of blackberries, a HUGE bunch of purple kale, a quart of apricots and two onions for $18. If I'd shopped for a little better deal on both the grape tomatoes and onions, I'd have paid a buck or so less for all that. There is plenty to offer besides fruits, vegetables, fresh herbs and such, including, but not limited to, a pasta guy (who makes fresh gnocchi), a Great Harvest Bread Co. booth (I wish there was a more small time bread booth, rather than a chain), a bag lady, some ladies that do eyebrow threading, fruit preserves, vegan baked goods, honey and other bee-related products, and more. If you're into farmers markets, or really even if you're not, grab some cash and check this one out!
Kate H. on Jul 25, 2010