Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Wilbo Takes a Nap Under an Apple Tree and Wakes Up to Find a Thriving Farmers Market in Kalamazoo, Local Wine Served by the Glass.

I had parked my car under an apple tree growing on the grassy lawn near Kalamazoo Farmers Market. Sitting comfortably in a camp chair, I was looking at a small pond edged with purple loosestrife and cattails. On a scrub apple tree, a bushel of fruit at the most was turning red and waiting to fall as deer feed. A man came by with a yellow nylon rope and went around the base of this scrub, and continued paying out line. "Would you like me to move my car, sir?" "No, that's okay. Just drive over the rope when you go. I'm just setting out a line of demarcation for the booze". I perked up. Booze at the evening farmer's market? Around all the sheds, the man had laid a continuous yellow rope, indicating a drinking area. I saw a woman polishing up wine glasses and opening cases of Lawton Ridge wine. She introduced herself as Lucy. Two years ago, when the market applied for a license to serve wine and beer at the Thursday market, the language forgot to state a height for the rope. So they laid it on the ground. And volunteers kept an eye out for people crossing the line with filled glasses. And the auditor said, "Ok". She got her bands ready and her volunteers showed up to check licenses. Every one was busily please preparing for the night, with Megan Dooley and the Last Roots band setting up and tuning up to the local chapter of student chefs setting out a tasting menu. The Kalamazoo Farmers Market looks rather basic compared to the newer and taller structures of the Muskegon Farmers Market. Yet, it seemed to me that Kalamazoo had broken new ground in making this the market into a Thursday night happening.

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