Alpena Farmers Market moving indoors

Today marks the final day of holding the Alpena Farmers Market outdoors at its usual location.

As of this Saturday, the popular market is moving inside to the Alpena Mall for the season. Hours of operation will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays only until May, when it goes back to its original, outdoor location.

“The enthusiasm and growth for the summer market has been awesome, and we are going to continue that into the Alpena Mall,” said organizer J.B. Cook. “We have many more vendors committed for the winter after seeing the success of the winter market last year.”

According to Cook, vendors have grown extra crops that can be harvested into late fall, and they are putting away produce into their root cellars to sell throughout the winter. Just like last year, fresh baked goods, mushrooms, and arts and crafts will be offered. Additionally, the Thunder Bay Ramblers will play live in the new space.

The Friends of the Alpena Farmers Market greenhouse project is also now operational and the greenhouse is full of lettuce, leeks, green onions, carrots and bok choy that can be harvested through the end of December.

This greenhouse was built as a model and educational tool to show local farmers how to grow produce year-round in a northern climate. These “cold houses” combine new technology and specialized new cultivars with cold frame farming techniques once used in Europe to harvest produce locally though the cold winter months.

Dr. Henry Stibitz and Betsy Hale will be giving a tour of the greenhouse on Nov. 6 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. It is located on the Alpena Community College campus across from the APlex parking lot on Woodward Avenue.

The Friends of the Alpena Farmers Market booth will also be in the mall raising money for market activities and helping to promote a healthier, self-sustaining Alpena with its educational events. The first events will be a series of holiday demonstrations. With help from Maple Ridge Supply, the group will be teaching people how to make their own Christmas bows, wreaths and kissing balls.

Other upcoming events will include cooking demonstrations, gardening techniques and more. These will be scheduled throughout the winter and spring.

The next meeting for the friends group is Nov. 13 from 6 to 7 p.m. in the APlex downstairs conference room.