Autumn decorations, food demos and a read-a-thon at this week’s market

Along with autumn decorations, a variety of vegetables and other artisan goods are available for purchase at the Downtown Marquette Farmers Market. (Photo courtesy of the Downtown Marquette Farmers Market)

MARQUETTE — This week’s Downtown Marquette Farmers Market will be on the first official Saturday of fall, and in celebration of the fall equinox, autumn decorations will be available for purchase at the Marquette Commons.

“We have another fabulous market day planned,” said market manager Myra Zyburt.

Now is the time to gather fresh local food to can, freeze or store for the winter, Zyburt said.

“There is still maple syrup and honey is now in season,” she added. “The sweet corn will be coming to a close shortly — buy some extra and freeze it for a sweet taste of summer during winter. Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, squash, cabbage, onions, garlic and much more are plentiful.”

Among the 52 vendors at the market, UP North Roast, Seeds and Spores, Marquette Baking Co. and Slagle’s Family Farm will be selling fresh items throughout the morning and early afternoon.

The Marquette Farmers Market will be the site of a read-a-thon, hosted by the Peter White Public Library and Snowbound books. (Photo courtesy of the Downtown Marquette Farmers Market)

Lynn Krahn of Michigan State University Extension will provide a food demonstration preparing beets in orange sauce, made with items from the market.

The Peter White Public Library and Snowbound Books are also teaming up to conduct a read-a-thon for Banned Books Week. Anyone wanting to sign up for a 15-minute time-slot and read a banned book out loud can register at: www.uproc.lib.mi.us/pwplinfo/index.php/banned-book-reading-at-the-farmers-market-sign-up. Interested individuals can bring their own book or choose from one of the titles that’ll be on hand.

There will be a large tent at the Marquette Commons during market hours because Northern Michigan University’s Hospitality Gala is being held at the same location later that evening. The gala will go from 7 to 11 p.m. and will feature chefs from NMU’s hospitality program who have graduated and are now working in their field of study. The chefs will also be using food from the farmers market.

“One really cool thing about this inaugural event is the pairing of talented, NMU hospitality trained chefs with local food,” Zyburt said. “It’s actually the first certified local food event through Taste the Local Difference, (a Michigan-based advocacy group). I am thrilled we could create this partnership connecting the Downtown Marquette Farmers Market farmers with the chefs.”

Zyburt said gala organizer Alex Palzewicz has been very thorough and tireless with planning the event.

“I appreciate her tenacity and energy,” she said.

The gala is open to anyone 21 and older who enjoys great food and drinks. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased at the event, online at the NMU Hospitality Gala’s Facebook page and at www.eventbrite.com.

During market hours, Dia de los Tacos will be serving up a variety of Latin American, Mexican and vegetarian options, and high school musician Eric Bannit will be providing live music from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The market accepts several forms of payment: cash, credit and debit cards, SNAP, WIC Project FRESH, Senior Market FRESH and Hoophouses for Health vouchers which were distributed earlier in the season. The market distributes Double Up Food Bucks as a matching grant — up to $20 per day with SNAP card use. The farmers market is located at 112 S. Third St., and is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday until Dec. 16.

For more information, visit mqtfarmersmarket.com or the market’s Facebook page.

Jaymie Depew can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. Her email address is jdepew@miningjournal.net.