5 Healthy Towns CSA Fair February 19

St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea and 5 Healthy Towns will host a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Fair on Sunday, February 19, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Chelsea First United Methodist Church, located at 128 Park Street in Chelsea.  Attendees will have an opportunity to meet and speak with local farmers, as well as sign up for summer CSA memberships, which include access to weekly boxes of in-season produce. This event is FREE and we will have coffee and prizes!

A CSA membership is a subscription-like service to a local farm’s produce, which can include vegetables, fruit, humanely raised meats, organic options, or more, depending on the farm.  At the fair, potential CSA members will have the opportunity to browse tables and meet with local farmers and producers.  Attendees can ask questions and learn about which CSA options are best for them, based on the food options, pickup times and locations, and price of each farm.  Once signed up, CSA members will have access to weekly boxes of fresh, locally produced food.

“Signing up for a CSA membership is an affordable way to access local, sustainable food, and gives a vote of confidence to local farmers,” says Stephanie Willette, manager of the Chelsea Farmers Market.  “A membership also challenges consumers to eat seasonally and to expand their dietary knowledge.  Additionally, supporting small-scale, family-owned and diversified CSA farms is good for the environment.  These farms build soil health, protect water quality, support biodiversity and offer a habitat for pollinators.”

Memberships to CSA farms are available in the communities of Grass Lake, Stockbridge, Manchester, Chelsea and Dexter, often with pickup locations at the town’s farmers market.

If interested but unable to attend, a second CSA Fair will be held on Thursday, March 23, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., inside St Joseph Mercy Chelsea’s cafeteria.

A directory containing information about all CSA farms within the 5 Healthy Towns area will be made available prior to markets opening in May.  Please e-mail all questions about this program to the Chelsea Farmers Market at coordinator@chelseafarmersmkt.org.


  • Sign up to be a vendor at the event and/or
  • Be added to our 5 Healthy Town CSA directory

Intergenerational Garden and Farmers Market Internship 2017

The Intergenerational Garden and the 5 Healthy Towns Farmers Markets are looking for someone to manage the garden and coordinate children’s activities related to the garden and at the Farmers Markets.

Position description:


The Intergenerational Garden was established in 2012 as a collaborative effort of the Chelsea Senior Center and the Chelsea School District.  Its mission is to:

1) teach children the joys and benefits of gardening,

2) afford a manageable gardening experience for seniors, and

3) help bridge the intergenerational gap between the two age groups.

The garden is an 85’ x 85’ fenced parcel that includes a hoop house (24’ x 36’) with several raised beds and a seasonal water supply on site.  The garden is located on School District property, immediately adjacent to the Senior Center and the local preschools’ building, which also houses Camp Gabika (day camp) during the summer months.

The Chelsea Farmers Market is held on Saturdays in downtown Chelsea from May-Oct and the Manchester Farmers Market plans to offer children’s activities on Thursdays from June-August.  Both markets offer an Activity Booth once a week over the course of the market season.


Job Description:

A summer intern is sought to help maintain the garden (planting, harvesting, watering and weeding). The intern will also be in charge of planning a different children’s activity for each week to be offered at Camp Gabika and during the Chelsea and Manchester Farmers Markets. Activities will feature gardening education, eating healthy and exercise.

The intern will work directly with Senior Center and Farmers Market staff and volunteers to establish clear goals and expectations for the season. At the start of the season, the project team and key volunteers will meet to kick off the season. This meeting will provide historical context for the intern and also help generate some new ideas for programming. In May, meetings with community partners will establish a schedule for summer programs and gardening work days.

The Intern may choose to partner with other organizations to host the children’s activities, such as Manchester Wellness Center, Dance Arts, Manchester Community Schools, Manchester Early Education Center, Manchester Co-op Preschool, Ballet Chelsea, MOPS, Chelsea Area Garden Club, or others.  It will be up to the Intern whether to run the activity themselves or partner with a host group, or a combination of the two.

Examples of activities include cooking demos, building food art with vegetables, zumba for kids, planting seedlings, mini greenhouses, etc.

Hours and compensation:

Compensation is $9-10 per hour for approximately 25-30 hours per week. Hours may be flexible, but a proposed schedule would be:

  • Intergenerational Garden: Tue, Wed, Fri from 9 am – 3 pm (May 6-August 31, this would include weekly cooking demo with Camp Gabika)
  • Chelsea Farmers Market: Saturdays 9 am – 12 pm with 1 hour prep time (May 6 – October 28, 26 markets)
  • Manchester Farmers Market: Thursdays 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm with 1 hour prep time (June 15 – August 31, 10 markets)

Note: from August-October, hours would be tapered off to only support the Chelsea Farmers Market and the Intergenerational Garden.

An overarching goal is to share community resources and provide opportunities that encourage people of all ages to move more, eat better, and connect with others.  The intern will be a temporary employee of the Chelsea Senior Center.  Desired qualifications include interest or experience with gardening, community engagement, and programming.  Interested applicants should submit a resume and cover letter by Friday, March 3, Attn: Trinh Pifer, Chelsea Senior Center, 512 Washington Street, Chelsea, MI 48118 or email connected@chelseaseniors.org.

Winter Farmers Market

Order a re-assembled “basket” of product from different farmers market vendors worth $20 or $40.  Baskets include:  fresh vegetables and greens, baked goods, and a specialty item (e.g., eggs, coffee, honey, jam).

Order on or before Friday each week to pick up on Monday afternoons.

How to order:  call Stephanie at 616-734-9123 or order on line at chelseafarmersmkt.org.

Pick up Monday from 1 – 4 pm at Manchester Community Resource Center, 410 City Rd, look for the sign.

SNAP Bridge Cards are accepted and Double Up Food Bucks can be used.  Spend $10 off your Bridge card and get the $20 value basket or spend $20 from the $40 value basket.



Carrot Rapée Food Demo- Today at the Market

This is our favorite time of year!
Comfort foods like roasted pumpkin pasta sauce can be the freshest and it’s still not too late for enjoying cool, crisp salads with your favorite greens.

We have a wonderful recipe available at our Food Demo today so make sure to stop by around 5 to get a taste and fresh idea on Carrots!

Tomatillos, Tomatoes, Squashes, Zucchini, Peppers, Tomatoes, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Herbs and so much more at our Farmers Market.

We have fresh baked goods- scones, toffees, fresh breads, cupcakes, coffee cakes and pumpkin rolls. Ask about gluten free options too!

Don’t forget we also have wonderful local Artisans making quilted items soaps, soy candles and more.

Favorite Fall Recipes from the Farmers Market

Time to stock up and save!

We have been stocking up since produce is at its prime here at the Farmers Market! Did you know that locally grown produce, that is allowed to ripen where it grows has far more nutrients than produce picked early and allowed to ripen on the shelf or in a warehouse? Keep your market produce all winter by canning, freezing or pickling. An important step is blanching and here is a great easy to read blanching time chart for lots of veggies available at our market.

Ask our vendors about buying in bulk.

At market we have Squash, Peppers, Tomatoes, Potatoes, Corn, Zucchini, and more.

There is also fresh baked goods with Pretzels, Scones, Fresh Breads, Cupcakes. Ask about Gluten free options too!

There is always lots to choose from at the Manchester Farmers Market.

Sept 8th Market- Food Demo: Radish and Sweet Corn Relish

Market Greetings, Everyone!

Tomorrow we have a special treat for you! A food demo with Judy Radant and a free recipe on how to make Radish and Sweet Corn Relish- It is amazing on hot dogs, burgers, salad, and even grilled shrimp. Stop by to pick up your copy of the recipe and all of the ingredients at the Market!

Wilma with Sweet Meadow Acres will be back tomorrow with Soft German Pretzels, Beets, Eggplant, Cabbage, Peppers, and Homegrown Macintosh Apples Garden Bouquets, Quilted items.

Produce is prime right now. It’s time to stock up while the getting is good! Make sure to plan ahead for the fall and winter and ask your vendor about bulk buying! The following can be frozen for freshness, canned or pickled for flavor:

Eggplant, Peppers, Cabbage, Green Onions, Cilantro, Potatoes, Broccoli, Corn, Beans, Tomatoes, and even Melon!

See you at the market!

Fairy Festival 2016

Today we have Three special guests for Fairy Fest!

Bubblina the Fairy will be there with all of her bubbles, passing joy and (fun) mischief!
And Laura who will be at the pavilion making fairy crafts, headbands and ribbon wands.
And Scout the Fairy dog mascot!

The under 5 fairy hunt will begin at 3:30 pm with the 5+ fairy hunt beginning immediately after. The costume parade begins at 4 pm and prizes will be awarded in the categories of fairies and “lost boys.” Neither category is gender specific; both boys and girls can dress as either. There will be a special reading time at 4:45 pm. Throughout the day, there will be crafts. Everyone is encouraged to bring a trinket or bauble to add to the farmers market’s new fairy house, which will be displayed through the village in different locations.

Also this is a prime time to stock up on produce. Ask our vendors about buying in bulk. We have spaghetti squash, sweet potatoes, nectarines, onions, peppers of all kinds (purple bell, green bell, and hot peppers too), scallions, and so much more.

Baked goods- cup cakes, breads, cookies, coffee breads and scones. Pick up your weekend breakfast treats!

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Tomorrow at the Market!

Tomorrow a the Market!

Sweet Potatoes are in already!
There will still be a selection on corn, peppers, leafy greens, onions, cabbage and kale. Also cherries, plums, and now nectarines too!

We have our fresh baked goods vendors with cookies, breads, scones and coffee cake.

There is also a Food Demonstration by Judy Radant. Stop by and pick up your copy of her recipes!

And here’s one of our favorites for the sweet potatoes:

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage

This week at the Market: Dutch Day

Come support our high school cheer team as they host a demonstration and bean bag tournament in the park with our our Flying Dutchmen custom made boards! They will also be selling water and snacks for our wonderful Market Patrons.

You can expect wonderful peaches and plums, as well as the freshest vegetables and produce in the area. Did you know that locally grown and picked produce has a higher nutrient content? It’s one of the many reason to shop locally.

See you at the Market!