News-Sturgis Downtown Development Authority-farmer’s market

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After a hiatus of several years, a Farmers Market has returned to downtown Sturgis.

The market is held from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays on Pleasant Avenue through October.

Sturgis Downtown Development Authority events coordinator Ryan Conrod said with recent work completed on Pleasant Avenue, it was a good choice to put the market there. The Downtown Farmer’s Market is in addition to the one held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of the Sturgis TSC.

Last Wednesday, several vendors braved the heat to set up shop in the market, including Jamie Allen of Borderline Farm in Sturgis. She and her family, including husband Norm and sons Drake, 12, and Garrett, 11, offer pasture-raised pork at the market. They also have fruit (anything in season), soy candles, pepper powders and more. It’s a family affair for them. Jamie said the boys learn customer service and other skills while helping out.

Jamie coordinates the market. There have to be at least four vendors to get it every Wednesday, so it takes coordination, she said. The market is always looking for more suppliers.

“If you don’t have much, that’s okay,” Jamie said. “More the merrier, the merrier.”

Also at the market last Wednesday was Ryan Schnepp from Constantine. He owns Schnepp’s Knife & Tool Sharpening, a new business he started this year. He does the sharpening at his home by appointment, but can also travel with his equipment. He says sharpening is a lost art.

“We are a disposable society,” he said. “It’s a service we need to get back to.”

Schnepp said the farmers’ market is a good opportunity for people to get out and have their knives sharpened, pick up produce, and go home and get it ready. It also sharpens garden tools and just about anything from parlor scissors to lawnmower blades, but it sharpens lawnmower blades at home, not at the market, because of the noise.

“There’s not much I can’t sharpen,” Schnepp said.

Meanwhile, Steve Kelley and his friend Dani McPherson, from Sturgis, have settled into the market. Kelley started with 3D printing, but moved on to laser engraving. McPherson makes tie-dye T-shirts.

Kelley said it was nice to earn some extra money and better than getting a second job. He makes coasters, key rings, magnets, small wooden coins, wooden spoons and more.

“It was fun,” he said.

Anyone interested in joining the market can message through the Sturgis Farmers Market Facebook page or call Sturgis DDA at 269-651-1907 to be connected to the group. Each week’s sellers are also displayed on the Facebook page.

Ryan Schnepp brings his sharpening tools to the downtown Sturgis Farmer's Market.
Steve Kelley and Dani McPherson with their laser-etched designs and tie-dye t-shirts.
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