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Our Voices: Cheers to Munson Medical Center for hosting end-of-season farmers market!Print

Food & Farming | November 1, 2011 | By Janice Benson

Last week was an exciting time at Munson Medical Center as they hosted their very first end-of-season farmers market on campus in Traverse City.

Four farms were invited to come and sell their produce to employees and visitors alike.

In a spot just outside the parking deck, not far from the employee cafeteria, farms set up their tents and sold apples, squash, pumpkins, honey, eggs, lettuce, and more.

Stan Dziesinski wandered by the market on his way from the Hospitality House.

“I’m from Alpena and my wife is having surgery here,” Mr. Dziesinski said. “I noticed the market as I was passing by and thought I’d stop in and take a look. The apples look really nice! You can tell they’re better quality than some you see at the store. I bought both apples and honey.”

“This is nice!” said Marilyn Selby, food service worker at Munson. “It’s very convenient. It’s always wonderful when they do these seasonal things. I wish we had this every week!”

Diana Jelenek of Spring Hollow Dairy said the employees of Munson were excited to have representatives from local farms present. In addition to running the dairy, she and her husband, Richard, are also market masters for a winter farmers market that takes place every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Village at Grand Traverse Commons.

She said the Munson market was “a great promotion for our (own) Saturday market (as well.)”

Laura McCain, registered dietician in Food and Nutrition Services at Munson, organized the market at Munson and was pleased with the results.

“Our goal is to promote community health, which includes healthy eating,” Ms. McCain said. “The farmers market helps make local produce easily available to the community, both our employees and our visitors. As a dietician—I love that!”

Throughout the growing season, McCain worked hard to feature local produce on the menu in the Munson cafeteria.  Beginning with asparagus in the spring, and ending with squash in the fall, they would regularly feature locally grown items in lunch entrées, and also have those same items—such as bags of apples, or bunches of asparagus—available for sale.

“It’s been a great success,” she said. “We regularly sell out of whatever local item we feature.”

Great job, Laura! And thank you Munson Medical Center, for supporting healthy, local eating!