Birmingham to open farmers market with ‘drive-thru’ format

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published April 30, 2020

 Shelli and Mickey Weisberg, of Birmingham, look over flowers at the opening day of the Birmingham Farmers Market last year. The market opened to about 3,000 visitors.

Shelli and Mickey Weisberg, of Birmingham, look over flowers at the opening day of the Birmingham Farmers Market last year. The market opened to about 3,000 visitors.

File photo Donna Dalziel

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Throughout this COVID-19 quarantine period, we’ve all heard folks spout off the phrase “new normal” — it’s a way of saying that our regular routines will go on, but with a few risk-reducing tweaks.

This Sunday, the Birmingham Farmers Market will try to bring a little normal back to the spring season by kicking off its 18th season as planned May 3. But according to the Birmingham Shopping District, which hosts the farmers market, there will be some changes to the usual scene over at public parking Lot 6 this season.

“We’re so pleased to bring back the Birmingham Farmers Market during uncertain times,” Ingrid Tighe, the executive director of the BSD, said in a press release. “We have the following three goals in mind as we kick off this season: offer a needed service to the community, keep local farmers in business, and keep our residents, farmers and staff safe.”

The market will be a drive-thru only event every Sunday at the usual location at 660 N. Old Woodward Ave. All of the usual early spring favorite finds will be there, including fresh eggs and meat, locally raised shrimp, and a selection of Michigan-grown produce, subject to growing patterns. By late spring, guests can expect homegrown rhubarb, parsnips, herbs, early organic vegetables, strawberries, garden plants, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, basil, beans, mushrooms, turnips, kale, green onions, sugar peas, spinach — you get the idea.

Tighe said the lot will be closed off to pedestrians, so cars can enter the market off of northbound N. Old Woodward and select from packages offered at various stations throughout the market. Shoppers will remain in their vehicles and place exact cash into a basket — so visitors should be sure to bring small amounts, like $10 and $20 bills, as change will not be provided. Items will be placed into vehicle trunks.

“Having farmers pre-pack their goods into bundles will help keep cars moving and limit contact in our new drive-thru format,” said Jaimi Brook, the operations and events manager for the BSD. “Customers will be able to make purchases from farmers they have patronized for years at our market.”

The market will also change to new reduced hours, 9 a.m.-noon, every Sunday.

For the most up-to-date information, follow the Birmingham Shopping District on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @bhamshopping, or visit the BSD website at allinbirmingham.com/farmersmarket. 

Call Staff Writer Tiffany Esshaki at (586) 498-1095.

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