It's looking like Christmas is coming to the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market. Lots of wreaths, pine boughs, and christmas ornaments. My favorites are the old-time Father Christmas triptychs that Victoria Fox paints on wood. Some are only a few inches tall and some are perhaps 8' tall. They are beautifully detailed with gold, faux gems, rich patterns and gorgeous colors. Although I subscribe to the tenets of the Church of Stop Shopping, I still would like a big one of these in front of my house.
It's obvious from the photo that the market is winding down, but there are more people selling meat, more artisan vendors and today I saw someone selling grow-your-own mushroom kits. And there are still those few hardy vegetable growers. Most of the people I asked said they would be coming to the market for at least the next couple of weeks. GardenWorks had lovely greens as usual, but I also got some wonderful red and white striped chioggia beets and a big bag with some of the last of their onions. Eggs came from Our Family Farm this week. Then potatoes, cabbage, brussels sprouts. And some sweet smelling beeswax candles ($6 for 2 tapers!) from Cohoctah Honey Works.
I talked with Tom Arnott from Cohoctah Honey Works for quite a while. When he left his job as an engineer at Ford in 1997, he picked up the mothballed honey business his family had started a couple of generations ago near Howell. He never imagined coming back to it, but decided he was tired of spending his time "adding feathers to the headdresses of the big chiefs." He thought he could do something that would be good for the rest of the world not earning management paychecks.
Tom says that the Michigan version of Cohoctah means "morning mist in elderberry swamps with overhanging trees." He says they have hundreds of hives - he doesn't know how many. They make different kinds of seasonal honeys along with wonderful herb-scented soaps and beeswax candles. Eve's restaurant uses their honey, he says, by the bucketful. He'll be coming to the market every Saturday until Christmas.