When I first moved to Canton, Michigan years ago, local farmers would pull up their pickup trucks to the old K-Mart parking lot at Ford and Sheldon to sell their vegetables and fruits.
I would hurry home from work on Wednesday evenings to get some of Canton’s delicious sweet corn (for years, Canton was known at the “Sweet Corn Capital of Michigan”) and mouth-watering melons.
After K-Mart closed and Kohl’s moved into the same location, the number of trucks in the parking lot dwindled and eventually the market disappeared.
Canton became known for its good schools, developers began building homes on former farmland throughout the township. I worried our local farmers market wouldn’t find a new home.
What’s Special About Canton’s Farmers Market?
While I’m glad to buy my tomatoes, lettuce, and green beans from local farmers, what I like about Canton Farmers Market is the wide variety of things to do.
Musicians play every week at the market, usually just outside the 150+ year-old Cady/Boyer Barn that stands at the end of the market.
This week’s performer was Mark Reitenga, a local musician playing acoustic guitar with songs that reminded me of the 1970’s and 1980’s.
I remember the Cady/Boyer Barn well when it stood outside the Plymouth-Canton Educational Park tennis courts. The red barn had been used for years by the school district to teach students about farm life.
In 2006, local businessman Bob Boyer hired Amish craftsmen to take the barn apart and rebuild it at Cherry Hill Village.
Next to the Cady/Boyer Barn, the Canton Historical Society Pole Barn is filled with historical artifacts from Canton’s history.
You’ll find all kinds of old farm equipment as well as the sign for Julien’s Store, a well-known general store which stood at the corner of Canton Center Road and Ford Road before chain store retail development took over Canton Center Road.
Children love coming to the pole barn to ride the John Deere child-sized tractor, peer at the hand-made replica of the Tilroy Farm that used to stand on Lilley Road between Joy and Warren, and play checkers outside the pole barn.
You can also play corn-hole outside the barn or see how you look dressed up as farmers.
My Find at the Market
After I picked up my tomatoes and corn this week, I was thrilled to discover something new at the market that I’ve missed in the past.
I noticed The Pasta Shop, a local company based in nearby Plymouth, was offering samples of their marinara pasta sauce at their booth, so I stopped to try one. The owner told me she made the sauce fresh and that it had no sugar in it.
It was delicious!
Not many of my friends know this, but I’m a big fan of marinara sauce. My love affair goes way back, to when I had my first food processor and used to can my own sauce from tomatoes I grew in the garden.
It takes a fair amount of work to can your own marinara sauce, and over time, I stopped making the sauce.
Not that I didn’t enjoy it, but I found it less time-consuming to focus on making my own strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, and peach jam.
Thankfully, I discovered Mama Mucci’s sauce, a sauce from a Canton-owned pasta company. Their sauce had only three or four ingredients, and had a wonderful taste that I loved.
I always made sure to have Mama Mucci’s sauce in my kitchen cupboard.
But Mama Mucci’s stopped making their sauce about two years ago. Disappointed, I was left searching for another delicious marinara sauce. The closest I got was a sauce made in Cleveland.
It was good, but I really hoped to find a local business that produced a good marinara sauce.
When I told the owner of the Pasta Shop about missing Mama Mucci’s pasta sauce, a sparkle seemed to shine in her eyes.
She smiled and said, “That’s the recipe I use. Can’t you tell it tastes the same?”
Imagine my surprise! I knew it tasted familiar.
It turns out she got the recipe from Frank at Mama Mucci! What a treat! I can still get my favorite sauce.
She currently makes the sauce fresh, so you need to use it in seven days. Later this year, she plans to can the sauce.
I was glad I stopped for a sample! A jar of her sauce now sits in my refrigerator, waiting for me to make pasta later this week.
Stop by the Farmers Market
If you’re out and about on Sunday mornings in the Canton, Michigan area, stop by the Farmers Market between 9:00am and 1:00pm on Ridge Road, just north of Cherry Hill Road. You’ll enjoy fresh vegetables and fruits, great music, and some excellent pasta suace!