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Market on Military looks to grow while keeping it simple

By Ben Rodgers

GREEN BAY – It’s almost summer, which means farmer’s market season is nearly here, and boy, are there a lot of options.

Nowadays there seems to be a farmer’s market for everyone. Some are loud gatherings, more about a good time than quality produce, and others are quaint get-togethers with hardly any vendors.

But Leah Weycker can point to one farmer’s market that sits comfortably in the middle, blending the opportunity for socializing right next to the freshest green beans and sweet corn around.

The Summer 2019 Market on Military returns for its fourth year and will hold farmer’s markets from 3-7 p.m. every Thursday from June 6 to Oct. 24, with the exception of the Fourth of July.

“We’re the true, traditional farmer’s market,” said Weycker, executive director of the Military Avenue Business District. “Easy in, easy out, get your stuff, nothing fancy, all local, tons of free parking, accessible to everyone, we’re dog friendly, too, which is unique, because we’re on private property we can do that.”

The Market on Military takes place in the Green Bay Plaza parking lot next to TJ Maxx and the old Sears building.

“With so many farmer’s markets, it’s important that the neighborhoods supports their local one,” Weycker said.

To get people to attend, she said she has found the right mix of food and fun.

The Market on Military will have produce grown from within 100 miles of Green Bay.

But people who want sweet corn in early June will be disappointed.

“I think there are still misnomers about farmer’s markets,” Weycker said. “People come and say, ‘I can’t believe there’s no melons.’ Well, it’s the middle of summer, melons are a fall thing. It’s going to take education for people to understand what it means to have a local market, because our climate is such that things don’t grow in the winter.”

EBT is also accepted at the Market on Military and users have a chance to double their bucks.

She said there is usually 20 vendors at each market.

In addition to fresh produce as soon as it’s available, guests at the Market on Military can expect to find meats, crafts, food trucks, activities for children, baked goods and even some musical entertainment.

Green Bay’s own Dirty Martinis will play on Sept. 19 and Weycker said there will be a Dog Days of Summer event coming up toward the end of the season.

Weycker also won’t mince words, because her job is getting more people down to Military Avenue to see exactly what it has to offer.

“This used to be Highway 41,” she said. “When it was the highway everyone drove it, so when the highway was built people stopped coming here, but there’s still all the good stores.”

Military Avenue was home to the very first Shopko, which just ended its run of nearly 50 years, and was home to the first mall in the Green Bay area, Weycker said.

While those are part of a bygone era, there is still numerous shopping options.

“There’s a lot of good stuff here yet, people just need to come and see it,” she said. “We have the best off-price retail … and we have the best all-day breakfasts for sure. The Pancake Place is hot.”

Military Avenue is also dotted with specialty stores like Rock N’ Roll Land, Book Stop and Q-Tea Premium Tea House.

“We’re getting the unique here,” Weycker said. “We just need to let people know about it more.”

Weycker encourages anyone who is interested in becoming a vendor at the Market on Military or who wants to learn more about what’s offered on Military Avenue to contact her at [email protected].

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