100 Years of the Oakland County Farmers Market
The Oakland County Farmers’ Market has been bringing good food to Oakland County for nearly 100 years. Originally located in downtown Pontiac, the market first opened in 1922. Thirty one years later (1953), the market moved to its current location a few miles away in Waterford. The market still exists in this location and is currently operated by Oakland County Parks and Recreation.
Jeremy Brown, Market Manager, says The Oakland County Farmers’ Market focuses on creating community around local food. He believes that recreation is not just about physical activity or physical spaces, but that it is also about social interactions. As such, the market maintains strong community partnerships and strives to be a community hub and destination.
To foster lasting relationships and engage the community, the market hosts a variety of annual events: strolling dinners, food truck rallies, holiday shopping nights, and more. Educating the community is also a core value of the market. Every week you can find MSU Extension Master Gardeners ready to answer gardening questions and representatives from the Oakland County Health Department and MSUE Nutrition to help address health concerns. Curious young minds are engaged at the market through monthly youth education events and school group tours.
As a producer-only market, the Oakland County Farmers Market takes the success of its farmers and vendors seriously. The market invests in its farmers and vendors by offering trainings (safe food handling, Cottage Food Law, etc.) and business development opportunities. This past year, the market offered a business scholarship program in partnership with the Oakland County Business Development Center to help farmers’ hone their business skills and write business plans. The market’s focus on its vendors is clearly evident. Vendors come from 17 counties all over Michigan to be at the market and a handful of vendors have been attending for 50+ years!
Visiting The Oakland County Farmers’ Market is convenient. It operates year-round and is open Saturdays (7 AM – 1:30 PM; year-round) and Tuesday, Thursday (7:30 AM – 1:30 PM; May-November).
Find the market here: 2350 Pontiac Lake Rd Waterford Twp, Michigan 48328