Remember When …

Photo provided

Photo provided

Farmers markets have so much to offer compared to the markets used to be in Egyptian ancient times in the 14th century selling materials for clothes, produce and cooked goods (everyone did not have an oven).

The oldest and largest shopping market I found was around 110 AD in was the Market of Trajan, which in Ancient Rome, five stories high this was a large part of Roman life. Sixth century Greek culture grew because of lots of people selling things. Training our children to work in the yard and grow things is a good thing; they plant a seed and it grows. Just like in life, I would tell my kids whatever seeds you plant (good or bad attitudes) they will grow also.

All over the world there were different types of street vendors, from buying, trading and bartering, from animals to homemade craftsmen’s good from the merchants. Farmers have always sold their harvest to the public and others joined to sell their goods, which included all kinds of things and foods. Selling all types of street food has been popular around the world to the poor and the rich throughout time, you can bet there were tax collectors watching.



The Salvation Army even started giving food to the poor on the streets. So, this was a type of fast food to those in a hurry, just eat fresh bread and fruit. Greece was known for early street food, like frying fish, breads, herb or selling olive oils.

For centuries, Chinese people could buy a meal for the poor or servants would bring it to their masters, as not everyone had a kitchen. During the early time in American history we see all types of markets and street vendors selling food. All over America as we settled this land entrepreneurs were everywhere selling what they made to others. The neighbors would have a potluck or a meal with a pie for a helping at barn raising. Have you ever bought ice cream from a kid pushing a cart or from a hotdog vendor in a city? Yummy!

In Genesee County we have the Flint Farmers’ Market (or Flint City market) since 1905 on Beach and Kearsley, then moved across the street in 1912, that has moved many times; but has always been downtown, markets had hard times during the WWI. After World War I, in 1920 the market moved to Harrison and Union, by 1940 it moved along the Flint River where it stayed until 2014. Moving back down to the center of the city with the help of the Uptown Reinvestment Corp. has made it very accessible for everyone with 45 vendors and Hurley has joined in with many adventures.

We have about 12 Farmers markets in Genesee County, check out your local farmers produce. Have fun growing your own garden, Walkers Farm and Greenhouse, on 5253 Atherton Rd., has been here since 1953. I get all my plants there and veggie’s too.

Remember When is a weekly column in the Burton View featuring historical stories about the community from the Burton Area Historical Society. If you have some Burton history to share, email