Allen Farmer Market

By Nicole Geller

The Allen St. Farmer's Market is a year-round, weekly market held in Lansing's Eastside neighborhood. Vendors at the market provide seasonal fruits and vegetables, a variety of meats, eggs, cheese, breads, baked goods, coffee, honey and beeswax candles, tea, and prepared foods that range from gluten-free crackers to Ethiopian lentils. And of course --- ice pops.

The market is an enterprise of the Allen Neighborhood Center, a non-profit organization which works to strengthen mid-Michigan's local food system. While the Allen Neighborhood Center has been a fixture since 1999, the Allen St. Farmer's Market had its first season in 2004. With only a 10 week long market season and four female farmers, the market has greatly expanded to what it is today. Allen St. made history in 2005 when it became the first market in Michigan to accept SNAP/EBT food assistance. 

http://www.allenmarketplace.org/farmers-market/

http://www.allenmarketplace.org/farmers-market/

True to Allen Neighborhood Center's vision, the Allen St. Farmer's Market aims to strengthen not only local food accessibility, but the entire local food system. The market's participation in the Hoophouses for Health program financially assists farmers in building new hoophouses in exchange for providing produce to local schools and families. The market also supports farmers and food processors with technical assistance, marketing, and business development. 

The Allen Neighborhood Center building itself houses a licensed incubator kitchen where many of the market's prepared foods vendors get their start. The space is also available to rent for community events and meetings.

Kids, pets, and bikes are all welcome at the outdoor Allen St. Farmer's Market. Dogs are not allowed during the indoor market from November to May but are (kinda) allowed during the summer season. :)

Vendors at the Allen St. Farmer's Market accept cash, SNAP/EBT Bridge Cards, Double Up Food Bucks, WIC, Market FRESH (formerly Senior Project Fresh), and Hoophouses for Health. Many vendors also accept credit cards. 

 

Mindo Chocolate Makers

By Monica Ackerson Ware

MI Ice Pops start with premium products from Michigan farms and food businesses. Our Fudge Pops feature chocolate from one of the finest cocoa beans in the world – heirloom Arriba Nacional cacao – grown and turned into the highest-quality dark chocolate by Mindo Chocolate Makers of Dexter, Michigan. 

Mindo owners

Jose Meza and Barbara Wilson founded Mindo to create the most delicious chocolate experience possible. When Jose and Barbara sought the perfect chocolate to bake into the brownies at their internet café in Mindo, Ecuador, they wanted a premium product grown in an environmentally- friendly way. What started as a 53-pound bag of cocoa beans has developed into award-winning, small-batch artisan bean to bar chocolate. 

Mindo Ecuador map

The result is a darker chocolate with complex flavor profiles; a craft chocolate that is more pure, more nutritious, and definitely more delicious. 

While many consider chocolate as candy or “junk” food, premium Mindo dark chocolate is both a treat and a luxury, with significant health benefits. Dark chocolate is a powerful source of antioxidants, it’s loaded with essential nutrients, and can have profound improvements on cardiac risk factors such as blood pressure and cholesterol. 

The team at Mindo is dedicated to sharing their knowledge and love for premium chocolate. If you’re looking for a family-friendly adventure, daily tours, tasting and pairings, and even week-long intensive chocolate making courses are available in both Dexter, Michigan and Mindo, Ecuador.  And, you won’t want to miss the vast array of chocolates at the gift shop.

Our partners at Mindo Chocolate Makers take “bean-to-bar” to the extreme and you can taste the difference in our MI Ice Fudge Pops. To find more about Mindo Chocolate Makers including where you can purchase their chocolate bars produced in Dexter, MI visit - https://mindochocolate.com/ .

Mindo chocolate products.

MI ICE POPS Yoga Instuctor - Lacey Ingrao

Lacey loves outdoor yoga!  She has been one of the instructors at the Broad outdoor yoga for a couple of years now as well as many other programs that have taught yoga to children, adults, beginners, veterans and really anyone who wants to learn. Besides yoga Lacey has been involved in a wealth of non-profits that promote health, horticultural therapy and food access since her move from California to Michigan.

Bringing yoga to the HunterPark is personal to Lacey because this park it her neighborhood park. 

One of the coolers programs she is involved in is the Bee Wise Farms int he Lansing area. Her  husband and her are avid beekeepers and in Jan. 2016 began teaching veterans about urban beekeeping. 

I was draw to Lacey’s style of teaching because of my experience with Kripalu yoga.  She will guide us through a yoga that will allow us to become more aware of what our body needs as well as get us room to decompress and reduce anxiety.  

Join Lacey and the rest of the community in connecting with the outdoors and ourselves.

MI ICE POPS Yoga Instructor Tara Scott

Tara is an Ambassador of Compassion and is the founder of 3 Jewel Yoga.  Tara is a wife, mother, mentor, writer, facilitator, community organizer, runner and foodie.

Like most of us Tara is working on many different projects. Beside joining us as a MI ICE POPS instructor, teaching yoga sessions throughout Lansing and being a mother, she is the mastermind behind two incredible projects.

TrailBlazers is a program for anyone looking to develop body and breath awareness through walking and running. If you want to learn about body mechanics, improve your postural alignment and efficiency of movement as well as build strength, stability, flexibility and stamina then this is for you. The next session begins June 6th. Sign up now: 3jewelsyoga.com/trailblazers

 

To learn more about Tara's programs visit  

www.3jewelsyoga.com /facebook.com/3jewelsyoga

Her second project is Walking the Labyrinth, a walking meditation practice that occurs in Moore's Park on select Sundays throughout the summer. Starting in a silent and steady pace, each person is allowed to spiral themselves until they reach the center of the labyrinth. The sounding of the bell will bring the practice to a close and hopefully the awareness and peace that was found in the labyrinth will continue throughout your day and beyond. 

I am so excited and honored to have incredible instructors that are willing to make these events successful. Join us for a great yoga session where Tara will bring us together and let us stay in the present. 

MI ICE POPS Yoga this summer!

With support of the Allen Neighborhood Center, MI ICE POPS will be hosting a monthly FREE outdoor yoga class.  Our instructors are based in Lansing and the yoga will be a basic level class.  We want everyone to be able to practice with us without feeling like they need to be a certain shape or size. We want kids, men, veterans, seniors, the homeless and anyone else that wants to join us.  

The location for the first class in May will be at the Hunter Park in Lansing on Kalamazoo St.  Bring a towel, blanket or yoga mat if you already own one. Let’s enjoy the weather, the feel of grass on our feet and our community at the same time.  Of course at the end there will be ice pops for purchase to encourage you to stick around and talk with neighbors. Find more information here: https://www.facebook.com/events/103889300028274/

 

The season has begun!

The Lansing market season has begun and we have had some beautiful first days.  First off was Old Town’s Art Night Out yesterday and then both the Holt and Meridian’s first summer outdoor markets today.  This year MI POPS will be participating in more festivals in the Lansing and Ann Arbor area and I hope to see you guys there.  We will be a The Festival of the Sun, ScrapFest, more Art’s Night Out, REO Eats, Art Attack and Art Feast as well as many many other markets. Stay tune for an awesome announcement too.  It’s not another festival but it is really cool and once the planning is finished I will let you know.  You will want to join us, I promise you! Here’s to a sunny season with no rain on market days.