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In pictures: Ann Arbor Farmers Market gets a festive new look

Mini Christmas trees on display at the farmers market (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

The Ann Arbor Farmers Market was noticeably different on Wednesday.

Festive wreaths, mini trees and pine arrangements lined the market, creating a festive holiday feel.

One stand stood out in particular, which incorporated unique elements into its wreaths like mini red peppers and peace signs.

Farmers Paul Bantle and Anne Elder hand-make the wreaths on their CSA farm and have been selling them at the farmers market for 26 years. 

Local farmers Anne Elder and Paul Bantle (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

“We love making wreaths," said Elder. "It’s really wonderful to put love into every wreath which we get to do. They’re made from beautiful yummy things and freshly cut greens. Many of the ingredients come from the farm, or our home right near the farm, and that includes the edible, bio-dynamically grown red peppers that accent the lovely greenery in the wreath."

(Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

She explained that they have a long history as vendors at the market, and says the market still has a certain magic to it.

“Before we were farmers, we worked in a bakery in Ann Arbor and brought our things here so Paul and I have been coming to the Ann Arbor Farmers Market as vendors for over 30 years. We’ve seen it ebb and flow and it is a beautiful place. The wonderful thing is you can talk to the people who grow or make the things and have a direct connection to that product and the vendors are loving and are so happy -- even if people don’t purchase -- just to share their wisdom and their skills with the interested people that come to shop here.”

(Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

Bantle added, "It’s a unique market in the country, actually, in that anybody that’s here as a vendor selling their wares is supposed to either have grown it or made it. So it’s not a market where you can buy in and re-sell. So you’re really having a wonderful interaction with where the stuff comes from whether it’s food or crafts -- it’s very diverse. It’s not just people from Ann Arbor here selling and buying, it’s from a pretty large area so it’s really cool."

Bantle and Elder also sell intricate holiday candles (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

Sadly, for customers, this is their last year at the market, since they plan to retire next year.

“It is our last year," said Elder. "We are resigning from the farm and the new farmers will come in and likely take our place here at Ann Arbor Farmers Market and continue making wreaths."

Their signature peace sign wreath (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

(Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

(Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

They will have a wreath stand set up at the market during Kindlefest on Friday, where the Farmers Market will be lined with food trucks and fire pits. Be sure to speak with them -- they are incredibly friendly and are as passionate about each other as their beautiful wreaths.

Happy holidays!

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About the Author:

Meredith Bruckner

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.