Our network

Shopping & Services

Double Up Food Bucks program begins again July 1

Double Up Food Bucks program begins again July 1

A program aimed at helping low income families eat healthier is back for another season.

Double Up Food Bucks runs July 1 through October 31, 2013.  Participating markets will match the amount spent by shoppers using a SNAP Bridge Card.  The maximum match is $20 per day, and shoppers do not need to use their Double Up Food Bucks the same day they get them.

In West Michigan, participating farm markets include:

  • Ada Farmers’ Market (7239 Thornapple Dr.)
  • Byron Farmers’ Market* (84th & Byron Center, Byron Center)
  • Downtown Market Grand Rapids (435 Ionia St. SW)
  • Fulton Street Farmers’ Market* (1147 East Fulton St.)
  • Greenville Farmer’s Market (1325 W. Washington, Veteran’s Park)
  • Healthy Street Farmers’ Market (431 Cass Ave. SE, Grand Rapids)
  • Holland Farmers’ Market (150 W.

Fruit Ridge Farm Market kicks off U-pick strawberry season

Fruit Ridge Farm Market kicks off U-pick strawberry season
SPARTA, Mich.—Fruit Ridge Farm Market’s U-pick is officially open for the season. Visitors can pick their own strawberries Monday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. or until the crop lasts.  Fruit Ridge Farm Market offers containers to use for picking, but customers are asked to bring their own containers to take home the produce.  U-pick strawberries are $1.25 per pound; picked strawberries are also available, at $3.50 per quart or $24 per flat (eight quarts.) Fruit Ridge Farm Market expects to begin U-pick raspberry season in a few weeks.  Cherries will be available around the 4th of July.  For more information, call (616) 887-7013.

The strawberries are ready! Fruit Ridge Farm Market opens June 14

The strawberries are ready!  Fruit Ridge Farm Market opens June 14

SPARTA, Mich.—The Fruit Ridge Farm Market opens for the season on Friday, June 14.

The owners say the strawberries are ready for the picking.  Pre-picked quarts will be $3.50 and flats (eight quarts) will be $24, while supplies last.

Fruit Ridge Farm Market will host its first “u-pick” day on Wednesday, June 19.   “U-pick” strawberries will be $1.25 per pound.  Customers who plan to pick their own strawberries are asked to bring their own containers from home.

Fruit Ridge Farm Market is located at 9000 Fruit Ridge Ave. in Sparta.  For more information about strawberry picking, visit the Fruit Ridge Farm Market’s website here.

Sparta Area Schools begin superintendent interviews June 11

Sparta Area Schools begin superintendent interviews June 11

SPARTA, Mich.—Sparta Area Schools Board of Education will begin interviewing finalists for district superintendent on June 11.

The school board whittled down a pool of  18 candidates to five people, who will be interviewed next week.  The first round interviews will take place at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Sparta Celtic Committee looking for input and vendors for this year's festival

Sparta Celtic Committee looking for input and vendors for this year's festival

SPARTA, Mich.—If you love all things Celtic, the Sparta Celtic Committee needs you.

The committee is looking for input in planning this year’s festival, which will take place Saturday, August 10 at Rogers Park.  The Celtic Festival will include dance troupe performances, booths featuring Celtic and Irish arts and crafts, highland games and plenty of food and beer.  The music festival is free for all ages. For more information, click here.

The Sparta Celtic Festival Committee is also accepting vendor applications for this year’s event. You can find a copy of the application here.

Downtown Sparta Farmers Market returns June 13

Downtown Sparta Farmers Market returns June 13

SPARTA, Mich.—If you’re craving fresh local produce, the wait is almost over!

The Downtown Sparta Farmers Market opens for the season June 13.

The market will be open on Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. through September 26.  It will take place in the ChoiceOne Bank parking lot, located at 72 N. Union.

Artists and vendors needed for new Sparta street festival

SPARTA, Mich.-  The Downtown Development Authority is looking for artists and musicians who would like to take part in a new summer street festival.

The Third Thursday Street Festival will take place 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on June 20 and August 15.  The event will showcase businesses, artists, musicians and performers.

For more information or for an application to participate, visit http://www.spartami.org/ or call the DDA office at (616) 887-2454.