Green Pages » May/June ‘14

The New Eau Claire Farmers Market

Back in 1980, a few small producers, hoping to find a way to sell fresh produce, founded the first farmers market in the Eau Claire area–the Eau Claire Farmers Market. Their dream was to have a sustainable summer and fall market and provide fresh produce directly to consumers.

Since the market started, there have been many changes and additions to locations. We have seen the Downtown Farmers Market branch off, providing accessibility to fresh goods throughout the downtown area. Still, the market stayed open, and producers fought to keep the waning stream of customers even up until last year. During the 2013 season, the Eau Claire Farmers Market could be found at The Oakwood Mall on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

However, a move was in the air–the market was noticing a decline in customers visiting the mall area. Discussion amongst market vendors grew to concern as we spoke up and suggested that perhaps it was time to revamp the market and form a new board of directors who were committed to making the market the best it has been in thirty years.

This January 2014, a new board took the reins, consisting of Chairperson Galen Klisiewicz, Vice Chairperson Mark Loer, Treasurer Pat Matthews, and Secretary Amy Powis. By the end of January, we had improved the by-laws and secured a brand-new location.

Because of the new and dedicated board and our new location, 2014 promises to be a banner year for the oldest farmers market in Eau Claire. We have expanded our market to three days and not one but with two new locations. The details: Tuesdays & Saturdays, 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Gordy’s on East Hamilton Avenue in Eau Claire and Wednesdays, 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Gordy’s on Birch Street in Eau Claire.

We can now serve Eau Claire better by offering fresh produce, fruits, vegetables, pickled salsas and relishes, organic-fed meats, handcrafted farmstead items, cheeses, and freshly baked items in not one, but two, locations in Eau Claire. We also worked to make our by-laws more inclusive to not only locally grown produce but local businesses hoping to make an impact on the community. We welcome any local small business owner looking for a direct-to-consumer outlet to join us this season.

With the tremendous help of Gordy’s, we will settle into our new market spaces beginning June 14. The Eau Claire Farmers Market will continue through the summer and into fall until October 18.

If you have never enjoyed our market before, we suggest you make your way over to Gordy’s starting in June. It is a wonderful place to find all your favorite locally produced items. Vendors and customers can find more information and applications at www.eauclairefarmersmarket.com. Look for us on Twitter and Facebook as well.

Eau Claire Farmers Market: It’s good for your health, good for the community, and good for the environment. Join us in 2014 for a fantastic place to enjoy everything you love about growers and small businesses in the Eau Claire area!

Mike’s e-Bikes Brings Green Biking Transportation to Eau Claire!

When Mike Kelly left the military service, he brought with him the conviction to continue serving his country, protecting its resources, and helping develop eco-friendly technologies. While working on an invention, he came across the new high-tech electric bicycle (e-bikes). With the hilly topography, a young professional population who would enjoy riding bikes effortlessly to work (and maintaining a professional work hygiene), and an aging population who enjoys riding bikes yet need assistance, Kelly sees this as a needed form of transportation in the Chippewa Valley.

Kelly is proud to introduce this innovative way of travel by opening Mike’s e-Bikes, LLC at 431 Water Street on April 1, just before the riding season’s official opening. Mike’s e-Bikes will be the only exclusive brick-and-mortar e-bike dealer in the Chippewa Valley, Western Wisconsin, and Central Wisconsin. Kelly has a strong passion for green energy and has spent the last few years investing in green technology, including solar panels for his household, a hybrid car for longer distance transportation, and the development of his own e-bike for shorter commutes. He has a strong desire to educate others about the importance of efficiently using existing resources and has been involved with many historic building renovations and green projects in the Chippewa Valley.

As a retired combat veteran, Kelly has developed a high aptitude for and working knowledge of electronics, engineering, and mechanical design. He is committed to assisting and hiring other veterans who share similar backgrounds, values, and service and who are looking for a way to transition back into civilian life.

E-bikes are one of the most efficient modes of transportation. In comparison to walking or traditional biking, they allow a rider to travel faster and farther while expending less energy. They produce zero emissions and are an inexpensive green alternative for getting about town.

The e-bike is a great solution for individuals who want inexpensive, healthy, and fun transportation, without the sweat. For commuters, the elderly, or those physically unable to ride traditional bikes, e-bikes can be the difference between dread and delight. E-bikes provide a pain-free and low-cost alternative to cars for running errands.

To learn more about Mike’s e-Bikes, you can access Kelly’s website at www.mikes-e-bikes.com or call Kelly at 715-577-5429.

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