The Rapidian

Market Musings: Ellens' Acres turning heads with bright colors

Ellens' Acres specializes in peppers and tomatoes, including purple peppers. The business sells its products at the Fulton Street Farmers Market.

/Charlie Crowley

/Charlie Crowley

Close your eyes. Think of the colors that you associate with vegetables. Yellow. Red. Orange. Purple. Green.

Wait, purple? Yes indeed. If you're looking for a purple pepper, or a bright yellow sunflower, or even the intricate colors of a peacock feather, turn towards Ellens' Acres, a local vegetable farm out of Wayland that has set up shop at the market for 22 years. For those of you haven't been to the Fulton Street Farmers Market in a while, you may have missed out, but you're not too late. 

"We do not start coming to the market until after Fourth of July," Luanne Ellens said. "We pretty much carry only Michigan product that's either grown by us or somebody else in the Allegan County area. We wait until that product is ready before we come down to the market. We stop coming to the market on Halloween." 

Ellens' Acres specializes in peppers and tomatoes. Luanne Ellens said that as the year moves on, they'll sell variety packs of tomatoes, and she also noted that they grow between ten to 15 different kinds of hot and sweet peppers. As the leaves change, they turn their focus towards ornamental work, such as gourds and pumpkin towers. 

Back to the purple pepper. Is this a joke? Nope. But it may be an alternative to other peppers.

"A lot of people will say when they eat a green pepper it causes indigestion and they have an issues with heartburn or burping a lot," she said. "The purple will not cause that, but they won't be as sweet as your reds, oranges, or yellows, so they fall flavorwise in between. They don't have that strong flavor that the greens have, but they're not going to be as sweet as the others."

Luanne's husband Randy spoke passionately about why they love coming to the market year in and year out.

"I just love growing stuff that people like and spending time with customers that we've had for 20 years that come back every week and every year. We just enjoy that," he said. 

Next time you stop by the market, keep your eyes open for the bright colors that Ellens Acres has at their stand. They'll be sure to draw in your eye with them - or with the intricate purple pepper.

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