Sevick Gardens: Many locations with much to enjoy

Published 8:11 pm Thursday, June 16, 2011

The inside market area of Sevick Gardens in Michigan City will continue to offer the fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables that frequent visitors to its Three Oaks location have enjoyed for several years. Sevick Gardens is also a regular contributor to Michigan City, Three Oaks and Skip’s Other Place farm markets. Photo by Kathie Hempel

There’s a new market in Michigan City you might want to check out.

A few years back, when he was managing the first year of the Buchanan Farm Market, my husband Phil met Jim Grosse of Sevick Gardens.  Jim and his wife, Kim Sevick-Grosse would bring their greenhouse offerings of hanging baskets, flats of annuals and herbs each Saturday and then later in the year joined other vendors with delicious, locally-grown fresh fruits and vegetables.

We were always impressed with the quality of product they presented and with the sheer energy and good-natured enthusiasm Jim brought to everything he took on. His latest endeavor brings his eclectic mix of regional products to Michigan City.

While they still attend Michigan City’s Farm Market and Skip’s Open Air European Farmer’s Market at Union Pier, Michigan; Sevick Gardens has now opened its third stand-alone location at 228 Eighth St. at Washington, between the Michigan City Farm Market and Lighthouse Outlet Mall.

Currently the lot is vibrant, covered with spring flowers, herbs, vegetable plants and shrubs. Inside the market building, the stands are beginning to fill with fresh in-season fruits and vegetables. The cooler offers farm fresh eggs while other displays beckon shoppers to purchase local honey and maple syrup.

One section of wall has shelving that holds the wide variety of homemade jams, jellies, relishes and pickles created by Mennonite minister, Lyle Bontrager of Bremen, Ind. The selection is amazing.

Nearly a dozen flavors of jams and jelly including Dunson plum, hot pepper, red and black raspberry, cherry and orange marmalade are neatly displayed. There are apple and pumpkin butters. Favorite to many of Grosse’s patrons is the wide choice of salsas:  pineapple, black bean, habanero, corn, peach, mango and cranberry in addition to the better-known green and chunky salsas.

Relishes and pickles on display include Hungarian pickle, Jalapeno and chow chow relishes, baby beet, orange chunk and dill pickles. Sweet honey mustard and barbecue sauces are also available.

These preserves are not the only connection Sevick Gardens has with the area’s Mennonite community.  He is an agent for portable sheds with sizes up to 12-by-28 feet that are manufactured in Wakarusa, Ind.

On the walls and throughout the market, one is struck by other unexpected product as a number of rustic decor items such as bear skin rugs, deer antler lamps and trophy mounts of bear and deer are on display. This may seem a bit of a stretch for a local market, until you realize that for years Grosse was a butcher with the Three Oaks’ Harding’s.

From that profession came his interest in taxidermy as he got to know the local hunters, many of whom still bring their kill to the farm in Three Oaks for dressing each fall. Grosse the butcher is also locally famous for supplying the best Christmas turkeys and delectably double-smoked hams for both the Christmas and Easter seasons.

“The last thing we do out at the farm each fall is to process deer and get the holiday orders for turkeys and ham filled,” he said. “We start taking orders in August.”

Ever the entrepreneur, Grosse is looking forward to this year’s market season in Michigan City. On Saturdays and Sundays he is adding to the market’s enticements with freshly baked breads and donuts from Rise ‘n’ Roll Bakery of Middlebury.

He is currently recruiting arts and crafts vendors to sell their wares from his Michigan City location each Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“The Michigan City Farm Market decided not to include arts and crafts vendors in that venue, so I thought it might make a nice addition if we welcomed them here. We are hoping to have at least 10 vendors  when we begin that project, hopefully by mid-June, and invite anyone interested to contact us,” he said.

Regardless of where you catch up with Sevick Gardens, I am sure you will be pleased by the variety of products and the friendly service.  For more information you can call Grosse at (269) 405-5676 or visit any of their convenient outlets:

• Main Market, 228 Eighth St., Michigan City, open Thursday, Friday and Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.

• “The Farm,” in Michigan on U.S. Highway 12 just east of Three Oaks and Flynn Road and “The Pines,” Lakeshore County Road 500 and Highway 20, both open Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

• Michigan City Farmers’ Market, Eighth Wabash streets one block West of Franklin Street in Michigan City, open Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon.

• Skip’s Open-Air European Farmers’ Market, Red Arrow Highway and Lakeshore Road, Union Pier, open Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

We are so fortunate to live in an area with an abundance of locally grown fruits and vegetables, so why not get them fresh from the farm? By visiting Sevick Gardens and other local farm markets you not only get the best for your table but you support the local economy as well. Enjoy!