Jun 1, 2018Once-banned Michigan grower plans return to farmers’ market
Once banned for a controversial business decision, a Michigan farmer is expected to return this summer to the East Lansing Farmer’s Market for his first full season in two years.
Steve Tennes, owner of The Country Mill, was banned last year by the city of East Lansing because it opposed his 2016 decision to not allow same-sex weddings at his commercial farm and orchard in Charlotte.
Tennes, a Catholic, cites his religious beliefs as the reason why he made the decision. He returned to the market last fall for the final month and a half of the season after a federal district court judge issued a preliminary injunction against the city.
According to the Lansing State Journal, starting Sunday and every Sunday through October, Tennes intends to sell The Country Mill’s products, including organic apples, at the market, as he had done for most of the past eight years. The business is listed on the city’s website as one of 34 market vendors.
“Our family has faithfully served everyone in our community from all different backgrounds and beliefs,” Tennes said Wednesday in a statement. “It is our religious beliefs that teach us to love all of our neighbors and treat them with dignity and respect.
“We are excited to continue to do so, selling our organic apples and cider at the East Lansing’s farmer’s market.”