We’re biased, but we’d put Michigan produce up against anywhere else in the country. Our favorite is the farm fresh asparagus from Oceana County.
There are a ton of surprising facts about our state when it comes to farming. Michigan leads the nation in tart cherry production. We’re also the number one producer of potatoes that become potato chips (is there a better chip than Detroit’s Better Made’s Rainbow Chips?).
From locally owned shops to farmer markets and farms offering CSAs, you’ve got tons of ways to experience the best of what Michigan has to offer. This list barely scratches the surface but will give you a good place to start!
Fulton Street Farmers Market – The Fulton Street Farmers Market (or #FSFM if you’re hashtaggin’ on Instagram) has been around since 1922 and is the largest in Grand Rapids. Once spring hits, you’ve got plenty of opportunities to buy local as the market’s open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm during the main season (a winter season runs from January to May). Saturday is the busiest day by far, so get there early to get the best picks! The Market is more than food, with the Sunday Artisans Market giving you the chance to buy some of the best local arts and crafts.
Urban Roots Community Market – Launching in 2015, this nonprofit’s mission is “cultivating healthy communities.” A market showcasing local goods – including their own – the organization also offers classes that teach everything from cooking to composting.
Southeast Area Farmers Market – This market, coordinated by the nonprofit Our Kitchen Table, operates mostly out of MLK Jr. Park on Fuller Ave SE. A handful of Saturdays are at the LINC building on Madison Ave. Check out the website for the schedule, as well as a list of special events such as the “Greens Gala,” a celebration of all things green and leafy.
You can find a list of all the farmers markets, including a nifty interactive map, on the West Michigan Farm Market’s website.
If you’re looking to make a bigger commitment to local food, buying a CSA (community supported agriculture) share may be the way to go. CSAs can be a bit of “veggie roulette” if you will. Each week you’ll get an assortment of what’s ready whether or not it’s something you like – or even know how to cook! It’s a great way to broaden your plant knowledge. You pay at the start of the season which means weather or other conditions might affect your haul.
A list of all CSAs offered in the area is maintained by Local Harvest. Find the full West Michigan list on their website.
Grand Rapid Magazine also did this write up last year on a handful of CSAs.
Wondering what’s available depending on the time of year? Metro Health has this handy reference guide that breaks out the produce by the month. They’ve also got a great Farmers Market that runs May through October.
Do you have a favorite market or CSA? Tell us below!