Exploring farmers markets around the state is a wonderful summer activity. Guest blogger Samantha Collins, Communications and Events Manager for the Michigan Farmers Market Association, shares what you don’t want to miss.
With over 300 farmers markets in the state, Michigan boasts a vibrant summer market season from May through October with a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables and artisan goods. Each community that hosts a farmers market is unique and offers a different yet memorable experience for shoppers.
1. Fresh Seasonal Fruits: Summer months bring a large variety of fresh fruits to the market including strawberries, sweet cherries, blueberries, peaches, raspberries and melons.
2. Fresh Seasonal Veggies: Vegetables are a wonderful addition to daily meals. Farmers market staples include a wide variety of leafy greens, tomatoes and peppers. You may even find more exotic varieties such as Bok Choy, Japanese Eggplant and heirloom varieties.
3. Wine Sampling and Sales: Shoppers age 21 and over can now sample and purchase wine at farmers markets.
4. Farmers Markets at the Capitol: Each year 60 farmers and artisans from across Michigan travel to the States’ Capitol Building in Lansing to participate in three farmers markets held throughout the summer on Thursday July 30, August 27 and September 24. These unique events bring more than 22,000 people to the Capitol lawn!
5. Fresh Meat & Fish
6. Cooking Demonstrations: Whether you are an experienced cook or not yet able to boil water, you can pick up a few quick tips and ideas on how to incorporate fresh seasonal produce from the farmers market into your diet through a cooking demonstration.
7. Food Sampling: Samples are plentiful at Michigan farmers markets and can be a great way to try a new product or a new flavor of one of your favorite treats.
8. Wild Foraged Mushrooms: Enjoy an assortment of wild mushrooms picked by certified foragers.
9. Food Trucks: Food trucks have become a hot commodity at farmers markets, known for sourcing their food locally and offering many great options.
10. Accessibility: Over 150 farmers markets in Michigan accept SNAP Bridge Cards, making Michigan a national leader in accepting food assistance at farmers markets.
11. Live Music
12. Cheese & Eggs
13. Artisan & Handmade Goods: Many farmers markets host a wide variety of vendors who make their items by hand using ingredients grown and produced in Michigan.
14. Kid Events & Games: Kids and families can enjoy festivals and events at farmers markets all summer long! From exploring the market through a scavenger hunt to crafts and nutrition education activities.
15. Baked Goods
16. Fresh Cut Flowers
17. Potted Plants
18. Physical Fitness Activities: Physical activity goes hand-in-hand with healthy eating, and that’s why the farmers market is a great place to attend a pop up yoga class, walking group and other physical fitness activities.
19. Entrepreneurs & Start Up Businesses: Farmers markets are places for start up businesses and entrepreneurs to test new products and business ideas – a great place to try something new!
20. Pet Treats: More and more vendors are popping up with homemade treats for pets!
Be sure to let us know about your farmers market shopping experience this summer by using the hashtag #farmersmarketsmi along with #puremichigan. What is your favorite Pure Michigan find at farmer markets?
Samantha Collins is the Communications and Events Manager for the Michigan Farmer’s Market Association. She specializes in social media management, content curating, and creative communication strategy. Samantha is from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and is a 2010 graduate of Northern Michigan University. In her spare time she enjoys being on Lake Medora which is located in the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan, fishing, photography, reading, writing and gardening.