7 Awesome Michigan Farmers Markets Sure to Grow on You

There’s something special about visiting a new Michigan destination and experiencing its local fares, but you don’t always have to go far to do so! Agriculture has always been one of Michigan’s major industries, and as Michiganders will tell you, it is still the leader in producing many delicious foods.

Read more on seven Farmers Markets to visit this summer and check out our markets page to find one near you.

1. Flint Farmers’ Market

If you’re looking for fresh and delicious fare near Flint, look no further than the Flint Farmers’ Market. This year-round market has 50 vendors featuring several produce distributors, a great meat market, poultry, breads and baked goods, cheese, a wine shop, an art gallery, a café, middle-eastern and Mexican groceries and many unique gifts. Check out the Flint Farmers’ Market on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

The Flint Farmers' Market is a fresh food mecca

Photo Courtesy of the Flint Farmers’ Market

2. Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market

Located in the Kerrytown District, the Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market features locally grown produce, flowers, shrubs, plants, jams, honey, maple syrup, jellies, baked goods, grains, fruits, eggs, dairy products, homemade wearing apparel, toys, jewelry, home decorations, furniture, pottery and candles all in an open-air atmosphere. Head to A2 and check out this historic market, open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7am – 3pm May through December.

3. Eastern Market – Detroit

Each week, thousands flock to Eastern Market to enjoy one of the most authentic urban adventures in the nation. This market, and its adjacent district, offers local fare with more than 250 independent vendors and merchants processing, wholesaling, and retailing food. At the heart of Eastern Market is a six-block public market that has been nourishing Detroit since 1891. Every Saturday it transforms into a vibrant marketplace with hundreds of open-air stalls offering great selections of fruits, veggies, fresh-cut flowers, locally produced specialty food products, and pasture and/or grass-fed meat. Additional market days include Detroit Eastern Market Tuesdays as well as Sunday Street Market, both occurring seasonally, from mid-Spring through the autumn months. Eastern Market is also a big part of Detroit’s comeback story.

Eastern Market is a must-visit when exploring Detroit

Detroit’s Eastern Market offers more than 250 diverse vendors

4. Fulton Street Farmer’s Market – Grand Rapids

Enjoy the outdoors and a beautiful farmer’s market when visiting Grand Rapids! The Fulton Street Farmer’s Market is a seasonal, open-air, market that offers fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs, baked goods, crafts more. Some vendors start leaving as early as 2 p.m., so get there early for best selection! The market season runs from the first Saturday in May through the last Saturday before Christmas in December and is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

5. Holland Farmers Market

Dutch heritage and tulips aren’t the only things to love about Holland! This market features more than 90 local farmers and vendors selling everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to plants, baked goods, floral arrangements, dairy products and much, much more. The Market also features a food court with dining options for breakfast and lunch, as well as street performers who entertain with music, magic and other shows. Explore the Holland Farmers Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. May through November and on Saturdays in December.

Delectable strawberries found at the Holland Farmers Market

Strawberries at the Holland Farmers Market. Photo Courtesy of Lindsey J. Scalera, Michigan Voices for Good Food Policy.

6. Marquette Farmer’s & Artists Market

The Downtown Marquette Farmer’s Market continues to grow strong! This Upper Peninsula market is open every Saturday mid-May through October, in the Marquette Commons Parking Lot. Here you’ll find some of the best local produce the U.P. has to offer in addition to delightful displays from local artists. The Market also participates in WIC’s ‘Project Fresh’, which makes fresh produce available to low-income, nutritionally-at-risk consumers, through Michigan farmers’ markets.

7. Lansing City Market

Lansing City Market provides the Greater Lansing region, and out-of-town guests, a year-round, one-of-a-kind shopping experience in a family friendly environment. Established in 1909, the Market’s recent reconstruction along the Grand River has strengthened Lansing’s downtown corridor by creating a welcoming home for more than a dozen merchants. Currently the Market features a wide variety of goods including: kayak and canoe rentals (weather-permitting), local produce, artisan cheese, organic meat, natural heath care products, gluten-free items, and several hot-prepared food merchants including a full-service bar and grill.

The Lansing City Market stands out in the state's capital

Visitors are always delighted when exploring Lansing City Market

What is your favorite Farmers Market in Michigan? Share with us by commenting below!

Getting “Fresh”

Emily Tennyson, Michigan Travel Ideas contributing writer, shares her favorite places to pick up the freshest Michigan foods around her hometown of Detroit. Sample the state’s bounty yourself along three food trails that are highlighted in the article “Get Fresh” in the 2010 issue of Michigan Travel Ideas. Also be sure to check out “Fresh” – one of our new TV ads this year focused on the bounty of Pure Michigan.

As a lifelong Detroiter and all-around foodie, I’m in the habit of watching trends. Lucky for me, I have a lot of fresh food options nearby and decide to reserve a couple Saturdays to visit some surrounding area farmers markets.

Mount Clemens is a quiet lakeside town with a decades-old farmers market.

On a beautiful Saturday morning I drive to Mount Clemens, a quiet lakeside town about 30 miles northeast of Detroit. For many local farmers the decades-old farmers market is their sole opportunity to meet the public and share their wares (open every Friday and Saturday, May through November, from 7 a.m. – 1 p.m.). The vendors set up in the grass and sell everything from the back of their pickups. When I peek into the back of an S-10, I see tiny redskin potatoes the size of grapes, still caked in dirt, and bright green haricots verts. A perfect nicoise salad starts to formulate. One truck over, I find dessert, too – the lone quart of fuzzy yellow raspberries.

I move a couple trucks down to find vendors Ellen and Bill Gass of Centennial Farm. For the past 25 years, they have organically raised the tasty fare they sell at the market. I try their intense, woody raw asparagus. Next time, it might be one of the 50 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, or 60 kinds of lettuce. I head home with my finds, already looking forward to my next weekend’s adventure.

On another beautiful Saturday morning I drive to Ann Arbor and Chelsea, both about 45 miles west of Detroit. I bring along my daughter Chloe, an aspiring chef.

Chelsea's downtown farmers market is alongside the Purple Rose Theatre.

Around the block from Zingerman’s Deli  (open everyday 7a.m.-10 p.m.) we find the open-air green awning farmers market (open every Wednesday and Saturday, May through December, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Even though it’s only 9 a.m., it’s pretty busy. I am pleased to see rows of curly, sage green lettuce, piles of kale, shiny white leeks, towering basil plants and rafts of strawberries. The fruits are appealing, but I’m craving carbs. I taste Anatolian Bakery’s Mediterranean-style almond muffin. A good choice, I decide.

After we’ve had our fill in Ann Arbor we make the 15-minute drive to nearby Chelsea. We find a small but well edited farmers market (open every Saturday, May-October, from 8 a.m.–noon). There, I discover tiny boxes of baby lettuce, organic eggs and aromatic dill.  I purchase shiny yellow peppers from the Beautiful Earth Farm with dinner in mind.  

Full bellies and satisfied palates accompany us as we head home. I wonder if Chloe is busy next Saturday…

Writer Emily Tennyson, a fourth generation Detroiter, cherishes her hometown and Sanders Hot Fudge for dessert and, always, a drive along Lake St. Clair.