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A Pure MI Summer Bursting with Flavor
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“Summer is when Michigan agriculture takes center stage as we look forward to juicy strawberries, bountiful blueberries, the crunch of the first bite of sweet corn,” said Keith Creagh, Michigan Department Agriculture & Rural Development.


Source: Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development

A Pure Michigan Summer Burstin with Flavors


Summer in Michigan is bursting with flavors from its rich agriculture resources and its bountyfrom freshwater lakes and streams. Thousands of people will be flocking to fresh marketplaces, u-pick orchards, farms and vineyards for fruits, vegetables, flowers, herbs, and the fruit of the vine. Michigan has more than 250 agricultural destinations including farmers markets, wineries, and more. Cities and towns will celebrate signature crops with more than 50 events this summer, and lakes and rivers welcome eager anglers. More than 80 vineyard and winery tasting rooms will pour delicious libations. It all makes for a fresh and deliciousPure Michigan summer season.

“Summer is when Michigan agriculture takes center stage as we look forward to juicy strawberries, bountiful blueberries, the crunch of the first bite of sweet corn,” said Keith Creagh, Michigan Department Agriculture & Rural Development. “There is no shortage of opportunities for everyone to get a taste of Pure Michigan this summer.”

Sampling of Celebrations

Go blue with the National Blueberry Festival in South Haven, August 1-14. Wine events are plentiful including the Wine Days of Summer (August 6-7) featuring a self-driving tour of the eight Southeast Michigan Pioneer Wine Trail wineries.

For a complete list of summer events, including the fun-loving Yale Bologna Festival (July 29-31) and the Humungus Fungus Fest (August 11-14), log on at michigan.org.

From Market To Market

You can count on finding a market or farm near your travel destination. Kids love getting into the swing of things with orchard tours, helping to pick fresh fruit, or participating in activities and watching cooking demonstrations at many of the markets across the state. Visit michiganfarmfun.com to download a Michigan Farm Market & Agricultural Tourism Directory for a complete listing of where and when to purchase fresh produce and other goods.

Michigan’s oldest farmers market is Detroit’s Eastern Market, which opened in 1891 in the downtown area.This vibrant marketplace has more than 250 independent vendors who wholesale and offer retail produce, meat, coffee, spices, cheese, flowers and more. Get a taste of Eastern Market every Saturday this summer when local chefs do cooking demonstrations from 10 AM to noon.

Located in the historic district of Kerrytown, the Ann Arbor Farmers Market is open Wednesdays and Saturdays. You can shop in this open-air setting for locally grown produce, plants, handcrafts and prepared food items. All market items are grown, baked or crafted by the vendors who sell them. Sorry, no canine companions are permitted.

For more than 80 years the Fulton Street Farmers Market in Grand Rapids has been a favorite gathering place with more than 100 booths carrying certified homegrown goods including produce, sweets, breads, flowers and Michigan’s own maple syrup.

A visit to the Upper Peninsula can include astop at any of the 16 farmers markets including the Iron Mountain Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market open every Saturday beginning in mid-June. There is live entertainment, demonstrations, and kids’ activities in addition to fresh produce and crafts.

Sampling of Michigan farms and u-pick locations

Southwest
When in Michigan’s southwest take a drive along the Blue Star Highway and head for Earl’s Berry Farm in Fennville. Open seven days a week through October you can enjoy blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and more. Families love Jollay Orchards Family Fun Farm in Coloma, with plenty of u-pick fruitsplus an animal farm, picnic area and playground. Tree-Mendus Fruit in Eau Claire offers tremendous u-pick fruit options. In July the farm presents its own International Cherry Pit Spitting Championship.

Southeast
A favorite for those living and visiting Macomb County is Blake’s Orchard & Cider Mill in Armada with train rides in theorchards and u-pick fruits like strawberries and peaches. Long Family Orchard & Cider Mill in Commerce Township offers u-pick strawberries,apples and sweet corn. Looking for gooseberries? Drive to Milan and the Wasem Fruit Farm where you can also pick tart cherries, raspberries and black currants.

West Central
More gooseberries! Plus blueberries, red and black currants, and raspberries can be picked at Sandy Bottom Berries in Rockford. Ed Dunneback & Girls Farm in Grand Rapids offers u-pick strawberries plus asparagus, sweet cherries, tomatoes and more. There is a play area for kids and folks can also purchase many other goods. Blueberries are the specialty of Rhynards’s Blueberry Farm in Shepherd, east of Mt. Pleasant. The season runs from early July to Labor Day, daily dawn to dusk. Pick up fresh honey, too.

East Central
The Blueridge Blueberry Farm produces organic blueberries in Michigan’s Thumb town of Capac. The blue “super food” fruit is usually available from mid-July through August. The farm provides a truck to take home pickers to the patches. Bring your own containers. The fruit is certified naturally grown. The Davis Family Farm in Owosso follows organic methods to grow blackberries, strawberries, rhubarb, tomatoes and walnuts.

Northwest
The well known Friske Orchards Farm Market offers u-pick apples, cherries, peaches and strawberries in Ellsworth. Onsite is an old-fashioned general store, a play land and barnyard animals. Cedar Sol Hydro Farm in the town of Cedar follows organic practices and produce is grown in a hydroponic stacking system providing a simple, no bending or kneeling picking experience.

Northeast
You must call ahead to schedule a u-pick date for the Quaker Hill Farm in Harrisburg near Alpena. Using organic farming methods the fruit and vegetables are fresh and delicious. Not open on Sundays. Blueberry Hills in Mio offers sweet corn, cucumber, peppers, tomatoes and more. See farm animals and enjoy the farm market, picnic area and snacks from the refreshment stand.

Upper Peninsula
Pellegrini’s Strawberry Farm in Escanaba is usually ripe for strawberry picking in late June – be sure to call ahead as weather is a factor for growing and picking. The season is normally about three weeks. At Gierke Blueberry Farm inChassell the blueberry crop is usually ready for harvest in August. The family-owned farm uses organic growing methods. Ask about the resident llama while you are there.

Check out nearly a dozen Michigan foodie tours plus more summer festivals and events at www.michigan.org and for more information on Michigan wines visit www.michiganwines.com.