A 'Pure Michigan' bursts with summer's flavors, fairs, and markets

Summer in Michigan is bursting with flavors from its rich agriculture resources and its bounty from freshwater lakes and streams.

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 libations. It all makes for a fresh and delicious Pure Michigan summer season.

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.

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.

Visit michiganfarmfun.com to download a Michigan Farm Market and Agricultural Tourism Directory www.michiganfarmfun.com 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 a.m. to noon.

Located in the historic district of Kerrytown, the Ann Arbor Farmers Market is open Wednesdays and Saturdays.

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 a stop at any of the 16 farmers markets including the Iron Mountain Farmers' and Artisans' Market open every Saturday beginning in mid-June.

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 fruits plus an animal farm, picnic area and playground.

Tree-Mendus Fruit in Eau Claire offers tremendous u-pick fruit options.

Southeast:

A favorite for those living and visiting Macomb County is Blake's Orchard and Cider Mill in Armada with train rides in the orchards and u-pick fruits like strawberries and peaches.

Long Family Orchard and 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 and Girls Farm in Grand Rapids offers u-pick strawberries plus asparagus, sweet cherries, tomatoes and more.

Blueberries are the specialty of Rhynards's Blueberry Farm in Shepherd, east of Mt. Pleasant.

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 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.

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.

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:

At Gierke Blueberry Farm in Chassell 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.

Published: Mon, Jul 25, 2011

Comments

  1. No comments
Sign in to post a comment »