Farmers Markets Around Lake Michigan
There is something very special about the foods grown along the shoreline of Lake Michigan that causes the "wow" reaction when they are eaten. The combination of the climate, soils, and work of the local farmers create something really special. And these special foods can be found in our many Farmers Markets.
Lakeshore Farmers Markets Schedules
For Northern Michigan, including Charlevoix, Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Boyne City, Mackinaw City, and Mackinac Island, see:
Northern Michigan Farmers Markets Schedule of Events
For Northwest Michigan including Traverse City, see:
Traverse City Michigan Farmers Markets Schedule of Events
For West Michigan, including Ludington, Manistee, Pentwater and other communities in Mason, Manistee and Oceana Counties, see:
West Michigan Farmers Markets Schedule of Events
Northern Michigan Farmers Markets & Farm to Table Info
From tart cherries to peaches to sweet corn to potatoes to apples, Northern Michigan grows the best. Our Farmers Markets are open from late spring to fall and are a cornucopia of culinary delights. The "local foods" movement is nationwide and local in Northern Michigan means the best. From Boyne City to Charlevoix to Petoskey to Harbor Springs to Indian River, local residents and visitors get the wow factor over and over again as the season progresses. The growing season and the spectacular soil in Northern Michigan makes "local" something special. Buy a bushel of tomatoes and can them for winter to follow. Pick a peck of apples and make apple pies and apple butter. Go home with a basket of cucumbers and make pickles that will be a great gift for the holidays. A bag full of herbs can be dried or made into vinegars. Northern Michigan has spectacular local foods that can make a wonderful summer meal or be turned into a great "memory" when it is preserved.
In addition to fabulous outdoor markets in the warm weather months, Boyne City, Charlevoix, Harbor Springs and Petoskey all have indoor markets in the winter months. Year 'round local foods from local farmers!
West Michigan Farmers Markets & Farm to Table Info
One of the best things about West Michigan is the fresh goodness of locally grown fruits and vegetables. Various farm markets around the region offer a bounty of the best-tasting produce around. Shopping for fresh produce is convenient, with many of the local farm markets open from May until September or October.
Asparagus starts the season in the spring, with Michigan being the third largest producer in the nation. Oceana County is actually known as the "Asparagus Capital of the World," due to its high production of this healthy crop. Also in the spring comes the maple syrup, a true American sweetener. Here in Mason County, Kistlercrest Farm on Old PM Highway produces about 1,200 gallons of syrup every year. The real thing is thinner than the brands of syrup you buy in the supermarket, but the taste is far superior. The Kistlers also make maple sugar candy, granulated maple sugar, and at Christmas, maple cream candies.
As summer arrives, so does the fresh bounty of fruits and vegetables, including apples, cherries, lettuce, sweet corn, and strawberries. Local farm markets and even roadside stands sell the freshest produce, picked daily. Near the end of summer, it's blueberry time. Michigan tops the list for the most blueberries grown in the nation. Various U-picks in the area let you grab a basket and choose your own blueberries.
Autumn is a wonderful time in West Michigan, with cool temperatures, trees sprouting gorgeous colors of reds, yellows, and oranges, and best of all...pumpkins! Driving through the countryside in search of the perfect pumpkin is enjoyable in itself, but once you arrive at your destination, you're in for a treat. Many farms offer corn mazes, hayrides, and pumpkin decorating, just in time for Halloween.
Although the seasons are dependent upon the weather, we've listed the time periods when West Michigan crops typically are harvested:
Late April-June: Asparagus, Raspberries, Rhubarb, Strawberries
July-August: Apples, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cherries, Corn, Green Beans, Peaches, Raspberries, Strawberries, Tomatoes, Watermelons, Zucchini
September-October: Apples, Green Beans, Tomatoes, Watermelons, Zucchini