What to Expect on Your First Visit to a Michigan Farmers Market

I’ve been a Michigander my entire life, so it’s pretty embarrassing to admit I had never been to a farmers market until recently, especially knowing our state is full of them.

My first (but certainly not last) experience was in Cadillac, Mich. If you’ve never been to a Michigan farmers market, here are a few of my tips about what you can expect:

  1. Color: Everywhere! There’s no questioning if you’ve arrived when you walk up to a rainbow of food-filled tents at a Michigan farmer’s market. It’s especially exciting if you love fruits and veggies like me.
  2. Friendly people: Every time I approached a booth, I was greeted with a friendly smile and helpful tips on what I was looking for. When I mentioned I hadn’t tried a Michigan cherry, one vendor even let me do a taste test of every variety they were selling just to guarantee I’d be satisfied with my purchase.
  3. Affordable Goodies: img_1121Don’t be fooled by the prices in the organic section of the grocery store like I was. Prices for farm fresh market produce can’t be beat. But be warned, just when I thought those delicious Michigan cherries I mentioned were coming home with me for $2.99, the vendor didn’t accept cards. Learn from my mistake and bring cash. Even though some booths accept credit, others may not.
  4. A Lesson in What’s What: You think you know all there is to know about a fruit or vegetable until a farmer enlightens you with their expertise. During my time in Cadillac, I learned a lot about chemical-free farming specifically. While it’s definitely more work, it makes a positive difference to the taste of a product, it’s nutritional value and the environment. Who knew?
  5. A Taste of Freshness: Frankly, there’s nothing more delicious than fresh grown Michigan produce. What’s better? The endless recipes you can make from your bargain farmers market finds.

Check out some of the yummy recipes we pulled together from our visit:

Photo Credit: Allen Sheffield

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