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As the summer air knocks on the shores of Lake Michigan, the local markets of the state start getting flooded with seasonal produces from the farms. From the month of May to October, the farmer markets in entire Michigan are jam-packed with flocks of people for whom it has become a summer culture to attend these markets. The summer market season in Michigan is as vibrant as it can get with more than 300 farmer markets around the state exhibiting fruits, vegetables and artisan goods that can turn out to be a rare find for someone who is visiting these markets for the first time. Different communities of farmers and local businessmen come up with their unique goods, making the entire experience a memorable one for the shoppers. What makes these markets a lot more successful is the fact that it gives people to get a taste of real, chemical-free flavors- be it apricots and cherries or tomatoes and carrots.

 If you're in Michigan during the summers, make sure to catch up on the most authentic and exotic summer adventure of Michigan -  Visiting Farmer Markets.

 What Can You Find at Farmer's Markets

The name 'Farmer's market' might suggest that these markets are all about fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Though it isn't completely wrong yet it would be a mistake to categorize these as a fruit and veggies market. The Farmer's markets all around Michigan have everything from fresh meat and poultry and wine and drinks to baked goods, jams, and homemade pickles. The variety of things that you can find here is never ending and to add to it; there is live music and entertainment for kids.  Here are some of the things you can look forward to at a Farmer's Market in Michigan

 Fresh Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables

Farmer's markets are like a silver lining to the clouds of shopping. Picking fruits and vegetables from supermarkets is no fun. As the season of summer markets arrives, you can look forward to a much more fun way of shopping for 1005 organic fruits and vegetables that are homegrown. Farmer's Markets in Michigan have a wide variety of fruits and dry fruits - melons and berries, nuts and raisins and what not! There is also a wide variety of fresh leafy vegetables that you can barely find in supermarkets and malls. Exotic varieties like Japanese Eggplant and Bok Choy which cannot be otherwise found are also sold in these markets.

Wine and Beer Samples

 For all the men out there- one reason to accompany the ladies to the farmer's markets is that you can get to taste and even buy some great wines at these markets. Go for sample tasting, and if you like it, you might just add another great bottle of Chardonnay or Pinot Noir to your collection.

 Artisan and Handmade Goods

From beautiful wall murals that you can get to look at to hand made art pieces by local artists- you can be assured to find some soul feeding, mind nourishing stuff at the farmer's markets in Michigan. Many local artists and newcomers take this opportunity to showcase and sell their paintings and art in these farmer's markets and mind it; they can be a great pick for a very reasonable price.

Potted Plants and Fresh Cut Flowers

 Plants and flowers showcased in the farmer's markets of Michigan are what make them a treat to behold. Florists and Gardeners come up to the market to sell their stuff, and there are some potted plants that you can take home too. Many people pick out the potted herbs and vegetables for as an addition to their kitchen garden.

How to attend a Farmer's market

In Michigan, the main season for farmer's market's is from the months of May to October. You can find a farmer's market in your locality easily since all parts of Michigan have a few of them. These are usually open once or twice a week but there are some exceptions and before you plan your visit, make sure to check upon the timings of the farmer's market near you. It is better to attend these markets in the early hours after they open since that is when there is less crowd.  Here are some tips that will help you have a more fun and easy shopping experience at farmer's markets:

1. Timing

There are only two ways to go about the timings when you are attending a farmer's market. You can either go in at the early hours and save yourself from the trouble of being a part of the huge crowd that comes to these markets or you can go the market just before the closing time and lay your hands on some of the best deals without having to bargain. However, at the ned of the day, most of the fine stuff might be already sold, so plan accordingly.

2. Dress comfortably

 Of course, it isn't about your dress but rather than putting on your finest clothes and your best heels, wear comfortable sports shoes and loose clothes that keep you comfortable for as long you stay in the market. It can get pretty crowded, and there might be some spilling of drinks and some stepping on toes so be prepared for it. Put on a sunscreen because summer markets are attractive enough to lure you into spending hours tossing and turning stuff and picking out the better of the best.

3. Carry shopping bags

These markets are organized by vendors, and most of them do not carry poly bags to hand over your purchases in. It is better to take a big cloth bag with you when you leave for a farmer's market.

4. Budget and Safety

These are the two things that people usually forget to take care of in all the hustle and bustle that surrounds them at the farmer's market. If you're a first timer to such markets, please know that these markets can lure you into over spending. All the colorful veggies, flowers, and fruits that you see around might make you feel like buying it all. So, it is better to set a budget and carry only the money that you plan to spend. Keep your ID and Dl safe with you. Your money should be easily accessible- such that you can pay the vendor quickly and make way for others. If you're carrying your wallet and cell phone, keep them safely tucked in your pockets.

5. Don't Rush, enjoy each moment of it!

Farmer's Markets are more of a social event where you should take a stroll, examine things, shop without worrying about the price and get to know the producers of these goods. Do not forget to have fun in all the hustle for picking out the right fruit for the right price. Take your time and check out all the stalls. If you plan to keep it as a one-hour thing, be prepared to spend at least three hours in there (yes, that's how enjoyable these markets are.)

Supporting Farmer's Markets

Farmer's Markets are not just about the shoppers. There are those vendors who bring to you something that they have grown and taken care of for months with all its goodness and flavor intact just so that you can enjoy something that is completely organic. Agriculture is a major industry in Michigan, and these small farmer families shall be supported with all that you can to keep the culture alive and to make sure that they do not lose their livelihood to commercialization.

 The imported or exported food that you eat travels roughly 1,500 miles to get to your plate. Shopping from farmer's market wouldn't just be contributing to the farmers but also to the environment.

The meat and poultry that you get here are raised naturally without any antibiotics or growth hormones being injected into the animals. These animals are reared at home and taken care of with passion. Thus, by buying meat from here, you also support humane treatment of animals.

Farmer's Markets are a great way to connect with the farmers, know what goes into growing the food that you consume and understand where your food comes from. Once you start eating vegetable and fruits from the farmer's markets, you'll notice the difference between naturally grown and cultured food products. So, dedicate some extra hours and maybe even a few extra bucks at the farmer's market but make sure you contribute to a bigger cause of letting the farmers get their share.

Farmer's Markets in Michigan

1. Ann Arbor Farmer's Market
315 Detroit Street
Kerrytown Area
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Days:May- December: Wednesday and Saturday 7 am to 3 pm
January- April:  Saturday 8 am to 3 pm
June- October: Wednesday 4 pm to 8 pm in evening

2. Farmington Farmer and Artisans Market
Location: Walter E. Sundquist Pavilion in George F. Riley Park Grand River Avenue at Grove St.
Farmington, MI 48336
Days: Every Saturday from May 14 to November 5

3. Fulton Street Farmer's Market, Grand Rapids
1147 E. Fulton St.
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Days: May- December- Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 8 am to 3 pm

4. Albion Farmer's Market
211 Marketplace
William R. Stoffer Memorial Plaza
Albion, MI 49224
Days: May-October - Wednesday and Saturday - 8:3o am to 1 pm

5. Midland Area Farmers Market
Located at the structure at the end of Ashman Street near the Tridge
Midland, MI 48640
Days: May  to October- Saturday 7 am to 1 pm

6. Belleville Farmer's Market
405 Main St.
Belleville, MI 48111
Days: May- September- Saturday- 8:30 am to 2:30 pm

7.  Flint Farmers' Market
300 E. First Street
Flint, MI 48502
Days: Open all year round on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday

8. Eastern Market, Detroit
2934 Russell Street
Detroit, MI 48207
Days:  Saturday 7am-4pm (year-round)
Tuesday 9am-3pm (June-Sept.)
Sunday 10am-4pm (June-Sept.)

9. Holland Farmers Market
150 W. 8th Street
Holland, MI 49423
Days: May 18- December 10 - Wednesdays and Saturdays- 8 am to 3 pm

10. Marquette Farmer's & Artists Market
The Marquette Commons
112 South Third Street
Marquette, MI 49855
Days:  Open every Saturday from May to October

11. Lansing City Market
325 City Market Drive
Lansing, MI 48912
Days: Tuesday-Friday 10am-6pm,
Saturday 9am-5pm

 12. Grandville Farmers Market
4055 Maple Street SW
Grandville, MI 49418
Days: Tuesday (June - mid-October) from 8:00 am - 1:00 pm

13. Alpena Farmers' Market
River Street
Alpena, MI 49753
Days: June- October Saturday and Wednesday 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

 14. Lowell Area Farmers' Market
Monroe St
City Parking Lot
Lowell, MI 4933
Days: All Thursdays from June 16 - September 15 - 12 pm to 5:30 pm.

 15. Montague Farmers Market
4511 Church Street
Corner of Church and Water Streets
Montague, MI 49437
Days: June- October- Wednesdays and Saturdays- 8 am to 12 pm

16. Manitou Beach Farmers Market
290 Devils Lake Hwy
Manitou Beach, MI 49253
Days: Memorial Day to Labor Day - every Saturday from 8 am to 12 pm

17. Springfield Farmers Market
503 Military Avenue
Springfield, MI 49037
Days: May- October-  Every Saturday from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm
November- April - Every Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

 18. Franklin Farmer's Market
32325 Franklin Road
Franklin Village Green
Franklin, MI 48025
Days: May to October- Every Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm

19. Charlevoix Farmers Market
408 Bridge Street (at East Park)
Charlevoix, MI 49720
Days: OUTDOOR MARKET- May 5 - October 6  Every Thursday - 8 am - 1 pm. GPS: 408 Bridge Street, East Park, downtown Charlevoix, MI 49720
INDOOR MARKET- October 13 - Nov 17 Every Thursday - 3-6pm at the Charlevoix Public Library Holiday market: Tuesday Nov 22 - 3-6pm at the Charlevoix Public Library 220 W. Clinton Avenue, Charlevoix, MI 49720.
Please note that there are different venues for different types of markets in Charlevoix

20. Downtown Bay City Farmers Market
318 Sixth St
Bay City, MI 48708
Days: May - October from 10:00am - 4:00pm

21. Byron Farmers Market
Pathway Church
8350 Byron Center Ave. SW
Byron Center, MI 4931
Days:  May-October, every Saturday 8:00am-1:00pm

22. South Haven Farmer's Market
Behind Post Office,
546 Phoenix Street
South Haven, MI 49090
Days: Every Saturday from 8 am - 2 pm and Wednesdays in June, July, August, and September

23. Muskegon Farmers Market
242 West Western Avenue
Muskegon, MI 49442
Days:  Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 6 am to 3 pm, May through December

24.  Hudsonville Farmers Market
3302 Prospect Street
Hudsonville, MI 49426
Days: Every Wednesday from, June - October 8 am - 2 pm

 25. Howell Sunday Farmers' Market
State St. between Grand River & Clinton
Howell, MI 48843
Days:  May - October on Sundays from 9 am - 2 pm.