Michigan Ranks in Top Ten for Winter Farmers Markets

Who would have thought a state in the middle of the snow belt, where Lake Effect creates cloud cover and precipitation over the Great Lakes from November through March, would be in the top ten of all the states in the country for its number of winter farmers markets?

According to the Holland Sentinel, Michigan made the list for the first time ever for states with the highest number of winter markets, meaning, those that operate between November and March.

At the top of the list was New York–no surprise–with 180 markets. The Hudson Valley region, in particular, is a mecca for locavores.

The USDA announced the list, citing that the number of winter markets has increased 38 percent nationwide, from 886 to 1,225.

Here’s the list by state for the top ten:

  1.  New York
  2. California
  3. Pennsylvania
  4. North Carolina
  5. Ohio
  6. Maryland
  7. Florida
  8. Massachusetts
  9. Virginia
  10. Michigan

“The demand for locally grown food continues to increase,” said Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Keith Creagh. “Through winter markets, consumers are able to buy local products year-round, and farmers are able to bring in additional income to support their families and businesses in what has traditionally been a slower time of the year for many farm businesses.”

One way farmers in colder climates have been able to extend their season is by using hoop house technology, which is probably how I found Michigan raspberries in November at my local market.

Keep it up, farmers! I prefer getting my produce locally from you!


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