It’s mid-April here in Michigan and many Michigan farmers are getting ready to tend to their spring crops. Whether they are out in the fields already, working in their hoop houses or making simply making checklists, a farmers work is never done. Growing up on a farm, I can remember even during the off-months my father was always busy doing something farm related. Our major crops were asparagus during the cool spring months and strawberries during the summer months. Asparagus was sold locally to grocery stores and hotels on Mackinac Island. The same went for the strawberries but local residents could also venture out and take part in our u-pick business. My father honestly never had a day off. Between farming and his regular full-time job of being a traveling welder he rarely had any down time.
Farming is not an easy profession and it takes many hours to get even the smallest crops to grow. I should know, I haven’t a green thumb in my entire body. Farming is also not a well-paying profession and most farmers work another part time or sometimes even a full time job on top of farming just to make ends meet.
I’m a huge proponent of buying local and shopping your local farmers market during the summer and winter months versus shopping at big box stores help these hard working farmers keep the lights on and the bills paid. If you weren’t aware, Michigan is a huge farming state and although it’s not an easy profession it’s popularity seems to be growing. The demand for fresh produce is greater than ever and I’m sharing with you some facts about Michigan agriculture.
5 Facts About Michigan Agriculture
- There are over 300 commodities grown here in Michigan making our great state one of the most agriculturally diverse states in the United States.
- There are more than 50,000 farms in Michigan averaging 195 acres.
- Michigan agriculture employs over 932,000 people. Agriculture employs over 22% of Michigan’s workforce.
- Top Michigan commodities: Tart Cherries, Celery, Milk, Tomatoes for Processing, Cabbage, Honey, Peaches and Apples, Blueberries. Michigan is actually number 2 in the nation for asparagus which should be coming into season shortly IF the weather would cooperate. Our farm growing up sold asparagus to local grocers and restaurants.
- Over the last few years, the demand for fresh and organic produce has skyrocketed. Local farmers markets are extremely popular to the point where farmers actually have a hard time keeping up with demand.
So the next time your are in need of fresh produce, consider supporting a local farmer by shopping direct or checking out the local farmers market. Check out our local farmers information: