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Michigan, of course, is known for its lakes, but it should be known for its farmers’ markets. In fact, many of the markets statewide have won awards and continue to draw crowds of thousands per season. The best is not always the better-known ones. In fact, some of the more distant markets have some of the best products in the state.

1. Interlochen

Marked by rows of tents, the Interlochen Farmers Market is more of a food and fun fair than it is a traditional farmer’s market. In addition to locally grown veggies, fruit, and seasoned pork, beef and other types of delicious summer sausages, the market showcases handmade wares crafted by local artisans.

These include larger items, such quilts and t-shirts, and smaller kitchen-based items, such as potholders and hot pads. Finally, a clear favorite of ours at Livnfresh, there are a variety of stone pendants made by local jewelers.

Of course, it would not be much of a farmers’ market without the food. In this, the market does not disappoint. Some of the most outstanding products include the following.

– pickles
– gingerkakes
– shortbread cookies
– quail eggs
– fresh asparagus
– strawberry pancake
– jumbo-sized blueberries

2. Oscoda-AuSable

The Northeast Michigan Regional Farmer Market is a lesser-known market with a big name. It has been in operation for 20 years, so the vendors here know how to really light up the table. Its origins begin with one woman’s search for local fresh garlic. Her frustration from having to drive two hours led to the birth of the farmer’s market located in Oscoda-AuSable.

Today, it offers much more than fresh garlic–though that is a common bit of produce that is always on hand. Other fresh foods include the staples. However, we at Livnfresh adore many of the delicious niche items.

– purple radishes
– parsnips
– beets
– berries, plums, and apricots
– gem potatoes
– orange raspberries
– honey with comb
– okra
– local wines

The market is open Wednesdays, and although those of us at Livnfresh have found that such an array of fresh food can typically lighten the bank account, this market accepts the following food benefits.

– Double Up
– Market Fresh

3. Dearborn

Dearborn ranks eighth in terms of population, and the Dearborn Farmers and Artisan Market rank near the top in terms of all farmers’ markets statewide. The market, itself, is comprised of rows of vendor tents that showcase fresh veggies, salted meats, and fresh jams and jellies.

However, it also is the primary storefront for local artisans that specialize in jewelry and woodcarving. One popular craft includes brightly painted, fruit-themed pottery capable of making a happy kitchen even happier.

In addition to being a trade show, it is also an artisan clinic where kids and adults can receive a primer in such crafts as pottery spinning from local artisans. Other crafts available for sale include kitchen plaques. Other on-site market shows include the “cook-with-butter” challenge. To top off the entertainment, music is provided by a range of local and regional talents, such as One Man Music Band and Robin Horlock.

As with many markets where salsa is a staple, this market is no different. Salsa ranges from mild-flavored with sweet peppers to eye-watering habaneros, but one of the most delicious attractions is the cow-friendly “Pure Pasture” cheese where the cheese is harvested from the milk of the beloved, free-range, grass-fed cows that do not undergo hormone treatment. Finally, to go along with that delicious cheese, a wide assortment of wines are also available.

In an attempt to support everyone interested in eating healthier, The Dearborn Farmers and Artisan Market accept WIC and Double-Up Food Bucks.