The Michigan House of Representatives passed a resolution last week naming Thursday, Sept. 18, the fourth annual "Buy Fresh, Buy Local – Select Michigan Day," and to celebrate, there will be a special "Select Michigan Day" farmers market from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the east lawn of our State Capitol.
More than 50 local farmers and specialty food producers from across Michigan are gathering at the Capitol to offer their locally grown, processed and manufactured products for sale. Come by to experience the bounty of Michigan's agricultural harvest and get fruits and vegetables picked fresh from the field and orchard, eggs, honey, wool products, grains, cheeses, beans, jams, jellies, baked goods, lamb, Lake Superior whitefish, flowers, plants, specialty foods, and much more to fill your bag or basket and take home.
"Plans for this Select Michigan farmers market have been going on for months, but having the House of Representatives pass this resolution really speaks to the importance of agriculture and local food to our state," explains Elaine Brown, Michigan Food & Farming Systems (MIFFS) executive director.
This is the fifth farmers market that MIFFS and the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) have partnered together to sponsor at the Capitol. Other market supporters include the Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA) and the Food Bank Council of Michigan (FBCM), who is kicking off their Michigan Harvest Gathering that morning at the market. Vendors and buyers alike are invited to donate fresh produce at the FBCM booth, where it will go to food banks serving those in need. Everyone should have access to fresh, healthy local food, and this is your opportunity to help make sure that happens. Learn more at www.fbcmich.org.
Along with the House designation of "Buy Fresh, Buy Local – Select Michigan Day," which was introduced by Representative Goeff Hansen, Gov. Jennifer Granholm is expected to proclaim this week as "Select Michigan Week" in celebration of Michigan agriculture, as she has done in past years. Michigan is the second-most diverse state in agricultural production in the nation, behind California, offering more than 200 different agricultural products.
Buying local food supports local farmers, communities and the economy and delivers fresher products from within the state with fewer "food miles" rather than importing product from across the country or abroad. If every Michigan household spent just $10 per week on Michigan-produced food, it would generate nearly $40 million each and every week. And shopping at farmers markets means connecting with the farmers who produced your food in your own community.
For more information about this event or local food, contact MIFFS at (517) 432-0712 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can visit us online at www.miffs.org to learn more about "Select Michigan Day" and local food activities around the state, like "Eat Local" challenges in Lansing, Mount Pleasant, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, the Canton Township Select Michigan Market, the 2008 Grape Escape in Muskegon and the Southwest Michigan Harvest Festival in Scotts at Tillers International. Or visit www.farmersmarkets.msu.edu to find a farmers market where you live to celebrate in your own community and household.
The farmers market is sponsored by the Michigan Department of Agriculture, Michigan Food and Farming Systems, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service, with additional support from the Michigan Farmers Market Association, the Food Bank Council of Michigan and Michigan farmers and specialty food producers.