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Buying and Eating Fresh and Local

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There are a lot of benefits to eating food produced locally. Whether you want to help support the local economy, eat the freshest food possible, or know more about how your food was produced, there are many great ways to engage with local food producers in Jackson. You could even grow food yourself! For instance, you could…

  • Purchase fresh produce at farmers markets
  • Buy a Community Supported Agriculture share
  • Grow a container or backyard garden
  • Bring the whole family to a U-pick farm or orchard

Learn more about these opportunities in Jackson!

Farmers' Markets

Farmers’ Markets are places where consumers can purchase food directly from local farmers. They typically offer a wide variety of seasonal produce and other products such as eggs, meat, canned or baked goods, artisanal crafts, and flowers. Produce is often picked at the peak of ripeness, which makes for a tastier and fresher product. Farmers markets offer a great opportunity to provide healthy foods to consumers and support the local economy.

Where can you find a farmers market in Jackson?

The Green Market at Allegiance Health

  • When: Thursdays 9:00am-2:00pm
  • Where: At the corner of Page and East Michigan Avenues
  • How: The market accepts cash, credit, debit, SNAP/EBT, Double Up Food Bucks, WIC project FRESH, Senior Project FRESH/Market FRESH

For more information: Visit www.facebook.com/GreenMarketofJackson

Downtown Jackson Grand River Farmers Market

  • When: Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays 8:00am-1:00pm, April-November
  • Where: Corner of Mechanic and Pearl Streets
  • How: The market accepts cash, credit, debit, SNAP/EBT, Double Up Food Bucks, WIC project FRESH, Senior Project FRESH/Market FRESH

For more information: Call the Downtown Development Authority at 788-4355 or visit www.jacksondda.org

Both farmers markets accept the following forms of payment:

Not sure what will be available when you visit the market? Learn more about the availability of Michigan fruits and vegetables by visiting MSU Extension

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares are a great way to explore new types of produce, and learn about where your food comes from. The term CSA refers to a business model where participants pay a membership fee to a local farm to receive weekly shares of fresh produce throughout the growing season. In Michigan, season extension techniques such as hoop houses can be used to grow produce in the winter, which allows for year-round CSAs. This model serves as an investment that helps support the livelihoods of farmers. When choosing a CSA, it important to consider pick-up location and day of the week, share frequency (weekly vs. biweekly), and types of products offered.

Find CSA shares near Jackson, MI

Container Gardening

Container Gardening is a great option for people who don’t have room for a full-fledged garden. Few homes or apartments are too small for a couple potted plants. Keep plants in a window or on a balcony that receives at least 6 hours of sun per day. Many herbs can grow well in small pots such as sage, parsley, oregano, rosemary, marjoram, basil, thyme, chives, and savory. However, vegetables often require much larger containers in order to thrive. Here are container size recommendations:

  • One gallon containers: Cabbage, cucumber, green beans, lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, cherry tomatoes
  • Two gallon containers: Beets, carrots, eggplant, peppers, radishes
  • Three gallon containers: Standard tomatoes

U-pick Farms and Orchards

U-pick Farms and Orchards can be a great family friendly activity to take advantage of in the summer and early fall. Often produce is much less expensive when you pick it yourself, and it tastes great. In Southeastern Michigan, berries and apples are the most common types of u-pick fruits. This chart can give you a general idea about when fruits are in season, but it is usually best to call before driving to a farm to make sure that the produce is ready for picking.

Author: 
Amanda Gallaher