If you have been following us on social media or have read any of our recent blog posts, you know how important we think it is to source locally, especially when it comes to the food we serve at our Inn! We spend lots of time at local Farmers Markets, looking for the best ingredients for one of Greg's new recipes. Occasionally, we even find a treat for ourselves....
The benefits of buying fresh, locally grown produce are many. We think you'll find that the best ingredients come from the best farmers! "Food tastes better when you know the people who grew it." Here are just some of the reasons we like to shop at local Farmers Markets:
We can find seasonal fruits and vegetables. Every season has great foods to offer and getting them during their prime delivers the best nutrients.
Food doesn't get any fresher. Many times, the produce is picked that day!
They are a great chance to get expert advice. This is a chance to get face to face advice on some delicious ways to prepare these foods.
It's a great experience. Accessible and community based with a broad range of available products, from crafts to sweets to produce, there is always something for everyone.
While here be sure to check out some of our favorites:
8am - 12pm Saturdays June through October Once a month on Thursday evenings 5pm - 8pm (7/20, 8/17, 9/21)
We don't just have one Farmer's Market here in St Johns we actually have two. T he main market is held each Saturday from June through October in the shadow of the Courthouse. The second market launched earlier this year and is held once each month in the evening on the first block of downtown. Both are within walking distance of The Nordic Pineapple.
At The St Johns Farmers Market, you will find a variety of vendors who provide high quality products including fruits, vegetables, farm fresh eggs and local meats. Often times you can also find flowers, handmade crafts, baked goods and amazing breads.
When you are in St Johns this is a great way to start your weekend or spend a quiet evening and you are sure to find something great to excite your palate.
This great Farmer's Market is only 10 minutes South of The Nordic Pineapple in Dewitt and a great way to enjoy a Tuesday evening.
You will find a wide variety of vendors ready to supply you with local produce, farm fresh egg, amazing baked goods, local crafts, honey, jams and jelly and so much more. They even have food trucks where you can sample a wide range of local cuisines.
While in Dewitt be sure to stop into Sweetie-licious, an amazing local bakery featuring old-fashioned baked goods, all produced with high-quality ingredients, all preservative free. Their pies are second to none, be sure to grab one to take home, you won't be sorry you did.
Ionia is located about 30 minutes West of The Nordic Pineapple. It's a quick, easy drive down M-21 toward Grand Rapids.
Items sold at the Marketplace include local fruits, produce, honey, maple and fruit syrups, baked goods, other cottage foods, flowers, plants, and homemade arts and crafts items, antiques, etc. You are sure to find a hidden gem and meet some amazing local artisans.
Since your already in Ionia be sure to check out their downtown shopping district. The main attraction to downtown is the stately Ionia Theatre where you can catch first run movies on one of their two big screens. It's like stepping back in time but has all the modern movie comforts we are all accustomed to.
Before you head back to The Nordic Pineapple you have to make a stop at the MOO-ville Creamery where you will find the best homemade ice-cream around.
Located 20 minutes East of The Nordic Pineapple down M-21 you will find the largest Farmers Market in Mid-Michigan with over 40 vendors.
The Owosso Farmer's Market features locally grown produce & flowers, artisan goods, food trucks and so much more!
A great place for lunch is The Wrought Iron Grill, located right next door to the former Owosso Casket Company in a former warehouse/factory building.
And if your already in Owosso you will want to visit the Curwood Castle; yes, it is an actual castle. The castle was built by author James Oliver Curwood and is now a museum, it really is a great place to visit.
Under the pavilion located at Center & Pine River Streets, Ithaca
2pm - 6pm Tuesdays May through October
The quiet town of Ithaca is located 25 minutes North of The Nordic Pineapple off of US-127.
This great Farmer's Market provides a variety of locally grown seasonal fresh produce, plants, flowers, homemade baked goods, jams & Jellies, handmade local crafts and much more!
When in Ithaca you really have to have lunch at The Hearthstone Oven Bakery and Cafe. They have "made from scratch" baked goods, a full breakfast menu, homemade soups and sandwiches on homemade bread. Baked goods include cinnamon rolls, raspberry creme rolls, caramel pecan rolls, cookies, breads, muffins, pies, brownies, dinner rolls and frozen casserole meals which can be taken home to bake.
Lansing Area Farmer's Markets
There are several really amazing Farmer's Markets in the Lansing area. We have listed out a couple of our favorites here.
8am - 7pm 7 days a week (Late April to Late December)
This great indoor market all started as a roadside stand back in 1978 where owner Andy Todosciuk (aka Andy T, pictured above) sold the produce he grew on the family farm. He is known around these parts for his award-winning pumpkins which have been rumored to be purchased by the like of Mohammed Ali and Ted Nugent. Some of them grow as big as 500 pounds. But what locals go to Andy T's for is the Gourmet Sweet Corn, it really is the best sweet corn you will ever eat.
When you visit the market, you will find greenhouses full of flower and vegetable plants in the Spring and pumpkins in the Fall, the scratch bakery making delicious pies, breads, pumpkin rolls, cookies and doughnuts. There are also goats you can feed, wine to be purchased and a great store full of local products, including gnomes. You know Kjersten can't pass up a good gnome.
We could probably write a whole blog devoted to Horrocks but let's start by saying you could spend the entire day here and it's only 20 minutes from The Nordic Pineapple. Not only do they have fresh produce, they also have the most amazing cheese counter ever. We have been known to spend way too much to mention amounts of money on cheese alone when we visit. The coffee is roasted in-house and the selection is beyond impressive. Let's just say that Greg could live in this section of the store.
Horrock's even has its own tavern where you can enjoy a glass of wine or a beer. You can take the beverage of your choice with you as you shop, who doesn't want to shop and drink, it's a dream come true. Or you can sit back and take a break since the store is so big. They have the largest selection of wine in the area so you're sure to find exactly what you're looking for but if you can't there are amazing people to help.
Don't forget to visit around back where you will find the greenhouse and most importantly the beer garden. You'll find a food truck and a great space to grab a bite and a quick drink. This is a great place to enjoy dinner as well.
If you love Farmer's Markets as much as we do you really have to visit Horrocks but plan to be here for a few hours, there is an endless number of things to see, taste and experience.