Savor the Season

Shoreline farmers markets provide an opportunity for fresh fall produce, tasty treats and even good meals.
South Haven Farm Market
South Haven Farm Market // Photography courtesy of South Haven Farm Market

Imagine this: it’s a beautiful Saturday by the lake, that combination of late summer sun with subtle shades of fall that make Michigan winters worth bearing.

It’s also the perfect time to visit some of the state’s coastal farmers market and stock up — and not just on local produce that won’t be around much longer. You can also find grab-and-go options that give you a taste of what the region has to offer. Whether you arrive by boat, bike or sandals, these markets will make sure you don’t leave hungry.

South Haven Farm Market 

If there’s one rule at this farmers market, it’s bring your appetite. Over 70 vendors set up shop on the Huron St. Pavilion in downtown South Haven from early May until mid-October, offering a wide variety of options for those strolling through. There are late-season market staples, of course, grass-fed meats, cheeses, root vegetables, flowers, beans, apples, blueberries and cantaloupe, but one of this market’s highlights is the food that you can grab and eat right there on-site.

Seeds and Spores
Photography courtesy of Downtown Marquette Farm

And it isn’t the typical food truck curbside meals, explains Market Manager Chris Rigozzo-Solani. “There are two food vendors, they’re always popular and you better get there early because they always sell out,” she says.

If you’re in the mood for a breakfast burrito or homemade tamales, Su Casa has it covered. Though its homebase is a brick-and-mortar location a few blocks away, the crew from Su Casa sets up every Saturday to treat market visitors to flavorful Mexican cuisine. “People love to grab a tamale and stroll through the rest of the market,” Rigozzo-Solani says. Plus, there are Jarritos sodas for you to wash it all down.

Looking for something a little heartier? Grampa’s Pastys also is a staple vendor and brings between six to eight varieties of the meat and veggie-filled pastry.

Downtown Marquette Farmers Market
Photography courtesy of Downtown Marquette Farmers Market

Downtown Marquette Farmers Market

Two blocks from the shores of the beautiful Lake Superior, this market runs all the way until Dec. 16. Eighty vendors rotate through over 60 spots each week, all with a stellar view of the changing colors often seen during this time of year.

The market’s northerly location also creates a unique opportunity to take advantage of longer growing seasons, so if you’re looking to satisfy a blueberry craving in October, you could find yourself in luck. Apple lovers also will delight at the variety offered, and Market Manager Myra Zyburt says the market’s proximity to the wooded areas of northern Michigan create an unparalleled selection of local honey and maple syrups.

Located along the multiuse Iron Ore Heritage Trail, this is a perfect place to hike or ride to and enjoy a cup of freshly roasted coffee and a sweet treat from one of the market’s chocolate producers.

Harbor Beach Farmers Market

Or, maybe you’re looking to satisfy a craving for local history. Located on the lawn of the Frank Murphy Memorial Museum, the Harbor Beach Farmers Market has a selection of fresh produce and baked goods, all served up with a side of small-town charm. The market is held Friday afternoons through the first week of October and is a stone’s throw from the city marina and a wonderful bike path. Market organizer Bob Swartz says to be on the lookout for fresh fruits and sweet corn, as they tend to be available longer than in other regions of the state.

If You Go…

South Haven Farm Market

Downtown Marquette Farmers Market

Harbor Beach Farmers Market

To locate or find information about farmers markets around the state, visit

Alexandra Fluegel is a freelance writer living in Detroit. She enjoys writing about food arts and culture.

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