Michigan’s Cucumber Crunch, a summertime farm to institution celebration

Serve Michigan cucumbers during August to celebrate the Crunch.

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There’s nothing quite as refreshing as crunching into a fresh, Michigan-grown cucumber on a hot summer day. Michigan grows a lot of cucumbers. According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, Michigan ranked first in the U.S. for production of pickling cucumbers and third for fresh market cucumbers. This versatile vegetable is delicious added to salads and sandwiches and can be easily sliced and served as a vegetable side. Celebrate this crunchy cucurbit by participating in Michigan’s Cucumber Crunch this August!

Institutional food programs, including food box distribution sites, can participate in Michigan’s Cucumber Crunch during the month of August by choosing a day to serve or distribute cucumbers, sourcing Michigan-grown cucumbers, and providing promotional and educational information to recipients. For assistance in sourcing Michigan cucumbers, institutions can refer to the Cultivate Michigan Sourcing Guide. Additionally, Michigan State University Extension Community Food Systems team members can assist in connecting institutions to local cucumber suppliers.

Michigan Department of Education (MDE) and Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD) have resources available to support Cucumber Crunch events, including a flyer, participation instructions, and a quiz. For more information, contact Lori Yelton, MS, RDM, Nutritionist/Food Management Consultant, MDARD at YeltonL@michigan.gov.

Other annual farm to institution celebrations of Michigan-grown products include the Michigan Apple Crunch in October and the Michigan Cherry Slurp in February. MSU Extension supports the Michigan Farm to Institution Network and its local food purchasing campaign, Cultivate Michigan, which are coordinated by the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems.

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