Michigan Fresh supporting Michigan farmer’s markets

Learn about produce that the Great Lakes State has to offer when it comes to local grown food, with help from MSU Extension’s Michigan Fresh program.

What is the best way to cook vegetables you buy at the farmers market? Learn about produce that the Great Lakes State has to offer from Michigan State University Extension’s Michigan Fresh program. When you visit local farmer markets, do you ever wonder what all of those green leafy vegetables are? Do you ask yourself, “How would I prepare that so that I could eat it?” These are just some of the questions MSU Extension answered with the Michigan Fresh fact sheets.Farmer's Market

The Michigan Fresh program provides a number of ways you can find information about foods you are unfamiliar with like kohlrabi or rutabagas. Consumers can look for the MSU Extension Kiosk at the Detroit Eastern Market, at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market or the future kiosk coming to the new Flint Farmer’s Market in June 2014. In addition, MSU Extension Master Gardeners are available at many other locations and farmers markets throughout Michigan. Consumers can also go to the MSU Extension website and to the Michigan Fresh page and print off the latest fact sheet or to view a cooking demonstration video.

The Michigan Fresh project aims to help consumers learn ways to use the incredible amount of wonderful fresh local fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy grown in Michigan. You can also learn how to grow Michigan agricultural products. Currently on the website, there are 29 vegetable fact sheets, nine fruit fact sheets, five fact sheets in Arabic and Spanish. The fact sheets feature information about selecting quality fresh produce, how to store produce, tips on preparation and food preservation ideas. During the next several weeks, look for fact sheets on meats, dairy, fish, chestnuts, eggs, as well as growing hops. There are additional fact sheets that share information on gardening and lawn care.

MSU Extension also educates community food handlers on skills and techniques for proper food preservation in effort to decrease foodborne illnesses. Food leaders in Michigan communities have the opportunity to receive high quality, certified education on: Safe temperatures to store food, cooling hot foods, storing temperatures, freezing and dehydrating food, canning and the United States Department of Agriculture’s guidelines for safe food preservation. The following fact sheets feature general food preservation tips for all those Michigan Fresh vegetables, fruits and other Michigan products: Basics of Water Bath Canning, Freezing Foods; Pressure Canning.

Michigan Fresh has many resources for the consumer. As the growing season progresses, if you find yourself wondering what to do with produce that you grew but can’t use, check out the fact sheet on guidelines for donating fresh fruits and vegetables.

Enjoy the bounty of Michigan and let MSU Extension help you discover new ways to use Michigan agricultural products.

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