Selecting Michigan-grown and processed foods helps keep food dollars circulating in our local communities, strengthens Michigan’s family farms, improves the quality of life for our citizens in both rural and urban areas, and preserves the state’s rich and diverse agricultural heritage.
In fact, for every dollar spent locally, three to seven different local businesses are impacted before that dollar leaves the local economy. If every household spends just $10 per week of their current grocery budget on local foods, we’d keep more than $37 million each week circulating within Michigan. All of us can benefit from that sort of economic shot in the arm.
Michigan vegetables, Michigan potatoes, Michigan apples, Michigan cherries, Michigan turkey, Michigan sugar, Michigan dairy products - the list goes on and on. Michigan products also make great gifts, so give a taste of Michigan to everyone on your list! Many Michigan specialty food companies and retail stores offer gift baskets filled with the bounty of our state, from fine wines, jams and jellies, fresh apples, and dipping oils, to spice mixes, honey, pancake mix, maple syrup, dried cherries, and so much more. Non-food agricultural products like wool items, soy candles, or clothing made from corn also make great gifts, so shop around and be creative!
In addition to food traditions, many Michigan families may include a fresh Christmas tree as the centerpiece of their holiday celebrations. Michigan’s Christmas tree farms are a huge part of our agricultural tourism industry in Michigan. Many family holiday traditions include a trip to a Christmas tree farm this time of year to choose and cut the perfect tree.
Michigan ranks third in the nation in the number of Christmas trees harvested, supplying approximately 3 million fresh Christmas trees to the national market each year. Michigan also produces and sells more than a dozen Christmas tree varieties on a wholesale level -- more varieties than any other state. Our state has approximately 42,000 acres in commercial Christmas tree production, with an annual farm gate value of over $41 million. The industry receives an additional $1.3 million in sales of wreaths, cut boughs, garland, and other cut greens. For every Christmas tree harvested, Michigan Christmas tree farmers plant three new trees for future harvests.
After the holidays, there are many uses for recycled real Christmas trees. Many communities chip the trees and use the chippings for mulch, hiking trails, playground areas, animal stalls, or landscaping. Whole trees are recycled for an even greater variety of uses: river shoreline stabilization, sand dune erosion prevention, marshland sedimentation, fish habitat, winter garden decorations, wild bird feeders, even hazardous chemical clean-ups.
By visiting a Christmas tree farm and selecting a real, Michigan-grown Christmas tree for your family holiday celebration, and by purchasing Michigan-grown and processed food and agriculture products for family meals or as gifts, you help strengthen Michigan’s family farms.
courtesty of Michigan Department of Agriculture
to the tune of "wouldn't ya like to be a Pepper too!" "Wouldn't ya like to be a localvore too!"