You can purchase fresh-picked produce - or pick your own - at many of the farms and farm markets that also supply local restaurants. Farm markets are typically open from late spring (when asparagus is harvested) through fall, when apples and pumpkins are available in abundance.
At the Market
Many area farms sell their goods at city farm markets. Fulton Street Farmer’s Market is the area's oldest and largest traditional farm market, established in 1922. It’s actually open year-round, with a Main Season (May-October) featuring Wednesday, Friday and Saturday markets from 8am-2pm, and a Second Season (November-April) offering a weekly market on Saturdays from 10am-1pm.
A number of Grand Rapids suburbs host their own farm markets during the growing season, including Ada (Tuesdays), Byron Center (Saturdays), Caledonia (Saturdays), East Grand Rapids (Thursdays), Georgetown (Mondays), Grandville (Tuesdays), Kentwood (Thursdays), Lowell (Thursdays) and Rockford (Saturdays).
In addition, Martin Luther King Jr. Park hosts the Southeast Area Farmers Market every other Saturday from July through November, and the UM Health-West Farm Market is open Thursdays from May through October in the UM Health-West Hospital parking lot.
You’ll find a mix of fresh-picked produce at all of these markets, and often meats, milk, plants, baked goods and artisan goods, too.
On the Farm
You can also go straight to the source for farm-fresh goods. These farms sell their crops where they grow them – and many also offer tours, hayrides and other fun family activities, especially during the fall harvest.
Fruit Ridge Farm Markets. Just 10 minutes from downtown is a unique topographical feature known as “The Ridge.” The terrain and climate make it one of the best growing regions in the U.S. It’s home to more than 30 family farms, including:
Blok Orchard. Blueberries, apples, peaches, nectarines, melons, plus many vegetables.
Brechting Farm Market. Pick your own tomatoes, peppers, beans, pickles, pumpkins and more, or shop for just-picked items in the store.
Ed Dunneback & Girl's Farm. Apples, strawberries (u-pick and just-picked), asparagus, sweet cherries, apple cider, caramel apples, donuts, pumpkins, squash, tomatoes, Indian corn, recipes, a play area, and more. The Dunnebacks also make their own beer, wine and hard cider, operate an on-site restaurant and host many special events.
Fruit Ridge Hayrides. Pick your own apples and pumpkins, and be sure to bring the kids for horse-drawn hayrides, a giant corn maze, petting zoo, pony rides and more.
Fryear’s Farm Market. A wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including apples, beets, black cherries, blueberries, cantaloupe, cucumbers, peaches and squash, plus jam, maple syrup, honey and flowers.
Goodfellow Orchards. A great resource for sweet and tart cherries from late June through mid-July. Fresh-picked or U-pick.
Hill Bros. Orchards & Cider Mill. Shop for 15+ varieties of apples in season and enjoy award-winning cider all year-round.
Klenk Orchards. Buy sweet cherries at the stand, call in orders or u-pick from late June through early July.
Krupp Farms. This fourth-generation centennial farm offers raspberries, strawberries and pre-picked produce, plus a snack and refreshment stand, picnic area and petting zoo.
Schwallier's Country Basket. U-pick apples and pumpkins plus fresh cider, fresh donuts, jams, jellies, honey, a petting zoo, corn maze and huge play area for the kids.
Steffens Orchard Market. Apples (picked and u-pick), blueberries, cherries, pumpkins, raspberries, jams, fruit butters, a gift shop and more.
Visit the Fruit Ridge Markets website to explore all 30+ farms and attractions on The Ridge.
Robinette's Apple Haus. Located 13 minutes northwest of downtown Grand Rapids and just five minutes from Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Robinette’s is one of Michigan’s premier agri-tourism attractions. This centennial farm grows apples, apricots, cherries, peaches, and nectarines, all available on site, in season. Some of the 20+ apple varieties are available for u-pick.
In addition to seasonally harvested fruits, Robinette’s offers a bakery, lunch counter and eating area; cider mill making fresh cider you can enjoy on- or off-site; tasting room offering their own house-made wines and hard ciders; and all sorts of fun family activities: a corn maze, nature trail, hayrides, petting zoo, jumping pillow and more.
Sandy Bottom Berries. Located in Rockford, 10 minutes north of Grand Rapids, this small family farm offers u-pick blueberries, raspberries, tart cherries and currants, typically from early July through early August.
Speyer’s Farm Market. Head 10 miles south of downtown GR to visit this farm market, which stocks corn, beans, peppers, squash, tomatoes, pickles, cucumbers, pumpkins, carrots, kale, broccoli, cauliflower and more from the Speyer’s farm, as well as fruit from local (and a few not-so-local) farms.
Visit Farm Markets of West Michigan online to find even more fresh food markets in Kent County and surrounding areas.