Lansing, MI – During spring and early summer, Michigan residents can expect fresh, locally grown asparagus. Governor Rick Snyder proclaimed May as Michigan Asparagus Month to encourage Michigan residents to eat healthier and support Michigan’s agricultural economy.
In Michigan, there are 125 asparagus farms on approximately 11,000 acres. Each grower has an average yield of 2,100 pounds per acre, producing a combined total of 25 million pounds of asparagus annually. Michigan ranks third in the nation for the production of asparagus and the annual value of Michigan asparagus is estimated at $15 million.
Asparagus is a nutrient-dense food that is high in folic acid, a good source of potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamins A and C, and thiamin, has no fat, cholesterol, and is low in sodium.
The Michigan Farm to School Workgroup, with representatives from the Michigan departments of Agriculture & Rural Development, Education, and Community Health; and the Center for Regional Food Systems at Michigan State University, has encouraged school food service programs to celebrate Michigan Asparagus Month by serving asparagus on their lunch menus. The workgroup provided recipes, nutrition information and posters to the schools to promote asparagus consumption to school children.
Fresh Michigan asparagus is available right now at many farmers’ markets, roadside stands, and grocery produce sections across the state. If you would like to view a Michigan agricultural and farmer’s market directory you can visit www.MichiganFarmFun.com.