This West Michigan County Is Considered the ‘Asparagus Capital of the World’
Did you know each March is Food and Ag Month in Michigan? Well, now you do!
When folks think of Michigan-grown products things like cherries, blueberries, and even Christmas trees may come to mind, but did you have any idea we ranked first in the nation when it comes to asparagus production? Because I certainly didn't!
Grown in Michigan
I swear I was born and raised in West Michigan but it seems like each day I discover something new about my home state that no one had ever thought to tell me before! That includes Michigan being home to the "Asparagus Capital of the World."
I happen to love the green, grass-like, stalky vegetable so I was curious to know more. According to the Michigan Department of Agriculture, our state produces nearly 23 million pounds of asparagus each year.
Not only that, Oceana County, in particular, is known as the world's asparagus capital. Says the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board,
Oceana County, located near Hart and Shelby, Michigan, is known as the "asparagus capital of the world," though Michigan Asparagus farmers are located throughout the whole of Michigan.
Where Does It Go?
Of all the asparagus grown in Michigan the board says 40% is sold fresh in local grocery stores, farmer's markets and roadside stands, as well as served in area restaurants.
The remaining product is frozen and sold to wholesalers who then distribute the leftover asparagus throughout the United States.
Oceana County is even home to the National Asparagus Festival which is held each spring in Hart, MI. The town prides itself on being the "longest-running asparagus festival in the country" and 2023 will mark its 50th year!
What can you expect at the festival? Well, plenty of asparagus-inspired dishes to start. There are also arts and craft vendors, a parade, and of course the crowing of the "Asparagus Queen".
This year the festival will take place on June 10, 2023. Be sure to mark your calendar so you don't miss out on all the asparagus fun!