Dec 4, 2018
100 attend diverse Great Lakes EXPO Farm Market Bus tour

More than 100 farmers from as far away as Africa, Alaska and Quebec toured diverse farm market offerings in West Michigan Monday, December 3.

The Great Lakes Expo Farm Market Bus Tour visited a total of seven locations Southwest of Grand Rapids. Stops included everything from a hydroponics operation to Christmas trees and hard cider and winery operations.

Bosch’s U-Cut Tree Farm. The main focus of the business is the growing of quality seedlings and transplants. The Boschs are dedicated to providing quality planting stock for Christmas Tree Growers, Reforestation, and Homeowners throughout the Midwest. To learn more, visit
Visser Farms Visser Farms is a local, family-owned farm located in Zeeland, Michigan. They sell fresh, homegrown vegetables, have u-pick strawberries and flowers in season. They also have a flexible market style CSA. Visser Farms deeply cares for their farmland. They are not all about yield, but about the quality and vitality of what they bring to the farmers’ market and to your plate.
To learn more, visit

Crisp Country Acres. The love and tradition of farming runs deep in this family owned farm. The farm on 120th Avenue has been in the family since 1858. The family farms about 120 acres of produce. They have greenhouses and a large cold storage that helps extend the season and have fresh produce available year-round. You can find their produce at local farmers’ markets, several area restaurants and their year round CSA program. Crisp Country Acres also has a farm stand and online farm stand. Farming is not just a job to this family, it’s their way of life and passion.
To learn more, visit

Crane’s Pie Pantry Restaurant & Winery. Crane’s is a family owned, family run business that has been a treasured travel destination in West Michigan for decades. Nestled in the lush, rolling hills of our family’s fruit farm just minutes from Lake Michigan’s shore, at Crane’s Pie Pantry Restaurant & Winery you will take home with you an experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression.
To learn more, visit

Virtue Cider. Gregory Hall founded Virtue Cider in 2011. He is known for his 20-year tenure as brewmaster at the Goose Island Beer Company, having won 14 consecutive Great American Beer Festival medals and pioneered bourbon barrel-aged beer with Bourbon County Stout. In the spring of 2011, Hall left Goose Island and embarked on a two-month pilgrimage to study the craft of cider, touring and tasting at top cidermakers in England and France. He brought his extensive experience and innovative style to launch Virtue Cider. In 2013, Hall brought the cidermaking venture as close as possible to one of the United States’ best apple-growing states of Michigan and launched Virtue Cider in Fennville, Michigan.
To learn more, visit

Mud Lake Farm. Mud Lake Farm is located in southern Ottawa County, Michigan. They grow about 50+ varieties of lettuce, in a range of types and colors. Their greenhouse is biomass heated with Michigan cherry pits and local wood pellets made from lumber mill waste. They are firm believers in sustainable agriculture, and enjoy exploring new ideas to make their farm more sustainable.
To learn more,

Byron Center Meats. What started as a small town butcher shop in 1946 has grown into an award-winning, USDA-inspected plant supplying restaurants, businesses and local families the best local cuts. Byron Center Meats is proud to be a third-generation, family-owned meat processing company. For 72 years they have provided customers with delicious, high-quality meats at an unbeatable value. Their commitment to exceptional service can be seen in every sale.
To learn more, visit

The Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable & Farm Market EXPO begins Tuesday, Dec. 4. The trade show, education sessions and other events will run through Thursday. Keep following Fruit Growers News for updates.

Top photo: Bus tour attendees tour Mud Lake Farm’s hydroponics operation. Photo: Stephen Kloosterman

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