When it comes to biodiversity, Michigan ranks highly.  With abundant water, diverse climates, and varied landscapes, the mitten and Upper Peninsula together showcase incredible produce that comes from the state’s farms.

Eastern Market in Detroit is where Michigan’s farming riches all come together.  Enormous eggplants that deserve display at the county fair.  Giant pumpkins that should be on display at  the county fair.  And submarine-sized watermelons that could be showcased at yes, the county fair.  Some of the produce is actually grown within Detroit.

Having visited many open markets in South America, Europe, and Asia, the Eastern Market ranks highly in size, color, and most of all, its convivial atmosphere.  Local entrepreneurs offer everything from sublime sweet potato bisque soup to pierogis in several flavors.  Tuesdays and Saturdays, when Eastern Market is open to the public, see the various sheds teaming with shoppers and take you back to the days when Detroit was a booming and thriving city.  And family farmers boast some of the most beautiful fruits and vegetables that rival anything grown in California or Florida.  Local entrepreneurs selling their wares offer hope that Detroit can rebuild and stand tall as an example of economic resilience. Wander away from the market and fields of wildflowers will greet you, too.

Whether you seek collards large enough to cloth you, cabbages larger than basketballs, or peaches and tomatoes that burst with flavor, Eastern Market, a short hop from downtown Detroit, is not to be missed.  It is a window on what is so fantastic about Michigan and Detroit.

a variety of pumpkins, Eastern Market

a variety of pumpkins, Eastern Market

sunflower heads

sunflower heads

watermelons with seeds, the way watermelons should be

watermelons with seeds, the way watermelons should be

dried corn, ready to be popped

dried corn, ready to be popped

greens large enough to fan yourself and your family

greens large enough to fan yourself and your family

giant heads of cauliflower-the pics don't do them justice

giant heads of cauliflower-the pics don't do them justice

turnips that could club you

turnips that could club you

squash ready to be peeled, heaped in a box near Shed 2, Eastern Market

squash ready to be peeled, heaped in a box near Shed 2, Eastern Market

holy kohlrabi-larger than a softball

holy kohlrabi-larger than a softball

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of GreenGoPost.com. Based in California, he is a business writer and consultant. His work is has also appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. He's pictured here in Qatar, one of the Middle East countries in which he takes a keen interest because of its transformation into a post-oil economy. Other areas of interest include sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at leon@greengopost.com. You can also reach out via Twitter (@LeonKaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). As of October 2013, he now lives and works in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.