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15 Ways to Celebrate National Picnic Month in #PureMichigan

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July is National Picnic Month (as well as National Ice Cream Month AND Michigan Craft Beer Month). Seems like a great reason to celebrate in #PureMichigan, don't you agree?

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15 Ways to Celebrate National Picnic Month in #PureMichigan

  1. 1. 15 ways to CELEBRATE National Picnic Month in Pure Dianna Stampfler
  2. 2. PromoteMichigan.com The summer in Michigan is all about beach parties, camping and picnics with family and friends – even if that is a simple bar-b-cue in your own back yard on a hot summer day. Did you know, some of your favorite picnic foods and beverages are made right here in the Great Lakes State? As the second-most agriculturally-diverse state in the country, and a leader in quality food production, it’s no wonder that everything you need for a Pure Michigan picnic can be found locally! 15 ways to CELEBRATE National Picnic Month in Pure Michigan
  3. 3. PromoteMichigan.com 15 ways to CELEBRATE National Picnic Month in Pure Michigan Fire up the grill and choose your favorite sausages, brats or hot dogs from Flint-based Koegel Meats or Hamtramck- based Kowalski, Hebrew National beef franks (made in Quincy) or cherry burger from Pleva’s in Cedar (Leelanau Peninsula).
  4. 4. PromoteMichigan.com 15 ways to CELEBRATE National Picnic Month in Pure Michigan Throw your dogs, brats or burgers on buns from Aunt Millie’s (with bakeries around the state). Then, top them with mustard from Brownwood Farms (Traverse City), cherry ketchup from Cherry Republic (Glen Arbor) and McClure’s Pickle Relish (Detroit).
  5. 5. PromoteMichigan.com Burgers, brats and dogs also need fresh product for topping – like onions and tomatoes! Each year, Michigan harvests nearly 100 million pounds of onions and 44 million pounds of tomatoes for fresh market. And don’t forget the cheese – like Pinconning Cheese and William Cheese, both from Pinconning. Find a list of local creameries from the Michigan Cheese Makers Cooperative! 15 ways to CELEBRATE National Picnic Month in Pure Michigan
  6. 6. PromoteMichigan.com Summer means fresh, so any picnic should include trays of crunchy veggies for nibbling – like celery, carrots, cucumbers and asparagus. Did you know? Kalamazoo is the “birthplace” of commercially-grown celery, thanks to Scotsman George Taylor who first planted it in 1856. Today, Michigan ranks 2nd in the nation—harvesting nearly 100 million pounds a year! 15 ways to CELEBRATE National Picnic Month in Pure Michigan
  7. 7. PromoteMichigan.com Did you know that the average ear of sweet corn has 800 kernels? Or, that in an average year, Michigan produces nearly more than 101.1 million pounds for fresh market, worth more than $23 million (2009)? That means plenty of ears for the family picnic! And, don’t forget the Butterball Butter, from Grand Rapids! 15 ways to CELEBRATE National Picnic Month in Pure Michigan
  8. 8. PromoteMichigan.com One of the top side picnic side dishes is potato salad. Michigan ranks #7 in the nation for potato production with more than 90 growers harvesting 1.4 billion pounds each year (and contributing $164 million to the state’s economy, annually). Find all kinds of potato recipes at MiPotato.com. Other key ingredients, like celery, onions, eggs and mustard can also be sourced locally. 15 ways to CELEBRATE National Picnic Month in Pure Michigan
  9. 9. PromoteMichigan.com Michigan is the #1 grower of potatoes for the production of potato chips – with 70% of Michigan potatoes (round whites) turned into chips. Among the favorite producers are Better Made (Detroit), Great Lakes Potato Chips (Traverse City) & Downey’s Chips (Waterford). And, don’t forget the Country Fresh Chip Dip! 15 ways to CELEBRATE National Picnic Month in Pure Michigan
  10. 10. PromoteMichigan.com Watermelon is thought to have originated in the Kalahari Desert of Africa, with the first recorded watermelon harvest nearly 5,000 years ago in Egypt. Forty-four states grown watermelon, ranking the U.S. fifth worldwide in production. Here in Michigan, Premier Melon Company in Schoolcraft is a top grower. 15 ways to CELEBRATE National Picnic Month in Pure Michigan
  11. 11. PromoteMichigan.com Strawberry Shortcake is one of summer’s most mouth-watering desserts! Michigan grows strawberries for both fresh and processed uses. In 2011, Michigan produced 43,000 tons of fresh strawberries and 3,000 tons of processed strawberries. The combined productions generated $4.8 million. The strawberry season starts in early June and can extend into mid July. Berrien, Leelanau, and Van Buren are Michigan’s largest strawberry producing counties. Photo Credit: http://speedbumpkitchen.com/ 15 ways to CELEBRATE National Picnic Month in Pure Michigan
  12. 12. PromoteMichigan.com When it comes to dessert, Grand Traverse Pie Company (originated in Traverse City, but now in more than a dozen cities around Michigan) dishes up some of the tastiest flavors and with more than a dozen locations statewide (along with distribution at many Kroger stores), you’re sure to find one that pleases you. Or, head to Crane’s Pie Pantry in Fennville, just miles from the Saugatuck/Douglas area and the Lake Michigan shore. 15 ways to CELEBRATE National Picnic Month in Pure Michigan
  13. 13. PromoteMichigan.com Whether served a la mode with your pie, shortcake, or in a cone or dish, ice cream is a must for any picnic. Hudsonville Ice Cream in Holland just launched four Naturals flavors—Strawberry, Chocolate Cocoa Bean, Vanilla Bean and Sea Salt Caramel. Of course, other “Pure Michigan” inspired flavors can also be found at retail outlets, restaurants and scoop shops statewide! BONUS: July is National Ice Cream Month! 15 ways to CELEBRATE National Picnic Month in Pure Michigan
  14. 14. PromoteMichigan.com Of course, beverages are also part of the picnic menu. Stop by the market and pick up a variety of flavors of Faygo and Town Club Soda (both made in Detroit), Vernor’s Ginger Ale (invented in Detroit and first sold in 1866, making it the oldest soda in America) or Northwoods Soda (made in Williamsburg, near Traverse City). 15 ways to CELEBRATE National Picnic Month in Pure Michigan
  15. 15. PromoteMichigan.com Thirsty for water? Grab a bottle from Absopure, one of the top 10 water companies in the United States (headquartered in Plymouth). Ice Mountain Water is bottled by Nestle in Standwood. Cool Artesian Water is bottled in Crystal Falls in the Upper Peninsula. Mill Brook Spring Water is based in Mount Pleasant. 15 ways to CELEBRATE National Picnic Month in Pure Michigan
  16. 16. PromoteMichigan.com Adults will also enjoy Michigan craft beer, Michigan wine, Michigan spirits and Michigan cider and mead found throughout both peninsulas. Michigan is home to more than 155 breweries, nearly 120 wineries, 30-plus spirit tasting rooms and dozens of meaderies and cideries. BONUS: July is Michigan Craft Beer Month! 15 ways to CELEBRATE National Picnic Month in Pure Michigan

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