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Farmers Daughters’ Country Store

June 2, 2012

  • 8619 W. ML Avenue
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49009
  • (269) 375-0153
  • Website

The first summer after we moved to Kalamazoo, my parents found out what fresh strawberries actually taste like.  We stopped at Husted’s Farm Market and they picked up a pint.  Before we even left the parking lot, my mom went back and bought a flat for my grandma to use to make jam.

Every year since, I have to pay attention to when farmers start picking their strawberries.  I thought it was usually a little farther in to June, but this year, I started noticing signs for fresh Michigan strawberries.

I’m making a quick trip home this weekend, so I called my mom to let her know strawberries were in.  She called my grandma who asked for a flat to make that jelly that my nieces love.

Earlier in the week, I went by Husted’s, but they weren’t open yet.  It looks like they actually opened June 1, but I didn’t know that.  As I was driving back towards home on Main Street, I saw a small sign off the side of the road at 8th Street advertising strawberries at a place on ML Avenue.  Since it wasn’t too far out of the way, I took a quick right on to 8th then headed towards ML to see if I could find this market.

What I came across was VerHages Fruit Farm and Cider Mill.  The large farm is on ML closer to 4th Street.  I pulled in to the property and passed a lot of barns that were closed up on this cold, rainy day.  The only one I was really looking for anyway was the Country Store.

Farmers Daughters’ Country Store is a small building on the VerHage Fruit Farm.  There were no cars around when I pulled in, but an open sign flashed in the window.  The Country Store has the throwback feel of the days before the Hyper-Market.  I walked past the large refrigerator that I would eventually be pointed towards to find the strawberries as well as a number of other farm fresh fruits and veggies on display.  Right inside the wooden screen door is a retail area with a number of pies, donuts, and a whole host of other Made in Michigan, Amish, and Farmers Daughters’ brand products.  Somewhere, not sure how I missed this, but there’s a fudge counter.  Will be checking that out on the next trip.

The lady working behind the counter was on the phone when I walked in, so I waited to ask about a flat of strawberries.  She took my back outside and opened up the fridge and pulled out a flat.  She asked if the flat she had looked good to me.  It did, so she set it down and we headed back inside to settle up.

The cost for the flat was an even $30.  I paid with cash, but I did see signs for Visa and Mastercard.  My focus was pretty narrow on this trip to the Country Store.  I was running a little late and it was getting close to the time I leave for work.  Saturday is really the day to check out VerHage as that is the day most of their fresh made bakery items are available.  There are so many other things to do at the Farm throughout the summer and it’d definitely something J and I will have to check out on a day that’s a little sunnier than it was yesterday morning.

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