MARQUETTE, Mich. (WZMQ) – The lengthy season of winter could affect productivity in locally grown produce, as farmers have to wait for crops to thaw or even for seeds to adapt to the harsh temperatures.
Lakeshore Depot in Marquette says that greenhouses and gardening huts are a popular way to push the season through the winter but without enough sunlight, the plants can’t protect themselves from the cold temperatures. Although plants can adapt to endure the cold, there isn’t enough sunlight exposure to bridge the growth season. Lakeshore Depot in Marquette brings in local produce from the farms that have cold-storage facilities, but say even that is being used up due to the extended winter.
“So to a certain extent, plants can kind of adapt genetically through being grown and reproduced within an environment and kind of a custom to that there isn’t enough daylight to support the growth of crops through those winter months so that combined with the cold even if we were to overcome the cold there’s such a lack of sunlight,” said the founder of Lakeshore Depot Michael Hainstock.
A big supporting event of the local farmers is the farmer’s market that takes place in downtown Marquette throughout the spring. The Marquette Downtown Development Authority has moved the scheduled Wednesday’s farmer’s market to the 100 block of Washington Street, and Lakeshore Depot hopes it will pique more interest in farming and support for growing local produce.
“All of our food comes in at once during the summer months and so how can we spread that out throughout the year? So I know there’s been a lot of movement in the local food scene to distribute grants for cold storage facilities and build up a network of you know places that buffer and process some of that seasonally abundant product,” continued Hainstock.
Click here for more information on the Lakeshore Depot and how they support local farmers.