Community A - L: Processing Vegetables
Montcalm County farmers grow carrots for fresh packing and processing. In 1997, Michigan farmers grew over 37 tons of carrots, many in Newaygo County. Fresh and processed carrots brought $19 million to the state’s economy during the year.

For more information about Michigan carrots, contact:

Michigan Fresh Market Carrot Committee
13109 Schavey Road, suite #7
DeWitt, Michigan 48820
(517) 669-8377

Cucumbers for pickles are a crop with a long history in Montcalm County which was a center of production in Michigan through the mid-1900’s. Acreage planted in the county is currently about 700. Michigan continues to be an important producer of pickles with 26,000 acres in the state.

Pickles were harvested by hand picking until very recently. Now much of the production is harvested by machines. Pickles are delivered to brining stations where they are held until they are shipped to the processor. Montcalm County has one brining station at Edmore. Years ago we had several active stations.

Peas are popular vegetables that provide a good source of protein and carbohydrates which has its origin in Middle Asia. Peas mature early in the season before many of the staple vegetables. They are members of the legume family which have unique characteristics of providing an important source of protein and which use the atmospheric form of nitrogen (N2) for growth and development.

Peas are grown in Montcalm County for processor markets and 1,400 acres was produced in the county in recent years. Most production is of canning varieties. Peas are hardy vegetables and some varieties grow well in cool early springs. Planting starts by late April and harvest may run until late June. Plantings are scheduled to allow the crop to ripen and develop a satisfactory sugar level to keep an adequate supply flowing to the factory for processing. Peas are harvested by large pea combines which are capable of rapidly harvesting a mature field.

Snap beans are popular vegetables that provide a good source of protein and carbohydrates and their origin can be traced to Central America. The snap bean is a member of the legume family which also includes lima, kidney, navy beans and peas.

Snap beans are grown in Montcalm County for the processor market which includes canning and freezing. Montcalm County has harvested about 2,650 acres of snap beans in recent years.

Because snap bean fields are harvested on a “once over” basis by large harvesters, uniform crop maturity is very important. Snap beans are a warm season crop and planting starts in late May and are scheduled so crops continuously mature through August.