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MDARD Announces Specialty Crop Public Input Opportunity

Get Involved, Learn More, Press Release

For Immediate Release: December 8, 2016

Media Contact: Jessy Sielski, 517-284-5725 

To ensure effective priorities within the Michigan Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development today announced a public input opportunity, which will be held through January 12, 2017. 

The MDARD Specialty Crop Block Grant Program awards funds to projects to enhance the competitiveness of Michigan specialty crops, which include fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture). 

Follow this link to complete the specialty crop input questionnaire 

To submit comments, visit www.michigan.gov/mdardgrants or send them via email to mda-grants@michigan.gov. The deadline for comments is January 12, 2017, at 5:00 p.m. The input received will be considered when developing final program priorities for 2017.

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Extending the Growing Season : Hoophouses and the Local Food Economy

Economy, Find Local Food, Tricia Phelps

In a climate like ours, farmers are challenged to turn a profit during a limited growing season. Like any business, there are tools they can use to help overcome these challenges, but the decision to invest in a solution—particularly an expensive one—requires confidence that the tool is worth every penny.

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Easy, Goat Cheese-y Kale Pasta with Toasted Almonds

Emma Beauchamp, Recipes, Specialty Producers

During the week, no one has time to spend hours cooking dinner. This recipe is so quick, that you should be able to prepare everything in the time it takes for the water to boil and the pasta to cook. This recipe below can easily feed a family of four that is full of vitamins from the kale, and protein from the goat cheese and almonds. Plus, it’s likely that you will have almost everything already in your fridge.

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Sowing Seeds for the Future: The Potential for a Food and Farming Housing Cooperative

Economy, Get Involved, Guest Post, Maddy Baroli, Stories

A cooperative living community of farm workers, food service employees, culinary students, agri-business entrepreneurs, and other local food and farming partners could address the intersection of several problems and potentials related to affordable housing in our region. This living community would be open to anyone involved in or serious about getting involved with local food work, and could help lay the foundation for a new generation of farmers.

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Keeping it Local : The Ypsilanti Food Co-op

Economy, Find Local Food, Guest Post, Lisa Bashert, Stories, Uncategorized

Ypsilanti Food Co-op is known for providing value, quality food and knowledge to consumers. With 60 solar panels on our roof, we are known for being dedicated to creating sustainability of the environment and our local economy. We are connected with families whose children have grown up to become staff. We add value to our small community.

And we sell a full line of groceries in a small converted industrial space in historic Depot Town, Ypsilanti. Our focus is on organic, healthy, fair-trade and local foods.

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Underserved Farmers Feeding The Underserved

Find Local Food, Get Involved, Guest Post, Lynn Geiger, Stories

For the last four years, Cary Junior has been working to create a market for a small group of black farmers not far from Detroit’s city center.

As general manager of the Southeast Michigan Producers Association, or SEMPA, Junior has been leading an effort to build the capacity of these farmers and get their greens, tomatoes, corn, squash and other vegetables into the hands of fellow Detroiters who lack access to healthy, fresh local food.

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Blondes have more fun: Northern Michigan Delights at Cafe Sante

Find Local Food, Guest Post, Recipes, Sarah Niederpruem, The Local Dish

Living in Northern Michigan is a luxury and something I took for granted when I moved to Florida and then to Grand Rapids. I missed the peace and quiet, being treated as “Sarah” and not a $ sign, and the community feeling. Mostly, I missed the fresh produce, especially in the summer.

At Cafe Santé, we pride ourselves in using fresh produce, and if we can get it local, we do! The hustle and bustle of farmers going in and out the back door during the summer is crazy! On Saturdays, Chef is usually swinging by the farmers market to see what local foods else he can get.

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Detroit Vegan Soul: A Regional Destination with a Neighborhood Soul

Edible WOW, Find Local Food, Guest Post, Nina Ignaczak

Late on a Sunday afternoon in Detroit’s West Village, lazy brunch-goers cozy up to mugs of organic coffee and dirty chai. It’s frigid outside, but inside Detroit Vegan Soul patrons are toasty as they linger over stacks of sweet potato pancakes and plates of “catfish tofu” with black-eyed peas and collard greens.

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Eat Local Year Round – Goodwill Farm to Freezer

Christina Carson, Find Local Food, Guest Post, Retail, Uncategorized

Winter in Northern Michigan presents a formidable challenge when it comes to sourcing local produce. While season extension systems and storage crops provide great options, the depths of winter still result in limited local produce availability. Exciting as these systems are, additional local produce choices are always a welcome joy in the winter months. Thankfully, here in northern Michigan we’re blessed with the Goodwill Farm to Freezer program.

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Going Back to Our Roots

Find Local Food, Molly Stepanski, Stories

 

In 2014, when I moved with my husband and son to my family’s Centennial Farm in Posen, Michigan, I never thought I would have such an extraordinary chance to impact the local food system in the place we call home. From the moment we arrived, other farmers took us in, mentored us, and shared vital information and resources. We knew that if Presque Isle Farm was going to truly succeed in this persnickety and often bitter climate, we had to not only extend our growing season, but continue to partner with others on every level imaginable to vitalize northeastern Michigan’s food system.