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Fresh Approach: Detroit Public School Ditches Fryers, Can Openers

Edible WOW, Guest Post, Nina Ignaczak, Stories

It’s a typical Thursday morning, and Detroit Public Schools’ Office of School Nutrition Executive Chef Kevin Frank is chopping carrots and celery for a school catering event, directing staff on lunch prep and coordinating with vendors to place orders and schedule deliveries. All the while, he’s thinking ahead to what he’ll serve on next month’s menu.

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Big Ideas/Micro Loans— Spring 2017 Micro Loan Program

Economy, Get Involved, Guest Post, Learn More, Mindy Taylor

This is Grain Train‘s second year of partnering with Crosshatch to provide micro-loans for local farmers or food related businesses. We’re quite honored to be a part of this program. Good food/local food has been our mantra for the entire existence of the Grain Train Natural Foods Co-op.

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Show Me a Day

Event, Farmers Markets, Find Local Food, Guest Post, Sarah DeWitt, Specialty Producers

When she enters the market office on Saturday mornings, Marjorie Johns always brings with her the beautiful scents of bergamot, lavender, and eucalyptus that seem to have permanently embedded themselves into her very being through years of incorporating these essential oils into her handmade soaps. Along with her calming scents she totes her jar of overnight oats complete with clove-laden peach jam at the bottom. She chats with me about her visit to her dad in Indiana and how her chickens are handling the snowy weather.

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Cookbook or rule book? Amical Opts Local

Dave Denison, Event, Find Local Food, Guest Post, Stories

Amical has been open since 1994, but I first became truly conscious of the local food availability in the late 90’s. Amical started to take off when we dropped the quick service cafeteria concept completely in 2001. Our menu began to evolve and the Cookbook Dinner Series was getting some attention. The popularity of the Food Channel, celebrity chefs and quality of the published cookbooks had a lot to do with it as well. I remember Newsweek magazine did a cover feature on the Farm to Table movement.   Then I realized it was a full-blown, across the board, nationwide shift in dining habits. It wasn’t just for the fine dining aspect of the restaurant industry, this included just about everyone.

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Put a Saskatoon on It : Saskatoon-Blueberry Tart Recipe

Emma Beauchamp, Find Local Food, Recipes

After seeing the plump, purple bag of saskatoon berries from Goodwill Industries Farm to Freezer at Oleson’s, I thought, “why not?” I figured I would be able to put it to some good use, even though I have never had –or really even heard of– saskatoon berries. 

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New Jobs in Northeast Michigan & The Upper Peninsula

Press Release, Tricia Phelps

Date:  January 6th, 2016

Contact: Tricia Phelps, tricia@localdifference.org, (877) 562-2539

Taste the Local Difference creates jobs, hires new staff members in Northeast Michigan & the Upper Peninsula

Taste the Local Difference® (TLD) is a local food and farm marketing agency, with a mission to sell more local food in the communities they serve.

The TLD program has over 13 years of experience in marketing local farmers, farmers markets, food processors, restaurants and more. They specialize in building relationships and developing new market opportunities throughout the food system, and this local food programming, along with new jobs, is coming to Northeast Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.

New staff members Molly Stepanski and Melissa Orzechowski have been hired by TLD as the regional Local Food Coordinators in Northeast Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, respectively.

TLD’s Local Food Coordinators act as voices for the regional food system, and offer a variety of customized services benefiting the local food and farming communities in their specific geographic areas. The benefits of developing a stronger local food system can lead to more jobs, a thriving regional economy and improved access to healthy food.

TLD is grateful for the support of Northeast Michigan Council of Governments (NEMCOG), the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD), The UP Food Exchange, Marquette Chamber of Commerce and Marquette Food Co-op. These positions were made possible with their involvement.

For more information, please contact Tricia Phelps, (877) 562-2539 tricia@localdifference.org or visit http://localdifference.org.

Reclaiming Our Food As Sacred

Bill Palladino, Find Local Food, Record-Eagle Ag Forum

Sacred Food Header

By Bill Palladino

Bill Head Shot PoehlmanWe are deep into the season of sacred traditions. The crisp darkness of winter brings with it many celebrations, each anticipating the light yet to come. And strangely, it is the darkest nights that reveal the most stars. This time of year we are given the gift of seeing things previously unseen. Religious and secular practices call to our attention the longest night of the winter solstice, Hanukkah’s victory of the Maccabees, the transformative fires of Yule, the first fruits and seven principles of Kwanzaa, and the Christmastime birth of Jesus Christ.

The common thread throughout this myriad of sacred traditions, beyond prayer and candles, is the gathering of family and friends, always with celebrations of food. But is it enough to keep food as something sacred only during the holidays? I am fearful we are quickly losing this connection, as the way we eat begins to mirror the brief, staccato, way we’ve come to communicate.

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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.