Looking for a way to shop local this holiday season? Check out our holiday gift guide and support Michigan producers and growers this season.
Often wonder what farmers do during the winter? Do they travel the world, bundle up with a favorite book, or take on new hobbies? Despite appearance, winter is a crucial time for many farmers in Northern Michigan. There is much to be done below the surface during these quiet and cold months!
Walk through any Leelanau County or Traverse City farmers market and it’s hard to miss how much things have grown. For the past 15 years, these markets and farm stands have been the source of produce and locally produced products for our business, Epicure Catering & Cherry Basket Farm.
Drive due south of Michigan State University’s campus and in 5 short miles you’ll happily find yourself at Swallowtail Farm. This charming diversified fruit, vegetable and flower farm is operated by Anne Rauscher with help from her husband and two children. The 150 year old farmstead was purchased in 2005 and planted with its first fruits (raspberries) in 2006. Over the last 11 years, Anne and David have worked tirelessly to promote healthy land and soil, develop strong community, and grow delicious food. Visiting the farm, these values are on obvious display.
The Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA) and Taste the Local Difference (TLD) have a long history of supporting the local food community in Michigan. In 2017, the organizations began partnering to exchange service benefits, providing even more support to the state’s local farms and farmers markets. Participating members/partners of either organization now receive reduced rates on services from the other.
Crisp apples, pumpkins, fresh cut flowers, and rainbow carrots are a few items that crowded the gym of seven elementary schools this month. Also included were guest chickens, various educational activities, smoothie bikes, and pumpkin soup samples. Students purchased flowers for their mothers, pumpkins for Halloween, and loved sampling kohlrabi and pea shoots from 9 Bean Rows Farmstead & CSA.
Taste the Local Difference (TLD) is excited to announce a new partnership with the Veterans in Agriculture (VIA) Network of Michigan Food and Farming Systems (MIFFS). The Veterans in Agriculture Network seeks to ensure the personal and professional prosperity of military veterans through connections to careers and opportunities in Agriculture. They offer farmer veterans access to resources, education, mentorship, and advocacy throughout Michigan, and their vet-to-vet approach provides a community for Michigan’s farmer veterans who work together to ensure the long-term success of one another.
As we enter the fall season and enjoy the abundance of the autumn harvest, the Ann Arbor Farmers Market may be at its peak but the experience of the Market continues year round.
When a small group of individuals driven by the idea of bringing a farmers market to Les Cheneaux first met, they envisioned a Friday night tourist attraction in the summers, and were able to secure an economic development grant from the Les Cheneaux Community Foundation to jumpstart the market. They didn’t expect such a strong community response that the market could go year-round. The market— now on Sundays— has become a vibrant attraction and business incubator in the Les Cheneaux community. Farmers and makers alike have found the market is a vehicle for expanding sales, fine tuning products, and even launching “bricks and mortar” businesses.
With the popularity of local farmers markets, the workload for Market Managers has increased due to increased competition of markets, a shortage of available farmers, and the addition of food assistance programs and other programs now available to markets.