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.
It’s already snowed here in the U.P. a handful of times. The farmers markets have closed down until next year or retreated inside, but that doesn’t mean the season for eating locally has ended. It is possible to enjoy local food year-round, even in the U.P. The Marq, a restaurant and bar in Marquette, is a working testament.
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.
On October 26, 2017, Thunder Bay Winery hosted a family-style dinner at their wine bar located in the historic Center Building in Alpena. Kevin Peterson, the current chef at As You Wish Gourmet Eatery and of the up and coming Red Brick Tap & Barrel Restaurant (that will be open for business in Alpena in 2018), prepared several courses and sourced 88% of this Certified Local Food Event (CLFE) from area farmers and producers from the Alpena Farmers Market including Wolf Creek Acres, Presque Isle Farm, and Alpena General Store. This was hopefully Alpena’s first of many Certified Local Food Events to come.
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.
DETROIT – OCT. 19, 2017 – A new initiative to help burgeoning Michigan food business entrepreneurs boost production and growth is set to begin. FEAST, LLC, which stands for Food Entrepreneur Accelerator and Start Up Terminal, is a co-packing program, developed by Eastern Market Corp. (EMC), to help local food manufacturing companies grow more quickly.
Equipped with commercial kitchens and a food processing center, the 14,500 square foot facility is located at 26762 Michigan Ave. in Inkster. Licensed under Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and registered under the Food and Drug Administration, FEAST production will focus on acidified and shelf-stable food products.
“FEAST is a first step in Eastern Market Corp.’s program to accelerate food business in Michigan and will fill the current void that exists for food entrepreneurs looking to ramp up production and move their business to the next stage,” said Mike DiBernardo, Director Food Innovation Programs for Eastern Market Corp. “Developing and supporting programs like FEAST which will grow the food system and increase economic opportunities in the region is a key part to Eastern Market Corporation’s strategic plan.”
The building was donated to EMC by Garden Fresh Gourmet founder, Jack Aronson, who has collaborated with EMC long-term to develop ways to grow food processing in the region. FEAST, operating as a private LLC, is co-owned by founders of three established local food companies, Marcia Nodel and her daughter-in-law Michal Nodel of Marcia’s Munchies, Scott and Suzi Owens of Scotty O’Hotty and Amit Makhecha of M&R Ventures. A loan from Northern Initiatives’ Michigan Good Food Fund helped to secure equipment.
“We’re proud to carry on Detroit’s lengthy and legendary manufacturing history in this new venture,” said Scott Owens. “Each of the FEAST co-owners have created business and met challenges along the way to grow and expand. We’re beyond thrilled to be using even more local resources and expanding our state-of-the-art manufacturing process to feed and employ more people.”
In addition to meeting their own production needs, FEAST will provide small and mid-sized food companies in Southeast Michigan with co-packing services. Recipe development, cooperative buying, and private labeling production will also be services offered by FEAST.
FEAST will create six full-time positions. For more information, visit FeastDetroit.com.
About FEAST Detroit
FEAST Detroit offers exceptional co-packing services to growing food businesses in its 14,500 square foot specialty food manufacturing facility. It is licensed as an acidified food processor and concentrates on the production of shelf stable products utilizing local supply chains. FEAST is licensed by the Michigan Department of Agricultural and Rural Development (MDARD) and registered through the FDA. For more information please visit FeastDetroit.com.
About Eastern Market Corporation
Eastern Market Corporation (EMC) is the nonprofit that manages Eastern Market on behalf of the City of Detroit. Its vision is to create the most inclusive, resilient, and robust regional food hub in the United States and to ensure that Eastern Market nourishes Detroit — from food to art and commerce to culture. For more information, call 313.833.9300, visit our website at EasternMarket.com and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter.
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Does making a pie crust seem daunting? Do you have a jumble of frozen fruit in your freezer that needs to be eaten? Do you have a hankering for something sweet, but not too sinful? Then, look no further than apple crisp!
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.