The farmers’ market stalls are overflowing with produce and your garden is producing more tomatoes than you can handle. What to do? Lock in peak nutrition and summer flavor and try your hand at basic food preservation! Your taste buds will welcome the hint of summer during the colder months.
I am about to embark on my 20th journey abroad this October on a fabulous trip to Bordeaux, France. I will be traveling with 18 other people. Some will be seeing France for the very first time. The first time I visited France, I was 21 years old and it had an enormous impact on me to this very day.
In our 2017 Guide to Local Food in Northern Michigan, we profiled Alpena in Northeastern Michigan. Now, it’s Cheboygan’s time to shine. We talked with a few farms/businesses that are driven by making local food more accessible to their community.
A farmer I know, let’s call him John, is up late tonight in his orchard. As a Leelanau County farmer, his work requires vigilance. It’s been a wet summer so far, and that means there’s a virtual laboratory of bugs, molds, and fungi waiting to threaten his way of life. Tonight, reluctantly, he sprays an insecticide to head off the codling moth hatch that’s sure to devastate his orchards.
There’s a break in the rain, and John’s training tells him he’s got the opening he needs. The wind dies down at night too, making it a lot less likely that what he’s spraying will end up on unintended fields. All of this information points to the fact that now is the time. John decides to follow this lead and get to work, but it happens to be midnight.
It might be surprising to hear, but finding the perfect CSA Farm is a lot like choosing a love match.
Calling all farmers, new and old!
Be sure to register your farm with the 2017 Census of Agriculture before June 30th!
This census occurs every 5 years and conducts a complete count of all US farms–including the smallest plots of land, rural or urban, as long as they raise or sell at least $1,000 worth of agricultural product during the census year.
What is this information used for?
This information is used by the Census of Agriculture to influence Congress, agribusiness, policymakers, researchers, local governments and many others on the creation and funding of agricultural programs and services – decisions that can directly impact your local operations and the future of the agriculture industry for years to come.
The survey takes just a moment, so register your farm now: https://www.agcounts.usda.gov/legacy0/cgi-bin/counts
Emma Beauchamp is the Local Food Coordinator for NW Michigan and the Communications Manager for Taste the Local Difference. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
The average age of farm operators in the United States is 58. In the next 20 years, an estimated 70 percent of privately owned agricultural land is expected to change hands in the US. Farmers in the Grand Traverse Region are not immune to this graying trend, as the average age of operators in this area ranges from about 55 in Kalkaska to nearly 60 in Manistee. Moreover, it is expected that around 83,000 acres of farmland in our region will change hands in coming years as well.
The MSU Student Organic Farm (SOF) began as a student project and has grown into a 15-acre, year-round teaching and production farm. The farm is certified organic and utilizes a combination of passive solar greenhouses (hoophouses) and outdoor field production to grow a variety of fresh produce year-round. Production is carried out by the SOF and OFTP (Organic Farmer Training Program) Staff and dedicated students, the SOF farm crew, and wonderful volunteers. The farm also collaborates with MSU faculty to create learning opportunities for other students at MSU through courses in organic farming, interdisciplinary experiential educational activities, and research opportunities.
Are you a market gardener with 1-3 acres of diverse crops? Are you looking for Ark of Taste varieties, historic flavorful heirlooms or open pollinated seeds adapted to the Great Lakes region? Perhaps you are a permaculture course grad in search of perennial veggies or, like me, you grow a diverse homestead garden in addition to a cash crop.
If any of these scenarios apply, you may want to check out Nature and Nurture Seeds.
Spring peepers, rain storms, crocus and daffodils. Spring has sprung! Soon, it will be time to turn over the soil and get your vegetable garden planted. Having a vegetable garden is a great way to provide yourself with affordable access to fresh food and reap many other positive health benefits!