Maybe you have similar memories of running around a Christmas tree farm searching the place for the perfect tree, your tree. Every year I look forward to the hunt and to the fresh scent of a real tree in our home. But recently I’ve started to wonder about the sustainability of cutting down millions of trees across the U.S. each year. What about reduce, reuse, recycling? What is better for the environment, a plastic tree or a real one? I decided to look for myself.
I’m not bragging, but there are a lot of cool things about my job as the NE Local Food Coordinator with Taste the Local Difference. I get to hang out with other local farmers, producers, and small business owners; I get to eat the food they’ve grown or created; drink the libations they’ve conceived; partake of their businesses’ inventions; help put on events celebrating their work; and tell everybody how great this region of Michigan is because of these people and their labors of love. It’s a pretty sweet deal.
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.
Rutabaga (also called swede) is a Brassica family (think kale, cabbage, turnips, broccoli, etc.) root vegetable commonly known to Michiganders as a pasty ingredient. Beyond the pasty, this humble cabbage and turnip cross shines in many dishes and packs a nutritional punch.
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