A fierce battle is being waged today over the pros and cons of pasteurized milk. But in the early decades of the 20th century, improvements that could bring safer cows’ milk to market couldn’t come fast enough. One of the farms leading the way was located in Avon Township, now known as Rochester Hills. It was owned and managed by Sarah Van Hoosen Jones, a pioneer dairy farmer in Michigan.
As awareness of local food grows, more people are becoming interested in understanding the economic impacts of local food systems. While many of us may be motivated to buy local food by values like preserving farmland, supporting small businesses, and expanding access to fresh, healthy food, these goals are economic development goals. Economic growth is a much narrower measure centered on increases in jobs and sales, or monetary value. To be sure, economic growth is a limited way of judging success, but there are times when it is helpful to justify food system initiatives in terms of economic growth to decision-makers like funders or local government officials.
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011. The goal of this legislation is prevent contamination of food produced in the United States before foodborne illness outbreaks occur. The Produce Safety Rule of FSMA has huge implications for many growers across the state. This year, compliance of the full rule will be enforced for farms grossing $500K or more. Smaller farms have until 2019 or 2020 to comply with rule, depending on their income.
What’s in your refrigerator? Is there some healthy produce, maybe jam from the farmer’s market, and that questionable container of leftovers? At Nature & Nurture Farm, the fridge has a different role. Look inside and you will find glass jars, paper envelopes and bags, full of organic and rare heirloom seeds.
While this conference is a regional event, highlighting the Macomb County food system is the theme of this year’s All About Food Conference. A keynote panel of Macomb County food and beverage business owners will kick off the day, setting the focus on the local context. The speakers will share about their businesses and their role in supporting locally sourced food and locally made adult beverages. The panel will include voices from a vineyard, brewing supply store and a brew house/restaurant.
Twenty five years ago, Karen Golden moved to Highland, Michigan with her young family. Looking for a way to feed her family healthful food, Karen began gardening and has never looked back. Fast forward to 2018 and Karen has turned her gardening passion into a thriving transplant production business: Michigan Heirlooms.
It’s a beautiful day in Flint, Michigan. The sky is clear, flowers are in bloom and the volunteer gardeners in the edible flint Demonstration Garden are hard at work. Mike Roose is watering pepper plants in the raised-bed gardens. Scott Poinsett is trimming the garden perimeter, and Garden Manager Ginny Farah is harvesting crops for neighborhood residents. By the time they are done, the community garden will look its best in preparation for the evening’s food garden tour.
When the calendar pages flip to a new year, many of of us feel motivated to wipe the slate clean and re-focus on our health. As you contemplate what changes to make, forget quick fixes and fad diets and take it back to the basics to create a long-term, balanced habits.
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.