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Local Seeds Offer Blueprint for Community Driven Food System

Farmers Markets, Find Local Food, Gardening, Michael Lordon, Southeast Michigan, Specialty Producers, Stories

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.

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Ann Arbor Seed Co.: Your Local Seed Farm

Find Local Food, Get Involved, Guest Post, Specialty Producers

Ann Arbor Seed Company is a small farm, growing quality vegetable and flower seeds since 2012. We operate less than an acre, just outside of the city. You would be amazed at how much seed production we can squeeze out of our small piece of land. The small scale keeps us close to the crops so we can give them the attention they deserve.

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Transplants with a Story

Find Local Food, Gardening, Kelly Wilson, Learn More, Southeast Michigan, Specialty Producers, Stories

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.

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An Ode to Dairy

Drinks, Emma Beauchamp, Find Local Food, Recipes, Southeast Michigan, Specialty Producers

When was the last time you truly appreciated the milk in your fridge? Do you know where it comes from and how the cows were treated? Sure, milk is good on cereal and with chocolate chip cookies, but what about all of the other great things it can be become?

This week, I stocked up on all sorts of delicious dairy from Michigan Dairy Farms, specifically Calder Dairy and Guernsey Dairy. Calder Dairy of Lincoln Park, MI has been around since 1946. To this day they still deliver straight to people’s home. Guernsey Dairy of Northville, MI is committed to providing the same great products that they have since 1940. Both of these local milk producers provide a wide array of products perfect for drinking or creating with.

I bought heavy whipping cream, buttermilk, natural milk (creamline or non-homogenized). From there, I marveled at the possibilities that can be done with these ingredients.

Here are some easy links to follow for great ways to use dairy: mascarpone, tiramisuricotta, a ricotta berry cake, chocolate pudding and whipped cream.

I didn’t get a chance to make it, but Butter is also super easy to make. Check out this fun video from my favorite Test Kitchen Manager at Bon Appetit magazine on how to make cultured butter.

Sure, mascarpone, ricotta, and butter can all easily be bought. But there is a sense of satisfaction that comes with making it yourself. Plus, when you make your own, you can often save money in doing so. Making 2 cups of Mascarpone cost me $3.50 — I’ve seen it between $3-8.50 per cup!

Copy of IMG_4483Here’s how I made Mascarpone cheese:

Mascarpone is a super rich soft cheese, often used in tiramisu and cheesecake recipes. It is made out of only two ingredients, heavy whipping cream and a citric acid, like lemon juice.

Copy of IMG_4492I slowly brought 2 cups of heavy cream to 180 degrees Fahrenheit and kept it there for about 3 minutes. Then, I added 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. I kept it at 180 for another 3 minutes. Turned off the heat and stepped away for 30 minutes.  

I lined a strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth and carefully poured the cream mixture into the bowl and let it strain overnight.

Voila! Mascarpone cheese. I didn’t have the patience to make tiramisu before trying it, so I slathered it on toast with some homemade raspberry jam. (Is my millennial showing?)

What are you planning on making?

Emma Beauchamp is the Communications Manager for TLD. She enjoys experimenting in the kitchen and cooking for other people. Contact her at emma@localdifference.org

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Winter on the Farm: Leelanau Peninsula Maple Sugar Bush

Bailey Samp, Find Local Food, Specialty Producers

“You can’t make syrup just anywhere. It requires all the seasons to prompt the trees to give their sweet nectar! The long nights of Winter eventually give way to Spring, and then the hustle and bustle of the syrup season brings sweet reward.”

Join me this month as we’ll take a look into the lives of two maple syrup farmers, Margo and Allen Ammons, as they share their love for syrup making, the joy of being outside in the woods, and the anticipation of the season.

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Pets Naturally: Not All Treats Are Created Equal

Andrea Margelis, Find Local Food, Guest Post, Retail, Specialty Producers, Stories, Traverse City

As pet parents, we want to provide our furry family members with their best possible life. When it comes to choosing the best diet for our dogs, we research excessively and get advice from our trusted veterinarians, however, sometimes the treats we purchase lack proper attention when it comes to ingredients. Pet parents tend to grab any box off the shelf at the grocery or pet store without taking the time to read the ingredient label. Many treats contain artificial ingredients and are not fit for human consumption, so why would we feed these to our family members? If you can’t eat them yourself, your dog most likely shouldn’t either.

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Farm to Butcher: Expanding Access to Heritage Michigan Meats

Find Local Food, Guest Post, Jill Giacomino, Specialty Producers

Farm Field Table, dubbed ‘the trusted butcher to Michigan’s Finest Chefs’ is located at 1030 Woodward Heights in Ferndale, MI. Since its inception in December of 2016, the artisan butcher shop has sourced whole meat animal and poultry from their favorite family farms throughout Michigan.

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Big Medicine Ranch: Farm Fresh Coffees

Drinks, Farmers Markets, Find Local Food, Guest Post, Specialty Producers, Thomas Zawistowski

It’s about the beans…at Big Medicine Coffee, we seek, source and roast the highest quality, freshest, “Specialty” coffees from Organic, sustainable coffee farms.

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Estate grown, ripened Arabica coffee cherries

…. Heirloom Ethiopians from Hambela, Blue Mountain from High Haiti, Bourbons from bird-friendly Brazil, Honeyed coffees from the cloud forests of Nicaragua…

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Planetary Coffee: Short Days, New Ventures

Emily Wilensky, Find Local Food, Food Trucks, Guest Post, Specialty Producers, Stories, Traverse City
Anticipating the coming new year always feels both exciting and a bit daunting to me. The changing over of the calendar year is often a transitional time. It is a time for slowing down our hectic pace, and reflecting on the year previous, but it also induces a feeling of excitement and curiosity about what the future will bring. Though change is the only constant in our universe, this fact doesn’t necessarily make it easier for us humans to endure. It is often the difficult transitions in our lives, those which present us with the most obstacles, that ends up shaping our character in meaningful ways. Life transitions can act as markers, which serve to help us differentiate the different phases of our life, and provide opportunities towards personal growth.