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Award-Winning Fruit Syrups Celebrating Local Flavors

Farmers Markets, Find Local Food, Kelly Wilson, Recipes, Stories

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.

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Celebrating Farm to School Month with Pop-up Farmers Markets!

Bailey Samp, Event, Farmers Markets, Find Local Food, Get Involved, Stories

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.

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FEAST – Food Entrepreneur Accelerator and Start Up Terminal – To Launch in Inkster

Economy, Find Local Food, Press Release, Southeast Michigan, Specialty Producers, Stories

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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Media Contacts: Jason Brown, PublicCity PR, 248-252-1687, jbrown@publiccitypr.net    

Monica Cheick, PublicCity PR, 586-612-8220, mcheick@publiccitypr.net

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Ann Arbor Farmers Market – The Experience Never Ends

Event, Farmers Markets, Find Local Food, Rebecca Locke, Southeast Michigan, Stories

As we enter the fall season and enjoy the abundance of the autumn harvest, the Ann Arbor Farmers Market may be at its peak but the experience of the Market continues year round.

Apples at market

Falling into Flavors and Memories of the Season

Edible WOW, Find Local Food, Kelly Wilson, Southeast Michigan, Stories

As sad as I am to see summer go, I am ready for the fall. I love the way the golden light hangs in the trees this time of year, how cozy the foggy mornings are, and the changing colors of the trees. My favorite things about the season, however, are the food (surprise, surprise!) and the many fall flavors. These connect me to happy memories of shared meals and conversation with family and friends.

The fall food that pulls strongest at my heartstrings is the humble and versatile apple. This fruit always conjures up my Grandma Wills and I cannot see a Northern Spy apple without feeling her presence or tasting her “famous” apple pie. The thought of her pie’s perfect flaky crust, warm and gooey apple filling, a dollop of ice cream or a slice of sharp cheddar cheese on top send me back to time spent in her kitchen; one of the reasons I pursued a career in food and agriculture. I’m forever grateful she taught me how to make her perfect pie before she passed so every time I bake and eat it she is there with me.

Apples also bring back memories to my first farm job in Minnesota. Before leaving for the fall, we gleaned apples from a neighboring farm littered with hundreds of decrepit Volvos (I swear it looked like they were farming cars rather than fruit!). The apples we picked became golden sauce after hours of peeling with Beth and her young boys. A slightly more “formal” apple picking experience in New Hampshire made me fall in love with the East Coast and my cohort of dietetic interns. The time in the orchard catalyzed personal and professional relationships that are still strong almost a decade later. These memories are strong examples of why I love food. Not only does it nourishes us physically, but also spiritually; it draws us together and connects us strongly to people and place.

As the weather turns cooler this fall season, I hope you can slow down, open up a cookbook, and share some food and memories with your loved ones. If you want to try your hand at a simple dish, try this delicious apple cake. The recipe comes courtesy of my grandmother, Frances Wills, and is shared with you in love. Note that this cake is best shared as the flavor improves in the presence of good company.

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Want to learn more about Michigan apples? Check out this guide from Michiganapples.com

Looking to pick your own apples or make memories with fresh cider and donuts? See this map from our friends at edibleWOW magazine.

Kelly Wilson, RDN is the SE Michigan Local Food Coordinator for Taste the Local Difference and owner of Simple Gifts Farm in Oxford, MI. Contact her at kelly@locadifference.org

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Farmers Market Find Cocktails

Find Local Food, Gary and Allison Jonas, Stories, The Little Fleet

With all the wonderful bounty northern Michigan has to offer, it’s not only easy to eat local, it’s delicious! But why should your plate have all the fun? We love coming up with unique handcrafted cocktails, often with an unexpected twist. We believe a drink’s ingredients are the most important difference between a good drink and amazing drink. Soooo….we decided to take advantage of some of the best ingredients our area has to offer, and showcase them in a weekly cocktail feature.

The Sara Hardy Farmers Market, a well-rounded market that we visit weekly, was the perfect spot to source our farmers market finds for our farm to glass creations. Each week, we visit the market and let the creative juices start flowing. Highlighting the local ingredient in our handcrafted cocktails is always the goal, letting the quality of these products shine.

Here are a few examples of how we’ve incorporated some of these local ingredients into our special drink features:

Strawberries and elder flowers – tequila blanco, Dolin Blanc Vermouth, fresh lemon, house made Loma Farm elder flower cordial, and local strawberry purée

BlueberriesBuchans Blueberry Hill blueberries, roasted, and basil margarita

Watermelon – local Watermelon Agua Fresca

Black raspberries and lavender – local smashed black raspberries and housemade lavender cordial, with bourbon and lemon

Sweet cornHall Farm sweet corn muddled with house made chili tequila, agave, and lime

Beets – negroni made with Loma Farm’s beets

butternut squash cocktail

Tomato – tequila blanco, Dolin Blanc Vermouth, fresh local tomato water, and a hint of citrus

Squash – local butternut squash and Sleeping Bear Farms maple syrup with fresh lemon and vodka

Our Farmers Market Find Cocktails will be available at The Little Fleet at least through the end of October while the Sara Hardy Farmers Market remains open.

If you’re interested in stepping up your cocktail game at home, check out our “Get Schooled!” Cocktail workshops this fall and winter.

Don’t forget to drink your veggies!

The Little Fleet, 448 E. Front St., Traverse City, MI 49684 

Gary and Allison Jonas are the owners of The Little Fleet. Contact them at info@thelittlefleet.com

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Packing Up My Knives

Bill Palladino, Stories

“All changes are more or less tinged with melancholy, for what we are leaving behind is part of ourselves.” – Amelia Barr

I’ve worked in a few kitchens over the years. The work is hot, messy, and involves long hours in close quarters with others. Unless you’re a celebrity chef with a TV show, there is no corner office with a view of the bay. You work in the trenches alongside all of your teammates. Frankly, who would want it any other way? This is food after all!

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NEMCOG Heads to the Farm

Event, farm-to-table, Find Local Food, Molly Stepanski, Stories

The Northeast Michigan Council of Governments (NEMCOG), based in Gaylord, MI, was established in 1968 as a multi-county organization to pool resources for the assistance of local governments throughout eight counties. The organization has their hand in everything from tourism, transportation, planning & community development, economic development, local government, housing, environment and natural resources, to local foods, just to name a few. By and large, the organization tends to fly under the radar in all the productive work they do that benefits our communities. But make no mistake, NEMCOG has assisted local governments obtain millions of dollars in federal and state grants for vital local projects and services.