A cooperative living community of farm workers, food service employees, culinary students, agri-business entrepreneurs, and other local food and farming partners could address the intersection of several problems and potentials related to affordable housing in our region. This living community would be open to anyone involved in or serious about getting involved with local food work, and could help lay the foundation for a new generation of farmers.
Ypsilanti Food Co-op is known for providing value, quality food and knowledge to consumers. With 60 solar panels on our roof, we are known for being dedicated to creating sustainability of the environment and our local economy. We are connected with families whose children have grown up to become staff. We add value to our small community.
And we sell a full line of groceries in a small converted industrial space in historic Depot Town, Ypsilanti. Our focus is on organic, healthy, fair-trade and local foods.
For the last four years, Cary Junior has been working to create a market for a small group of black farmers not far from Detroit’s city center.
As general manager of the Southeast Michigan Producers Association, or SEMPA, Junior has been leading an effort to build the capacity of these farmers and get their greens, tomatoes, corn, squash and other vegetables into the hands of fellow Detroiters who lack access to healthy, fresh local food.
In 2014, when I moved with my husband and son to my family’s Centennial Farm in Posen, Michigan, I never thought I would have such an extraordinary chance to impact the local food system in the place we call home. From the moment we arrived, other farmers took us in, mentored us, and shared vital information and resources. We knew that if Presque Isle Farm was going to truly succeed in this persnickety and often bitter climate, we had to not only extend our growing season, but continue to partner with others on every level imaginable to vitalize northeastern Michigan’s food system.
From start to finish, it took me almost 24 hours to make all the fixings for a homemade pizza party. Sounds crazy, right? I promise most of the time was hands off and it was worth it.
Mental health affects us all. In fact, one in five adults in the United States experiences mental illness in any given year. It is very likely you or someone you know has dealt with the effects of mental illness to some varying degree.
Some experience debilitating and severe mental illnesses, while other individuals’ conditions interfere less in their daily lives. Either way, we know that the brain is an organ, and it’s just as sensitive to what we eat and drink as the heart, stomach and liver. Despite a growing body of evidence worldwide that links nutrition and mental health, the connection often is overlooked in today’s methods of treatment. It’s time we, as a community, advocate for nutrition as a form of mental health care and emphasize this need throughout our area.
On a corner of Oakland University’s property in sprawling Rochester Hills, it still feels like country. This is where Matilda Dodge Wilson once raised poultry and where, in 1959, the university’s first classes met. It’s quiet here, and the bustle of the city and university feel far away.
On a cool spring morning in May, Rena Basch’s biceps are evident as she totes big boxes into the processing kitchen at the Washtenaw Food Hub. Rena may be tiny, but she’s mighty! She’s the driving force behind an innovative, and mostly organic, winter time Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) business called Locavorious.
Early in my time here, Heather Ratliffe, one of my supervisors and co-chair of the Northwestern Michigan Food and Farming Network, explained something very essential to me, “In the national movement of food system change, the thing that sets Michigan apart from everywhere else is collaboration. We have networks of networks. Northern Michigan is the heart of this statewide model, as the Northwest Michigan Food and Farming Network partners work together despite potential for competition— we realize that we’re all working towards the same mission of reinventing a localized food system.” This sentiment really stuck with me. As the new Americorps VISTA for the network, it helped set the stage for my year of service catalyzing positive change within the food and farming community of this region.
Nestled in the heart of the Grand Traverse Commons is The Village at Grand Traverse Commons Farmers Market. The Outdoor Market runs every Monday from 12pm-4pm in the warmer months on the Piazza beginning the fourth week in May through the second week in October. The Indoor Market begins the first Saturday in November from 10am-2pm and runs through April.