Oxford brewery, HomeGrown, has joined an increasing number of businesses turning to their own backyard for ingredients. The locally-sourced movement has taken off – in the US and around the world – and “locavores” aim to develop more self-reliant and resilient food networks and improve local economies by buying from nearby producers. In both the brewing and dining components of the business, HomeGrown predominantly sources local supplies.
BIRMINGHAM, MI, August 4, 2017 – Celebrate one of Michigan’s sweetest harvests with games, special kids crafts, demonstrations and old-fashioned corn shelling at the Birmingham Farmers Market Corn Festival on Sunday, August 13 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Enjoy fresh prepared corn dishes including roasted corn, kettle popcorn, corn bread and other homemade recipes. The day’s top seller will be fresh roasted Michigan sweet corn.
Like many first generation farmers, Joannée DeBruhl came to agriculture in a roundabout way. After being laid off, Joannée and a few friends started a community garden to benefit Gleaner’s Community Food Bank. The success of this project ignited Joannée’s deep passion for agriculture and her desire to become a full-time farmer. Recognizing her need for a more formal agricultural education, Joannée enrolled in the MSU Student Organic Farms’ Organic Farmer Training Program (OFTP) in 2010. In the OFTP, she spent 9 months immersing herself in the nuances of growing healthy, organic plants and running a farm business.
On the edge of Ann Arbor, at the Tillian Farm Development Center, dark leafy greens and crisp, flavorful salad mixes are artfully tended by Hannah Rose Webber. A first generation farmer, Hannah is in her third season cultivating crops as The Land Loom. She currently rents 1.5 acres at Tillian where she follows organic practices to produce high quality greens and summer fruits (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, etc.).
Did you know that farmers receive only 17 cents per retail sales dollar (on average) when their food is sold through traditional channels? The remaining 83 cents of this dollar goes to middlemen, distributors, and other players in the food system. Selling direct to consumer (farmers markets, roadside stands, CSA programs, etc.) generates higher margins for farmers (and strengthens consumer’s ties to their food) but can come with its own set of unique challenges and risks: unfavorable weather impacting sales, large time/energy demands, lack of convenience, and seasonality.
The Oakland County Farmers’ Market has been bringing good food to Oakland County for nearly 100 years. Originally located in downtown Pontiac, the market first opened in 1922. Thirty one years later (1953), the market moved to its current location a few miles away in Waterford. The market still exists in this location and is currently operated by Oakland County Parks and Recreation.
“Every mobile farm market is unique to the community it’s in,” said Erica Bloom, the program director of Growing Hope in Ypsilanti. Through their urban farm demos, in-school programs, farmers markets, and more, Growing Hope offers educational opportunities and greater access to healthy foods in the area.“We have been learning together with our partners in Detroit, Lansing, and Flint on how to best bring fresh produce into the neighborhoods.”
Protect your health and environment by making conscientious food choices. According to the Center for science in the Public interest, “eating healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way” is important to repair our food system. spending some of your food dollars on food produced locally secures our food system by decreasing pollution from long-haul transportation and health scares created by cheap, industrial-scale agriculture. The advantage of knowing where your food comes from, who grows it and how they treat the land, and knowing your money is going right back into your community is significant. The freshest, ripest, best-tasting foods are easy to find right now at your local farmers’ markets and community farms.