Community can often be a word people just toss around, but when the community literally owns your business, there is no taking it lightly. Oryana Community Co-op was an idea devised on the back porch of a home in Traverse City. It came from a small group of passionate community members looking to start a buying club and have control over where their food came from. That buying club started in 1973, and is now a 10,000 square foot, $17 million-a-year business that still lives by the founding principles of quality, accountability, sustainability, and localism.
Darren Mercier didn’t imagine he’d be spearheading the effort to establish a natural food cooperative. But, when he moved to Iron River on the western border of the U.P. seven years ago, he and his wife missed the easy access to the healthy foods they were used to eating. The Merciers aren’t the only people in Iron River who want more healthy, organic, and local options. More than 50 people have already become members of The Co-op of Iron County before the doors have opened and many people have told Darren when the store is open, they plan to become members as well.
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.
Breakaway Cafe just celebrated its first birthday, and as any parents of new babies would tell you – I’m exhausted. But as those same parents would tell you – I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Over 14% of the population is food insecure in the 11 SE Michigan counties TLD serves. In the heart of Ypsilanti’s historic Depot Town District, a unique coffee and tap house is helping to change that.
Cultivate Coffee and Tap House opened their doors in 2015 with the mission to end hunger (locally and globally) by 2030 and do good in their community and the world. To accomplish this mission, the non-profit focuses on the core values of Craft, Community, Cause.
Two winters ago I spent an entire hour updating my star ratings on Netflix to dial in my preferences.
It was worth my time. Like driving to the U.P., or rising early to exercise. At first it seems daunting, but soon you’re saying, “I can’t wait to do THAT again!”
As spring unfolds in the Upper Peninsula, seedlings have been growing in hoop houses, greenhouses and now fields to prepare for the Downtown Marquette Farmers Market opening day on May 20th. Many farmers markets in the UP do not open until June or even July, but Myra Zyburt, the market manager, explained they are able to open in May because there are enough farmers using season extension techniques that have produce that they are ready to sell.
The Farmington Farmers & Artisans Market will open its 24th year of community service on Saturday May 20th at the corner of Grand River and Grove Street in the heart of downtown Farmington at the Walter Sundquist pavilion. There is large banner gently swaying from the rafters in the light breezes of early spring that proudly proclaims, “Saturday is market day!”.
Spring peepers, rain storms, crocus and daffodils. Spring has sprung! Soon, it will be time to turn over the soil and get your vegetable garden planted. Having a vegetable garden is a great way to provide yourself with affordable access to fresh food and reap many other positive health benefits!
This is Part Three of a three-part series from farmer Brian Bates of Bear Creek Organic Farm in Petoskey, Michigan. This essay was delivered as part of his keynote address to attendees at the Northwest Michigan Food and Farming Network’s annual Farm Route to Prosperity Summit on February 17th of this year.
In parts one and two of the essay, Bates first describes his journey On Becoming A Farmer and then begins to demonstrate the lessons of Scale and Perspective learned from hands-on experience working at large farms in the US and elsewhere.
Part Three: Making a Choice for Our Community
I think prosperity is defined by a community’s well-being. At Bear Creek, we are invested in our community and hopefully our community in us. We won’t relocate our factory tomorrow, and in the meantime, we shop locally, bank locally, ensure locally, employ locally. We teach others how to grow, and we welcome strangers to our farm.