Located near the intersection of three major highways and just over the rise from a sprawling shopping mall, there is a 160-acre oasis of rolling hills, green pastures and unbroken swaths of woodland: the Michigan State University Tollgate Education Center and Farm. “It is the last piece of farm history in the city of Novi,” says Farm Manager Roy Prentice.
RC Organic Farms has been farming at our current location in Macomb County since 1945 when my Grandfather Norvel bought this farm and began Dairy farming. My Father Ron Campau (hence RC) was born here at the farm where he continued Dairy Farming until 1997 a year after he certified the farm to organics and started crop farming.
Lavender Lane is a specialty lavender farm located 15 minutes south of Ann Arbor in Milan. As educators, my wife and I founded our farm in 2014 and have since expanded it to include over 5,000 plants; we grow over 16 varieties of lavender in colors of purple, pink, white and blue! Aside from its scent-sational aroma and breathtaking views, lavender keeps its appealing scent for years, can be used in cooking, promotes sound sleep, uplifts one’s mood and calms the mind and body!
Strawberry season is here! Strawberry season is here! In Michigan, farmers produce over 46,000 pounds of these juicy berries between early June and, weather depending, mid-July. Some growers are extending the normal strawberry season by planting into hoop houses (aka high tunnels or passive solar greenhouses) and by growing everbearing varieties.
A fierce battle is being waged today over the pros and cons of pasteurized milk. But in the early decades of the 20th century, improvements that could bring safer cows’ milk to market couldn’t come fast enough. One of the farms leading the way was located in Avon Township, now known as Rochester Hills. It was owned and managed by Sarah Van Hoosen Jones, a pioneer dairy farmer in Michigan.
The Farm Bill is a large piece of legislation that is renewed every 5 or so years. It includes funding for a wide range of programs (SNAP, crop insurance, conservation, local food promotion, farmer training, and more) that impact everyone in the United States. This year, The Farm Bill is up for renewal and its current draft would fail family farmers and ranchers, hungry Americans, and the environment. It is important that we all take the time to reach out to our Congress people and ask them to support a stronger Farm Bill for farmers, ranchers and consumers.
Spring has officially sprung and that means it is time to hit the farmers markets! Southeast Michigan boasst a large number of farmers markets and 15 of these are in Washtenaw County. As you plan your spring and summer schedule, make sure to include visits to the Washtenaw County Farmers Markets. You can find more details about these markets at washtenawmarkets.org.
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011. The goal of this legislation is prevent contamination of food produced in the United States before foodborne illness outbreaks occur. The Produce Safety Rule of FSMA has huge implications for many growers across the state. This year, compliance of the full rule will be enforced for farms grossing $500K or more. Smaller farms have until 2019 or 2020 to comply with rule, depending on their income.
Do you have a passion for educating kids about local food? Do you want to help TLD promote our regions bountiful farmers’ markets? After an overwhelming positive response, we’ve decided to host 5 more Pop-up Farmers Markets this Spring but we can’t do it without your help!
As northern Michigan farmers work to build a sustainable, local-food economy, they need funding and other support to get started, expand current operation, build year-round growing capacity or establish new business models. USDA Rural Development, MSU Extension, Taste the Local Difference and the Food and Farming Network have teamed up with local sponsors and organizations to make it easier for farmers, growers and producers to find the help they need. The Funding Local Farms & Foods workshops will point local growers toward government agencies, non-profits and private lenders who can offer funding and other resources.