Consumer demand for craft beer is off the charts, but without locally grown, craft ingredients it’s really just the same old beer, isn’t it?
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.
Here in Northern Michigan, we have the option – and the luxury – of buying and consuming a cornucopia of raw and processed food products procured right here in the Great Lakes State.
Sweet spring is finally here. Farmers markets are brimming with greens, radishes, ramps, mushrooms, and so much more. With all of this choice available, after a loonnng winter, it’s easy to get a little over enthusiastic and fill your fridge to the brim. By condensing veggie tops into pesto and pickling veggies, you can both extend their season as well as save room in the fridge. Here are some recipes that work well with, but are not limited to radishes.
Move over chia, step aside quinoa, it’s time for hemp seeds to take center stage! These small but mighty seeds are a nutritional powerhouse. They contain all 9-essential amino acids which means that, unlike most grains or seeds, hemp is a complete protein. Pair that with hemp’s high rate of protein digestibility and you have a fabulous source of plant-based protein. Just 2 Tb of hemp protein powder contains 11 g of highly-digestible protein.
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.
Ponder for a moment the number of people that metro San Diego is home to (about 3 ½ million)…and consider all the locally sourced food and beer they have access to in that big city (hint: it’s A LOT). Next envision that same number of people coming through a tiny village on the northern tip of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, squeezed in over only three to four months of the year. Now imagine only having one small, burgeoning brewery in that entire town to service all those travelers in that short span of time.
As awareness of local food grows, more people are becoming interested in understanding the economic impacts of local food systems. While many of us may be motivated to buy local food by values like preserving farmland, supporting small businesses, and expanding access to fresh, healthy food, these goals are economic development goals. Economic growth is a much narrower measure centered on increases in jobs and sales, or monetary value. To be sure, economic growth is a limited way of judging success, but there are times when it is helpful to justify food system initiatives in terms of economic growth to decision-makers like funders or local government officials.
Did you know that May is National Asparagus month? If you are anything like me, you can’t wait for the first asparagus spears to start nudging their way through the soil. It is one of the first Spring vegetables to be harvested and a kick-off to the growing season in Northern Michigan.
Susan Odom of Hillside Homestead has many concerns while managing her authentic farmstay in the rolling cherry hills of Leelanau county. First, that her guests receive the best experience of a century ago: antique furniture, a huge cast-iron stove fed firewood to push away the morning cold, and gourmet food served like the the home cooking you imagine your great-grandmother gave to the hungry mouths of your family a few generations ago.