The 2018 Southeast Michigan Magazine Release Party was full of friendship and community. The Beer Garden at Cultivate Coffee & TapHouse was buzzing with bees enjoying the vegetable beds and friends from the local food community celebrating another year of hard work towards strengthening the local food system. I had the pleasure of speaking with someone who has been supporting local food in Southeast Michigan for more than 30 years, Corrine Sikorski, General Manager of the Ypsilanti Food Co-op, who agrees that TLD has really helped to create connections and build community among local food activists and supporters in this area.
Lauren Bloom and Matt Ritchey don’t have much time these days for anything that doesn’t ferment. The couple is putting in long hours at their new business, Bløm Meadworks, a space for mead enthusiasts and those trying the beverage for the first time. “We wanted to build a business around what we love to drink and share that with Ann Arbor,” says Lauren.
There are big things happening for local farmers and the community at the Flint Farmers’ Market. If you have ever shopped at this market in the summer, you know the outside pavilion is a beautiful space to shop and soak in the sights, smells, and sounds that encapsulate the growing season and all that Flint area farmers have to offer. However, this season you may notice some changes in the pavilion.
When I say the words “county fair,” what comes to mind? For me there is nostalgia that rolls in as I think of my own Menominee County Fair at Shakey Lakes Campground in Stephenson, Michigan. There, I competed in animal showmanship for multiple species, entered crafts and photos, rode my bike like a hooligan, and made endless campfire delicacies like smores and pudgie pies.
Are you headed to the Leelanau Peninsula this summer? Then check out one (or all five!) of their popular farmers markets! Each market provides fresh fruit and vegetables grown within 60 miles of the market. Plus, you can find delicious baked goods, fresh flowers, crafts, art, and more.
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!
I can not believe the month of May has come and gone. I have a sinking suspicion that this long Upper Peninsula winter caused us all to feel the anxiety that is lost time. I moved out to the farm (Rock River Farm) in Chatham on May 9th and the anxiousness of a late spring caused me to jump into work right away. The greenhouse was full, the kitchen in disarray, and snow was still standing in some places – but somehow, collectively working towards the challenge that was catching up (a quest to regain our lost time), we were able to cross task after task off the list. May 26th marked our first day of the Downtown Marquette Farmers Market as well as our own farm’s first catering of the season. Now that the dust has settled from our crazy weekend, I think we all are able to see how much we have accomplished these past few weeks – and we are stoked. We’ll never get that lost time back, but we catch up, we relax, reflect, and we get inspired to do more.