A farmer I know, let’s call him John, is up late tonight in his orchard. As a Leelanau County farmer, his work requires vigilance. It’s been a wet summer so far, and that means there’s a virtual laboratory of bugs, molds, and fungi waiting to threaten his way of life. Tonight, reluctantly, he sprays an insecticide to head off the codling moth hatch that’s sure to devastate his orchards.
There’s a break in the rain, and John’s training tells him he’s got the opening he needs. The wind dies down at night too, making it a lot less likely that what he’s spraying will end up on unintended fields. All of this information points to the fact that now is the time. John decides to follow this lead and get to work, but it happens to be midnight.
For Immediate Release
Download a PDF version of this media release here.
Date: May 17, 2017
Contact: Bill Palladino, firstname.lastname@example.org (877)373-5940
Taste the Local Difference® Launches New In-store Local Food Demo Program
TRAVERSE CITY – Taste the Local Difference®, Michigan’s local-food marketing agency, is announcing a new local food demonstration program to support Michigan value-added food producers and retailers.
In fulfilling its mission to help sell more locally grown and produced food in Michigan, TLD is formalizing a service to provide in-store food demonstrations of locally grown and made food. TLD’s Operations Director, Tricia Phelps, says; “we’re often told by food producers that they just don’t have the time to demo, this new TLD service provides them a professional option with a passionate local focus.”
According to Fresh Trends, an annual study published by food industry newspaper, The Packer:
“86 percent of consumers who purchased a product for the first time did so as a result of a free sample.”
“In-store promotions, such as food demonstrations, enhance product identification and are an effective means of educating consumers about a product or service.”
For Immediate Release
Date: March 6, 2017
Contact: Tricia Phelps, email@example.com (877)373-5940
Download a PDF Version of this Media Release here.
Taste the Local Difference® Hires New Local Food Staff Covering Michigan
TRAVERSE CITY – Taste the Local Difference®, Michigan’s local-food marketing agency, has hired four new staff members representing communities around the state.
In fulfilling its mission to help sell more locally grown and produced food in Michigan, TLD has added three local food coordinators in Northeast Michigan, Southeast Michigan, and the Upper Peninsula.
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.
We celebrate the deliciousness of our food, and we respond precisely to the needs of our community.
This is Part Two 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 Part One: On Becoming A Farmer, Bates describes some of the influences in his life that led him to become an organic farmer. In this Part Two, he details an eye-opening journey that took him to a variety of farms around the world, learning what he could about the differences that scale makes in farming practices. And that, all in all, the farmers he worked with are not that different than him!
Part Two: Scale and Perspective
We used to drive to the beach every year on the 4th of July and pass through the vast cornfields of Delaware. You may not have expected me to say Delaware, being that we’re in the Midwest, but at a certain scale, we become numb to the scale regardless of size – more on that later.
Brian Bates, farmer and partner at Bear Creek Organic Farm in Petoskey, Michigan, gave the keynote address at the annual Northwest Food and Farming Network Farm Route to Prosperity Summit on February 17th of this year. His creative problem-solving and passion for learning put him in a new category of young, emerging, farmers making their way in entrepreneurial agriculture. His infectious optimism and positive approach to his work are refreshing.
We’ll present his keynote address in three pieces over the coming weeks. Please be sure to come back for parts two and three.
PART ONE: On Becoming A Farming
So why am I here? I’m here to share a little about me, a little about our farm, a lot about our food system, why we’re screwed (just kidding!), and why I think small actions make a big difference.
First, a little about me. I am a DMV native (that’s DC, MD, VA) and I am gradually becoming OF Northern Michigan. How many people saw Mr. Palladino’s awesome speech at the Small Farm Conference last month? The idea of being from somewhere, and OF somewhere has really stuck with me. I love it.
I moved to Petoskey 5 years ago. I’m 27 years old. And I’m obsessed with keeping things in perspective.
ON BEING OF A PLACE
By Bill Palladino
When people ask me where I’m from, I tell them without hesitation that I’m from the Bronx, New York. The answer throws many people off balance; because I have long since lost the coarse phonic cues that would make it easy to predict my origins. I have now assimilated the softer sounds and gestures of my Midwest home.
The query “where are you from?” is, after all, one of the most common questions asked of strangers. It begs for a reference—the first waypoint on a journey to understand who someone is. It pokes at the corners of our private lives, hoping to unearth rich veins of perception. But the fact is the answer cannot reveal much beyond the surface of a stereotype.
I’ve come to realize that
By Bill Palladino
Food, of its nature, is a social agent. What we eat, where we eat, and with whom help to define our identities as people. Show me these three things, and I will describe for you with some accuracy, your age, cultural origins and social strata. There may come a time in the future where you are measured by these truths.
Many of the most important archeological discoveries in history have unearthed the remnants of food. Physical evidence of what was eaten, when and where has also helped us to understand the origins of our nutrition and the role food has played in shaping society. Archeology also teaches us that sharing food has played an important function in communities stretching back millennia. All meaningful gatherings of people, whether around a campfire, at the kitchen table, at large celebrations or on battlefields involve the sharing of food.
“The act of growing, preparing, and serving food for others is one of the most intimate acts we can perform in public.”
By Bill Palladino
We are deep into the season of sacred traditions. The crisp darkness of winter brings with it many celebrations, each anticipating the light yet to come. And strangely, it is the darkest nights that reveal the most stars. This time of year we are given the gift of seeing things previously unseen. Religious and secular practices call to our attention the longest night of the winter solstice, Hanukkah’s victory of the Maccabees, the transformative fires of Yule, the first fruits and seven principles of Kwanzaa, and the Christmastime birth of Jesus Christ.
The common thread throughout this myriad of sacred traditions, beyond prayer and candles, is the gathering of family and friends, always with celebrations of food. But is it enough to keep food as something sacred only during the holidays? I am fearful we are quickly losing this connection, as the way we eat begins to mirror the brief, staccato, way we’ve come to communicate.
Date: October 1, 2016
Contact: Bill Palladino, firstname.lastname@example.org (231)590-1685
Harvest Haiku Challenge Launched in Northern Michigan