Michigan has long been an epicenter of Amish settlement, with the first establishments dating back to 1895. Today, Michigan’s Amish population numbers approximately 11,000, with the state’s 86 church districts strewn over 35 communities across the state. One of the oldest of these settlements is in Mio, Oscoda County. Remnants of Mio’s logging industry left this land perforated by stumps. But, the original Amish community at Mio was founded in 1900 by Ohioan pioneers that used this to their advantage. According to historian David Luthy, “Few, if any settlements grew as rapidly as did the one in Oscoda County.” Luthy say this is because “local land agents attracted both Old Order Amish and more progressive Amish-Mennonites” to a region flushed with land available for $2-5/acre.
What food do you bring with you while camping? Hot dogs and a s’mores kit? Dehydrated meals? With the ease of car camping at any of Michigan’s State parks, meals don’t have to be completely utilitarian. Using an ice-filled cooler, a two-burner propane stove, and some planning ahead, I was able to make a delicious steak dinner while glamping (or glamourous camping, if you will) this spring.
Don’t blink, or you might miss The Grafted Root Eatery, on the edge of the Coach Stop shopping plaza near where South Saginaw Street meets Holly Road in Grand Blanc. Its understated exterior works for owner Michele Matthews, who likens the vibe to a speakeasy and would much prefer a secret knock to intrusive signage.
By Bill Palladino
Last month you heard me bemoaning the lack of local proteins available for purchase in northwest Michigan. I neglected to say that one easy protein source is dairy, and we happen to have a few great producers around here. Yogurt is a daily part of my diet, so I thought I’d toss this your way.