The Northeast Michigan Council of Governments (NEMCOG) has been instrumental in facilitating Taste the Local Difference’s growth in NE Michigan over the last three years. This has ultimately resulted in not only building higher demand for local food in the region, but in people realizing the true potential of Sunrise Side ingenuity and innovation. This entrepreneurship is a key factor for the survival of small-scale farming and healthy local food systems in an ever-changing and increasingly complex global economy.
TThe 2010 Charter established six goals for an equitable, sustainable, and economically vibrant Michigan food system. As the ten-year mark approaches, time is ripe to examine the progress made and formulate a new vision for the coming decade.
If you’re reading this blog, you’re likely a local food enthusiast who places value on purchasing from local food businesses within your community. You shop at the farmers market, frequent local retailers, and buy directly from food and beverage producers. You make these choices for many reasons; not the least of which is how local purchasing ensures the businesses you frequent stay in business.
10 Cents a Meal is a match grant for schools to purchase MICHIGAN grown produce and dry beans and it is currently available in five of Michigan’s ten prosperity regions. Over the past three years of the program, farmers have developed new markets for their products and school kids are consuming more healthy, Michigan grown produce. Win, win!
Farming is a tough business not for the weak of spirit. The rigors of farm life are mentally, intellectually and physically demanding and farm businesses operate under a myriad of variables humans have little control over. Most farmers are motivated to keep up the grueling pace in order to positively change the social and environmental landscape of their communities through healthy food.
This season, with its historically cool and rainy weather, farming has been especially tough. Plantings are behind. Some crops were lost. Hay can’t be cut. Grazing fields are flooded. Stress is high. We can’t change this season’s weather, but we can stand by our farmers and show them extra appreciation and remind them why they’re doing this important, life giving work.
By 2030, we aspire to live in a community where your zip code no longer determines your opportunity in life. United Way of Washtenaw County fights for the health, education, and financial stability of all people. Our mission is to CONNECT people, resources, and organizations TOGETHER to create a thriving community for EVERYONE.
I’ll admit, I have a lot to learn about the Western Upper Penisula’s local food system. My connections there have been growing and I’ve met a lot of wonderful people. They are the ones clearing a path and leading the way in both research and action.
On Saturday, March 16th, I presented My Local Food Relationship at Northern Michigan University’s TEDx. (Editor’s note: link to video is coming soon!)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PETOSKEY, MI – MARCH, 2019: Staying home for a spring break or holiday is often more appealing than the busyness of getting ready for a vacation. Staycations are becoming evermore popular.
“Not everyone takes off for a week-long spring break,” explains Bob Keedy of Wineguys Restaurant Group. “We wanted to reach out to our friends and neighbors to make a stay-at-home spring break a little more appealing.”
What the heck is hydroponics? If this sounds like Greek to you, it is. “Hydroponic” is Greek for “water-cultivation,” and that sums it up well: hydroponics is growing plants in water instead of soil.