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.
For me, food has always been a source of connection, a tool to communicate love, and a way to pass on family traditions. Some of my most vivid memories involve shared meals and many dishes are connected to specific loved ones in my mind. For example, my mom is chicken, rice, and carrots, whereas my dad is graham crackers dipped in milk. Apple pie and sharp cheddar cheese bring to mind my grandmother. The foods we made on our first date, kimchi and sauerkraut are my partner. These dishes provide comfort and a reminder to slow down.
Food has always been an important part of my life; however, it wasn’t until I studied abroad in Italy that I really fell in love. We toured a Parmigiano Reggiano facility, learned about Balsamico di Modena on a small family farm, and tasted traditionally cured prosciutto. Specifically, all the foods we encountered were part of a movement to preserve culturally significant foods and their traditional production practices: Slow Food.