Mighty Soil Farm is a small organic farm run by Kate Debs and Joe Newman in the Upper Peninsula town of Chatham. They pack a punch on their ¾-acre parcel, where they grow about forty vegetables, including staples like carrots, tomatoes, and salad greens.
There are a number of things to celebrate this Spring! Farmers market season is back. Asparagus and rhubarb is in abundance. Farmers are gearing up for another busy season of providing fresh and local produce to the community.
Are you a new restaurant, food truck, or catering business looking for local produce? Are you an existing restaurant looking for ways to simplify the process? Or, maybe you just need a reminder of how important it is to support local farmers! Since there is not a better time to put more local produce on your menu, here are the 5 ways to source local produce for your menu:
Microgreens are young greens that are full of color, have an intense aromatic flavor, and come in many varieties. From spicy, sweet, and bitter, there is a microgreen for everyone!
And, did you know these vibrant and delicate greens are packed full of vitamins? They contain nutrients at a concentrated level, which means more vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant levels then mature greens like kale and arugula.
Alex, our Upper Peninsula Local Food Coordinator recently spoke at the Northern Michigan University’s TedX on March 16th with a story called My Local Food Relationship.(Editor’s note: link to video is coming soon!)
Spring has officially sprung! As you shake off the winter haze, now is the perfect time to start planning thinking about where your food is coming from this summer. Which community farmers market will you attend? Will you plant your own garden? Should you join a CSA? There are so many options for accessing local food!
Winter continues to drag on in its unforgiving way, but with each day spring is ever nearer. For you farmers and gardeners out there, now is the time to order your seeds for spring. Not all seeds are created equal, so learn why it’s important to opt for earth-enriching seeds here!
This summer, I was the catering manager for Rock River Farm, a flower farm in the central U.P. They are focusing their efforts on flower production, so they don’t need my services in 2019. After being asked a few times if I’m sad they are done catering, here’s the truth: I’m stoked to see farms find their niche. This said, I will be going back next summer in the same way I got started there: as a volunteer who is in it for the beautiful drive, lack of cell service, the company and inspiration they provide.
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.
In the dead of winter, we long for the abundance of summer gardens and farmers markets. While their bounty is hard to outshine, it is amazing to take stock of, and appreciate, how much variety is still available this time of year. Season extending techniques like hoophouses (aka high tunnels) allow us to have fresh tender greens, spinach, and cold sweetened carrots. We’re also able to find a wide range of storage vegetables: cabbage, beets, carrots, garlic, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, rutabaga, kohlrabi, and more! And don’t forget this month’s crop spotlight: the humble turnip.
The countdown is dwindling til Christmas! These are last minute stocking stuffers that support local producers in your area. Find these treats at your local farmers market, co-op, or retail store.