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6 Winter Conferences Every Michigan Farmer Should Consider Attending

Emma Beauchamp, Event, Get Involved, Learn More

With the snow beginning to fly, it’s the perfect time to attend farm and business conferences to prepare for 2019. These six meetings and conferences are great ways to network with fellow farmers and get excited for the next growing season.

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Terra Madre : Where the Joy and Justice of Food Meets

Environment, Find Local Food, Get Involved, Guest Post, Learn More, Shiloh Maples

Every other year, in late September, the northwestern Piedmont region of Italy transforms into the town square for the global Slow Food movement’s gathering, Terra Madre. In the bustling city of Turin, thousands gather to share their passion for good, clean, and fair food—slow food.

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Who is Michigan Farmers Union?

Economy, Environment, Guest Post, Kristine Ranger, Learn More

Michigan Farmers Union is a grassroots organization that works to protect the social and economic well-being of family farmers throughout the Great Lakes State.

Our members are our policy makers. We engage elected officials on issues that come directly from our membership and press lawmakers to implement and enforce laws and regulations that will strengthen agriculture in Michigan. They exist because we exist!

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Opportunity to Hone your Farming Skills

Environment, Find Local Food, Get Involved, Kelly Wilson, Learn More

Attention beginning farmers, farm employees and those contemplating a future in sustainable farming! The application period for the 2019 Organic Farmer Training Program (OFTP) at Michigan State University is now open.

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NFU Fall Legislative Fly-in and the Farm Bill

Economy, Environment, Event, Get Involved, Learn More, Molly Stepanski

The National Farmers Union (NFU) was founded over 110 years ago and advocates for grassroots policy change that supports the welfare of family farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and consumers. NFU writes, “We promote sustainable production of food, feed, fiber, and fuel and work with our 200,000 member families nationwide to support smart farm policies, educate the public and develop the next generation of farm leaders.” To achieve this mission, the nationwide organization coordinates legislative fly-ins in the spring and fall every year as critical issues come before Congress for a vote.

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Event Spotlights: Upcoming Local Food Events

Event, Find Local Food, Food Waste, Get Involved, Kelly Wilson, Learn More, Local Ingredients, Southeast Michigan

Join Us at These Upcoming Local Food Events! We’re out and about this month at a variety of community events. Join us in celebration of local food and learn about valuable aspects of healthy, sustainable food system.

 

September 19th (6:30-8:30 PM): Local Food Enthusiast Party at Blom Meadworks (Ann Arbor)

blom logoLocal Food Enthusiasts are the champions of local food systems. They shop the farmers markets, participate in CSA programs, drink local, and patron establishments that source locally produced goods. They make local food a priority and leverage their purchasing power to keep the local food economy humming.

To celebrate these Local Food Enthusiasts, and the harvest season, we’re hanging out with our friends at Bløm Meadworks for local appetizers and a tour of their production facility. Local Food Enthusiasts will receive a discount on any mead flight. For more details, check out the Facebook Event here.

 

September 30th (10:00 AM – 4:00 PM): Make Food Not Waste (Detroit)

33382265_1809703549336148_8506868047594651648_nDid you know nearly 40% of the food produced in the US ends up in landfills? Make Food Not Waste seeks to change this. During this free, day-long event at the Eastern Market, you’ll watch chefs compete to see who can make a tastier meal from leftovers. You’ll learn what to do with food that your picky eaters won’t touch, how to repurpose leftovers into delicious meals, how to put together as easy menu plan, and how to compost unused food. Come enjoy a high-quality meal, prepared by top-tier local chefs, and see how much money your family can save by making easy changes at home!

More information at: https://makefoodnotwaste.com/

 

September 30th (1:00-5:00 PM): Meet, Greet and Eat Meat (Ferndale)

39229050_2640224079535478_5880727195151761408_oFarm Field Table has developed a strong community of farm, chef, and local food partners since they opened their doors two years ago. To celebrate these partnerships, and the community of family, friends, and neighbors who have supported them, Farm Field Table is throwing their first-ever farmer + chef meet and greet. This family-friendly event will feature food tastings from some of metro Detroit’s finest chefs, introductions to local farmers, craft beer tastings, a mangalista pig “petting zoo” and educational seminars. Tours of the new production facility will also be available throughout the event.

For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/meet-greet-and-eat-meat-tickets-48888824791?aff=ehomecard

Kelly Wilson, RDN, is TLD’s Southeast Michigan Local Food Coordinator. Contact her at kelly@localdifference.org

Students saw, touched and sometimes tasted produce that were new to them at Nottingham Elementary School in Arlington, VA, on Wednesday, October 12, 2011. Farmers from Bigg Riggs Farm in Hampshire County, WV, and Maple Avenue Market Farm in Vienna, VA were very popular with the students. Today's menu included roasted chicken, roasted butternut squash with dried cranberries, farm fresh mixed lettuce salad, turkey wraps, pita wedges, hot muffins, carrots, Asian pears and more.  USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

Local Food Heads Back to School

Economy, Find Local Food, Kelly Wilson, Learn More

The days are getting shorter and the smell of drying leaves and woodsmoke is in the air. Fall is here and that means it’s back to school for Michigan’s 1.5 million public school students. For many of us, back to school conjures up a variety of images and smells: freshly sharpened pencils, crisp notebooks, new backpacks, and the infamous mystery meals served in the cafeteria. For many of Michigan’s students, however, the school year also brings with it the tantalizing smells and flavors of locally sourced, and carefully prepared, food.

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Farm Resources from MIFFS

Farmers Markets, Find Local Food, Get Involved, Learn More

(Editor’s Note: This list was originally published in the Michigan Food and Farming Systems August Newsletter) 

This has been an especially hard year for farming. If you need assistance, please use the resources listed below. We understand the difficulties of farming and are here if you need help navigating services. We are available by phone 517.709.8271 or email info@miffs.org

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Good Food, Better Health

Event, Find Local Food, Get Involved, Health, Kelly Wilson, Learn More, Southeast Michigan

Baste. Blanch. Chiffonade. Roast. Saute. Zest.

Ever see these terms on recipes and wonder “what the heck does that mean?” ? Well, if you have, you are not alone! One of the biggest challenges many of my clients face when changing their diet is navigating the kitchen and new recipes. Culinary education is no longer a staple in public education and our lives have become increasingly hectic. As a result, many people feel intimidated and overwhelmed in the kitchen and with cooking for themselves.

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Growing Together: Fostering Creation in Shared Space

Economy, Find Local Food, Get Involved, Kelly Wilson, Learn More, Southeast Michigan, Specialty Producers

All your friends beg for your famous granola for holiday and birthday gifts. You find yourself spending hours in the kitchen and everyone encourages you to start selling your granola at the local farmers market. Thanks to the Michigan Cottage Food Law, you’re able to make your granola in your kitchen and sell it at the farmers market. However, your kitchen is quickly becoming too small to keep up with production demands and you want to start selling to the local grocery store. In order to grow your business, you need commercial kitchen space. Constructing a commercial kitchen that meets state licensing requirements, however, is more than your small business can afford. Fortunately for you, there is a shared kitchen space in town: Proud Mitten Shared Kitchen!