Demystifying NE Michigan Food & Farming Entrepreneurship

Agriculture, Economy, Find Local Food, Jobs, Molly Stepanski, Specialty Producers

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. 

Know Your Farmer: Piggly Petals Flower Farm

Agriculture, Julia Linder, Know Your Farmer, Specialty Producers

Meet Carmen and Sherri, the mother-daughter duo behind the beautiful blooms from Piggly Petals Flowers Farm! Piggly Petals was established just last year in 2018. Together, Carmen and Sherri grow both annuals and perennials on their Belleville farm.

Neither Carmen nor Sherri ever imagined they would once be flower farmers. 

Louise Earl Butcher: Quality & Community in West Michigan

Annaliese Brown, Eat Local, Find Local Food, Grand Rapids, Retail, Specialty Producers

The vast majority of chicken we purchase and consume in the United States is from a breed known as the Cornish Cross. The hybrid was first developed after World War II, carefully selected for the trait that has come to define it — its phenomenal rate of growth. Most Cornish Cross birds we eat are slaughtered at five to seven weeks of age. This rapid growth rate, combined with the disproportionate amount of white meat the bird produces, is precisely why the Cornish Cross is so ubiquitous. It dominates grocery store coolers, restaurant menus, and poultry barns across the country. 

Despite the economic advantages of the Cornish Cross, a butcher shop in Grand Rapids is working to bring customers something different. Husband-and-wife team Matt Smith and Cyndi Esch opened Louise Earl Butcher in January of 2012. Louise Earl is a full-service butcher shop that sells grass-fed and finished beef, heritage pork, and pastured lamb and chicken, alongside a variety of dry goods and specialty products. Smith and Esch are lifelong residents of Grand Rapids that first met working in the food and beverage industry in the 90’s, and have spent their time since building a community around food. 

Eat Small: Roasted Rabbit with Gravy

Alex Palzewicz, Eat Local, Environment, Find Local Food, Proteins, Recipes, Specialty Producers

In 2017, Tim & Naomi decided to start the Happy Hoppers Organic Rabbit Farm. They both grew up with rabbits so it was a natural fit. Originally, they decided to have rabbits for meat, pelts and compost. Rabbit compost is one of the only fresh composts you can put directly on your garden, without it burning your plants. Also, it’s high in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium which makes it perfect for great growth!

7 Warming Winter Food Events in Traverse City

Bailey Samp, Benefit, Drinks, Eat Local, Environment, Event, Find Local Food, Specialty Producers, Traverse City, Wine

Embrace the long Winter season with these local dinners, community events, and cooking classes in the Traverse City area! There’s plenty of opportunities for everyone to get out of the house on the frightful Winter days ahead.

Experience Gift Ideas for Hands On Fun this Holiday

Bailey Samp, Eat Local, Find Local Food, Get Involved, Specialty Producers, Traverse City

Looking for the perfect last-minute local gift idea? A cooking class makes a great gift and offers a hands on experience to improve skills in the kitchen, learn something new, and supports local producers throughout northern Michigan. Whether you want to plan a family event or treat your kids to something sweet, these classes offer something for everyone!

10 Ideas for Local Stocking Stuffers

Emma Beauchamp, Farmers Markets, Find Local Food, Southeast Michigan, Specialty Producers

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. 

Warehouse Space Available in Saline

Get Involved, Kelly Wilson, Learn More, Southeast Michigan, Specialty Producers

Macon Creek Malt House is looking for a partner business to share their facility in Saline (20 min southwest of Ann Arbor). If you’re ready for a lower risk, affordable opportunity to scale up your food business (and work alongside some great people!), consider this option.

Get a Local Tree this Christmas!

Guest Post, Specialty Producers, Stories

The holidays are here and it is time to start the search for your real Christmas tree. The good news is, in Michigan you have several great options to choose from when looking for that perfect tree. Michigan growers produce a wide variety of tree species, in fact, more than any other state. When visiting a choose and cut farm or a retail lot, you may find trees that are soft to the touch like a Frasier Fir, blue in color like a Blue Spruce, or trees that smell like citrus called a Concolor Fir. So, whether you like a fir or a spruce, or and evergreen or citrus smell, we have you covered!