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A Farmer’s Diary: Beginning Farmer Institute

Event, Get Involved, Molly Stepanski

When you bring a bunch of farmers together over pizza and beer, there’s a certain magic that happens. On September 9th, after traveling from thirteen different states, nineteen farmers from incredibly diverse backgrounds descended on Washington, DC, for the first session of the 2018-19 National Farmers Union’s (NFU) Beginning Farmer Institute (BFI). This educational opportunity is an annual leadership training program that offers three sessions in different parts of the country. In November, we’ll meet up again in northern California and March in Washington state. The mission of BFI is “to empower people to educate our youth, neighbors, media and policymakers of the social, economic and cooperative contributions of family agriculture.”

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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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Warm up this Winter with a “Michiganized” Vietnamese Bun Bowl

Find Local Food, Molly Stepanski, Recipes

Bún chả is a traditional Vietnamese dish of grilled fatty pork served over rice noodles, usually served with herbs, vegetables, and a dipping sauce. These now internationally popular bowls are easy to throw together on a busy weeknight and can accommodate most produce that is still available (we have cucumbers, garlic, green onions, onions, carrots, and spinach available in northeastern Michigan right now, with the help of a hoophouse). This dish has a lot of room for your own personal local interpretation and I just love the mixture of hot, caramelized meats and garlicky sauteed spinach; the cold, sweet and salty pickled vegetables; the fresh, fragrant herbs straight from the garden; the spicy, pungent kim chi; the smooth Vermicelli noodles drizzled in toasted sesame oil. This dish is pure love.

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Roasted Delicata Squash and Ginger Salad

Bailey Samp, Find Local Food, Local Ingredients, Recipes

Delicata squash are a delightful form of winter squash. As the name would suggest, the peel is edible, making these an easy vegetable to cook and enjoy. Enjoy these seasonal salad “boats” with the best of Northern Michigan fall produce.

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Charlevoix Farmers Market offers Evening Markets at the Library

Emma Beauchamp, Event, Farmers Markets, Find Local Food, Local Ingredients, Proteins

With the change in the season, comes a change at the Charlevoix Farmers Market! Beginning on October 11th, the Market will switch its location and time to the Charlevoix Public Library at 220 Clinton St. from 3-6pm. Despite the change in time and place, the Market will continue to showcase local producers and be a vibrant event for the whole community.

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Royal Oak Farmers Market Continues through Construction

Farmers Markets, Find Local Food, Robin Richardson, Southeast Michigan

The Royal Oak Farmers Market began in 1925! It is a wonderful, exuberant, and beautiful market filled with local farmer’s and their vegetables, fruit, herbs, flowers, organic produce, naturally raised meat, bakers of all kinds including vegan, paleo, grain free, and dairy free. There are also artisans with handmade cutting boards, garden art and even a knife sharpener.

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Edible WOW: The Common Grill is a Royal Success

Drinks, Edible WOW, Find Local Food, Nicole Ray, restaurant, Southeast Michigan, Stories

This summer marks the 20th anniversary of a Southeastern Michigan favorite with a loyal follow – ing: the Common Grill in Chelsea. Before the doors opened on Main Street in July 1991, “ I estimated that we could appeal to a 10-mile radius,” says owner and Executive Chef Craig Common. Chelsea was a bit sleepier than it is today, and the Purple Rose Theater—which eventually grew to draw people to the town from around the country—had just been launched by actor Jeff Daniels in February of that year. It was Daniels’ father, Bob Daniels, owner of Chelsea Lumber, who approached Common about starting a restaurant for the theater crowd.

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Tom’s Food Markets: More than Just a Market

Emma Beauchamp, Find Local Food, Retail, Stories, Traverse City

In 1946, Tom and Eva Deering founded Deering’s Market on 11th St in Traverse City. Originally, it served as a small corner market specializing in meat products near downtown. Fifteen years later, in 1961, Tom’s Food Market’s first full sized grocery store was built on the west side of town. Since then, Tom’s Food Markets has grown into six full size grocery stores throughout the region. Despite their expansion, Tom’s has continued its focus on supporting the Traverse City area community.

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Fall Beginnings: Roasted Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, & Green Beans

Emma Beauchamp, Farmers Markets, Find Local Food, Local Ingredients, Recipes

Growing up, I was always pleased when my mom was making a roasted chicken for dinner. The rich, savory aroma filled the house for hours as it cooked. If I was really lucky, there would also be a heaping bowl full of mashed potatoes too and some crunchy, steamed green beans.

Recently, as I walked through the Ann Arbor Farmers Market, I was inspired to recreate this favorite childhood meal with local ingredients and some of my own twists. I decided to prepare a Crispy Skinned Spatchcocked Chicken, garlicky green beans, mashed potatoes, and a lemony pan sauce out of the backbone. 

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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