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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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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!

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Willow Farm: Born to Farm

Farmers Markets, Find Local Food, Proteins, Southeast Michigan, Tom and Candy Brisendine

Kyle took to farming early, when she was 4 she kept asking for sheep. We had cows, horses, chickens, cats, dogs and the occasional pig, though, I knew nothing about caring for sheep, so I said no. Repeatedly.

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MQT Local Food Fest 2018 Recap

Alex Palzewicz, Benefit, Event, Find Local Food

MQT Local Food Fest Statistics

•7 Northern Michigan University Hospitality Management Alumni Chefsmff4

First Place & People’s Choice Rory Shimp of Spiaggia in Chicago
MAD Rabbits Farm, Daggett

Second Place Colin Campbell of POUR Kitchen + Bar
Thill’s Fish House, Marquette

Third Place Angela Verburg of Harley’s Lounge at the Ramada InnSwanzy, Gwinn & Seeds and Spores Farm, Marquette

•3 NMU Hospitality Management Faculty

•5 NMU Hospitality Management Alumni Coordinators

•10 NMU Student Volunteers

•3 Outstanding Community Volunteers

•7 Judges

•Over 10 indispensable Sponsorsmff2

•Over $500 spent on a UP Food Exchange Purchase from UP Farmers

•Over $1,100 spent on local food via direct farmer & producer purchases

•11 UP Harvest Basket Entries raising a total of $615

•$1,100 spent on local live entertainment

•$400 spent on other local specific businesses

•$150 spent on local decor; flowers & produce

•Purchases made from over 20 local farmers, and 6 local producers

•14 Different Locally Focused Chef Dishes

•Over 30 Door Prizes from Local Businesses

•Over 200 Attendees – plus kids!

$1,850 Raised! – THANK YOU!

I had this vision for the MQT Local Food Fest, and that vision is not mff1what I saw this past Saturday at Barrel + Beam Brewery, in Marquette, MI. What I saw when I took a moment to step onto a hay bale and look over the crowd was so much grander. Since I have become a part of the Taste the Local Difference Team, I’ve had the honor of traveling and working with some incredible people including chefs, farmers, local business, different organizations, health professionals, brewers, and everyday people who are passionate about local food. This past Saturday, I got them all in the same room. I wish I could write a novel so I could tell every small story and highlight every relationship, because each one give me more and more confidence in the success of Local Food Systems here in the UP.

I think the most important message of our event wasn’t just to support local food, but to honor and respect the people and careers connected to food. I started raising animals at the age of 5, and started working at a local resort at the age of 16. I don’t mention this because I want to prove that I have experience, I mention this because since then, I’ve been a first hand witness of the struggles, successes, ups and downs of people who work in careers surrounding food. Late nights washing dishes, long days planting in the sun, hauling hundreds of pounds of produce to and from market, 16 hour days all on your feet, high stress situations – and these are just some of the experiences people in our industries encounter daily. These situations will always be a part of life for many of us – but the point I want to make is that healthy and delicious food, purchased from local farmers, producers, and chefs is to be honored and respected. A lot of work goes into something that we then place into our body – a very intimate experience and decision that affects your own health and wellbeing, along with the wealth of your own community.

I am proud to say we raised over $1,800 at our event, and that $300 will go to sponsor a Garden Bed through Partridge Creek Farm, a non-profit farm working on Farm-to-School programs and community garden projects in Ishpeming. We are also excited to donate $150 to the Downtown Marquette Farmers Market Power of Produce Program. Monetarily, our event was a success, but more importantly we were able to get some important conversations started and some crucial connections made.

Personally my favorite part was how this event helped put a little glimmer of light back into the eyes of people that mean so much to me and the Local Food Movement. I saw so many smiles, hugs, high fives, so much teamwork, collaboration and most of all celebration. So thankIMG_3364 you again to our amazing sponsors: Ojibwa Casino, Marquette Food Co-op, Radio Results Network, Barrel + Beam, NMU College of Technology and Occupational Sciences, NMU Alumni Association, UP Health & Happiness Magazine, Travel Marquette, the Marquette Downtown Development Authority, the Marquette Chamber of Commerce, Econo Foods and last but not least – Taste the Local Difference for all your support, and helping us make our event a success.

Stay tuned for details on next year!

Cheers,

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Alex Palzewicz is the UP Local Food Coordinator. Contact her at alex@localdifference.org

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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

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Serving It Up Rare: Old Pine Farm’s Humanely Raised Meats

Edible WOW, Find Local Food, Southeast Michigan, Tom Bloomer

Did you know that, among our state’s many notable agricultural distinctions, Michigan is home to one of the small handful of meat-exclusive community-supported agriculture (CSA) farms scattered across the United States?

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Taking Matters Into Our Own Hands

farm-to-table, Find Local Food, Molly Stepanski, restaurant

You either sink or swim under the grueling demands of a busy professional kitchen. Chad Edwards has been cooking in Gaylord restaurants since age 14, and was the chef for two establishments in the city before turning 21. After years of rigor and practice, Edwards’ was swimming full bore on October 28, 2010, when he opened The Bearded Dogg Lounge. And at this colorful cafe, “you may sit in a booth made from old doors or at the bar crafted from maple flooring from the local nunnery, at a gathering table, in a loveseat, or at any one of several antique dining tables.” You can tell a lot of love and ingenuity has been put into this place. And it’s not just the quirky, hand-hewn seating and masterful plating of food. It’s the flourishing garden in the adjacent field constructed and tended by Chad and his father that accents the menu’s favorites. It’s the fact that Edwards wants to create a line of his own bottled salad dressings and brews the restaurant’s Doggweiser Blonde Ale. It’s the fact that in northeastern Michigan, Chad Edwards is pioneering in an old way of doing things again.

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Peaceful Meadows Farm 2nd Annual Farm to Fork Event

Event, Find Local Food, Get Involved, Kelly Wilson, Southeast Michigan

Join the farmers of Peaceful Meadows Farm in Clio for their Second Annual Farm to Fork Event Sunday August 26th from 1-6pm. The event will feature a wide selection of classes on topics ranging from edible flowers to maple syrup production. Music from the Silo Singers will provide the perfect backdrop as you learn, wander the gardens, and enjoy a meal raised 100% on the farm.

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Tollgate: MSU Farm Keeps Agricultural Legacy Alive

Edible WOW, Environment, Find Local Food, Nicole Ray

Located near the intersection of three major highways and just over the rise from a sprawling shopping mall, there is a 160-acre oasis of rolling hills, green pastures and unbroken swaths of woodland: the Michigan State University Tollgate Education Center and Farm. “It is the last piece of farm history in the city of Novi,” says Farm Manager Roy Prentice.

Jackie Good of RC Organic Farm in Lenox Township with turkeys destined for the  Thanksgiving dinner table. (The Macomb Daily/DAVID DALTON)

RC Organic Farms invites you to join their Market Share

Find Local Food, Get Involved, Guest Post, Jackie Good, Southeast Michigan, Stories

RC Organic Farms has been farming at our current location in Macomb County since 1945 when my Grandfather Norvel bought this farm and began Dairy farming. My Father Ron Campau (hence RC) was born here at the farm where he continued Dairy Farming until 1997 a year after he certified the farm to organics and started crop farming.