What is the big deal with food safety?
It can be rather ‘gut wrenching’ finding out about potentially contaminated food. Over the year’s farmers, growers, retailers and more have had to adapt to new challenges in ensuring products from farms are not only meeting consumers changing market demands, but safeguarding that those products are not contaminated. Through changes in the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the state of Michigan, and partnering organizations have developed new strategies to tackle the biggest challenges with pesky microbes and food borne illnesses.
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!
As December speeds by, we rush to ready ourselves for the holidays. Once the new year arrives, our growers and producers will jump right into planning and preparing for the 2019 season. I myself am already dreaming of summer harvests. With preparation approaching, this month seemed like a great opportunity to introduce a new resource to Upper Peninsula Farmers: Landen Tetil, the new Produce Safety Technician for the UP region.
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.
Our second session with the 2018-19 National Farmers Union’s (NFU) Beginning Farmer Institute (BFI) took us into the country’s heart of organic produce, the salad bowl of America, the sunny Salinas Valley, California. Again, we were the last to arrive late at night, and a bit jet-lagged. For the first day of training, we participated in a hands-on learning session, hosted in partnership with the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA), an organization dedicated to creating economic opportunity for limited-resource and aspiring organic farmers through land-based education. ALBA creates farming opportunities while providing education and demonstration of organic farming, conservation, and habitat restoration. About 35 farmers operate their small organic farm at ALBA on an annual basis.
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.
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.
I can not believe the month of May has come and gone. I have a sinking suspicion that this long Upper Peninsula winter caused us all to feel the anxiety that is lost time. I moved out to the farm (Rock River Farm) in Chatham on May 9th and the anxiousness of a late spring caused me to jump into work right away. The greenhouse was full, the kitchen in disarray, and snow was still standing in some places – but somehow, collectively working towards the challenge that was catching up (a quest to regain our lost time), we were able to cross task after task off the list. May 26th marked our first day of the Downtown Marquette Farmers Market as well as our own farm’s first catering of the season. Now that the dust has settled from our crazy weekend, I think we all are able to see how much we have accomplished these past few weeks – and we are stoked. We’ll never get that lost time back, but we catch up, we relax, reflect, and we get inspired to do more.
Hemp is a plant we’re hearing more about these days. However, there is a lot of confusion around this delicious and versatile plant. Many people wonder if hemp and marijuana are the same plant or are concerned they may fail a drug test or get high from eating hemp. An internet search can lead to even more confusion! This article sheds light on hemp history and clarifies a few of the common misconceptions regarding this important plant.
Susan Odom of Hillside Homestead has many concerns while managing her authentic farmstay in the rolling cherry hills of Leelanau county. First, that her guests receive the best experience of a century ago: antique furniture, a huge cast-iron stove fed firewood to push away the morning cold, and gourmet food served like the the home cooking you imagine your great-grandmother gave to the hungry mouths of your family a few generations ago.