As our state becomes blanketed in snow, it is easy to think life on the farm grinds to halt. Fortunately for us eaters, however, many farmers utilize hoophouses (aka high tunnels or passive solar greenhouses) to grow a variety of cold hardy winter greens: collards, kale, and spinach are commonly available year round. If you’re normally not a fan of greens, and even if you are, I dare you to try the winter kissed varieties and not fall in love.
Strawberry season is here! Strawberry season is here! In Michigan, farmers produce over 46,000 pounds of these juicy berries between early June and, weather depending, mid-July. Some growers are extending the normal strawberry season by planting into hoop houses (aka high tunnels or passive solar greenhouses) and by growing everbearing varieties.
Often wonder what farmers do during the winter? Do they travel the world, bundle up with a favorite book, or take on new hobbies? Despite appearance, winter is a crucial time for many farmers in Northern Michigan. There is much to be done below the surface during these quiet and cold months!
Two winters ago I spent an entire hour updating my star ratings on Netflix to dial in my preferences.
It was worth my time. Like driving to the U.P., or rising early to exercise. At first it seems daunting, but soon you’re saying, “I can’t wait to do THAT again!”
The MSU Student Organic Farm (SOF) began as a student project and has grown into a 15-acre, year-round teaching and production farm. The farm is certified organic and utilizes a combination of passive solar greenhouses (hoophouses) and outdoor field production to grow a variety of fresh produce year-round. Production is carried out by the SOF and OFTP (Organic Farmer Training Program) Staff and dedicated students, the SOF farm crew, and wonderful volunteers. The farm also collaborates with MSU faculty to create learning opportunities for other students at MSU through courses in organic farming, interdisciplinary experiential educational activities, and research opportunities.
Michigan’s growing season is frustratingly short. But at the Royal Oak Farmers Market, “We’re a booming market all year round,” says Robin Richardson, the market’s manager of event planning. “You can come to the market on any given Saturday and buy a tomato.”