What makes northern Michigan so iconic? One could argue that it’s the 105 miles of “fresh coast” surrounded by countless hiking trails, ski hills, lake life, and the world-renowned Sleeping Bear Dunes. Others would say it’s the dozens of festivals hosted throughout the year including the Cherry Festival, Film Festival, or Polka Festival. Some may say it’s simply the diverse foodie options served by that sweet midwestern hospitality. But, only one thing pairs well with all of these iconic experiences: wine. Rove Estate & Winery in northern Michigan is an absolute staple of all things Traverse City, therefore may be one of the most iconic locations of them all.
Here is one of my favorite quick and easy recipes to enjoy during the Summer. I always try to make pea shoot pesto in the early Spring and freeze it for easy Summer dishes. This recipe can also be enjoyed as a cold pasta salad on a hot Summer day. Add fresh microgreens as a garnish and pack a picnic basket along with a bottle of local white wine before hitting the beach!
Are you headed to the Leelanau Peninsula this summer? Then check out one (or all five!) of their popular farmers markets! Each market provides fresh fruit and vegetables grown within 60 miles of the market. Plus, you can find delicious baked goods, fresh flowers, crafts, art, and more.
I personally think it is not only important for us to use as much locally produced food and products as possible, but we also have a responsibility to be good partners with all food businesses in the area. It helps elevate the whole industry in a way that benefits us beyond dollars. Eating local should be looked at as the norm, not the exception.
When we re-opened Harvest in its new location in 2017, we also added a liquor license and one of our first priorities was to source beer and cider from local producers. That led to the idea of having a beer brewed specifically for us. It only made sense that we would take the idea as far as we could by then brewing the beer with local malt and hops. Because of the amazing relationships in the food and brewing community in Traverse City this was not a tall order. Working with Earthen Ales, Great Lakes Malting, and Michigan Hop Alliance we were able to brew a beer that is almost entirely made out of locally sourced ingredients, aptly named Local Shade of Pale. It’s really amazing to think of how far and fast the brewing culture has come in just a few short years. We feel so fortunate to not only enjoy the work of these great folks but also to be able to collaborate with them to create something that exemplifies our common goals.
Q&A with our Partners
Michigan Hop Alliance
Brian Tennis, Founder
Established: Michigan Hop Alliance was started 7 years ago as a way for hop farmers to work together to bring their hops to the brewing community as economically as possible. New Mission Organics was started 13 years ago, and has been growing hops for 10 years. New Mission Organics was the original farm name.
What makes Northern Michigan hops unique and great?
The 45th Parallel has historically been the sweet spot for growing hops, both in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere. We have the perfect climate, including soil, water, heat, and day lengths, to be able to grow a world-class product. We are also lucky to be able to work with some of the best farmers in Michigan, and can leverage their knowledge and expertise to our overall farming operation.
What does it mean to you to be involved in brewing a beer for a local restaurant with local brewers and local malt providers with your local hops?
We have been growing hops for nearly a decade, and have sold over a million pounds of hops over the years, but there is still something that is so very special and rewarding as tasting a beer that was made from hops that you had a hand in. To me, that excitement never gets old. These brewers and restaurateurs are not just accounts, but my friends, and I share their passion. My very first commercial sale was to Short’s Brewing Company and was used in a harvest ale called Kind Ale. I still remember the very first time I saw our hopyard name up on the chalkboard in Bellaire and the rush I had from tasting that beer. That proud moment doesn’t leave you.
Great Lakes Malting Company
Jeff Malkiewicz, President & Co-Founder
Established: Great Lakes Malting Company has been crafting great malt from the Great Lakes since 2016, with the mission of producing the finest malts right here in Traverse City and connecting breweries and distilleries to the region with locally-grown and processed ingredients.
Why do you believe in locally sourcing barley?
The answer is two-fold, economic and sustainability. When brewers/distillers use locally grown and processed ingredients, all of that money stays in the community and is re-invested in the community. Also, sourcing locally reduces carbon footprint through reduced transport. Most ingredients that are currently being used by breweries and distilleries come from the Western US/Western Canada and from overseas.
Describe your relationships with local farmers.
One of the things I enjoy most about this opportunity is my interaction with farmers. After all, quality malt starts at the farm. We can’t produce the finest malts without the finest grains! I have spent a lot of time working with farmers and educating them to help ensure their success in growing malting-grade barley. However, farming is not always easy and sometimes difficult conversations take place. This is where mutual trust and respect are critical to maintaining and growing these relationships.
Jamie Kidwell-Brix, Co-Founder/Brewer
Established: Earthen Ales opened its doors in December 2016. Owners Andrew and Jamie started Earthen Ales because they love making beer.They were both brewing before they met each other, and when they met and started brewing together – it got out of control, and Earthen Ales was born!
What makes Northern Michigan beer unique and why is using locally sourced ingredients important to you?
The agricultural diversity of the region and access to fresh, clean water makes northern Michigan a great place to make beer. The abundance of ingredients and resources in the area have led to strong and creative food and beverage community; we love being a piece of that community, and hope we’ll contribute to making it even stronger. We used to work in the sustainability field in our former day jobs, and we’ve carried this mindset into brewing. We brew beer with a sense of place, and we’re inspired by the place we live. What better way to showcase this then working with ingredients that are native to this place.
What does it mean to you to be involved in brewing a beer for a local restaurant with local hops providers and local malt providers?
Brewing beer for a restaurant like Harvest is a new extension of our community. We’re excited that Harvest embraces the use of local ingredients daily and wanted to explore this further by collaborating on a beer with us. It’s great to align with other businesses on similar values and ideas. Harvest was excited and inspired by the diversity of new hops in the region, and was particularly excited about using a new varietal called Green Bastard – we’d never used this hop before. And guess what, we like making beer and trying new things too!
Local Shade of Pale is available on-tap at Harvest, Traverse City, as of April 5th.
Photo Credits: Just In Time Hospitality and Brian Tennis of Michigan Hop Alliance
“You can’t make syrup just anywhere. It requires all the seasons to prompt the trees to give their sweet nectar! The long nights of Winter eventually give way to Spring, and then the hustle and bustle of the syrup season brings sweet reward.”
Join me this month as we’ll take a look into the lives of two maple syrup farmers, Margo and Allen Ammons, as they share their love for syrup making, the joy of being outside in the woods, and the anticipation of the season.
The average age of farm operators in the United States is 58. In the next 20 years, an estimated 70 percent of privately owned agricultural land is expected to change hands in the US. Farmers in the Grand Traverse Region are not immune to this graying trend, as the average age of operators in this area ranges from about 55 in Kalkaska to nearly 60 in Manistee. Moreover, it is expected that around 83,000 acres of farmland in our region will change hands in coming years as well.
Yahoo! It’s May!
I love May in Northern Michigan because it’s the month of promise and renewal. Soon we’ll revel in long sunny days and nothing pairs better with Michigan summers than the bounty of foods from local farmers and makers.
Nearly 15 years ago Epicure Catering was born of a desire to showcase the best artisanal products our region has to offer. In a rented commercial kitchen, we gathered our cook friends and set to work creating menus highlighting producers and embodying the “farm to table” movement; a concept and practice that was just beginning to emerge in our area at the time. Our foundation was a duty to source from and support our local economy, and it remains the same today.
THIS Saturday marks the last weekend in June and one of our favorite events of the summer– The Traverse City Wine & Art Festival. The day is quickly approaching, and all of us at TLD are really looking forward it. We can’t wait to sip on the incredible wines of leelanau county, and even more, enjoy them paired with some amazing food.
and “Free for All” Bike race – any bike, fat bike, cyclocross bike, mountain bike
December 7th, 2013
Events start at 12:00 noon
Race Packet Pick up/Late Registration Friday, December 6, 4-7 p.m. Cherry Republic downtown Traverse City and Saturday, December 7, 10:30 a.m. at the race site. Go to http://www.xcchallengetcruns.com for event details.
The Farmland 5K European Style XC Challenge! is a 3.1 mile cross country run held on the north’s only dedicated cross country course on turf grass (or snow!), surrounding private centennial farmland. Compete as a team – cross country style – with lowest score of finishers, or as an individual, and earn original prizes.
New for 2013 – Farmland “Free For All” Bike Race – any bike, fat bike, cyclocross bike, mountain bike
Cost: $35 early registration, no refunds or transfers, family rates available. No refunds or transfers.
Have a team? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up a team and receive a discount code for 7 or more participants.
What is MLUI Membership? Become an advocate for local food, clean energy, smart transportation choices, and for sustainable communities. Join the Michigan Land Use Institute for only $10! Add this membership fee to your Farmland 5K registration and MLUI will keep you connected to the issues that matter to you.
Family Rate (for moms, dads, kids, and grandparents from the same family only)
Wellness Professionals LLC