A New Normal for Michigan Orchards

Climate Change, Environment, Julia Linder, Learn More

This is the second post of a three-part series. Before reading this, make sure you read the first post of the series here! To quickly recap, in the last article I mentioned how climate change will have unique impacts on tree fruit agriculture due to long-term growing requirements of growing perennials. This means that fruit growers also perceive unique risks from climate change, which is what this post will dive into.

Legislative Alert: 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids and Farms

Dianne Conners, Economy, Find Local Food, Health, Learn More

10 Cents a Meal is a match grant for schools to purchase MICHIGAN grown produce and dry beans and it is currently available in five of Michigan’s ten prosperity regions. Over the past three years of the program, farmers have developed new markets for their products and school kids are consuming more healthy, Michigan grown produce. Win, win!

Breweries Above the Bridge

Alex Palzewicz, Beer, Upper Peninsula

I apologize for often referring to the fact that the Upper Peninsula (UP), although 30% the land mass of Michigan, contains just 3% of the state’s population. A new comparison I was able to make with the help of the Michigan Brewers Guild Website, is that the UP is home to almost 18% of the breweries that make up our “great beer state.” 

Raise Your Glass to Farmers Market Cocktails!

Bailey Samp, Drinks, Stories

Every summer the The Little Fleet in downtown Traverse City incorporates the bounty of northern Michigan in their handcrafted cocktails and we love it! These creative and refreshing farmer’s market inspired cocktails highlight ingredients from local farms and orchards in our region.

This year, we’re excited to pair up with The Little Fleet to bring you fresh, local-inspired libations featuring different farms each month through Fall. You can follow @tastethelocaldifference for featured cocktails, spirits, recipes, and what’s in season at the farmers market. 

Know Your Farmer: Open Sky Organic Farm

Find Local Food, Julia Linder, Know Your Farmer, Stories, Uncategorized

Open Sky Organic Farm is a certified organic farm four miles from Cross Village, Michigan. Together, Sam and Susan Sharp produce a variety of flowers, herbs, and vegetables, including garlic, snap peas, and spring mix. 

Sam and Susan put their roots down in Northern Michigan years ago because of their love for the land, seasonal changes, and the people. Susan says the pace of life up north just resonated with them. The two of them started farming several years ago while Susan was still teaching. She has since retired, and this is their third year farming their land near Cross Village. The 10-acre piece used to be an old fallow hay field, whose soil had been left stripped and in need of some TLC. Susan and Sam went to work building their soil and bringing life back to the property, and they now have four acres in production.

Eating Like a Local in Alpena, Part 1 of 3

Eat Local, Event, Farmers Markets, Find Local Food, Molly Stepanski

One of the best parts about traveling across the Mitt during the summer is discovering new, locally-sourced farmers markets, restaurants, breweries, wineries, and all the events in between! There’s one city in particular that keeps popping up on our radar, and for good reason. Located right on Lake Huron, the “Sanctuary of the Great Lakes,” Alpena offers countless shipwrecks to explore, 100 miles of hiking and biking trails, three Dark Sky Preserve Parks, seven lighthouses in the area to clamber, and over 300,000 acres of fishing and boating opportunities. You’d think it couldn’t get much better.

But with a growing local food scene beckoning growers and producers alike to this area, the cuisine competition is challenging chefs and event planners in the area to up their game and source more locally. We are doing a three part series on Alpena. Here you’ll find the best places to find your locally-sourced grub while you’re visiting this spectacular Lake Huron haunt during the height of the season.  

Get to Know our Summer Interns

Environment, Event, Get Involved, Health, Jobs

We are excited to host three great interns this summer! In northern Michigan, we have Emily Lesky as our Community Health Intern and Julia Linder as our Communications and Outreach Intern. In Southeast Michigan, Travertine Garcia is our Community Health Intern. These amazing ladies will help Taste the Local Difference further our mission of educating consumers about the benefits of local food and supporting food and farming entrepreneurs.

A 25th Anniversary Calls for Certification!

Event, Find Local Food, Molly Stepanski, Wine

The Sunrise Side Wine & Food Festival at Harrisville Harbor is celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2019! Over 15 participating Michigan wineries, breweries, and cideries; homegrown music; a Local Artists Guild display; and local restaurants are representing at this event. It’s not surprising that the fest has decided to take it to the next local level by becoming a Certified Local Food Event this year.

Crop Spot: Arugula

Find Local Food, Health, Kelly Wilson, Learn More

This peppery, pleasant edition to the salad bowl originated as a weed in the Mediterranean region. Since Roman times, however, this plant has been widely cultivated and enjoyed in a variety of dishes and preparations. Historically more common in Europe, especially Italy, arugula is growing in popularity in the United States thanks to its fresh, tart, bitter, and peppery flavor.