Michigan is the second most agriculturally diverse state in the US and a national leader in the cultivation of apples, asparagus, blueberries, tart cherries, green beans, dry beans, potatoes and squash. Despite our rich produce production, most Michiganders still do not meet the recommended intake of fruits and vegetables and 32% of our children are overweight or obese.
Fruit and vegetables are the cornerstone of good health and lifelong health patterns are often established in childhood. Exposure to healthy habits at an early age can encourage long term health. One of the best places for this positive exposure to occur is in the school setting. Fortunately, a statewide pilot program, 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms, is supporting schools in infusing more fresh, Michigan grown produce into their menus.
When we look back through the history of festivals, events or gatherings related to farming, food, and harvests – you’ll find that each will have their own version or interpretation of what that celebration represents. From the ancient sacrifices in honor of Greek gods, to our modern-day hometown harvest festivals – you won’t find one occasion quite the same. One contributing factor to those differences, is location. A harvest festival in Spain often highlights grapes, where here in Michigan we celebrate cherries and blueberries. Our geography and local climate largely determine when we hold these events and what they celebrate. Another important piece is the people. Throughout history cultural influences such as religion, art, politics, and business have shaped rituals that find their way into being. As time goes on, activities evolve, disappear, grow, and sometimes become honored by tradition. Many cultures mention in their own ways, the importance of coming together as a group, family or community and the vital social connection these moments bring.These same reasonings can be applied to the MQT Local Food Fest,
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.
Maddy is very excited to be our Local Food and Events Intern this summer! She had the chance to work closely with the team at Taste the Local Difference last year when she was serving as an Americorps VISTA for the Northwest Michigan Food and Farming Network.
Her favorite vegetable is Okra and she wishes someone in Northern Michigan would start a lentil farm already. When not representing TLD at Certified Local Food Events this summer, she will be working at Light of Day Organics tea farm on M-72, biking, dancing, or hanging out with goats wherever she can.
Stay tuned for more information about Maddy’s work this summer. Contact email@example.com with questions.
You’re invited to the 29th annual Grillin’ for Food Gatherers, a family-friendly community picnic with a serious mission. Grillin’ benefits Food Gatherers’ work to alleviate hunger where we live. As a Grillin’ guest, you can help your neighbors struggling with food insecurity.
Elberta is a beautiful, quiet village nestled between Lake Michigan and Betsie Bay. It sits just a mile down the road from Frankfort, one of northern Michigan’s hottest growing destinations. And this just in — its home to an incredible business opportunity you’ve got to hear about!
Don’t blink, or you might miss The Grafted Root Eatery, on the edge of the Coach Stop shopping plaza near where South Saginaw Street meets Holly Road in Grand Blanc. Its understated exterior works for owner Michele Matthews, who likens the vibe to a speakeasy and would much prefer a secret knock to intrusive signage.
Did you know that your dollar is multiplied more than three times when you spend it at a local store, than by purchasing at a national chain? Plus, locally grown and produced food packs more of a nutritional punch and it travels fewer miles to your plate, making it better for you and for the planet. We’re just scratching the surface here when it comes to the true value of local food in our community. The benefits range from economics and social connection, to improving health and the environment.
Travel is in my future for 2018. My food and wine-seeking radar is taking me to a destination that I have only dreamed about: South America. When planning a trip in the spring, I always try to make it a warm get away and going to South America at the end of March is like our September, so it should be warm and sunny. I am taking 14 hardy souls who have also never been to South America. I have actually never been south of the Equator and we will be traveling to almost the South Pole!