I’m not bragging, but there are a lot of cool things about my job as the NE Local Food Coordinator with Taste the Local Difference. I get to hang out with other local farmers, producers, and small business owners; I get to eat the food they’ve grown or created; drink the libations they’ve conceived; partake of their businesses’ inventions; help put on events celebrating their work; and tell everybody how great this region of Michigan is because of these people and their labors of love. It’s a pretty sweet deal.
On October 26, 2017, Thunder Bay Winery hosted a family-style dinner at their wine bar located in the historic Center Building in Alpena. Kevin Peterson, the current chef at As You Wish Gourmet Eatery and of the up and coming Red Brick Tap & Barrel Restaurant (that will be open for business in Alpena in 2018), prepared several courses and sourced 88% of this Certified Local Food Event (CLFE) from area farmers and producers from the Alpena Farmers Market including Wolf Creek Acres, Presque Isle Farm, and Alpena General Store. This was hopefully Alpena’s first of many Certified Local Food Events to come.
In 2014, when I moved with my husband and son to my family’s Centennial Farm in Posen, Michigan, I never thought I would have such an extraordinary chance to impact the local food system in the place we call home. From the moment we arrived, other farmers took us in, mentored us, and shared vital information and resources. We knew that if Presque Isle Farm was going to truly succeed in this persnickety and often bitter climate, we had to not only extend our growing season, but continue to partner with others on every level imaginable to vitalize northeastern Michigan’s food system.