With January winding down, it looks like ice has encapsulated just about everything in northeast Michigan. All the greens on our farm are mostly done for the winter, except the rare occasion the sun peeks out from the clouds long enough to thaw a bit of hoophouse spinach. Storage potatoes and carrots have already begun to dwindle, and the familiar retreat indoors this time of year also translates into more one-on-one with new cookbooks, more opportunities to splatter and stain fresh pages with new and sometimes challenging creations.
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.
Come on down to the Northeast Michigan Alcona Regional Farm Conference! On January 18-19, this conference will bring together seasoned growers, as well as those starting a new career in agriculture and members of the local food movement of the region. Get your farm business growing for 2019!
Another Michigan winter is upon us, we are bundling up in our layers, naturally slowing down, and enjoying the Holidays with family and friends! Even though it’s cold outside, many local farmers and specialty producers continue to work hard to bring us fresh, local food year round in Northern Michigan. You can still enjoy the heartiness of local produce while visiting the farmers market in the winter. Plus you’ll find eggs, bread and baked goods, jams, tea, honey, cheese, meat, and a variety of holiday gifts!
Michigan winters, particularly those here in the UP region, don’t allow for much production. Even those individuals who have been able to bridge the gap with season extension find themselves unable to do much in the blistering months of January and February. So, what are our local farmers up to at times like these? Catching up on the Netflix binging they missed? Creating sleep patterns that almost replicate those of hibernation? Read books by the fire, hot chocolate in hand?
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!
On a cool spring morning in May, Rena Basch’s biceps are evident as she totes big boxes into the processing kitchen at the Washtenaw Food Hub. Rena may be tiny, but she’s mighty! She’s the driving force behind an innovative, and mostly organic, winter time Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) business called Locavorious.