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Rockstar with a Farmers Tan

I can not believe the month of May has come and gone. I have a sinking suspicion that this long Upper Peninsula winter caused us all to feel the anxiety that is lost time. I moved out to the farm (Rock River Farm) in Chatham on May 9th and the anxiousness of a late spring caused me to jump into work right away. The greenhouse was full, the kitchen in disarray, and snow was still standing in some places – but somehow, collectively working towards the challenge that was catching up (a quest to regain our lost time), we were able to cross task after task off the list. May 26th marked our first day of the Downtown Marquette Farmers Market as well as our own farm’s first catering of the season. Now that the dust has settled from our crazy weekend, I think we all are able to see how much we have accomplished these past few weeks – and we are stoked. We’ll never get that lost time back, but we catch up, we relax, reflect, and we get inspired to do more.

I have a feeling a lot of farmers are feeling behind, that restaurants are in need of good staff, and that we all have a long list of things to do. I myself spent today playing catch up to TLD tasks that I let fall to the wayside as I became acclimated to farm life.

I think it’s important to not reflect on time lost, but think about how we Upper Peninsula UPTaste the Local Difference Tour (4)can better utilize the time we have yet to spend – and I’ll be doing just that this June in my UP Magazine Release Celebration Tour (picture your classic rock band – in my scenario the chef plays the drums, the brewer is on bass guitar, grocery store is vocals, and the farmer is lead guitarist). I’ll be visiting venues all over the Upper Peninsula getting a chance to meet the wonderful partners I’ve been corresponding with, to meet the local business owners and community members, and to help spread the importance of eating fresh local produce and investing in our own neighbors and friends.

Each event is unique, but the common theme of them all is to hand out our 2018 Guide to Local Food (free to all) to attendees, and talk about our own Local Food System issues here in the Upper Peninsula. These events are great for asking questions, meeting fellow farmers, producers, and business owners in your area, and did I mention – have a fantastic time!

Also catch me handing out my last box of old magazines before the 2018 guides arrive June 5th at the Downtown Marquette Farmers Market doing a demonstration on how to keep your pantry & fridge local.

Visit the Taste the Local Difference Facebook page to find out more information about specific events near you.

Alex Palzewicz is the UP Local Food Coordinator and is currently putting together her July schedule and wants to visit your area! Contact her via e-mail, to suggest farms, restaurants, breweries and other places she should be sure to visit as well as good locations to deliver 2018 Guides to Local Food in the UP.

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