Reaping What Farmers Have Sown

“Before the reward, there must be labor. You plant before you harvest. You sow in tears before you reap joy.” – Ralph Ransom

The abundance of northern Michigan’s many riches is never more apparent than now. The approaching fall demands that farmers set our tables with the literal fruits of their summer’s labor. Visit one of our local farmers markets and be ready for an impressive diversity of locally grown crops. Take a ride down any one of our scenic rural roads and pass by dozens of farms and roadside vegetable stands. Some, like Gallagher’s Farm Market on M72 or Friske’s on US 31, are full-fledged stores with professional staff. I dare you to leave either of these places without a full pie in hand and a smile on your face.

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Extreme Weather and Farming

The Food and Farming Network held one of its bi-monthly study sessions on Wednesday December 16th, 2015. It took place at Cherry Capital Foods‘ in their large conference room. A video of the entire proceedings is available below.

FFN Co-chair Bill Palladino penned a summary of the study session for the Traverse City Record-Eagle which appeared in their Agriculture Forum on December 26th, 2015.  The text of that article and a link to the Record-Eagle is included below this video.

Here are timings for sections of the panel discussion. You may view this on YouTube to directly to access linked shortcuts to these sections.

00:00 – Welcome and Introduction by Heather Ratliff
02:10 – Intro by moderator Wendy Wieland
08:00 – Dave Barrons presentation
24:00 – Jim Nugent presentation
31:30 – Josh Wunsch comments
41:30 – Pepper Bromelmeier soil erosion demonstration
48:00 – Paul May comments
52:00 – Panel and Audience Q&A
1:18:30 – Closing comments

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TLD Launches in Washtenaw County

Taste the Local Difference (TLD) is growing up and expanding to southeast lower Michigan.

TickerArticleThe 11-year-old local food marketing arm of the Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities (formerly the Michigan Land Use Institute or MLUI) in Traverse City is partnering with Ann Arbor-based Think Local First to bring its local food marketing chops to that community downstate.  Read the full story from The Ticker’s Lynn Geiger on their website.

Great Lakes Bioneers Community Gathering May 12

Tuesday, May 12th at 7:00 PM at the Inside Out gallery, The Great Lakes Bioneers will present the video Plenary by Manuel Pastor, titled Transactions, Transformations, Translations: Movement-Building for the Next America. A discussion will follow the video presentation, led by FFN co-chair Bill Palladino.

Bioneers May 12 Event

Facing rapidly changing demographics, growing inequality and increased political polarization in the U.S., movement builders are grappling with creating new cross-generational ties and a new understanding of the relationship between equity and economic growth. Pastor is an expert on demographic change, economic inequality and community empowerment. Continue reading

Food and Farming Network Publishes Report to Community

At its annual Food and Farming Network Summit on March 13, 2015, the Northwest Michigan Food and Farming Network distributed copies of its first annual report to the community.

The 66 page document details the work of Network partners in attending to its goal and objectives.  The report features 53 narratives written by 45 authors from around northwest Lower Michigan. Each story attaches itself to one of the Network’s goals and objectives.

It is a diverse and fascinating read, full of facts, representing a broad swath of important work happening though the Network’s many connections.  To view the report online, and to download a high resolution PDF version, click the image below.

FFN Report Online


To view other resources important to Northwest Michigan food and farming community, visit our resource page.