The Farmer's Marketer

Unexpected Coffee Goodness on Mainstreet Chelsea

I'm thinking Ali is going to be very excited to see these photos of what has to be the most beautiful espresso machine in the tri-county area.  After visiting Mill Pond, Krystn took me over to the Chelsea Gallery where behind the most beautiful and comfortable bar I've seen around here resides what is arguably the handsomest beaten copper espresso machine ever.  Owners Doris and Gary decided that if they were going to make espresso in their art gallery space, they needed to have a machine that was also a piece of art.  …

Farmer's Marketer Outing: Mill Pond Bakery

The new space for Mill Pond Bread is aptly situated overlooking Sugarloaf Lake just outside of Chelsea. My friend Krystn grew up just across the lake and would boat over during the building's previous life as a run-down, smoky convenience store selling worms for bait right next to the gallons of milk. The smoke and the nightcrawlers are gone now, replaced by spicy baking smells wafting and soft music playing.  …


My main problems with this Sandvox thingy: no index, no search. A list will have to do for an archive. 

Farmer's Marketing: November 28, 2007

It's official, the amount of food being sold at the market on a Wednesday is outweighed by the pine boughs and crafty things. However, some of the crafty things are made from food things - like these red pepper bouquets  in front of Mr. DeVulder. They were very pretty - red hot peppers, white statice and green leaves. Nice bouquet for a spouse or mother-in-law.  

I haven't told my family yet, but they may be having a "made in Michigan" Christmas. …

Christmas on the Farm - December 1 and 2, 2007

Ever since I saw one of the women who works at the Waterloo Farm Museum dig a hole in the ground, start a fire in it in the rain, and then proceed to cook a fantastic meal over the fire using iron pots and sticks as her only implements, I've been planning to go over to check out their version of living history. I see on their website that food is involved, so I'm intending on stopping by this weekend for their "Christmas on the Farm" celebration which takes place this Saturday, December 1 from  10:00am - 4:00pm and Sunday, December 2 from 12:00pm - 4:00pm. …

Who Owns Organic

You might be surprised to see where your organic dollars are going. At the Cornucopia Institute website, Dr. Phil Howard at Michigan State has updated this chart of who owns who for 2007. Odwalla is owned by Coca Cola, General Mills owns Muir Glen and Cascadian Farm, Hershey owns Dagoba....Thanks for reminding me about this, Lesley. ;) 

There's also an excellent Dairy Report and Score Card with ratings of 68 brands.  …

In a Tight Spot

The most incredible thing I saw at the excellent Detroit Bioneers Conference  was the tour of community and urban gardens that are part of the Garden Resource Program Collaborative and Greening of Detroit initiatives.  But the best talk I heard at the conference this September was Judy Wicks on how she started the White Dog Cafe in Philadelphia and BALLE (Business Alliance for Local Living Economy), a national initiative

Giving Thanks: From Farm to Fork

Ungrateful for idiocracy

I would like a Farm Bill I could be thankful for, but instead it makes me angry that the subsidies in the current $286 billion dollar Farm Bill  fall far short of helping US farmers grow food for people, and that the refusal to have Country of Origin Labeling serves the same industrial interests getting bloated off Farm Bill fat. It's crazy that we have neither the right nor the information tools to know where our food comes from or whether it's genetically modified.  

Farmer's Marketing: November 24, 2007

It's looking like Christmas is coming to the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market. Lots of wreaths, pine boughs, and christmas ornaments. My favorites are the old-time Father Christmas triptychs that Victoria Fox paints on wood. Some are only a few inches tall and some are perhaps 8' tall. They are beautifully detailed with gold, faux gems, rich patterns and gorgeous colors. Although I subscribe to the tenets of the 

Gorgeous Greens and The Art of Simple Food

Need I remind you where the most beautiful greens on your table might be coming from this winter? Straight from the farmer's market on Saturdays, find Brines Farms greens for your weekly quotient of Michigan sunshine plus vitamins and minerals. 

Shannon Brines had an open house at his hoop house last weekend. You can see from the photos that while it's dry and brown outside, the leaves inside the hoop house are gorgeously green and plentiful.  …

King Corn

King Corn is a film that will hopefully be coming soon to a theater near you. If you're traveling for Thanksgiving, you can see it at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids starting this Friday Nov. 23rd. It will be playing until Nov. 29th.  Here's the promo info:

"America's fast-food empire is fueled by a secret ingredient: corn. High fructose corn syrup makes the sodas sweet, corn-fed beef makes the burgers fat, and corn oil crisps the fries. …

Strange and Beautiful

When I saw these huge rutabagas (aka "neeps" if you're Scottish or "Swedes" if you're English) I was literally bowled over by their size. I've discovered that I really like these golden turnip-y roots and this is the only time of year that they seem to be available.  My Grampa used to like to eat his "beggies" raw  (they're sweet and crunchy that way - perfect for the veggie tray), but they are even better cooked.  …

So You Want a (Food) Community?

I got a gift of homemade sauerkraut and a grocery sack of beautiful green and red peppers from Vivienne the other day.  I was very excited about having the bratwurst and sauerkraut dinner that my German heritage makes me adore - yah!  And stuffed peppers are perfect for the continued winterizing plan we have.  I love getting a gift that someone has made. Her lovely gift and also her foray out to John Harnois' farm to pick up

Bundt Cake Bliss is Out!

My dear friend Susanna is the about-to-be-famous, currently on tour, author of this just-released, most excellent book celebrating the fabulous Bundt Cake.  At the time she invited me to develop a recipe for the book, I was obsessed with Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate. And since I only have mini-bundt pans - Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate Mini-Bundts were the result.  

Susanna and I have been baking together since high school. …

Tantré's Thanksgiving Share

Since Deb and Richard have been kind enough to let me spend a few hours a week volunteering at Tantré, it's gotten a lot clearer to me why local, organic food is so precious.  Even putting aside all the organization, business  and animal husbandry skills that go into it, it's unbelievable what consistent, long, hard work it is to plant, weed and harvest almost everything by hand. I'm only there for a few hours, perhaps harvesting some carrots and then some turnips, and by the time I go home I'm exhausted and have to go sit on the couch for a while.  …

Farmer's Marketing: November 10, 2007

I don't often see the Community Farm at the market.  They had lovely greens and honey today.  And of course Annie Elder's brilliant smile. 

Our market haul included some really nice greens (from Brines Farm and Frog Holler), brussels sprouts and radishes (from Tantre) rutabagas (Frog Holler) and red, white and blue potatoes (Shetler's). We also picked up the 2 chickens I ordered from Ernst Farm so that we can continue with The Chicken Project.  

Tiny Cabbages

Having recently harvested and eaten some of these tiny cabbages, I'm reading that brussels sprouts were named for their place of origin back when Brussels was part of ancient Rome, perhaps as early as the 1200s. Mike showed me the technique for harvesting them this time of year. You creep under the 3 or 4 foot tall umbelliferous top and standing there bent over,  with your thumbs snap off the small heads which diminish in size as they swirl up and  around the stout stalk.  …

Extending the Season

On Wednesday this week the Farmer's Market was almost lonely. The most noticeable marketers were the pre-schoolers and home-schoolers using the market for their classroom.  "Aaaaapple - what does apple start with?"  There's plenty of space for them right now.  And for the producers who are doing season extension work by growing cold season hardy crops and using hoophouses. In this photo of  Tantré's table, you can see that it's still completely full of beautiful produce. 

Roos Roast Coffee Class - 1st Sunday of the Month

Coffee nerds are somewhat different from coffee junkies, those 24-hour party people. A coffee nerd seeks enlightenment in the art and the science of the perfect cup and is willing to learn the ways and usually has the means for doing so. I live with a coffee nerd and I have learned to worship at the altar of the bean.  This worship of the caffeinated god has its advantages. Excellent shrines at which to celebrate with dark and steamy libations. …

Soirée d'Automne

Vive la France! Originally envisioned as a cooking class taught in French, Francis instead led us, with great aplomb and patience, through the vagaries of French menu planning and wine pairings en Anglais.  The centerpiece of our efforts was the lengthy preparation of the show and heart-stopping "Cassoulet au Confit de Canard.Francis' expertise comes from years cooking in the restaurant his parents owned in Calais, starting when he was 13 years old.  …

Farmer's Marketing: October 27th, 2007

Saturday we marketed early and with purposeful intent. When the sun doesn't come up until almost 8am, it's not so hard to get to market while the streetlights and the market lights are still illuminated. It's a great time to go since only the early birds are there and they are not a lot of competition. The market stalls are definitely fewer and farther between now, but we were in search of only a few things in preparation for this coming Saturday's Soirée d'Automne, chez nous.

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