Friday, April 11, 2014

Local Produce Grower’s Workshop

2014 Local Produce Grower’s Workshop: Safety, Soil Management, and Sales Networking

Date: April 24, 2014Time: 12:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.Location: Grand Rapids Downtown Market, 435 Ionia SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 - second floor teaching kitchenContact: Ben Werling: 231-873-2129 or werlingb@anr.msu.edu

Vegetable producers in West Michigan are invited to attend this workshop on three important topics: 1) organic pesticide safety; 2) understanding your soil test and what pH, macro- and micronutrient values tell you about managing your soils; and 3) incorporating cover crops into small-scale vegetable production. 

Participants will also have an opportunity to promote their farm and products to area K-12 school and hospital food service directors that are interested in purchasing locally grown vegetables. 

Participants are invited to purchase their own lunch in the Market Hall at one of the many excellent food businesses at the Downtown Market. For more information about the Grand Rapids Downtown Market, visit http://www.downtownmarketgr.com  



Garrett Ziegler
Extension Educator, Community Food Systems
MSU Extension Greening Michigan Institute

MSU Extension at the Downtown Market
109 Logan SW
Suite B102
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Office: 616.608.7436
Cell: 814.777.3562

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

"Where is my nearest Farmers' Market?"



Michigan Farmer's Market Association

Looking for a Farmers' Market?  Visit http://mifma.org/find-a-farmers-market/ to find one in Michigan.


Using those "Double Up Food Bucks"

     Attention, Bridge Card holders: Double Up Food Bucks will be back at your area’s farmers’ markets starting in June. When you use your Bridge Card at a participating farmers’ market, the Double Up Food Bucks program will match you dollar for dollar with bonus funds – up to $20 – that you can use in the market to buy more fresh, Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables. It’s that simple – spend up to $20 on your Bridge Card at the market, and you’ll get up to $20 more, free, to spend on healthy, local foods. Most farmers’ markets and some on-farm produce stands in Kent, Ottawa, and Muskegon Counties are participating. Visit www.doubleupfoodbucks.org or call toll-free 1-866-586-2796 for market locations and more information, or just visit your favorite market starting in June! 

The following are local community farmers markets that participate in the Double Up Food Bucks Program in our area:



Edmore Farmers' Market                         Greenville Farmers' Market
Corner of Pine St. & Lewis St.                     1325 W. Washington 
Edmore, MI  48829                                    Greenville, MI  48838
Tues 3:00p-6:30p/Fri 8a-1p                       Tues & Fri 8a-12p
Ends 10/25/2014
                              
Ada Farmers' Market
7239 Thornapple Dr
Ada, MI  49301  
Tues 12p-6p
June-Sept 2014

Also know that sometimes it might be more convenient , save time and money when you consider transportation cost for you to use your Bridge Cards at local farms in your area and they are open 6 or 7 days a week though they do not participate in the Double Up Food Bucks Program” (Back Road Garden, The Corner Market, Denny Farms, Hager Gardens, H& W Farms, Hanulcik Farms, Heffron Farms, Heidi’s, Klackles Orchards, Maia Organics, Old Red Mill Farmers Market, Pierson Orchard Market and Sheridan Farmers Market).

Double Up Food Bucks is a project of Fair Food Network, with local support from the Grand Rapids Community Foundation. www.fairfoodnetwork.org

Agencies: For more information or a more detailed article, contact Rachel Chadderdon Bair, Program Manager, at 734 213 3999 x 203 or rbair@fairfoodnetwork.org.

2014 information on Bridge Card and Double Up Food Buck at Farmers market are now available!

2014 information on Bridge Card and Double Up Food Buck at Farmers market are now available.
This year the Double Up Food Bucks Program starts in June and most farmers markets are open in May so it is important to get the information out early to families with Bridge Cards.

Bridge Card Posters 11" X 17" in Color for 2014 are now available.

There are posters on community farmers markets that accept Bridge Cards, WIC Project Fresh and senior Market Fresh and those that participate in the Double Up Food Bucks Program available in English and Spanish.

There are separate posters on farmers that accept Bridge Cards, WIC Project Fresh and senior Market Fresh in English and Spanish.

There are Double Up Food Buck Posters in English that explain the program.

If you have a web or face book page please consider putting a link to this web site www.westmichiganfarmmarkets.orgthat has all the information on farmers and community farmers markets that accept Bridge Cards, DUFB, WIC Project Fresh and senior Market Fresh to help families find and locate these farmers markets.

Please contact Gordie Moeller by E-Mail gordiemoeller@comcast.net or by phone at (616) 293-4727 to obtain posters to display and also to help distribute to additional locations.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

How Your Organization Can Promote SNAP Acceptance at Farmers Markets

Of the more than 300 farmers markets in Michigan, almost half accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits via the Michigan Bridge Card. Once a farmers market begins accepting SNAP, one of their biggest challenges is creating awareness among SNAP clients in their community that the market accepts this form of payment.
If you or the organization you work for wishes to aid farmers markets in their outreach efforts to SNAP clients, this webinar is for you!
SNAP Outreach Webinar: How Your Agency or Organization Can Promote SNAP Acceptance at Farmers Markets on Tuesday, April 29 from 10 – 11 am
Learning Objectives:
*  Participants will learn how to find farmers markets in their community and to identify whether or not they accept SNAP benefits
* Participants will become aware of tools and resources available to farmers markets to aid in outreach to SNAP clients
*  Participants will learn to identify tools and resources their organization can offer farmers markets to assist in their outreach efforts
*  Participants will be able to identify ways in which they can partner with farmers markets to increase healthy food access.
To attend the webinar, you will need access to the internet to view the presentation and speakers on your computer to listen. This webinar is free to participants. Funding for this webinar is provided by the Michigan Department of Community Health. Registration is required.
You can register today at http://mifma.org/events/snap-outreach-webinar-how-your-agency-or-organization-can-promote-snap-acceptance-at-farmers-markets/.  Registration will be open until 8 am on Monday, April 28.

Friday, March 21, 2014

CFN March 2014 Meeting Agenda




Community Food Network Meeting
Date and Time: March 25th, 2014 at 3:30pm
Location:  H.O. Steele Education Center
North 66  between 57  & 44  (10260 S Sheridan Rd., Fenwick, MI  48834)



Committees


    • Gardens & Pantry Committee:
    • Growing Patch Garden is hosting an informational meeting (in case you missed the one at MSU Ext on 3/8/14) March 25th at 2:30pm at the H.O. Steele Center prior to the CFN meeting:  “How to Grow a Weed Free Garden!”


    • Needs still unmet?  Feeding Angels Garden-compost, Higbee Acre Garden-topsoil, Ionia ISD Garden-volunteer to help plan layout (Randy?), H.O. Steel Garden-volunteers to help build fencing, benches, and tables.


    • Other updates?  


    • Awareness & Resource Committee:  
    • Plant A Row Outreach Plan--This is ongoing
    • 3/31/2014 6th Annual “All Things Green” Expo at Montcalm Area Career Center in Sidney 5:30-8:00pm


    • 4/17/2014  Belding Showcase at Belding high School 5:00-7:30pm
    • 4/26/2014 “Family Fun Day” (We Care for Kids Council) at MCC 11am-3pm.  (I’M Kids and CFN will have a booth. Penny, Billie & Adam to share time for hosting?


    • Educational Committee:   
    • Outdoor Learning Lab soon to be set up at H.O. Steele Education Center.
    • Seed Starting Classes for Global Youth Service Day
    • Jen Dugan has some classes coming to the Lyons Township Library



The next meeting will be the on April 29th at 3:30  pm at the H.O. Steele Education Center?

CFN February 2014 Meeting Notes


Community Food Network Meeting
Date and Time: February 25th, 2014 at 3:30pm
Location:  H.O. Steele Education Center
North 66  between 57  & 44  (10260 S Sheridan Rd., Fenwick, MI  48834)


Committees
    • Gardens & Pantry Committee:
    • 2014 Survey Available on our Website.  This must be completed every year.  
    • Growing Patch Garden is hosting an informational meeting on March 8th at 10am at the MSU Extension in Ionia and will be discussing “How to Grow a Weed Free Garden!”  For anyone who missed it or would just like to attend it again, there will be another informational meeting on the same subject prior to the next meeting, beginning at 2:30 pm at the H.O. Steele Center.  

    • Feeding Angels Garden: In need of compost  Randy stated he does have some compost available.  

    • Higbee Acre Garden:  In need of topsoil and chicken fencing.  The heavier quality is preferred.  

    • Ionia ISD Garden:  Looking for a volunteer to help plan layout.  Randy seemed to be interested in doing this???  

    • H.O. Steel Garden:  Looking for volunteers to help build fencing, benches, and tables.  Did not note anyone signing up to volunteer at the meeting but this matter was discussed and noted of the need.  This will begin in April, after the 11th.  
    • GYSD Projects:  Heartlands Building Trades class will be at H.O. Steele on April 16 from 12:30 - 2:00pm to build tables and benches.  Penny is checking with Habitat for Humanity of Montcalm County to see if they can have representation at the same time to help out.  She knows they will come, just not sure yet if will be the same day and time.

    • Awareness & Resource Committee:  
    • Website Updates for 2014  Continue to check the website for current information and resources.  

    • Ionia EXPO: March 15th at Ionia High School  There will be an ISD booth with food resources at the EXPO.

    • Plant A Row Outreach Plan  Anyone who would like to do this, we have extra seeds.  Share the info and get the word out there about this great opportunity to do something for your community.


    • Educational Committee:   
    • Outdoor Learning Lab soon to be set up at H.O. Steele Education Center.  We are still not sure of any dates yet but will work on this and let everyone know.  I’m sure there will be something posted online.

    • Seed Starting Classes for Global Youth Service Day  This will be in April some time, just not sure of exact dates.  



The next meeting, March 25th at 3:30 pm, H.O. Steele Education Center