Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Local Food Event: A Midsummer Night Green

Pierce Cedar Creek Institute in Hastings is holding a fundraising event on Saturday, July 17, which will highlight local food and drinks, including products from several of our Co-op producers.

Details from the Pierce Cedar Creek Institute's web site:

Take part in this fundraising event and enjoy a magical evening of delicious food, entertainment, camaraderie, and gain a better understanding of the local food movement. You will leave with tips on how to shop local, grow your own food, and other ways to eat healthier, not only for you, but also for Mother Nature.

Roam the Visitor Center for a strolling dinner, and treat yourself to savory and delectable delights at food stations throughout the building. Menu items, prepared by Chef Richard Centala, will feature the freshest fare provided by local farms and vendors.

Guests can sample handcrafted beer from local micro-breweries and wines from Cascade Winery in Grand Rapids. There will also be a silent auction benefiting Pierce Cedar Creek Institute with fun and unique items. Summer Dress Casual attire.

Participating Co-op producers include Crane Dance Farm, Creswick Farm, Dancing Goat Creamery, and Mooville Ice Cream.

Date: Saturday, July 17
Time: 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Location: 701 West Cloverdale Road, Hastings, MI 49058
Cost: Institute members - $50; future members - $65 (future member price includes a discounted individual membership). Cost includes two tickets to sample beer or wine.

For more information and to register for the event, visit the Pierce Cedar Creek Institute web site.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Article Round-up (allergies, manna, diets, raw milk, grilling, salt, Petoskey, pet food, and more!)

Links and commentary, brought to you by Jerry Adams, Director, of West Michigan Co-op:


This article caught my eye. We see so much more allergies, etc. and the first thing people talk about is food. I've always wondered about the physical spaces that we inhabit. That might be why I prefer old places, they have leaked their bad stuff out generations ago.

Just to complete the thought loop... I thought I should maybe find something about foodborne allergies and came up with this. Well, whaddya know? Another interesting read.

This is a great article detailing the struggles with the FDA and the seriousness of their job with regard to protecting the food supply. Not that our producers are immune to this stuff potentially happening, too, but it reinforces that desire to buy from people you know.

Here's one that gives purpose beyond the "looking pretty stage" for flowers in your garden.

Here's one the Bible Thumpers will appreciate. I always thought manna was from heaven (right?). Well, I guess everything is in the end, but here is an article about some earth-made manna (I guess this is what they were really talking about the whole time) that chefs are using more and more as a spice. After I looked at the picture, not so sure I am interested, but it might be nice to add to a dish at a potluck or an appetizer at an exorcism, maybe. If you try it, tell me how it tastes.

I don't know about you, but I love the commercials for those diet systems where they send you the food and that's all you have to do to get that slim, trim physique (like mine) that others are obviously envious of. Here is a little blip about how they really work (or don't). Now, if we could just get them to stop those Cenegenics commercials where the 87-year old doctor stands there posing like a bloated Arnold Schwarzenegger slightly past his prime, I'll be a happy man. Do you really want to look like that when you are that age? I am looking forward to shriveling up slightly, but I digress....

Here is an article sent in by board member Keri Amlotte a little while back that I thought was most intriguing. Out here in the sticks, we wonder sometimes how things work (do they?) in Washington, DC. This one proves how anarchic we truly are being with our little startup... fluffing feathers at the highest levels of government, I guess.

Here is something of interest to many of us: raw milk. We can't sell it at the Co-Op, but there is a movement afoot with the Cheeseheads next door and I found it interesting, especially the line about the uprising led by the "teat party."

By education and vocation, I am into history. I found this article to be very interesting about a foodstuff that has shown itself to be highly useful and flexible (and tasty).

Here is an article about a big city writer sampling some of the goods from our great state (cherry pie!). It's specifically about Petoskey, but I like it when big city folks come to the realization that we might be onto something in our more off-the-beaten-track places (yeah, I like the big city once in awhile, too). The coolest part about the article for me, though, is the reference to the Spear-O-Wigwam Ranch in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming. My wife Amy's grandparents owned this dude ranch for about thirty years (maybe it's genetic... seeking out the purer things in hard-to-get-to places).

Some of you are aware of my love of grilling (my company's called Media Rare, after all). I saw this article recently and it gave me an olfactory kick.

Salt is something that has been in the news lately. I was raised a low salter, but being married to a chef I have come to appreciate the pop it can add to foods. I know it isn't good for you in excess (I'm not putting cup fulls on), but it sure is tasty. Here's an article about some of the controversy.

Some of you have met Candy, the best dog ever (she is a "human in a dog suit"), at pickups when I can't get her home before we go live. If you have had the good fortune to meet her, then you can completely understand why people can love their pets so much. Here is an article about food for cats and dogs. If you love your pet, look for some treats on the website.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Local First Street Party

Last year, 10,000 people attended the Local First Street Party in downtown Grand Rapids.

Don't miss this year's party! It's free, open to the public, and will be held on Saturday, June 12, from 4:00 to midnight in front of Bistro Bella Vita (44 Grandville Ave., Grand Rapids, 49503). There will be local food, beer, wine, and music (featuring The Verve Pipe).

West Michigan Co-op will be there handing out water with Local First. If you're planning to stop by the party, please considering volunteering for shift to help out the Co-op. We need volunteers to cover three shifts from 4:00-6:00, 6:00-8:00, and 10:00-midnight. Please email Lisa if you can volunteer.