Agriculture Forum: Spring into local food

·2 min read

May 28—The longer days, bountiful farmers markets and returning tourists (welcome, downstaters) can mean only one thing in northern Michigan: spring has finally sprung. With that, we are proud to announce the publication of our 2022 Local Food Guide.

Since the inception of Taste the Local Difference in 2004, we evolved from printed, localized directories to five-county brochures to full-scale magazines for the entire state. Throughout our evolution, our mission has stayed true to connecting consumers to local food across Michigan.

Within our 100-page guide, the hyper-local regional chapters simplify finding local food sources in your hometown or on your next road trip. In northwest Michigan, the guide not only lists food producers by county, but also highlights wine pairings by the experts at Burritt's Fresh Market. Hungry for more? Check out a recipe for Mangalitsa Pork Chops with Traverse City Balsamic Cherry Sauce written by Melissa Weirema, owner of Up North Heritage Farm in Williamsburg.

Every year, we celebrate Michigan's growing local food community. From the Keweenaw Peninsula to Detroit, the Local Food Guide is freely distributed across the state at farmers markets, cafés, libraries, welcome centers and more. This free annual magazine will start sprouting up in your Michigan community throughout June.

Within each region of Michigan, we will host a Guide Release party that the whole community is welcome to attend. In Northwest Michigan, locals can join the fun at Providence Organic Farm and Café in Central Lake on June 13 from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

These parties are an opportunity to connect with other local food lovers and pick up the fresh local food guide.

Find our 2022 Local Food Guide at a release party, order it directly to your door or keep an eye out for it in your community. Even without a guide in hand, you can always visit our online local food directory for additional business information, such as farmers market hours, ownership types and growing practices. As spring turns to summer, we encourage you to get back in touch with the land — whether that's where you live or where you're exploring as a visitor.

Emma Beauchamp is editor in chief of Taste the Local Difference and a native of Traverse City. She now resides in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Learn more at localdifference.org.