Michigan Food & Agriculture

Controversy over a migrant housing proposal in Benzie County got uglier Wednesday night.

A packed house showed up to hear village officials explain a decision to deny a permit for housing for migrant labor. The meeting had to be postponed because the required officials weren’t present. But on a table where people signed-in for the meeting someone put copies of a news article about beheadings in Mexico related to Mexican drug cartels.

The Elberta Village clerk says it was unfortunate and terrible and village officials are trying to find out who did it.

Migrant Housing Plan Sparks Lawsuit

Apr 4, 2012

Plans to improve housing for migrant workers in Benzie County have erupted into charges of racism. A fruit grower wants to reuse a motel that sits vacant in the Village of Elberta.

Since the beginning of the year, village officials have come up with different reasons to deny him a permit. But, in a public meeting, one council member let loose that he doesn't want to see a "trash house" on that site.

Sturgeon Heyday

Mar 9, 2012

Lake sturgeon is not a fish you hear much about these days but it was once part of the everyday vernacular around the Great Lakes. The story of its demise is an unusual one. For Americans moving into the region in the 1800s the fish was at first considered worthless but suddenly became a prized food. Laura Bien writes about the history of the sturgeon in her most recent article for The Ann Arbor Chronicle.

Indigenous Diet

Dec 8, 2011

UPDATED Thursday October 20th

During the twentieth-century the scale of food production in the United States went big. Farms became vast corporations and food is sold today in huge volumes. That's why it's hard for small farmers to expand business far beyond the local farmers market. But northern Michigan keeps adding to the number of people trying. A new effort to help them recently won support from economic development officials in Lansing.

Start-up food businesses face obstacles

Barn Quilts Of Northern Michigan

Oct 12, 2011

Some of the barn quilt designs look just like squares from old quilts. Others have images that represent the farm and the farmers like a bunch of cherries or the Finnish flag. They look right at home in their rural setting.

A New Tradition 

Going Even More Local... Saving Seeds

Feb 2, 2011

The local foods movement is becoming even more local. For many gardeners and farmers, while they may grow and sell their produce locally, often times the seeds used have come from hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away. A growing movement is hoping that changes.

Good Food Starts With...
Chef Myles Anton knows that to put the best food in front of his customers at Trattoria Stella in Traverse City. He needs to start with the best produce in the kitchen.

Chub Fishery Disappearing

Aug 10, 2009

The smell of smoked fish mixes with apple and maple wood outside of Monte's Original Smoke House in Frankfort.

The owner Monte Finkhouse says he can't supply enough smoked chub for his customers.

Chubs were THE smoked fish of choice at local retailers up until the mid 90s.  They accounted for 90 percent of all smoked fish sold at Monte's small store in Frankfort.  

"Chubs are the deepest fish we have," Finkhouse said. "So they're real oily and that makes for good smoked fish."