One of the things I love about summertime in Michigan is stumbling upon a snack when I’m out for a walk! Lee found these beauties near Battle Creek.
August is when the harvest of Michigan’s diverse bounty of farm products really gets going. The Michigan Farmers Market Association invites you to join them in celebration of National Farmers Market Week from August 1-7:
Many of Michigan’s nearly 250 farmers markets will be hosting special events, activities and more to celebrate farmers and vendors, and express appreciation for volunteers and shoppers.
In the midst of a global pandemic, farmers markets — like all other small businesses — have innovated to continue operations for the farmers and communities that depend on them. Market managers have been at the forefront of adapting rapid solutions and innovating to protect staff, customers and the community. When conventional food supply chains faltered at the start of the pandemic, farmers markets and local food systems clearly displayed the resiliency of short supply chains and interest in local foods spiked nationwide.
“2020 was not an easy year, but we know farmers, market managers, and MIFMA staff and board members are no strangers to hard work and overcoming challenges,” said Amanda Shreve, executive director of MIFMA. “As we celebrate 2021’s National Farmers Market Week, we’ve already seen the strength, resiliency and hope we share as a farmers market community, and know our markets will continue to positively impact their communities long beyond this week.”
Head over to the Michigan Farmers Market Association for a list of all the markets in the state!
TechCrunch has a feature on a new Google service to help the millions of Americans struggling with food insecurity:
Google today is launching a new suite of resources for people struggling with food insecurity across the U.S. The project includes the launch of a new website “Find Food Support” that connects people to food support resources, including hotlines, SNAP information, and a Google Maps locator tool that points people to their local food banks, food pantries and school meal program pickup locations, among other things.
In an announcement, Google explains how the COVID-19 pandemic fueled a worsening food crisis in the U.S., which led to some 45 million people — or 1 in 7 Americans — experiencing food insecurity at some point during 2020. That figure was up 30% over 2019, the company noted. And of those 45 million people, 15 million were children.
While the pandemic’s impacts are starting to subside as businesses are reopening and in-person activities are resuming, many children will still go hungry during the summer months when school lunch programs become unavailable.
Head over to Google to find food support & be sure to remember your neighbors struggling with food insecurity when you give charitably!
Richard took this photo back in 2010 at the Fulton Street Farm Market in Grand Rapids. See more in his Farmers Markets 2010 gallery on Flickr.
More delicious Michigan food on Michigan in Pictures!
The Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board says that:
The countdown to the kickoff of the 2021 Michigan asparagus season is officially over, as the seasonal favorite will be making its way to retailers across the nation. As a result of unexpected cooler temperatures at the traditional start of the season, the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board (MAAB) has announced that the production area of West-central Michigan began harvesting and packing this week.
“Because asparagus depends on weather, it does tend to be somewhat unpredictable,” explained Jamie Clover Adams, Executive Director of the MAAB. “But as all our Michigan asparagus fans out there will tell you, it is a veggie that is well-worth the wait.”
Mother Nature imposed her own plans for the “normal” Mother’s Day season, with near or below freezing night temperatures delaying the start of the harvest for about a week.
Fresh Michigan asparagus is definitely something I stop for at roadside stands. You can get some great asparagus recipes from the MAAB including the clubhouse leader for my dinner tonight, an Asparagus Bacon & Cheese Tart – YUM!!
Mark took this photo a few years ago & you can see more in his Garden gallery on Flickr.
This week I’ve started to see people posting their finds in the various morel hunting groups I’m in, so it’s time to declare the 2021 season officially underway! Michigan in Pictures has a ton of information about Michigan morels, including hunting tips & how to avoid the mildly toxic false morel.
Rick took this photo back in May of 2014 near Boyne City (home to a bangin’ morel festival) and you can see more in his Morel Mushrooms taken within 5 miles of Boyne City gallery on Flickr.
Hour Detroit shared a pretty amazing looking recipe from Zingerman’s Roadhouse for Bacon Fried Apple Cobbler that looks pretty darned incredible. I thought I’d share the link here in case anyone wants to join me in a little gratuitous assault on your arteries. Have a great weekend folks!
The online mushroom groups I’m in are already filling up with photos of happy people & their hauls of a popular Michigan springtime delicacy – morel mushrooms! The Michigan Department of Natural Resources offers a Morel Mushroom Hunting page that features information about morels & morel identification, hunting tips, recipes, and also a map of the large burn sites in forested areas are ideal for morel mushroom hunting, especially in burned areas where jack, white or red pine once grew. Grassy and other non forest areas are not as likely to produce morels:
May is morel month in Michigan, but the actual fruiting period is from late April until mid-June, depending on where you are and what species you are hunting. Contrary to common belief, morels are not confined to the northern part of the state – some of the best picking is in southern Michigan.
MOREL HUNTING TIPS
- Make your first several mushroom hunts, whether for morels or other edible mushroom species, with someone who knows mushrooms.
- Buy or download a mushroom guide. A good guidebook is “The Mushroom Hunter’s Field Guide” by Alexander H. Smith, recognized as America’s foremost authority on mushroom identification, and Nancy Smith Weber. There also is a very good mushroom identification booklet available on the U.S. Department of Agriculture website.
- Be prepared to cover a lot of ground and to experience disappointments when searching for morels. Some spots yield mushrooms year after year, while others skip several seasons between crops.
- Don’t expect to find morels easily if you are new to the pastime. Because they blend into their background of last fall’s leaves and dead grass, they are hard to see even if you are looking right at them. Your “eye” for morels will sharpen with practice, and you will need to retrain it every spring.
- Most important of all – know what you are eating! You will need to know the difference between a “true” morel and the “false morels,” such as beefsteak mushrooms, which are poisonous. (See morel identification information.)
- For more information on morel mushroom hunting in Michigan, visit Pure Michigan or Midwest American Mycological Information.
J Sommer took this photo back in May of 2017 near Saginaw. See this photo and more in their Fungi gallery on Flickr.
There is a bunch more information about morels at the morel tag on Michigan in Pictures.
Mark took this photo back in May of 2015, but I’m hearing from friends in Leelanau that morels are starting to pop. We’ve had some great rain over the last few days all around Michigan and the temps are about right for morel magic!
More spring wallpaper for your computer too!