Arcadia Farms

  (Portage, Michigan)
Eat healthier. Save money. Create local jobs.
[ Member listing ]

Local Sour Cherries

sour cherries in southwest michigan

{Image Credit}
Understory Farm and Orchard
This picture is from June 19. On Monday (July 1)
the trees were bursting with fully-ripe cherries!

It’s cherry season! On Monday Owen and I picked 30 pounds of beautiful sour cherries at Understory Farm and Orchard in Bangor. Understory has been under the stewardship of Chanterelle Vogtmann and Matt Steele for two seasons. According to their Facebook page:

“Understory is a 20 Acre Farm and Orchard with a focus on sustainable/organic methods. Owned and operated by Matt Steele and Chanterelle Vogtmann, two Michigan natives with a shared passion for good farming and land stewardship.”

We were fortunate to meet Chanterelle and Wendell (the farm dog, whom Owen thoroughly enjoyed!) during our visit Monday. The orchard is absolutely beautiful, bursting with cherries and according to Chanterelle, probably “at peak” right now. If you’re looking for sour cherries for baking and preserving, you’ll want to visit very soon. (They’re decent for fresh eating too.) Here are the details:

Understory Farm and Orchard

28120 County Road 215 (54th Street)
Bangor, MI 49013
Chanterelle 1-269-808-7773 Matt 1-810-701-6522
UnderstoryFarm@gmail.com

Open whenever the sun is up!
U-Pick Sour Cherries: $1.50/pound
Pre-Picked Sour Cherries: $2.50/pound

Later this week I’ll be sharing about our adventures in cherry pie making and canning for future use!

Anyone know of a source for sour cherries at a better price? We’d love to hear about and share with everyone!

Locavore90

Have you heard about Locavore90?

Locavore90 is a FREE program provided by Arcadia Farms and Flowerfield Enterprises that challenges and equips families in Southwest Michigan to incorporate more local foods into their diet for 90 days. It includes a monthly meal plan that incorporates in-season foods. For details, click here.

Did you enjoy this article? Visit www.arcadia-farms.net for more info on eating healthy, saving money and buying locally.  

 
 

Where to Find Rhubarb

pesticide free rhubarb

The weather has been cool in Southwest Michigan. That means you won’t find much at the local market beyond greens, herbs and radishes until the weather warms a bit. It also means that May goodies like asparagus and rhubarb may last a while longer. A couple of weeks ago (before my life got super busy) I shared a post with you about where to find asparagus in the area. I’ve also done a little looking for rhubarb, although I confess that my search hasn’t been as exhaustive as my asparagus search. All the same, I want to share what I’ve found with you – a local source for both conventional and a pesticide-free rhubarb.

Conventional Rhubarb

Right around the corner from our farm there’s a family that grows rhubarb in the backyard. This crop does receive at least one treatment of pesticide early in the season. Rhubarb is $2.50 per pound. You’ll find “The Rhubarb Family” at the corner of South Westnedge and Osterhout and their phone number is (269) 327-6987. There’s a sign on the Osterhout side of the street that indicates whether or not they’re open, so if you’re traveling a ways, be sure to call ahead.

Pesticide-Free Rhubarb

I’m so thrilled to have found pesticide-free rhubarb without having to call 10,000 different places! This weekend at the Texas Township farmer’s market I was able to buy it from Bonamego Farms ($3.00 per pound or $5.00 for 2 pounds). Bonamego Farms is in Lawrence (58041 48th Street). Their phone number is (269) 674-3541. If you stop by, please be sure to tell them that you heard about their rhubarb from our website!

We have two teeny-tiny rhubarb plants at Arcadia Farms and this year I planted several more from seed. If we’re lucky, we’ll be harvesting some for our customers next season instead of sourcing it from other growers. I can’t wait, because I love rhubarb and I love the hands-off benefits of perennial foods!

Does anyone else know of sources for pesticide-free rhubarb? Has anyone found a cheaper price? I saw that Rajzer’s Farm in Decatur had rhubarb cheaper (I think $2.25 per pound) however it is conventionally raised (sprayed with pesticide).

I still haven’t decided how I’m going to preserve my leftover rhubarb… I’m leaning toward making sauce or jam. More on that next week!

Have you heard about Locavore90?

Locavore90 is a FREE program provided by Arcadia Farms and Flowerfield Enterprises that challenges and equips families in Southwest Michigan to incorporate more local foods into their diet during a 90 day period. Click here to learn more!

 
 

Locavore90

grocery shopping

Guess what? I’ve been keeping a little secret (ok, a big secret) and I’m super excited to finally spill the beans! For the last several months I’ve been hard at work planning a community-wide program that revolves around our core values – saving money, eating healthy and buying local. The program is called Locavore90 and I’m thrilled to finally be able to share it with you!

Locavore90 is a FREE program that challenges and equips families in Southwest Michigan to eat a locavore (local-only) diet for 90 days (or as often as possible). Southwest Michigan already has a fabulous culture of local eating! The goal of this program is to spread that message even farther, as well as to give tips, tricks and support to those who are already eating local but want to do it more or for less money.

So here are some questions you might be asking:

  1. Yikes… won’t that be a lot of work?
  2. What is a locavore?
  3. Why in the world would I want to be a locavore?
  4. How does Locavore90 work?

So glad you asked…

What is a Locavore

A locavore is a person who eats a local-only diet. For purposes of the Locavore90 Challenge, local-only means food raised within 100 miles of your home. (For more details – and exceptions to the 100 mile rule – click here to read our family’s Locavore Commitments.) A locavore also eats food that is in season. That means no watermelon in May. Why would you give up watermelon in May? So glad you asked… read on to find out.

Why Would I Want to be a Locavore?

locavore90

Being a Locavore isn’t for everyone. It’s only for those who are concerned about health, who love great tasting food, who want to save money on groceries, would like to contribute to environmental health and love to see their local communities thriving economically.

Here are six great reasons to eat a local-only diet as much as possible.

  1. Food Tastes Better. There’s no denying that food harvested at the peak of freshness tastes better. Many eaters also believe that naturally grown (organic) food tastes better than the alternative. A naturally grown, in-season tomato will always taste worlds better than a cardboard counterfeit shipped from out of state in April.
  2. Food is More Nutritious. After produce is harvested, something begins to happen: It loses nutritional value – dramatically. The older your produce is, the more nutrients it has lost. Locally grown food was likely harvested within the last 24 hours so it comes to you as a more nutritionally complete food than anything from California ever could.
  3. Food is More Varied. Local farmers are not bound to produce only varieties that will sell well at Wal-Mart or that can travel long distances before spoiling. As such, you’ll discover tasty delights at the farmers market you never even knew existed… and soon won’t be able to live without.
  4. You Save Money. Produce is always less expensive when it is in season. When you add buying in bulk to buying in season, you have potential save good money on good food. Many farmers will give you great discounts when you buy in bulk or buy frequently as a regular customer. We’ll give you tips and tricks to help you stretch your local-only dollar.
  5. The Local Economy is Sustained. According to Eat Local First, on average, produce purchased from chain stores results in 15 cents reinvested into the community for every dollar spent. When you buy directly from local growers or stores which stock from local sources, that amount increases to 45 cents for every dollar. That’s 30% better for the Southwest Michigan economy.
  6. The Southwest Michigan Environment is Helped. Many small farms have sustainable practices that focus on improving soil fertility and habitats, as well as eliminating the use of pesticides. These practices can have a dramatic impact on our water sources. In addition, buying local reduces our collective carbon footprint because food travels shorter distances from farmer to consumer (and skips a lot of transfers in between!).

How Does Locavore90 Work?

Even if you can’t make the entire 90 days, making a commitment to a local diet in smaller ways can still have a positive impact on  your health and your community.

Step 1: Join

To join, simply enter your email address in the Join Locavore90 box on our website (Click here and look in the right-hand column). You’ll get lots of support, including monthly meal plans, recipes, information about local sources for food, info on great deals to save you money and tips for preserving in-season produce so you can include more local foods into your diet after 90 days. We’re starting the challenge on June 2, 2013 but you can absolutely join us even after that date.

Step 2: Create Your L90 Commitments

Locavore90 is meant to be challenging without being burdensome. We realize that the balance between those two points is different for each family so I’ve designed the program to allow you to make your own rules called Commitments. You Locavore90 Commitments are the guidelines your family pledges to follow with the goal of incorporating more local foods into your diet. Click here to get started. (Don’t worry –your Commitments are private!)

Step 3: Do It!

Before each month begins, you’ll receive a meal plan for the entire month via email. The meal plan takes the guess work out of what’s in season and how to prepare it. Meals are family-friendly. (If I can find the time, I’m also hoping to create a foodie-friendly meal plan for those of you who are a bit more adventurous about what you eat!) If you don’t like what we’ve picked, you can select a substitute recipe from the online library. I’ll also share tips on local sources and ways to save money.

Step 4: Relax

You’ll receive tons of support to help you keep your Locavore90 commitments (including the opportunity to join a Locavore90 Facebook group if you want). But at the end of the day, the only person keeping track of your progress is you (and probably your family). No pressure.

After 30, 60 and 90 days, be sure to reward yourself! You’re doing something great for your health and your community. I’m not promising that you won’t miss watermelon in June, but you will be reaping all the benefits of eating in-season and your tastebuds will thank you for it!

Won’t That Be a Lot of Work?

I’ve invested a lot of time into developing a program that takes the guesswork out of local eating and that does a good chunk of the planning up front for you. But even with that being the case, eating local is likely to mean a change to your routine. You might have to drive somewhere to pick your milk up for the week… you might build weekly trips to the farmers market into your weekend… you might start using a meal plan where before you’ve always just decided on your drive home what you’ll make for dinner. The thought of making these changes might make you groan at first thought, but I think the health, taste and community benefits will make you feel good about it before long. And remember, YOU set the pace. YOU track yourself. No pressure.

And heck, you might even grow to like weekly farmers market visits… I know I do!

Are You In?

Locavore90 officially kicks off on June 2, 2013. (If you sign up now you’ll get the meal plan before June begins. The Recipe Library will debut around the same time.) Before then, I’m hoping to spread the word about this program and get as many people on board as possible. I’ll also be doing some prep work through this blog talking about local sources not only for fruits and veggies, but also sustainably raised meat, eggs, milk, cheese and any other food stuff I can track down! We’ll be talking about what’s in season, where to buy, how to preserve it and so much more. And as you might expect, I’ll be sharing our family’s personal Locavore90 journey with you per my usual transparent fashion. It’s going to be a great summer and I hope you’ll help me by sharing about Locavore90 on Facebook, Twitter and over coffee with your friends. Are you in?

Did you enjoy this article? Visit www.arcadia-farms.net for more info on eating healthy, saving money and buying locally.

 
 

Great News!

apple boy

At the beginning of this year Arcadia Farms teamed up with two other local growers to respond to a proposal for providing fresh, naturally and locally grown veggies to a local childcare facility. We’re so excited to let you know that our growers group will be providing fresh veggies to the precious little ones of Adventures Learning Centers (in Portage) as part of their Encouraging Adventurous Eaters Project! I’m really excited about veggie brokering (helping other growers sell their produce) and expect that this will be a great partnership!

 
 

Garden Apps Wish List

Wish List Wednesday | Garden Apps (from seed to table!)

I’ll be the first to admit that there’s nothing organic or sustainable about apps for your mobile device. At first glance it may seem a little off-center that a website about living sustainably is featuring a Wish List of Android and iPhone apps, but please, hold the phone! Our take on sustainable living is a wee bit different than you might expect. In this recent post about the topic of sustainable living I mentioned that “the beauty of sustainable living is that we can (responsibly) enjoy the comforts of modern resources without worry for what we’ll do if or when they’re gone. Living sustainably does not mean utterly forsaking modern resources, but it does mean that we have a plan for living well should we need to live without them.”

So in the spirit of smoke ‘em if you got ‘em, I give you this month’s Wish List Wednesday! There’s a whole world of nifty apps out there just waiting for you to discover them! Check out these neat programs that can be accessed from your mobile device and can make garden planning, planting, watering, harvesting, local eating, cooking and recordkeeping one step easier.

Square Foot Gardening Spacing

Square Foot Gardening Plant Spacing Cheat Sheet. Its written to be easy to read from your mobile device so you can check it on your phone while you’re in the garden. {Arcadia Farms}

 

Gardening Toolkit
The Gardening Toolkit – The app that loves to grow! Organize your plants in multiple gardens. Advice on what to grow and when to grow it. Data and photos for 1000 plants and vegetables.

 

Gardenate
The garden calendar shows the vegetables and herbs you can plant every month. A detailed guide to growing the most popular garden vegetables, with local planting information for the USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the UK.

 

Green Drop
Green Drop is a full featured garden/plant manager. – Organize your plants into gardens with locations – Monitor and get reminders when plants need water, food, or are ready for harvest. – Keep notes on your plants. – Manually adjust watering, feeding, and harvest dates if needed. – Keep a gallery of pictures of each plant with notes and date picture was taken (to track growth).

 

Herbs+
Herbs+ gives you images and information on the most popular herbs in an elegant, fun-to-use application. Each herb offers gardening tips, culinary ideas, medicinal uses and a crisp image to help you identify the herb.

 

Bugs in the Garden
Quickly ID common North American insects in your vegetable garden. Includes realistic illustrations and photos of both adults and larva (caterpillars and grubs). Gives basic advice on management and damage assessment. If you have seen while gardening: * Beetles * Moths * Aphids * Caterpillars * Grubs This app will help identify them. 33 pictures of 23 bugs all on one page to swiftly pinpoint the bugs in your garden.

 

Mother Earth News
The new MOTHER EARTH NEWS app acts as a virtual library of our electronic resources, conveniently bringing them all together in one handy tool. You can browse through our resources and download those that most interest you. Our How to Can and Food Garden Guide tools, previously available only as separate apps, are offered for free within the MOTHER EARTH NEWS app and together will guide you through growing a great organic garden and preserving your fresh harvests.

 

Garden  Guide (Mother Earth News)
The Food Gardening Guide from Mother Earth News is a one-stop gardening app from America’s leading magazine on organic gardening. The app provides expert advice on Crops and Techniques, plus a Resources section to find even more helpful information. Shown with beautiful illustrations, the Crops section includes planting and harvesting instructions along with recommended varieties, pest control advice and extra tips to improve your garden’s yields.

 

How to Can (Mother Earth News)
This app explains how to can fresh produce using both water bath and pressure canners. Complete basic instructions plus timing details for over 20 crops make this free app a must-have for anyone who cans or wants to learn how to can. Incorporates advice from the United States Department of Agriculture and the Ball brand home canning products company. The Basics section will fully equip even the most novice of canners with all the information needed to get started.

 

Harvest Plan
Harvest Plan is a neat little application for your mobile device that lets you keep tabs on your garden. With a library of more than 200 popular plants at the start, harvest plan will keep you abreast of what’s where and when it’s going to be ready. Keep track of plantings, losses, and yields – even attach a picture of your plants to the entry. When it’s time to check on your plants, Harvest Plan will post a notification to your device’s notification panel so you won’t miss it.

 

Taste of Home Recipe App
Taste of Home’s recipe app brings provides tons of recipes featuring the season’s freshest flavors right to your phone. Each season brings a new collection of recipes for fresh fruits and veggies. Recipes have photos. Allows you to browse by course, cooking style, cuisine, ingredients or holidays. My favorite part: You can find which locally-grown ingredients are available in your state this season—just choose your location, browse the ingredients, and find hundreds of recipes!

 

AmpleHarvest
While America has more than 50 million people who are hungry or are at real risk of being hungry (“food insecure people”), more than 40 million Americans grow food in home gardens – often more than they can use, preserve or give to friends. It doesn’t have to be this way. Whether you deliberately planted an extra row of food or just harvested more zucchini (or any other fruit, vegetables, herbs or nuts) than you can possibly use, AmpleHarvest.

 

Honorable Mentions

Fooducate
Don’t Diet – Eat Healthy with Fooducate! Featured App on Android Market Dec 2011. Scan and choose healthy groceries. Over 200,000 unique UPCs! As featured in Oprah’s O Magazine, USAToday, NYTimes, WSJ, Lifehacker, Gizmodo and on ABC, FOX, NBC and more… Instead of trying to decode nutrition facts labels and ingredient lists… …use your Android phone to: ? Automatically scan a product barcode ? See product highlights (both good & bad) ? Select better alternatives

 

Locavore
LOCAVORE: It’s your seasonal, local food network. Locavore makes searching & sharing in-season, local food a breeze by mapping farms and farmers’ markets, and what is in season based off your location. Features: 1 – Share photos about local, in season food & sellers 2 – Locate farms and farmers’ markets near you 3 – Browse what’s in-season and soon to come 4 – Find who is selling it and where 5 – Get details about your local farmers’ market 6 – Post what you ate locally to Facebook

 
 
RSS feed for Arcadia Farms blog. Right-click, copy link and paste into your newsfeed reader

Calendar


Search


Navigation


Topics


Feeds


BlogRoll