Michigan Farmers Market Association (M.I.F.M.A.), with Amanda Shreve, Executive Director~ PODCAST

“Food is Medicine!” Amanda Shreve

Join Jean as she chats it up with Amanda Shreve, Executive Director for the Michigan Farmers Market Association.

During the month of May Jean will be focusing on local food and how to source it, along with talking to professionals in the industry who fight the good fight advocating for fair food. Jean couldn’t think of a better organization to include than MIFMA~ Michigan Farmers Market Association and its wonderful Director, Amanda Shreve! 

Amanda has been part of the MIFMA team since November 2009. She says, “I am passionate about connecting the public with agriculture and growing awareness of what it takes to produce our food supply in a safe, equitable and environmentally sustainable way. I recognize that farmers markets are a very visible and tangible way to establish, maintain and grow this connection.”

Amanda obtained her Bachelor of Science in Horticulture from Michigan State University. She enjoys floral design, gardening, and spending time with her husband and two dogs. 

Click to watch this episode on my YouTube Channel!

If you don’t have to watch it, LISTEN HERE!

To Learn more about MIFMA and all it’s programs check them out here:
https://mifma.org/
https://www.facebook.com/MIFarmersMarkets/
https://www.instagram.com/mifarmersmarkets/

  • Mission: MIFMA places equity at the forefront of supporting the viability of community-driven marketplaces so that they can connect ALL consumers to local farms and businesses. 
  • Vision: MIFMA places farmers markets at the forefront of the local food movement and works to ensure all residents have access to healthy, locally grown food and that Michigan farmers markets receive policy support.”

Join Jean each week as she chats it up about  gardening, cooking, organizational tips & tricks, chatting about healthy lifestyles, and of course having conversations with incredible entrepreneurs!

Jump on over to my Podcast & SUBSCRIBE so you don’t miss an episode!

If you enjoyed this blog , please LIKE, Follow, Share & leave me a comment! I love your feedback!

If you aren’t following me on Facebook & Instagram, go on over & give a LIKE & Follow me for daily tips & tricks for your home & garden!

Happy Day,

Jean

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Why Supporting Local Businesses is More Important Than Ever: Let’s Look at The 3/50 Project & How You Can Participate!

I am a huge advocate for supporting local businesses. You will see me out & about every week posting about a local business wherever I go. As an entrepreneur, I completely understand the importance of small businesses supporting one another!

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on businesses globally. Small businesses, in particular, have been hit hard, and many have had to close their doors permanently. This has left many communities without the local businesses that they rely on for goods and services.

Supporting local businesses is more important than ever before. When we shop locally, we’re not only supporting the local economy, but we’re also creating jobs and promoting a sense of community. The 3/50 Project is a simple yet powerful initiative that encourages consumers to support their local businesses by spending $50 at three local businesses each month. In this article, we’ll explore why supporting local businesses is so important and take a closer look at the 3/50 Project.

The Dearborn Shop

This is Jacob & Lizzie, and they are the Owners of The Dearborn Shop. They started out as vendors of mine at The Dearborn Farmers & Artisans Market back in 2020. Now, with the support of the local community and other entrepreneurs, they were able to open this beautiful shop up in the heart of West Dearborn, Michigan. They help support other entrepreneurs by offering goods crafted by several other small business owners… including me! You can find my cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats in this beautiful shop. Be sure to tell ’em Jean sent you!

The Importance of Supporting Local Businesses

There are many reasons why supporting local businesses is essential. Firstly, when we shop locally, we’re supporting the local economy. When we spend money at a local business, that money stays within the community, creating a ripple effect that benefits everyone. Local businesses are also more likely to source their goods and services from other local businesses, further boosting the local economy.

Secondly, supporting local businesses helps create jobs. Small businesses are the backbone of the economy, and when they thrive, they create jobs for local people. By supporting local businesses, we’re helping to create jobs and keep our communities strong.

Finally, shopping locally promotes a sense of community. Local businesses are owned and operated by people who live in the community. When we shop locally, we’re supporting our neighbors and helping to create a sense of community pride. Local businesses also often support community initiatives, such as local sports teams or charities, helping to strengthen the fabric of the community.

How the 3/50 Project Works

The 3/50 Project is a simple initiative that encourages consumers to support their local businesses. The idea is to spend $50 at three local businesses each month. This may not sound like a lot, but it can make a significant difference to small businesses.

To get involved in the 3/50 Project, all you need to do is choose three local businesses that you want to support. It could be your favorite coffee shop, a local boutique, or a family-owned restaurant. The idea is to spend $50 across these three businesses each month. You can choose different businesses each month or stick with the same ones.

The 3/50 Project has a website where you can find local businesses to support. You can search by zip code or city and find a list of participating businesses in your area. You can also use social media to share your support for local businesses and encourage others to get involved.

The Impact of Supporting Local Businesses

The impact of supporting local businesses is significant. When we shop locally, we’re helping to create jobs, boost the local economy, and promote a sense of community. Here are some stats and facts that demonstrate the impact of supporting local businesses:

  • For every $100 spent at a local business, $68 stays in the local economy, compared to $43 for non-local businesses.
  • Small businesses create two out of every three new jobs in the United States.
  • Local businesses are more likely to support local charities and community initiatives.
  • Shopping locally reduces the environmental impact of transportation and shipping.

By supporting local businesses, we’re not only helping to keep our communities strong, but we’re also making a positive impact on the environment and society as a whole.

Photo of Inner Sage: The Studio, The Shop, The Lifestyle
See my Podcast with Owner Jamie Garrison as we chat it up about small business ownership.

How to Get Involved in the 3/50 Project

Getting involved in the 3/50 Project is easy. All you need to do is choose three local businesses that you want to support and spend $50 across these businesses each month. You can find participating businesses on the 3/50 Project website or by searching on social media.

You can also encourage others to get involved. Share your support for local businesses on social media and encourage your friends and family to do the same. You can also leave positive reviews for local businesses online, which can help attract new customers and support the local economy.

This photo is of myself & Tim Travis, Owner of Goldner Walsh Garden & Home.
Listen to our Winter and Spring Podcasts.

Join me at my Monthly Classes at this beautiful & historic greenhouse & garden center.

You can also purchase my cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats in their beautiful gift shop as well!

Other Ways to Support Local Businesses

While the 3/50 Project is a great way to support local businesses, there are other ways to get involved. Here are some additional ways to support local businesses:

  • Shop at farmers’ markets or local craft fairs.
  • Use local service providers, such as accountants, lawyers, and contractors.
  • Buy gift cards for local businesses to give as gifts or use later.
  • Leave positive reviews for local businesses on Yelp or other review sites.
  • Attend local events and festivals.

By supporting local businesses in these additional ways, we’re helping to create a thriving local economy and a strong sense of community.

Benefits of Supporting Local Businesses

There are many benefits to supporting local businesses. Here are just a few:

  • Local businesses create jobs and boost the local economy.
  • Shopping locally reduces the environmental impact of transportation and shipping.
  • Local businesses often offer unique products and services that can’t be found elsewhere.
  • Supporting local businesses helps to create a sense of community pride and identity.

By supporting local businesses, we’re not only helping to create a strong local economy, but we’re also making a positive impact on the environment and society as a whole.

Rustic Leaf Brewing, Located in Waterford, Michigan!

Challenges Faced by Local Businesses

While supporting local businesses is crucial, it’s not always easy. Small businesses face many challenges, including competition from larger corporations, rising costs, and changing consumer habits. The COVID-19 pandemic has only made these challenges more significant, with many businesses struggling to stay afloat.

As consumers, we can help by supporting local businesses whenever possible. If we want to keep our communities vibrant and thriving, we need to make a conscious effort to shop locally and support small businesses.

I certainly hope you are encouraged to garden. Even if you start with only two or three of these things, that’s a great start! 

Supporting local businesses is more important than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on small businesses, and many have had to close their doors permanently. However, by supporting local businesses, we can help to create jobs, boost the local economy, and promote a sense of community.

The 3/50 Project is a simple yet powerful initiative that encourages consumers to support their local businesses by spending $50 at three local businesses each month. By getting involved in the 3/50 Project and supporting local businesses in other ways, we can make a real difference to our communities.

So, the next time you’re thinking about making a purchase, consider shopping locally. By doing so, you’re not only supporting your community, but you’re also making a positive impact on society as a whole. Together, we can create a strong and thriving local economy that benefits everyone.

Other great Local Resources:~Edible WOW Magazine: This is one of the best resources out there for Southwest Michigan www.ediblewow.com

~Edible Communities: web site to direct you to an Edible publication in your area www.ediblecommunities.com

~Local Harvest: list of producers in every state www.localharvest.org
~Google Farmers Markets to find local ones in your area
~Local Dirt: listing for producers www.localdirt.com
There are gobs more out there and thanks to the internet you can find just about anything you want LOCALLY!

Dave & I at L.A. Café getting breakfast & some cool gifts!

If you enjoyed this blog , please LIKE, Follow, Share & leave me a comment! I love your feedback!

If you aren’t following me on Facebook or Instagram, go on over & give a LIKE & Follow me for daily tips & tricks for your home & garden!

Until next time friends, eat fresh, shop local, & have a happy day,
Jean

Copyright Policy

All text and images on this site are copyright of For Dragonflies And Me. Unless otherwise noted, you may not use this content.

5 Reasons to Support Your Local Farmers Markets: How they benefit people both health wise & the local community

Go to the farmers market and buy food there. You’ll get something that’s delicious. It’s discouraging that this seems like such an elitist thing. It’s not. It’s just that we have to pay the real cost of food. People have to understand that cheap food has been subsidized. We have to realize that it’s important to pay farmers up front, because they are taking care of the land. Alice Waters

If there is one thing I’m passionate about, it’s local food & farmers markets! I was a farmer for almost 15 years, and most of that time a farmers market vendor. I know what it’s like to be on both sides of the table~ as a vendor, and a market manager.

My heart is most at home in the garden & the farmers markets. Today I will talk to you about my heart felt desire to inspire every person to shop at the farmers market. When you do you are supporting local producers, your local economy, help the sustainability of farmland, and so much more!

Maybe you’ve even been contemplating becoming a market vendor! Do you create, bake, grow, or develop something? Well, a farmers market might be your first step to a successful business start up.  Farmers markets are great starting points for local entrepreneurs!

I want this podcast to inspire you… please let me know in the comments below if I did!

You can watch this episode at my YouTube Channel!

No time to watch, CLICK HERE TO LISTEN!

Local businesses I mentioned… here’s how to connect with them!
Steaks & Cupcakes can be found at The Oakland County Farmers Market
Hey Honey can be found at The Dearborn Summer Market Ann Arbor Farmers Market.
Check out the farmers at Detroit Eastern Market
Check out my class listings at The Farmington Farmers & Artisans Market
Check out my class listings at Goldner Walsh Garden & Home

Jump on over to my Blog & SUBSCRIBE so you don’t miss an episode!

Join Jean each week as she chats it up about  gardening, cooking, organizational tips & tricks, chatting about healthy lifestyles, and of course having conversations with incredible entrepreneurs!

If you enjoyed this episode, please LIKE, Follow, Share & leave me a comment! I love your feedback!

If you aren’t following me on Facebook & Instagram, go on over & give a LIKE & Follow me for daily tips & tricks for your home & garden!

Be sure to eat fresh, shop local, & have a happy day!

Jean

Copyright Policy

All text and images on this site are copyright of For Dragonflies And Me. Unless otherwise noted, you may not use this content 

Local Food 101~ Understanding the Concept of Foodshed and How it Impacts Your Food Choices

 “It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.” ― Lewis Grizzard

Have you ever stopped to think about where your food comes from? Most of us are aware of the term “locally sourced,” but have you heard of the concept of a foodshed? 

A foodshed is the geographical area where our food is grown, processed, and distributed. Understanding your foodshed can have a significant impact on your food choices and the environment. By choosing to support local farmers and businesses, you can reduce the carbon footprint of your food and ensure that you are consuming fresh, nutritious produce. In this article, I’m going to show you all  the importance of understanding your foodshed and how it can positively impact your health, the economy, and the planet. So, grab a cup of coffee and let’s dive in!

Click here to see the Detroit Eastern Market Foodshed map and surrounding area!

Let’s look at Foodsheds!

What is a Foodshed?

A foodshed is the geographic area where food is produced, processed, and distributed. It includes everything from the farms and ranches where food is grown, to the processing facilities where it is packaged and prepared for sale, to the stores and restaurants where it is sold and consumed. The foodshed concept takes into account the entire food system, from farm to table, and recognizes the importance of local food production.

The size of a foodshed can vary, depending on the region and the type of food produced. For example, a foodshed for tomatoes in Florida may be smaller than a foodshed for wheat in the Midwest. However, the idea is the same – to support local food systems and reduce the amount of energy required to transport food long distances.

In addition to reducing the carbon footprint of our food, supporting local foodsheds can also provide economic benefits to farmers and local businesses. By buying locally, consumers can keep their dollars within their community, supporting small-scale farmers and businesses.

The Importance of Foodshed

Understanding the concept of a foodshed is important because it allows us to better understand the impact of our food choices on the environment and the economy. When we buy food that has been transported long distances, we contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts associated with transportation. By supporting local food systems, we can reduce these impacts and support sustainable agriculture.

In addition to environmental benefits, supporting local food systems can also have economic benefits. By buying locally, consumers can support small-scale farmers and businesses, helping to keep money within the community. This can lead to a more resilient local economy and a stronger sense of community.

Finally, supporting local food systems can also have health benefits. Local food is often fresher and more nutritious than food that has been transported long distances. This is because local food is typically harvested at the peak of ripeness and consumed shortly thereafter. In contrast, food that has been transported long distances may be harvested before it is ripe and then artificially ripened during transportation.

How Foodshed Impacts Your Food Choices

Understanding your foodshed can impact your food choices in several ways. First, it can help you make more informed decisions about the food you buy. By understanding where your food comes from, you can choose to buy food that is produced locally and supports sustainable agriculture. This can help reduce your carbon footprint and support local farmers and businesses.

Second, understanding your foodshed can also help you make healthier food choices. Local food is often fresher and more nutritious than food that has been transported long distances. By choosing to buy local food, you can ensure that you are consuming fresh, nutritious produce that is free from harmful chemicals and preservatives.

Finally, understanding your foodshed can also help you save money. By buying food that is produced locally, you can often save money on transportation costs that are passed on to consumers. Additionally, local food can be less expensive because it doesn’t have to travel long distances to reach consumers.

Sustainable Agriculture and Foodshed

Sustainable agriculture is an important component of the foodshed concept. Sustainable agriculture is a method of food production that seeks to minimize the environmental impact of farming while also promoting economic and social sustainability. Sustainable agriculture practices include crop rotation, conservation tillage, and the use of natural fertilizers and pesticides.

By supporting sustainable agriculture, consumers can help reduce the environmental impact of farming and support local farmers and businesses. Additionally, by choosing to buy food that is produced sustainably, consumers can help promote sustainable agriculture practices and encourage more farmers to adopt these methods.

How to Support Your Local Foodshed

There are several ways to support your local foodshed. First, you can seek out local farmers’ markets and buy fresh, locally produced food. You can also look for restaurants that source their ingredients locally and support local farms.

Another way to support your local foodshed is to join a CSA program. By buying a share of a local farm’s harvest, you can support sustainable agriculture and receive fresh, seasonal produce.

Finally, you can grow your own food. Even if you don’t have space for a garden, you can grow herbs and vegetables in pots on your balcony or windowsill. By growing your own food, you can reduce your carbon footprint and ensure that you are consuming fresh, nutritious produce.

Foodshed vs. Food Miles

Foodshed and food miles are two related, but distinct, concepts. Food miles refer to the distance that food travels from the farm to the consumer. The concept of food miles has been used to raise awareness about the environmental impacts of transporting food long distances.

While food miles are an important consideration, they are not the only factor to consider when it comes to sustainable agriculture. The foodshed concept takes a more holistic approach, considering the entire food system, from farm to table. By supporting local food systems, we can reduce the carbon footprint of our food and support sustainable agriculture.

Examples of Successful Foodshed Initiatives

There are many successful foodshed initiatives around the world. One example is the “Farm to School” program, which connects local farmers with schools to provide fresh, healthy food to students. This program helps support local farmers and promotes healthy eating habits among students.

Another example is the “Community Supported Agriculture” (CSA) model, which allows consumers to buy shares of a local farm’s harvest. This model helps support local farmers and provides consumers with fresh, seasonal produce.

Challenges to a Strong Foodshed and How to Overcome Them

There are several challenges to building a strong foodshed. One challenge is the dominance of large-scale agriculture and the concentration of food processing and distribution in the hands of a few large corporations. This can make it difficult for small-scale farmers and businesses to compete.

Another challenge is consumer demand for convenience and low prices. Many consumers prioritize convenience and low prices over supporting local farmers and sustainable agriculture practices. This can make it difficult for local farmers and businesses to compete in the marketplace.

To overcome these challenges, it is important to raise awareness about the benefits of supporting local food systems and sustainable agriculture. This can be done through education campaigns, community outreach, and policy initiatives that support local farmers and businesses.

Understanding the concept of a foodshed is important for anyone interested in sustainable agriculture and healthy eating. By supporting local food systems, consumers can reduce their carbon footprint, support local farmers and businesses, and promote sustainable agriculture practices. So, the next time you sit down to enjoy a meal, take a moment to think about where your food comes from and how you can support your local foodshed.

If you enjoyed this blog, please LIKE, Follow, Share & leave me a comment! I love your feedback!

If you aren’t following me on Facebook & Instagram go on over & give a LIKE & Follow me for daily tips & tricks for your home & garden! 

Added bonus: You can go to my blog at http://www.fordragonfliesandme.com to purchase my original cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats in either a spiral bound soft cover OR NEW, a Downloadable PDF version. The cookbook has almost 1000 recipes on almost 500 pages! Check out the Cookbook Testimonials while you’re there!

Until next time remember to,
Eat fresh, shop local & have a happy day,

Jean

Copyright Policy

All text and images on this site are copyright of For Dragonflies And Me. Unless otherwise noted, you may not use this content.

Do you consider yourself an entrepreneur, or do you want to be one?

If you haven’t been following me at my Podcast, then you’ve been missing incredible stories from individuals who have created a business from their dreams. Some have a foot on both sides of the fence, while others have made the leap and left their day jobs to follow their dreams. And you know what friends… I’m one of the later!

I’ve been interviewing experts in the fields of gardening, life & business coaching, small business owners, and so many other incredible people. In upcoming months I’ll be providing information on how to start a business and having discussions with the people who have the resources to help you. Some of my guests include representatives from the SBA, Great Lakes Women’s Business Council, Buy Detroit, & so many more!

Be sure to SUBSCRIBE you so don’t miss an episode. You can also head over to my Facebook Event Calendar to see all my upcoming, as well as past episode with links. Be sure to register for each one, so you’ll get a reminder!

Click each photo to visit my Podcast guest’s website!


If you enjoyed this blog, please LIKE, Follow, Share & leave me a comment! I love your feedback!

If you aren’t following me on Facebook & Instagram go on over & give a LIKE & Follow me for daily tips & tricks for your home & garden! 

Added bonus: You can go to my blog at http://www.fordragonfliesandme.com to purchase my original cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats in either a spiral bound soft cover OR NEW, a Downloadable PDF version. The cookbook has almost 1000 recipes on almost 500 pages! Check out the Cookbook Testimonials while you’re there!

Until next time remember to,
Eat fresh, shop local & have a happy day,

Jean

Copyright Policy

All text and images on this site are copyright of For Dragonflies And Me. Unless otherwise noted, you may not use this content.

PODCAST: Taste The Local Difference with Karey Stid, Mid by Southeast Michigan Local Food Coordinator

Michigan’s guide to local farms, farmers markets, restaurants, beer, wine and specialty producers!

As many of you may know I have been involved with farmers markets as a vendor and as a market manager for close to 20 years. This journey started when we had our farm and decided to sell at area farmers markets. This is one of the main reasons I am such a supporter of local markets & entrepreneurs. Last summer was the first year I wasn’t either in front of the table or behind it.  I really do miss being there, but now I am happy to patronize as a customer!

The month of May is generally when most summer markets open up to the public. After a long winter folks are always excited to return to their town or city’s markets and reunite with their favorite farmers & artisans. Although there are several markets here in the Metro Detroit area that run year round, and I for one am sooo grateful, I do longingly anticipate the return of the regular season markets. 

The diversity of products of course is the ultimate draw. Today’s guest is with an organization I’ve personally partnered with for close to ten years while I managed several area markets. My guest is their ‘boots on the ground gal’… she is the one who is connecting with Mid and Southeast Michigan’s market managers & producers to make sure all of YOU know what’s happening in the local food scene.

Please help me introduce Karey Stid, Taste The Local Differences Mid by Southeast Michigan Local Food Coordinator. 

Karey Stid is Taste the Local Difference’s Local Food Coordinator in the mid to Southeast region of the mitten. She is passionate about connecting and developing authentic relationships with the local food and beverage producers (and supporters!) in her region. In her free time she can be found walking her dog, cooking spontaneous meals with her husband, or catching up with friends and family members!

Click this LINK to listen & be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss an episode! Check out my list of events at my Facebook Event page, and be sure to register so you don’t miss an episode!

To learn more about Taste The Local Difference and if you’re interested in becoming a partner there are a few ways to get signed up:
You can visit localdifference.org/services/partnerships to learn more and sign up yourself 
Or, if you would like to talk with someone within your region who can tell you more about partnership opportunities, reach out to me via email at karey@localdifference.org and I will make sure that you get connected with the Local Food Coordinator in your area to start that conversation.

If you enjoyed this episode, please LIKE, Follow, Share & leave me a comment! I love your feedback!

If you aren’t following me on Facebook & Instagram go on over & give a LIKE & Follow me for daily tips & tricks for your home & garden! 

Until next time remember to
Eat fresh, shop local & have a happy day,
Jean

Copyright Policy

All text and images on this site are copyright of For Dragonflies And Me. Unless otherwise noted, you may not use this content without written permission.

Check out my April Podcast Guests!