Farmers Market Brunches during Cherry Festival

Garage MarketCan you believe the National Cherry Festival starts next weekend??!! Remember that the Sara Hardy Downtown Farmers Market moves over to the Old Town Parking Deck off Union & 8th Street. While the idea of a farm market in a parking garage might seem odd, it’s surprisingly cool and also a little less trafficked than the normal location.

As an added bonus, on all three market days (July 2nd, 6th & 9th), Taste The Local Difference will be hosting the second Annual Farmers Market Brunch. Brunch options by Cordwood Barbecue & Blue Heron 2 will located adjacent to the market and feature fresh local products directly sourced from the farmers at market.

When you purchase produce from market farmers you’ll receive a discount on brunch and as a special for early risers, the first 50 customers to market will receive a free $5 to spend with the farmers, thanks to the National Cherry Festival!

Wednesday Farmers Market in Traverse City

The Wednesday Sara Hardy Farmers Market runs 7:30 – noon through the summer and features great farm products, baked goods & produce like these purple scallions from Loma Farm. More pics from today on the eatdrinkTC Facebook and share your photos with us on Facebook or Instagram & Twitter at #eatdrinkTC!

Traverse City Farm Market Meals: Chicken, Kale & Potatoes

traverse-city-csaWe love going to the market to secure our weekly grocery list. In the past several years, Traverse City’s farmers markets have become capable of producing the vast majority of a household’s weekly food needs.

We want to share some of our favorite recipes that we make with ingredients from the farm market. In addition to what you can get at the market, some of them use sauces, oils, or spices that we keep in our pantry or grow in our own garden. Read more

Changes at the 2014 Sara Hardy Farmers Market

by Tricia Phelps: Farmers Market Manager (

There’s new developments coming to the Sara Hardy Downtown Farmers Market this year, so who better than Market Manager Tricia Phelps to share the whys and wherefores behind the changes? Thanks to Tricia and the Farmers Market for the photos!

Sara Hardy Market, May 4 2013

May 4, 2013 at the Sara Hardy Farmers Market

The beginning of the Outdoor Farmers Market season reminds us that summer is finally on its way. It’s a beautiful image of the community coming back to life after a long, cold winter.

This year is the 30th year for the market, and it’s been 30 years of growth and change. Early on in its history, the Sara Hardy Farmers Market Committee made the decision that this market be a growers’ market. That may seem like an obvious statement, but actually it’s a strong commitment and has been at the foundation of management decisions for the community market ever since.

After the 2013 season the management staff sat down with market vendors to discuss the good and the bad of the market. We determined the most critical issues and brainstormed solutions together. Here is a list of the major changes that will impact the Sara Hardy Farmers Market this year and quick answers as to Why?

Read more

Make it a Local Thanksgiving Feast

When you make it a local Thanksgiving you won’t have to skimp on anything: from turkeys to produce, craft beers and wine, Traverse City has everything Thanksgiving is made of!

Click here for our guide on making it a local Thanksgiving!





Beefing up local proteins in Traverse City


Bill Palladino is the Director of the Michigan Land Use Institute’s Taste the Local Difference program, a community partnership connecting farmers, retailers & wholesalers, schools and other institutions and government agencies to build a stronger and more local food system. 

Recently the driving force behind Pigstock, Chip Hoagland, convened a one-day event dubbed “Beefstock” to explore how can we increase protein production & processing in our area. Bill writes:

One issue in northwest Michigan, and in the state as a whole, is that we simply don’t have a sufficient quantity of protein producers. The main issue seems to be historic. Once the feedlot scale of beef and pork production started there was no turning back. And now we’re faced with corn-fed animals that consume a commodity whose market is mainly grown in states like Iowa and Nebraska. How do we manage our own protein production when we’ve created a production cycle that’s untenable economically?


Between the Rows by Andrew McFarlane

Nels Veliquette of Cherries R Us (one of the largest agricultural land holders in northwest Michigan) represented orchardists with land that could be used for protein production. Nels emphasized collaborations of  resource holders and stressed that access to capital is a necessity that is not always available to farmers.

Don Coe of Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay, MI. He’s also been a long-time member of the Michigan Ag Commission. Don related that our region held one hundred dairy farms at one time … far lower today and that we’ve lost our “pathways to market” for protein.

Fred Laughlin is the Director of the Great Lakes Culinary Institute thinks that one solution could be to find a way back to the model of a half a century ago when institutions took protein shipments on the hoof saying “We simply can’t get the cuts our customers want in quantities we require from local production.”


Grazing Cows by Gallagher Farms

Dan Hubbell of Hubbell Farm in Leelanau County raises natural beef, pork & poultry. He says we’ve regulated ourselves out of old sustainable models and into a cheap food mode and says, “I’ve seen at least three local food movements in my time, one during the 70′s back to land era, one during the 1980′s and 1990′s, and the one we’re in today. As in the other two, I predict the failure of this food movement. So many farmers today have off-farm jobs just to get by. How is that going to be sustainable?”

Rory Royston owner of RRR Meat Processing in Buckley told how meat processing was at one point regional. “There were small to large packing houses everywhere, so people didn’t have to travel distances to process animals.”

Jason Rountree is MSU’s Assistant Professor for Beef Cattle and Forage Utilization is running a large-scale research project to determine the best methods of grass-fed beef production in northern Michigan. He shared that that current feed-lot beef production methods require 14 calories of oil input for every calorie of protien and asks “What kind of agriculture do we want here?” Jason suggests that returning more benefit to our local community and farmers is key.

In a companion article, Tricia Phelps of MLUI suggests we vote for local meat with our wallets and lists some producers and markets where you can do just that!

Instagram of the Day: Gourds by Cherry Connection

eatdrinkTC is teaming up with Baytown Kitchen for our first #eatdrinkTC Photo Contest. Click the link for details and how to enter – it’s really easy!

Cherry Connection is the Instagram of Edmondson Orchards, offering locally grown fruits & vegetables right here in Traverse City. Here’s one of their late fall shots.

Gourds by Cherry Connection


The Traverse City Indoor Market at the Village

The Village Indoor Market takes every Saturday from 10-2 through the winter in the Mercato at the Village at Grand Traverse Commons. This year they’ll have over 45 vendors lining the halls! Tricia Phelps of Growth by the Season is the market master and shared this great photo feature!


Farmers Markets are one of my favorite community gatherings. You might say I’ve got a resume to prove it and its true. I love what I do and I love being involved in Traverse City’s community markets. Read more

Antique Apples at Christmas Cove Farm

Kilcherman Christmas Cove farm

Apples are one of the finest flavors of fall, and one of the best places in our area to get your apple on is Kilcherman’s Christmas Cove Farm just north of Northport.

Many of the articles you read will highlight John & Phyllis Kilcherman’s massive (10,000+) pop bottle collection. While that’s certainly a sight to see, what sets my foodie heart beating faster is the 250 varieties of antique & heirloom apples. I had the pleasure of interviewing John Kilcherman a number of years ago and he explained how he came to be “The Keeper of the Apples”:

“I grew up three farms down from here. My grandfather had an old apple orchard that I would play in as a child. Years later, I thought I’d try and grow some of those apples that tasted so good when I was a boy. It really just started as something to do just to see if it could be done. I figured I could always sell the apples for juice, but I never really expected to see any money out of it.”

Read more

Farm Market Gallery: October 5, 2013

Here are photos from today’s Sara Hardy Farm Market – click them for a larger view. 3 more weeks left outdoors!