It feels safe to assume that the majority of us would love to consistently eat fresh, organic, and locally grown foods. But factors like cost and availability seem to get in the way. Now, there's a website hoping to connect local farmers to consumers throughout the state of Michigan.
Farm to Table Foodie was established in February of 2022 and acts as a nutritional blog as well as a source to connect local farms with their community.
How Did This Start?
Judging from their website, Farm to Table Foodie came to be after the founder, a nutritionist, was feeling frustrated with the amount of work it took to find local, farm-to-table foods not just for themself but for their clients as well. From that, Farm to Table Foodie was born.
Why Is This Needed?
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, a lot of people want to eat locally grown food. But, may not know how to find it outside of the usual farmer's markets on the weekend.
With Farm to Table Foodie, you'll be able to find local farmers in your area, learn how they operate, and even where to purchase their products. The website separates Michigan by region and then county. In Southwest Michigan, for example, you'll find:
- J.A.X Farms in Kalamazoo County owned by the Solis Family. They sell chicken and duck eggs from free-range birds. They can be contacted at 517-677-4403
- Mitten Creek Farm in Calhoun County owned by Drew and Heather Phillips. They sell pastured Poultry and pork. All Non-GMO. They're also expanding to fruits, veggies, and herbs in 2022. Contact them at 269-832-2129
And those are the local farms that have joined so far. With this being a newer website and resource, I would expect options to expand in the future. In fact, on Farm to Table Foodie's Facebook page, you can also find updates on local farms and what they're offering.
Aside from the needs of the consumers, local, American farms have been struggling for some time. And the pandemic did them no favors.
According to a report from farmaid.com,
Between 2013 and 2018, farmers experienced a nearly 50% drop in net farm income as the prices for corn, wheat, dairy, beef and other farm products crashed. While net farm income rose by 3% in 2019, government payments accounted for all of that increase (namely, via the trade bailout program). Without it, 2019 delivered farmers their second lowest income since 2013.
That was pre-pandemic. That same report goes on to detail that, yes, farms did receive federal payments during the pandemic but, due to years of low income, the payments barely benefitted them. Read more here.
Are you going to be able to buy everything you need locally? Maybe not. But, if you'd like to do more to support local farms, you can do so easily with Farm to Table Foodie's guide. Again, find their website here.