Northwest lower Michigan farmers are among the growing number of concerned and committed stewards of the good earth. Organic farms are spreading and thriving in the counties of the area—Benzie, Leelanau, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Antrim.
Northwest lower Michigan is located globally within the 45th parallel and is a part of the Great Lakes area of the United States. Being in the temperate weather zone, the growing season is fairly short, extending roughly May through late September, a period of five months. In recent years, hoop houses have extended the growing season.
Hoop houses, sustainable land use, polyculture, regenerative farming, micro-sprouts, green manure, portable pens, hugelkultur, foraging, ugly fruits, CSA’s and community gardens—just a few phrases noted in recent articles about land use and crop farming—phrases which describe current farming techniques.
Numerous educational and community action groups now tout the environmental problems being addressed. Professionals, school children, food pantries and programs for the elderly are among the beneficiaries of these efforts. Local sources in northwest lower Michigan for a more in-depth exploration of today’s fine farming techniques can be found at Crosshatch Center for Art and Ecology in Antrim County, Grow Benzie, Leelanau Land Conservancy, Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy and Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities based in Traverse City. All are based in within the 5-county area mentioned earlier.
The majority of these and other subjects of today’s farming techniques could be explored under the all-inclusive title of Sustainable Land Management or by visiting an organic farm in the region. Find a market near you: http://mifma.org/findafarmersmarket/