Agricole is a word we can easily recognize as something related to agriculture, but its new namesake is more than that. Agricole Farm Stop and Coffee Bar is about cultivating a culture of community through our connections to its people, soil, and local foods combined with a central meeting and trading place in the heart of historic downtown Chelsea. The grocery and coffee bar sits just off the railroad tracks across from the Jiffy Mix mill. Here is where the intersection of past and present food entrepreneurs remind us of our agricultural heritage and the responsibility we have moving forward to support this locally grown economy and community in a sustainable way.
Upon arrival the Matthaei Botanical Gardens may seem a bit intimidating, with a barrage of rattlesnake warning signs posted along the long winding drive through the wild, prairie-like, bucolic setting. But once you pay for your parking at the self-pay port and enter the arboretum or gardens, you are transported to a happier place from within the deep recesses of your childhood memories. It is altogether beautiful, peaceful, and engaging. There are many display gardens and areas of interest, but this article focuses exclusively on the outdoor Medicinal Garden.
The phrase “street food” may not sound too appetizing, but the real dishes behind the term are now considered by many to be the most authentic sampling of a culture’s cuisine, made popular in part by celebrity foodie Anthony Bourdain, who was a huge fan and helped to elevate street food’s popularity with his travel shows. Street food is sold from baskets, pushcarts, trailers, and trucks. What all of these modes have in common are their transportability, and they’re usually found very close to, if not parked on, the street.
Despite the fact that starting any new business often comes with overcoming financial hurdles, working up the courage to start can often be the hardest part in and of itself. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the work that goes into running a business. The thought of hiring employees, managing the day-to-day operations, and trying to turn a profit can be a lot to juggle. However, I have discovered a local entrepreneur that dispels many of the myths centered on running a successful, and environmentally sustainable, business.
Our restaurant review column featuring reviews of Wild Poke, Dalat, and Fresh Forage.
Life these days can be stressful. If you don’t believe me spend five minutes driving on I-94 between Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor during rush hour. Stress is not good for the mind, body, or spirit. It can cause inflammation, high blood pressure, and even anxiety. In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle it is recommended that an individual decrease their level of stress—often easier said than done!
Coffee Buzz — The Art, Science, and Community of Coffee. A Round-Table Discussion with Local Experts.
Coffee has always been this rather predictable dark beverage served upon waking or with a friend while we engaged in deep conversation. I never gave the making of coffee much thought except for finding a roast I like and a brewing method that worked for my taste and lifestyle. These two things have changed over the years—the only consistent being that I like it simple and on the stout side. I recently became more curious about specialty coffee, especially our local artisan scene.
When my business partners and I bought the property that Stone Coop Farm lives on in November of 2011, I knew we had to save it as farmland for future generations. Our farm is on 30 acres, but it is zoned residential. 1000 new homes in four new subdivisions are being built on both sides of us. I can hear the excavation equipment every day. A wastewater treatment plant is being built and the high-pressure sewer line will be connecting these subdivisions along our property line. Developers are approaching us to sell the farm, so that more homes can be built. The value of our land is increasing as residential lots, not as farmland. I know my mission is to save the farm, but that often feels like an insurmountable task, given what’s going on around me.
I watched the man through the window stretch a length of dough arms width apart, bring the ends together, twist it, slap it on his work table, then repeat the process until the noodles were ready to be cooked. These noodles were about to be my dinner.
Do you ever think about the nutrients that are in the foods we eat? Are you getting adequate amounts? Are they benefiting you in a positive way? These are important questions when it comes to nutrition. To ensure that you are on the right path to living a long healthy life, I invite you to pay close attention to the next bite you take. Proper nourishment is essential for the healthy development and growth of children, as well. Let’s set a good example and teach our children what healthy really tastes like.
By Angela Madaras
Yes! You can support our local farmers and growers even in the winter months. Most of us know that eating fresh food grown locally is better for both our bodies and our environment and like to support farmers during traditional growing and harvesting seasons. We also know that the average backyard farmer can’t grow produce in the snow. However, there are many local farmers who can grow all year long due to having hoop houses (greenhouses) that keep the air and soil warmer than what most Michiganders are experiencing in mid-January. BRRR! This technique of greenhouse growing allows the consumer to benefit from locally grown food even in the cold months.
So what kind of produce can you expect at a winter farmer’s market? Potatoes, greens, sprouts, herbs, garlic, spinach, sprouts, lettuces, carrots, as well as pork, beef, lamb, chicken, and honey to start! By shopping at a local farmer’s market you will eat seasonally fresh and ripe produce. What could be better than that? They also sell storable foods such as winter squash, dried beans, grains, and dried herbs. Think of your grandma’s root cellar. Jams, jellies, canned goods, baked goodies, cheese and dairy products, pickles, and even jerky can be preserved along with sauerkraut and kimchi. Most markets also carry art, handmade crafts, furniture, jewelry, and body care products.
What are you waiting for? Find a winter market near you!
Ann Arbor Farmers Market
315 Detroit St.
Ann Arbor, MI
Winter hours: Saturday, 8 AM - 3 PM www.a2gov.org/market
Saline Farmers Market
At the Liberty School
7265 Saline Ann Arbor Rd. (turn on Thibault Lane)
Winter Hours: Saturday, 9 AM - Noon (Nov. - April)
No market Nov. 10th or Mar. 16th www.cityofsaline.org/farmersmarket
Ypsilanti Farmers Market •Downtown
16 S. Washington St.
Winter Hours: Tuesday, 3 PM - 7 PM growinghope.net/farmers-markets/ypsilanti
Chelsea Farmers Market
At the Washington St. Education Center, Building 100 cafeteria
500 Washington St.
Winter Hours: Saturday, 10 AM -2 PM (Nov.3-Dec.29) chelseafarmersmkt.org
Webster Farmers Market
At the Crossroads Community Center
5501 Webster Church Rd, Dexter, Michigan
•Winter Hours: Sunday 12 PM - 3 PM, except third Sunday www.websterfarmersmarket.org
Argus Farm Stop
1200 Packard Rd or
325 W Liberty St Ann Arbor, MI
Year Round, Weekdays 7 AM – 7 PM, Saturday 7 AM – 6 PM, Sunday 8 AM – 6 PM www.argusfarmstop.com
Silvio’s Organic Handmade Italian Food is one part homemade-funky and one part down-to-earth passion for eating right. The motto on his website says it best: “You can eat food, good food, bad food, fast food or you can have a genuine food experience.” Silvio beckons those who pursue the food experience and shares his joy of food by embracing the different eating needs we currently see in ourselves and around us.
Webster Farmers Market: Preserving a Historic Neighborhood through Farming, Food, Craft, and Community
When my friends told me about a Sunday Winter Farmers Market, my husband and I jumped in the van and headed to Webster Township. It was a particularly cold day. Thankfully, aromatic hot coffee greeted us at the door. Violet Raterman, one of the market managers, helped us navigate the market for our first visit. The entire experience was moving for some reason, but I could not put my finger on it. I had to find out more about the people behind this market and the space in which it thrived.
Downtown Ypsilanti is becoming a vibrant place full of new life and new businesses. There are enough shops, cafes, parks, and restaurants to spend a pleasant day tooling around. One of the newest places to finish your day and enjoy a delicious meal and, if you choose, a beer or well-made cocktail is Dolores, a Mexican restaurant located on Washington Street at Michigan Avenue in the former Elbow Room building.
What comes to mind when you hear the word “detox”? You might think drug or alcohol detox. Perhaps fasting or eating and drinking things like wheatgrass juice is what comes to mind. It may surprise you to learn that detoxing is none of those things. In fact, my interpretation will change your entire outlook on what a detox is.
When I turned nineteen, a whole new world of food was opened up to me through the People’s Food Co-Op. Although my aunt and father had been members since the 1970s, and I was somewhat knowledgeable about natural food diets, I certainly did not know what the heck to do with a salty paste made of fermented soy beans, rice, or barley. I had enjoyed miso soup in Japanese restaurants, but that was not the best introduction, as it was thin and lacked vegetables and other ingredients we now use more abundantly, such as shiitake mushrooms, soba noodles, seaweed, lotus root, dried fish, and fermented vegetables. As western society’s knowledge of the world of natural foods has matured, thanks in part to the growing “foodie culture,” we have widened our awareness of whole food cooking and ingredients.
Like many people, I find myself on a tight budget when it comes to eating out. While I desire to eat organic, whole, and clean foods, I tend to seek out restaurants where I can either have breakfast, lunch, or “happy hour” for around ten dollars. Because of this dilemma, I eat out less and prepare more meals from food we have raised and grown ourselves. But when I do want to dine out, I now understand my grandparent’s penchant for the “Early Bird Special.”
I reflect on my experience with learning mindfulness cooking and eating practice during silent retreats at a Zen Buddhist Sangha in North Carolina. I examined the concept of gratitude when planting, harvesting, preparing and consuming food. Although these times were for deep contemplative study and complete silence, there was a common language spoken around the kitchen counter and table that I call reverence.
The space at 113 E. Liberty Street in Ann Arbor has been home to a few different restaurants over the past five years. It isn’t a big space, but the current resident, Spencer, makes excellent use of what they have, and I hope they stay with us.
Barrels line reflective colorful walls, and a scent of vinegar hangs in the air. Eccentric cut-outs collaged together create a welcoming and calm atmosphere. Tucked neatly in a corner of Ypsilanti is the warehouse that houses the successful kombucha beer company Unity Vibration and its Triple Goddess Tasting Room.