Posts filed under Winter 2017 Issue

Well-Fed on a Budget

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.” 

Raising Backyard Chickens: What to Consider Before Collecting Those Wonderful Eggs

A chicken ordinance was passed in Ann Arbor in 2008, allowing residents to keep up to four hens in their backyards for the first time. Happily, residents of Ann Arbor began building coops and transforming their backyards into a haven for their chickens. The popularity of backyard chickens has continued to grow. As of December 2016, 22 permits for backyard chickens had been issued, already rising above the 14 that were issued in 2015. Early in 2015, the number of chickens allowed went from four to six, delighting those who already had them and instilling curiosity in many who have never had chickens.

Great Tastes in Local Food

Chive Kitchen’s menu is not sparse by any means, and I think it will surprise a lot of non-vegans. Take, for example, the oatmeal cream pie on the dessert menu with its “buttery oatmeal cookie” and “vanilla bean buttercream” filling. Or the orange cream cupcake with orange-infused buttercream. They have unique items, too, such as the kombucha float made with coconut ice cream (which is creamier than dairy ice cream, for the record). I would have tried one if I hadn’t been so full!

The Arrival of Consciousness Science at the University of Michigan Medical School

The Center for Consciousness Science at the U-M Medical School was inaugurated in June 2014 by its Founder and Executive Director, Dr. George Mashour. That was around the same time that Dr. Tarik Bel-Bahar arrived in Ann Arbor. We were approached by Bel-Bahar in mid-2015, who suggested that CCS’s mission and activities might be ripe for a story in the CW Journal. We agreed. So what follows is an interview with Dr. Bel-Bahar, about the Center and its work. For long-time Crazy Wisdom Journal readers, this is a “must-read” about exciting work on the frontiers of consciousness research being done right here in Ann Arbor, right at the University, in the Medical School, no less.

Pink Castle Fabrics — A World of Creation and Joy

Last issue, Crazy Wisdom profiled Maker Works, a local business offering space, tools, and teaching about woodcraft, metalworking, and other hands on skills. This issue, we are profiling another business offering space, tools, and teaching, but in a very different medium. Pink Castle Fabrics has a small retail space on the West Side of Ann Arbor, and may seem modest to outsiders. But with a global reach through their online community, retreats, and Instagram feed, Pink Castle Fabrics invigorates and innovates in a uniquely modern format.

Posted on December 22, 2016 and filed under Art & Craft, Winter 2017 Issue.

In the Heart of the Wood on a Rainy Night — Reflections on Black Pond Woods

An equinoctial night in 2016. It’s raining. The injured raptor birds, often used in educational programs, sleep in little wooden houses on the hillside. Community gardens and orchards await spring, leaves poised to unfurl and earth to be turned. It is the night of the salamander survey at Black Pond Woods.

Crafting Beer, Creating Community

"I never imagined a time when craft beer would become so mainstream,” said Rene Greff, co-owner of Arbor Brewing Company brewpub in Ann Arbor and ABC Microbrewery in Ypsilanti. In 1995, when Rene and her husband, Matt Greff, opened the brewpub on Washington Street, craft beer was anything but mainstream. A few brands were paving the way, including Samuel Adams in Boston, Sierra Nevada and Anchor Brewing in California, and Bell’s Brewery in Michigan, but American beer sales and consciousness were dominated by light, insipid lagers produced by mega-breweries like Anheuser Busch, Coors, and Miller. 

Posted on December 22, 2016 and filed under Winter 2017 Issue.

A Day in the Life of a Farmer — Kris Hanna of Old Pine Farm

This past summer I was privileged to visit Old Pine Farm in bucolic Manchester, Michigan, where a variety of breeds are raised to produce high quality beef, pork, chicken, and lamb. I found my host, farmer Kris Hanna, wrenching a piece of equipment when I pulled into the driveway by her charming yet modest farmhouse. I noticed she had little by way of “garden or landscaping,” which she later explained is not her area of expertise. Her son did a fine job of perennial plantings in the area surrounding her homes’ entrance as a Mother’s Day gift. The iconic Midwest red barn with silo stands proud among several smaller barns and paddocks, dappled by a background of rolling green fields.

Posted on December 22, 2016 and filed under Winter 2017 Issue, Farms.

For Want of a Nail: How the U-M’s Innovative Faculty Scholar Program Could Fade Away, or Continue to Thrive

In 2013, Professor Ana Baylin found herself in a professional crisis. After training as an M.D. in Spain, getting her Ph.D. in Nutrition and Epidemiology, and working at the U-M School of Public Health, she found herself wanting to do… something else. A colleague encouraged her to enroll in the Faculty Scholar Program (FSP), a year-long educational group. The faculty in the program study recent research on integrative medicine, such as meditation, yoga, and chiropractic, as applied to cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic pain, and mental health. By exposing professionals to the benefits of other disciplines outside their own, and building bridges based on science between medicine (disease treatment) and health (vitality and well-being), faculty find themselves creating new methods and solutions to patient problems. The program has been innovative and successful, and a key element in the slow but steady growth in the acceptance of integrative medicine at the University of Michigan.