Local Food Victories

Much love to the wonderful organizations, individuals, and groups recognized for their Local Food Victories.

Argus Farm Stop: Argus opened in the summer of 2014 with a new business model that provides the community with access to local, organic produce, including school garden produce, and gives a larger percentage of market price back to small- and medium-sized local farmers. Just in its first year, Argus has already promoted more transparency between farmers and consumers. Accepting award: Scott Fleck, Laura Barch, & 6 staff members

Ann Arbor Wednesday Evening Farmers Market Food Truck Rally: With the help of Carrie DeWitt, the Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market focused its 2014 season on livening up the Wednesday Evening Market with a food truck rally. The evening market now gives customers an opportunity to socialize while celebrating the inviting outdoor space and the delicious local food.  Accepting award: Carrie DeWitt

Cooperative Orchard of Ypsilanti: In its third growing season, CORY has fruit trees in the ground, a working committee of founding members, and has formally incorporated as a cooperative in the State of Michigan. More trees are planned for 2015 in this organic, permaculture-inspired, southside Ypsi orchard. Accepting award: Liz Dahl MacGregor

Washtenaw Food Policy Council: in 2014, the Council successfully advocated for small farmer-friendly changes to the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act, and helped to pass two local resolutions that will ensure that Washtenaw County procures environmentally-friendly purchases and gives preference to locally grown goods and services. The efforts of Daniel Poon and Lindsey Scalera on the Farmer Policy Action Team are especially recognized, as they worked on deciphering the language in agricultural bills and taught effective policy engagement to food activists.  Accepting award: Lindsey Scalera 

Food Recovery Network: In 2014, FRN added three dining halls to their list of food recovery sites and saved over 3,000 pounds of food. They held key events such as the Food Gatherers workday and the 3rd annual Food for Thought dinner, which sparked a discussion about food waste and insecurity at the national, local, and individual levels. Accepting award: Hannah Gingerich

Master Gardeners of Washtenaw County: This past year, Master Gardeners logged thousands of volunteer hours teaching gardening and planting gardens in schools and nursing homes. Their Junior Master Gardener program inspires youth to garden, and they work with the 4-H program to bring food gardens to young people, including those at The Washtenaw Youth Detention Center.   Accepting award: Jesse Raudenbush and Lisa Perschke

Old City Acres Urban Farm: This past year, Old City Acres officially finished its first year as an organic farm. Old City is Romulus, Michigan's first urban vegetable farm and first organic farm. In 2014, Old City quadrupled its land base, and hired its first employee. Accepting award: Alexander Ball

Silvio's Organic Ristorante and Pizzeria: This unique Italian restaurant, located on University Ave, is owned by Silvio Medoro, who is always willing to donate his time, passion, and creative abilities to support local food efforts. For three years running, Silvio has hosted his special Terra Madre dinners, which promote the diversity of slow food traditions around the world. Accepting award: Silvio Medoro

University of Michigan’s Student Food Co: In 2014, the Student Food Co-op added another selling day to its weekly schedule of selling produce to students on campus, and enhanced its services with educational outreach, such as providing recipes at the produce stand. The co-op also partnered with Enactus to open a campus food bank for students who are food-insecure. Accepting award: Colleen Rathz

The Agrarian Adventure:  In 2014 the Agrarian Adventure celebrated 10 years of deepening Ann Arbor student connections with where their food comes from. They continue to support new school gardens, consulting on grants and garden planning, and providing free seedlings to school garden coordinators, and also bring local farmers into elementary school classrooms. This year the Agrarian Adventure hopes to continue to deepen their relationship with the Ann Arbor Farm to School Collaborative, and pilot a new school-grower partnership model for the hoophouse at Tappan Middle School where they collaborate with the PTSO on learning activities for the school's vibrant schoolyard garden. Accepting award: Lise Anderson

In recognition of Verna Spayth: We wanted to take this opportunity to honor Verna Spayth,who passed away in January of 2014. Verna represented local food love to many people in the Washtenaw County area. She was an avid gardener and mentor to her neighbors at the Edible Avalon Stimson Garden, and before that a long time visitor to the Community Farm of Ann Arbor, where she would pick up a CSA share for her community. In addition to growing in the wooden raised beds that were built out front near the road, Verna designed her own accessible gardening system in the rear of the building. She was a teacher to young and adult gardeners alike, and helped to take care of the gardens of her neighbors. We recognize the life and efforts of Verna, and the true impact she made on our community. Accepting award: Mollie Richardson from Avalon Housing

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