Michigan Food & Agriculture

Pages

Stateside
5:12 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

The cold winter helped bring in a big apple crop in Michigan

While we were begging for winter to end, the Michigan Apple Committee was happy for the cold temperatures.

As a result, the 2014 Michigan apple crop is expected to be 28.74 million bushels. That’s about 435 million apple pies.

Diane Smith, executive Director of the Michigan Apple Committee, said that apple trees like the cold winter. The past lengthy winter allowed for the trees to stay dormant, and not wake too early before the spring.

“The apples look beautiful, there aren't any issues, and everything’s coming along the right way,” Said Smith.

*Listen to the full interview with Diane Smith above. 

Read more
Michigan Food & Agriculture
10:59 am
Tue August 19, 2014

The growth of the gourmet food truck industry is charted in new UM study

It's estimated there are about four thousand ‘gourmet’ food trucks, in U.S. cities with more than 100,000 residents.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Gourmet food trucks have seen remarkable growth in recent years.

A new University of Michigan study looks at the phenomena.

Researcher Todd Schifeling is a doctoral candidate in sociology at UM.  He’s also a big fan of food trucks. In fact, he says he was spending so much time eating at his local food truck, he thought he might as well get some research done at the same time.

Schifeling says gourmet food trucks tend to grow in communities with active locally grown food scenes and more than the average number of college graduates.

Read more
Stateside
4:13 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

You can thank an MSU professor for your favorite blueberry varieties

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 7:52 pm

“The great thing about blueberries is you can pick them, you can freeze them, you know, without a whole lot of preparation, and just pour them on stuff,” says James Hancock, professor of Horticulture at Michigan State University.

If you haven’t guessed, Hancock has a passion for blueberries. In fact, he has spent the last 30 years cultivating the berry.

The blueberry industry in Michigan has been commercially growing berries since the 1900s. In 2011, the Michigan blueberry industry spanned 18,000 acres and yielded 72 million pounds of fruit valued at more than $118 million.

Hancock has developed three of the most widely planted blueberry varieties throughout his three decades at MSU. He breeds high bush blueberries: the Aurora, the Draper, and the Liberty blueberry.

Hancock said his blueberries are not genetically modified. Some are grown as far away as Chile and South Korea.

*Listen to the full story above. 

Read more
Stateside
6:04 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Celebrity chef Mario Batali's delicious days in Northern Michigan

You know the name: Mario Batali – celebrity chef, restaurateur, infamous orange-Crocs-wearer. But what you might not know is that Batali is slightly obsessed with Northern Michigan – Leelanau Peninsula to be exact.

It seems Batali came across Northern Michigan just like a lot of people did. He married a woman and went on vacation back to a place she knew.

“Initially, I was like, well, I don’t know – a lake seemed small … then I got here. First of all, I didn’t realize we were on an “ocean.” Second of all, the water is as blue as the Caribbean. The sand here is as soft as the most amazing places in Hawaii I’ve ever been,” Batali recalled.

"There's a delicious culture of cherries, and there's magnificent understanding of grapes ... Gastronomically, it is very easy to fall in love with this place, because almost everything is delicious."

* Listen to our conversation with Mario Batali above.

Read more
Stateside
1:25 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

How climate change is impacting Michigan's farming future

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 5:16 pm

“What a beautiful fall day.”

Normally you won’t think anything of a tweet like this. But when that tweet comes at the end of July, it’s a little disconcerting.  

With the temperatures over the past few weeks dipping into the 50s, it’s hard not to think about the bigger consequences.

The Union of Concerned Scientists recently said if climate trends continue, Michigan agriculture will be harmed. That’s a big issue when you consider that agriculture is the state’s second largest industry, and agri-food and agri-energy businesses make up more than 20% of the state’s workforce.

Philip Robertson is a professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at Michigan State University. He joined us today to talk about how climate change could affect the future of farming in Michigan.

Jim Byrum was also with us to share what it means from the business side of agriculture. Byrum is the President of the Michigan Agri-Business Association.

*Listen to the full interview above.

Read more

Pages