New grant funds study of Great Lakes aquaculture

The federal government awarded a $1 million grant to help the Great Lakes states promote aquaculture, including consumer education and correction of misinformation about the health and environmental aspects of fish farming. We hear from Sea Grant exports in the Western UP, Wisconsin and Minnesota. By CarinTunney.

Eastern Market implements new guidelines, business models to cater to the health, safety of guests

Courtesy of Samuel MorykwasShoppers attend the Flower Day Market in Eastern Market

Eastern Market has been one of Detroit, Michigan’s most prominent tourist destinations for over 150 years. With the COVID-19 pandemic going on, the market has remained open, but with new safety measures implemented. Sam Morykwas, marketing manager for Eastern Market, explained that Eastern Market wanted to ensure the safety of its guests and to make sure that they were complying with the state and city’s safety initiatives. Eastern Market uses several safety measures to limit face-to-face interactions and to keep the vendors and guests safe. These measures include sanitizing services and handwashing stations for the staff and guests, a taped 6-by-6-foot grid for a visual guide to help maintain social distancing, no longer allowing sampling from vendors, contact-free payments, additional signs to encourage people to distance themselves, required masks upon entry, temporary fencing around the market and a north and south entry point into the shed to regulate the flow of traffic.

Food bank in Lapeer serves through folklore morals

Jillian Felton / Michigan State UniversityThe entry way of the Stone Soup Food Bank of Lapeer. The old European folk story, Stone Soup, tells the story of a stranger who enters a town and convinces the villagers to all contribute a small amount of their food to make a meal they could all enjoy. The moral of the story is that by working together and contributing what you can, a greater good can be achieved. Stone Soup Food Bank of Lapeer operates under the same morals this folklore reinforces, which is how it got it’s name. Mary MacLeod, the business development director at Stone Soup Food Bank of Lapeer, said through volunteers, program, fundraisers and donations, the food bank is able to serve around a million pounds of food a year.

Northville Farmers’ Market continues as community ‘mainstay’

Nick MaizMany potential customers parked their cars next to the Northville Farmers’ Market on June 25. When Michele Fecht returned to shop at the Northville Farmers’ Market after COVID-19 delayed the first market of the season, she noticed that the parking lots and the booths were still full of people eager to buy produce. Because of this, she doesn’t think the recent pandemic will affect the longevity of the farmers’ market. “I think the market is a mainstay,” Fecht said. “People really value the market, and it’s such an asset to our community.”

The Northville farmers’ market is held every Thursday from May to October every year.

Farmers markets cope with COVID-19 order

The governor’s executive orders allow farmers markets to operate during the pandemic, but many aren’t opening on schedule or at all. That has an adverse impact on farmers and other vendors who rely on them. We talk to a Zeeland farmer and a Traverse City-based organization that promotes local farmers and producers.

Michigan’s migrant farmworkers vulnerable to coronavirus pandemic

Michigan agriculture depends heavily on migrant and seasonal labor, much of it from Mexico, but these workers — especially those living in camps — are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. In addition, the government’s suspension of the H-2A visa program leaves many farmers worried about a sufficient labor force for this year’s crops. We talk to a Gregory farmer, Migrant Legal Services in Grand Rapids, the Department of Health & Human Services and Great Lakes Bay Health Centers with clinics in eastern Michigan, including Belding and Owosso. By Kurt Williams.