3.   Farmers market returns

Thursday, July 06, 2006

By Gary W. Morrison

The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS -- West Michigan Environmental Action Council's weekly farmers market returns after a one-year hiatus.

The council and Divine Grace Church are opening the market July 13 in a parking lot across from the church at Franklin Street SE and Fuller Avenue on the city's Southeast Side.

The market will be open Thursdays from 1 to 6 p.m. through Oct. 12, said Tom Cary, director of sustainable and agriculture systems for the council. Each month, plans are to have special events, such as a fried green tomato festival.

The council had markets in 2003 and 2004 with funding from Michigan Department of Community Health. This year's markets are with a Kent County Health Department grant of $15,000, which helps pay Cary as a market manager.

The partnership with the church provides space for the market, with the church's youth pastor assisting Cary.

Youths from the church are expected to help at the market.

Paul Geer, co-owner of Frozen Creek Farms, feels the location will give people easier access to fresh produce and vegetables.

"Markets help both the people and small farmers," said Geer, who plans to sell freeze-dried herbs, soups and vegetable dips along with fresh produce.

"It brings fresh food to the people and helps farmers who have things to sell to survive."

One month in and the NEW downtown location of the Ypsi Farmer's Market (Tuesdays, 3-7 pm) is going strong, and continuing to grow!  We continue to add vendors, and the rain has not kept people away!   We hope that you'll stop in-- even today!  Growing Hope has organic kale & collards, peas, broccoli, and more from Needlelane Farms in Tipton, as well as hydronic tomatoes grown by FFA students at the votech in Lenawee County... Steve Carpo's got APRICOTS, rasberries, and cherries(!!!)... there are great breads and baked goods, greens, potatoes, honey, & more!   


Today is also our first on-site Project Fresh training (about 100 attended the first series last Saturday at the Ypsi Depot Town Farmer's Market!), so we'll lots of participating moms and little ones around for extra fun!  AND, the credit card and EBT (food stamp) transactions are going well... So there are many ways to shop!


Join us today and every Tuesday in the Key Bank Center lot, in downtown Ypsilanti on the corner of Michigan Ave & Hamilton.  Flyers are attached-- please pass along, or print & post!


Amanda Maria Edmonds                                                

Executive Director, Growing Hope                        

[log in to unmask]



4.  Second annual field day on Enhancing Beneficial Insects with Native Plants will be held on August 1, 2006.


This 1-day event is targeted to:

  • farmers/growers,
  • Extension educators,
  • NRCS personnel,
  • Conservation District personnel,
  • Master Gardeners and native plant enthusiasts.

In addition to what we talked about at last year's field day, this year's field day will include up-to-date information about the plants most attractive to beneficial insects,new plants we are considering for attracting beneficials, and a demonstration of native plant seeding.
Please feel free to distribute to any interested individuals and groups.
Field day information and registration forms are available at:
Thank you,
Anna Fiedler
Anna Fiedler
Graduate Student
204 Center for Integrated Plant Systems
Michigan State University
E. Lansing MI 48824-1311
Lab: 517-432-5282
Fax: 517-353-5598
Web: http://www.ipm.msu.edu/plants/home.htm


5.  Inconsistent Weed Control With Glyphosate Reported

Illinois farmers have recently been reporting inadequate weed control "with an initial postemergence application of glyphosate in soybean," according to University of Illinois (U of I) Extension weed scientists Aaron Hager and Dawn Nordby.

"The species most commonly mentioned include waterhemp, horseweed (marestail), giant ragweed, common ragweed and common lambsquarters," they report. "We have observed a similar 'decreased performance' from glyphosate-containing products for each of these species during past seasons (lambsquarters in 2001 and 2005, horseweed in 2003, giant ragweed in 2004, etc.), but it seems that inconsistent weed control with glyphosate may be as widespread in 2006 as in any previous season."

Nordby and Hager list a number of possible factors that may be behind this year's glyphosate difficulties, including dry/drought conditions, weed size, insect feeding and spray application timing, rate and volume. "Past, present, and near-future weather conditions can influence herbicide performance by affecting how much herbicide enters the plant and, to some extent, how extensively the herbicide translocates within the plant following absorption," they report. "Dry soils coupled with hot, low-humidity days tend to reduce the amount of herbicide absorbed by plants. In contrast, weeds growing with adequate soil moisture typically absorb applied herbicides faster and often more thoroughly."

For more information on potential reasons for problems with postemergence weed control with glyphosate products, visit the following U of I Web link: www.ipm.uiuc.edu/bulletin/article.php?id=579.

6.  Rust Movement Remains Minuscule

Thanks to drought conditions in the southeastern U.S., soybean rust has stalled in its march northward, according to USDA. Soybean rust has been confirmed in only a few sentinel plots in the southeastern U.S. and has traveled no further north than southern Alabama.

"We are approaching the first flowering stage for soybeans in our sentinel plots in Ohio, and it's very unlikely with these low levels of inoculum that our growers are going to have to deal with this," says Anne Dorrance, an Ohio State University plant pathologist. According to the USDA's Pest Information Platform for Extension and Education, located at sbrusa.net -- soybean rust has been confirmed on kudzu patches in 23 counties: 12 in Florida, five in Alabama, four in Georgia and one each in Louisiana and Texas.

Despite the slow movement of the disease, plant pathologists and Ohio State University Extension educators will monitor the 36 sentinel plots in Ohio throughout the remainder of the growing season, says Dorrance. "There is an outside chance of disease development on soybeans that have been planted late or had to be replanted, so the monitoring must continue," she adds. "Overall, even though the disease may not appear, we still have to go through the process and collect the data, because the negative data is often more important than the positive data."

Even if a sudden inoculum buildup were to occur, an epidemic in Ohio is being discounted. "At just a 3% infection level in soybean fields across the state, we would have to have 12 million spores hit every acre in the state all at the same time," notes Dorrance. "With 5 million acres, that just doesn't compute, and we'd know that soybean rust was present long before it ever reached that level because it would be everywhere."

Soybean rust could enter Ohio through a variety of routes: south through Kentucky, from North Carolina over the Appalachian Mountains, or up the Mississippi River and along the Ohio River through southern Indiana and western Kentucky. For more information on soybean rust, log onto agcrops.osu.edu. For information on soybean rust recently found in Louisiana, visit the following Delta Farm Press Web link: deltafarmpress.com/news/070806rust-finding/.
Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.
Source: Ohio State University News and Media Relations


7. Julberty’s Dairy has been  bought out by Dean's -the huge dairy conglomerate, of dubious fame. 


Worst of all, besides losing a distinctly Upper Peninsula business, is that the buyout is rumored to involve Farm Credit, financing.  In other words, our tax dollars are financing the dissolution of a dairy company that actively promoted RBGH-free milk products and local farms.


But, the news gets worse..a CAFO  (Confined Animal Facility Operation) that was planned for the Trenary area, and met with such vehement and immediate local opposition it withdrew, is now headed for Delta County and the same water guzzling, animal abusing, drug laden milk production.  Once again, USDA financing through Farm Credit is assisting this move, and residents have not been made aware of the plans and potential problems that will most assuredly accompany a milk CAFO in the Upper Peninsula.  Just what is it these clowns don't understand about the importance of water -clean water- open spaces and good forage and forests in our region?


The CAFO was run out of the Marquette and Trenary area by alert, informed citizens who were literally willing to put their bodies on the line to show immediate opposition and informed dissent to the dirtbags even floating a proposal to jam in such a wasteful and polluting business.  I am sure Delta County has people who also value their rivers, streams, fields and forests and do not see a 'factory farm' as a positive addition to the area.


Please pass this message along, and I will keep trying to learn more about this, especially the governmental financing of the proposed operation.


During this past year, Upper Peninsula small farms have shown once again that local, naturally produced agricultural products are sought after and provide local jobs, unique regional, healthy food.  We know this, Michigan Farmers Union knows this, and we need to keep letting our friends and neighbors know too.


Thanks, and yes, there will be something we can do.


Yours on the up trail,


sue raker


Calumet, Michigan



Vicki Morrone

Organic Vegetable and Crop Outreach Specialist

Michigan State University

C.S. Mott Sustainable Food Systems

303 Natural Resources Bldg.

East Lansing, MI 48824


517-282-3557 (cell)

517-353-3834 (fax)



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