Michigan Organic Listserv

April 19, 2018


MSU Center for Regional Food Systems

From the desk of Vicki Morrone ([log in to unmask])

Information for you and your farm.


Educational Events



2018 Cover Crop Field Walk at Kellogg Biological Station

The second field walk on April 26 in Hickory Corners will focus on cover crop and Intermediate Wheatgrass winter survival.

By: Dean Baas, Michigan State University Extension, and Vicki Morrone, W.K. Kellogg Biological Station.

The Michigan State University (MSU) Extension cover crops team will be hosting a series of informational Cover Crop Field Walks in 2018 looking at different cover crop species and how they work in different cropping systems. This is an opportunity for producers and agricultural professionals to visit cover crop field sites in various locations throughout Michigan with MSU Extension educators to observe and discuss cover crop use, management, benefits and challenges.

Walks are scheduled on Thursdays from 5 – 7 p.m. The second field walk of the season will take place on April 26at the MSU W.K. Kellogg Biological Station (KBS), 9693 N. 40th Street, Hickory Corners, MI 49060. Participants will see cover crop plots that were highlighted at the November 7, 2017 field day. Cover crops inter-seeded into standing corn at V3 and V6, mixtures after wheat, small grains for forage after silage and plots of various species will be toured to evaluate them for how they over-winter or winterkill, providing an opportunity to discuss the pros and cons of each and how they might fit into a cropping system.

We will visit the Intermediate Wheatgrass field where we saw cows grazing last fall. This crop is being tested to produce grain AND used for grazing. As a perennial its great at holding nitrogen and soil in its place. Let’s check how much growth it has accumulated since grazing last November 7.

For more information about this Field Walk, contact MSU Extension educator Dean Baas at [log in to unmask] or 269-967-9672.





Wild Mushroom Cultivation

Just a few mushroom-related events to bring to your attention.  First, for anyone who would like to obtain certification to commercially forage wild mushrooms (i.e. sell mushrooms they forage from the woods to restaurants, stores and at farmers markets) Midwest American Mycological Information (MAMI) is holding three spring workshops.  


The program that remains with openings will be held in Marquette on April 28 at the Marquette Food Co-op in Marquette.  Upon successful completion of the class and exam participants will be issued an  “Expert Mushroom Identifier” card by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development which will allow them to legally broker commercially-foraged wild mushrooms.


For more information see:


Easygrow Mushrooms and Composting LLC will be presenting a

shiitake log cultivation workshop

Saturday, May 5 at Colasanti’s market in Milford, MI ( .  The workshop will include a 70 minute overview presentation on the essentials and nuances of growing

shiitake mushrooms followed by a hands-on session of inoculating shiitake

logs.  This workshop is designed for both folks who simply want to grow

mushrooms for their tables as well as those who want to commercially grow

shiitake for sale at farmers markets, restaurants and grocers.  The cost

of the class is $60 per participant and everyone will receive a handout

overviewing shiitake growing as well as an inoculated shiitake log to

bring home.  For more information call Colasanti’s Market at 248-887-0012

or e-mail Easygrow Mushrooms and Composting LLC at

[log in to unmask].


MSU Product Center and MSU Extension are taking registrations for the following seminars that are being held now through the end of April:


April 20, 1-3pm “How to Start A Commercial Food Business” in Lansing. Register at


April 26, 6-8pm “How to Start A Cottage Food Business” in Frankenmuth. Register at


April 30, 6-8pm “How to Start A Cottage Food Business” in Frankenmuth. Register at




New Organic Management Resource Available from SARE 

Increasingly aware how food purchases affect their health and the environment, consumers are changing the way they eat. Sales of organic products in the United States totaled $47 billion in 2016, an increase of nearly $3.7 billion from 2015. But demand for many organic staples continues to outstrip domestic supplies, despite record growth in the number of new organic operations.


SARE’s new Organic Production topic room assists organic producers who are struggling to manage pests, fertility and tillage in compliance with stringent organic standards. Including a wide range of free materials developed by SARE, SARE grant recipients and experts in the field, Organic Production addresses:


●   Pest Management: Use pest life cycles and biological factors to influence pest growth and management.
 Whole Systems: Manage your organic operation as an integrated, whole system.
 Seeds: Grow and save your own organic seeds.
 Fertility Management: Optimize fertility using cover crops, manure, crop rotation and organic fertilizers.
 Certification: Understand USDA certification, agencies, regulations and cost.

●   ...and more!


Organic production is complex, requires patience and demands that producers have the knowledge and experience needed to manage diverse biological systems. Organic Production offers both transitioning and experienced organic producers valuable insights into using organic production to improve profitability while meeting a wide range of conservation and productivity goals.


Please note: Organic Production includes some resources containing practices and suggestions that may not align with USDA organic certification requirements. Users should read carefully and always check with their organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. 



Have something to share on Michigan’s food systems?  Look no further…

Share your stories and skills at the 2018 Michigan Good Food Summit


The MSU Center for Regional Food Systems is seeking proposals for breakout sessions for the 2018 Michigan Good Food Summit. 


This year's Summit will focus on amplifying under-represented voices across the food system as we continue advancing the Good Food Charter's vision of equity, sustainability and a thriving economy for all of Michigan and its people. 


For detailed submission guidelines and instructions, visit:

Submissions due Monday, April 30th, 2018 at 5pm EST


For questions on submission procedure, please contact Diane Drago at [log in to unmask]

For questions on the content of your proposal, please contact Rachel Kelly at [log in to unmask].



















Employment Opportunities

ValleyHUB at the Kalamazoo Valley Food Innovation Center is hiring for 2 new full-time positions on our team.


ValleyHUB is a farm, food hub, and education center based at the Food Innovation Center at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, part of the new Bronson Healthy Living Campus and supporting KVCC's Culinary Arts & Sustainable Food Systems degree program. At our farm, we test new and innovative methods for year-round growing. In our food hub, we distribute fresh food from local producers to local customers. And our training center offers programs in food safety, produce handling, and production methods to help growers, food handlers, and chefs innovate and succeed. Our goal is to get more healthy food onto more plates in Southwest Michigan by training, educating, and supporting the fresh food supply chain.


Food Systems Program Coordinator:


Food Hub Operations Coordinator:


Use link in posting to apply online. Deadline to apply is March 21.


Rachel Chadderdon Bair
Director for Sustainable and Innovative Food Systems 

[log in to unmask]

p: 269.548.3305

c: 734.717.0050



Spread the word—

Crosshatch is hiring

What is Crosshatch? Crosshatch provides resources for our community to become stronger, more self-reliant, and more native to place

We organize workshops, courses, and conferences that teach our neighbors how to do things like: become a beekeeper, care for goats, build a brick oven, graft fruit trees, manage soil effectively, preserve food, and more. Whether you are new to do-it-yourself projects or you are already a professional, Crosshatch has resources for you. 

We also manage guilds: informal, but powerful peer groups that dive deeper into a specific topic. Current guilds exist for small farmers, beekeepers, orchardists, mushroom cultivators, fiber folks, grain growers, and green builders.   

YOU: are a relationship builder, task list checker, finely detailed

thinker, thoughtful story-teller who makes meaning from fundraising.


WE: are a tight-knit team of action-oriented community builders, who understand the importance and power of art, ecology, economy and agriculture


US, TOGETHER: are like granola and yogurt, Egyptian plovers and crocodiles, Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keeffe, and corn + beans + squash.


Crosshatch is seeking a full time development professional with strong skills and living experience in donor development, grant writing, capital campaigns and corporate sponsorships. Crosshatch is based in the 10 county region of Northwest Lower Michigan and is seeking folks who  live in (or are willing to relocate to) this region, who are able to travel regularly, and who are able to work primarily from home.

Visit our website to learn more.



Sustainable Farming Internships and Apprenticeships With ATTRA Sustainable Ag

A directory of on-the-job learning opportunities in sustainable and organic agriculture in the U.S. (and some in Canada) has been published since 1989 as a tool to help farmers and apprentices connect with each other.
Anyone can browse the listings for free. As a subscriber, you can build a personalized listing to connect with internship seekers. The listed farms are primarily seeking interns/apprentices from North America.


Funding Opportunities

The MSU Center for Regional Food Systems is pleased to offer a third – and likely final – round of Michigan Local Food Council Network Seed Grants.  Existing and developing Michigan local food or food policy councils are eligible to apply for grants of up to $5,000, or $6,000 with matching funds.  These seed grants provide a source for existing councils to expand their capacity and newly-forming councils to accelerate their development. The grant program also aims to increase connection and opportunities for peer-to-peer learning among councils through participation in the Michigan Local Food Council Network.  


For complete details, see the request for proposals at


Proposals are due by 5:00pm on Thursday, May 17.


The grant period is six months, from mid-June to mid-December.  This is likely the final round of statewide seed grant funding for local food councils that CRFS will offer, so we encourage all eligible councils to apply!  For more information or questions on the process, contact me at the info below.



Liz Gensler ([log in to unmask])



Vicki Morrone

Organic Farming Specialist

Center for Regional Food Systems at Michigan State University

480 Wilson Rd

East Lansing, MI 48824


[log in to unmask]



If you would like to access a searchable archive of the all the previous Mich-Organic listserv postings copy this URL and paste in your browser address field