The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative

The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative operates urban farms in Detroit. This is a great group of young folks committed to urban farming and reinvigorating the city of Detroit. In this Skype conversation Molly Hubbell- Vice President and Pinky Jones – Farm manager talk with me about urban farming, the struggles of intercity folks to access food in a bankrupt city.

Maysie’s Farm and Cucina Verde

Annmarie and Sam Cantrell join me on this episode.

Sam runs Maysie’s Farm Conservation Center. He’s a conservationist at heart and a dreamer too. Sam started his CSA in the ’90’s. We talk about some of the history of the CSA movement including Sam’s 1980’s brush with one of the earliest adopters of the CSA concept in the USA. A look at history I think, is a look at change. From my experience, small farmers are changing their businesses more frequently than most. Face it, farming is a commodity business where it’s quite difficult to differentiate one farmers products from the same ones another farmer is growing.

With this challenge of differentiation comes the need to tweak your business more frequently than most, I think, and you’ll hear how Sam has done that to keep himself afloat. You will hear about the ever-present stress of the business coming from both managing perceived customer expectations and managing the labor to meet those expectations.

Annmarie has worked as an educator her entire adult life. She currently operates Cucina Verde providing culinary wellness training. She also sells her own fermented foods at local farmers markets. Annmarie is a founding member of GMO Free PA where she advocates for food labeling policies.

I mention the book: [amazon text=Tomorrow’s Table&asin=B00BR5LC72]┬áby Pamela Ronald and Raoul Adamchak.┬áThis book discusses the practical juggle between the need to supply the world with food and the need for environmental and economic sustainability for the farms that grow your food.

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