Locally grown initiatives starting to bear fruit

It’s been fairly simple this year to see the big push toward using locally grown food – all you have to do is visit one of the farmers markets that are offered regularly across the region.

The success of these markets makes it obvious that more Upper Peninsula residents are growing and using what is produced on small farms scattered across the region, and those are positive developments.

Not only does the local farming industry provide jobs to grow produce, raise livestock and gather and produce such local delicacies as maple syrup and honey, but large numbers of residents are learning more about the foods they eat – and where they come from.

And there are efforts under way to pull everything together into a U.P. wide conglomerate of local farmers, aimed at everything from having centralized storage and distribution points to expanding markets to institutional food buyers and extending the U.P.’s growing season. All these efforts have been highlighted in Journal staff writer Jackie Stark’s “Locally Grown” series this week, which we hope readers spent some time with.

Getting to where the local food industry wants to be, though, takes time, work and funding. Luckily, there are people, organizations and governments working to make the efforts a success.

We certainly support these efforts and hope they result in a vibrant locally grown food industry and more good quality table fare for all of us to enjoy.