Rapid River farm part of farm tour program

MARQUETTE — The annual MFC Local Farm Tours, coordinated by the Marquette Food Co-op, will take place on Aug. 20 and Sept. 17. A Rapid River area farm will be one of the farms visited. Open to the public, the tours provide an opportunity to visit participating farms and to learn more about local food production in the Upper Peninsula. The tours are free and run from noon to 5 p.m., rain or shine. New this year, there is also a photography contest where participants can share their best shots from their tour using a unique hashtag on Instagram.

This year’s participating farms cultivate a wide variety of food products including honey, berries, herbs, plant starts, flowers, mushrooms, pork, beef, lamb, eggs, and a huge diversity of vegetables. The Aug. 20 tours include GrandBee’s Apiary in Pelkie, the MSU North Farm in Chatham, Reh-Morr Farm in Eben Junction and Treasa’s Treasures in Munising. The Sept. 17 tours include Hannah’s Garden in Marquette, Seeds & Spores Family Farm in Marquette, BSB Farm in Skandia and Superior Angus in Rapid River. All the tours are independently led by each participating local farm.

These are working farms, and attendees are encouraged to wear comfortable hiking or walking shoes, and to pack snacks, water, and anything you need to be prepared for the weather.

Participants are invited to join in on the co-op’s first ever UP Farm Tour Photo Contest. Anyone attending a farm tour can participate by posting their photos to Instagram, mentioning or tagging the farm and the co-op, and using the hashtag #UPFarmTours2017. Finalists will be selected by MFC staff and the winner will be determined by popular vote on Instagram. The winning photo will be used to promote next year’s tours, and the photographer will be credited and will also receive a basket of local farm goods.

For 12 years, the Marquette Food Co-op has been coordinating these tours with their local vendors to offer the community an opportunity to connect with local food. In that span of time, the food landscape in the U.P. has changed to reflect an increasing interest in supporting local economies and the growth of farmers markets, as more people are focused on the connection between food and a healthy community.

Pick up a MFC Local Farm Tours Guidebook at the Marquette Food Co-op for more information on each participating farm, the date of their tour, and directions to their location from Marquette. The guidebook is available online on the co-op webpage at the website https://marquettefood.coop/community/co-op-news .