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Swing by Byron Center Meats for all your grilling needs! 

The school year is quickly approaching and soon leaves will be falling and the mums blooming. With the shift in season comes the shift in how we spend our spare time. Football games become the Friday night tradition, we pile extra blankets on the back porch, and fire up the grill for the last go around before the cold temperatures set in. As you prepare for the shift, consider stocking your pantry and freezer with all your tailgating, autumn gathering, pre-Thanksgiving feasts needs.

Byron Center Meats, located on Freeland Avenue in Byron Center is the ideal place for one-stop-shopping as you stock your kitchen this season. Each month they offer specials. For the month of August they are highlighting BLT’s with hickory smoked bacon, all natural cure bacon, and hickory smoked cottage bacon. If you are planning some final grilling parties, or thinking ahead to Labor Day, consider trying out their house-made brats. It is important to note that the shelves in their retail store house more than bacon, brats, and sizzler steaks. They have rows of spices and seasonings, jams, BBQ sauces, plus all your grilling supplies are in store from charcoal to smoker chips.

Celebrating 70 years, Byron Center Meats has long been in the community and has become family to those who frequently visit the store. As a business, and more importantly as a family business, they strive to provide their customers from restaurants, to organizations, to families across the country with delicious, high-quality meats. Next time you find yourself near Byron Center, or are planning an autumn gathering with family and friends, be sure to stop by Byron Center Meats; their staff will make sure you leave with every item checked off of your list. 

Learn more on Byron Center Meats on their website.  

Ham Family Farm

Ham Family Farm has been in the Ham family for over 100 years. Currently Charlie and Lisa head up this 40-acre growing operation using organic practices in order to bring high-quality fruits and vegetables to the West Michigan community.

You can find Ham Family Farm at Fulton Street Farmers Market on Saturday mornings and can find them on select menus including Grove and New Holland Brewing Company. 

Learn more about Ham Family Farm.


Community Events & Classes!

Workshop: Composting 101

Tuesday, August 23 | 6:00p-8:00p | Founders Brewing Company

Green Michigan.org along with Founders Brewing Co. hosts a monthly workshop series on various sustainable topics. This month we will be discussing Composting. Join us to learn helpful tips and tricks for starting and maintaining a healthy composting operation. Ken Freestone a certified Master Composter will be on hand to show you all of the tips and tricks for your greens and browns. Space is limited and beer and sodas are available for purchase. Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the door.

Learn more

Class: The Simplest Salads, All Involving Cheese, of Course, with the Cheese Lady

Wednesday, August 24 | 6:00p-8:00p | Kitchen 242

Good, fresh ingredients make all the difference. And some cheeses lend themselves to salads. Let's make Caprese Salad, Watermelton Feta Salad and a Pear Salad two ways. And a few surprises. Come hungry for salad. #thecheeselady#GOMKG #muskegonfarmersmarket 

Learn more

Event: Berries, Blues, & BBQ

Friday, August 26 | 7:30p-10:00p | Stokes Homestead Farm Market

Enjoy a summer night in Michigan with a dinner on the farm! Relax under the pavilion as the folks from Stokes Homestead Farm Market serve you an appetizer, entree & dessert all made from in-season produce & local meats & cheeses. Enjoy a sampling of their locally crafted wine & beer from McIntosh Winery & Round Barn Winery. Blues music will accompany your relaxed dinner and you'll end the night with a wagon ride through the fields just as the sun is setting.

Learn more

Out Here, You Can See

A note from Green Wagon Farm*

Chefs, cooks, and servers from Reserve Wine & Food magicked the farm into a fine dining establishment this weekend. We toured the diners around the farm to set the scene before everyone sat down to eat it (including a goatling debut). Guests were seated with a glimpse of field and a backdrop of big sky. Clouds swirled and the sun descended as an elegant meal came out of the barn, one course at a time. What a beautiful, generous evening: a showcase of artistry, handiwork, and patience. 

Read more on Green Wagon's website.



Tips on how to store, cook, and prepare corn. 

All varieties of corn are grass, belonging to the gramineae family along with wheat, oats, and rye. Flavor and nutrition of the many diversified maize varieties has been sacrificed in the search for sweetness. Even so, a fresh, well-prepared ear of corn still offers a significant amount of vitamin A, B-complex, phosphorous, and potassium.

Corn on the cob is the most popular and flavorful way to enjoy fresh sweet corn. Simply rinse off the cob and eat it raw or cooked.

Refrigerate sweet corn immediately with husks on, and use as soon as possible to retain sweetness and flavor. Corn freezes well. Blanch on or off the cob for 3-5 minutes, rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process, and drain. Dry corn well, then pack it on or off the cob into airtight containers such as ziplock freezer bags.

Corn can be eaten raw, steamed, or roasted.

Interested in Trying New Corn Recipes?
Highlighted this week: Fresh Corn Risotto with Wild Rice and Pancetta, Fresh Corn Salad, Vegetarian Taco Salad, Lady Pea-and-Corn Patties, and Joan Munson’s Sweet White Corn Soup With Poblano Puree. Get the recipes.


From the Archives

Packing Sustainable Lunches
by Dana Eardley

August is officially here, and for many that means that the first day of school is nearing. In the rush to enjoy the final days of summer we find ourselves thinking less about preparations for the year ahead, and more about soaking in the last bit of sun-filled beach days, trips to the zoo, and bonfires. 

We dipped into our blog archive to bring you a story that will hopefully help ease the question of what to pack for lunch. Dana shares helpful tips on how to pack sustainable lunches for the school year ahead. You can find the story here.

*This content was created by an individual outside of Local First. The views expressed within this column do not necessarily reflect those of Local First, its staff or board.

Thank you to our partners for their leadership in growing our local food system in West Michigan!           


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