After six growing seasons, Michelle and Danny Lutz were ready to call it quits. But the owners of Maple Creek Farm, which sells organic produce and honey, say they are going to give it another year before chucking in their dream.
“I still have a lot of fight in me,” says Michelle.
After putting every penny into the farm, she says they were still scraping to support the 80-acre operation near Port Huron.
Like other organic farmers across the country, the Lutzes are trying to make a go of it by asking city dwellers for help. Families pay an annual fee ($400) to have produce delivered to a central drop-off site each week during the growing season. But only 155 families participated this year, compared to 229 last season.
To make up for the loss, Michelle says they attempted to break into the commercial market, but couldn’t get any grocers to sell their produce. And last week, the couple learned that their insurance company would not pay $37,000 to replace their maple syrup house which burned two years ago — a big source of their income.
“We just wanted to continue doing what we love to do,” says Michelle.
But that may not be possible unless the couple gets at least 200 families to purchase produce next season, says Michelle. To help Maple Creek Farm survive — and to get luscious fruits and greens — call 810-387-4365.
EAT TO THE BEAT
Don’t miss the Chrysler Arts Beats & Eats festival in downtown Pontiac this weekend, Sept. 1-4. Sample food from 50 different restaurants (including Bad Frog Tavern, Beale St. Blues, Pike Street and many more), and see art by 150 artists while listening to music from 150 bands. Best of all, admission is free! For more info on parking (shuttles are available) and concert times, visit www.artsbeatseats.com.
Sure, we all know milk is good for us, or so says the dairy industry. Find out how fit you are (whether you’re a milk drinker or not) this weekend, when the Milk Mustache Mobile moves into town. It’ll bring its free fitness assessments and dietitians to the State Fair on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. On Sept. 2, it’ll be at the Produce Palace, 29300 Dequindre, Warren, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. On Sept. 3 it’ll be at Kroger, 47650 Grand River, Novi, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; and on Sept. 4 it’s at Farmer Jack, 29751 Seven Mile, Livonia, from 3-7 p.m.
ORDER BY NUMBER
16: percentage of Americans who hate to cook.
35: minutes spent, on average, preparing dinner.
30: minutes spent, on average, eating dinner.
5: number of dinners eaten together by the average American family, per week.
31: percentage of families who usually eat dinner in front of the television.
831,000: pounds of baked beans consumed by metro Detroiters during Labor Day weekend.
436,000: pounds of baked beans consumed by Bostonians during Labor Day weekend.
5,000: pounds of antacid consumed by people in southeastern Michigan over that same weekend.
51: percentage of shoppers who never purchase organic products.
$1.5 billion: yearly corporate sales by Detroit-based Farmer Jack supermarkets.
Sources: Farmer Jack Supermarkets, ACNielsen, National Pork Producers Council.Ann Mullen is a Metro Times staff writer. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org