TLD Announces Harvest Haiku Challenge

Bill Palladino, Press Release, Uncategorized

Harvest Haiku Challenge

For Immediate Release

Date: October 1, 2016

Contact: Bill Palladino, (231)590-1685

Harvest Haiku Challenge Launched in Northern Michigan

Traverse City – Taste the Local Difference®, Michigan’s local food branding and marketing organization, has launched the Harvest Haiku Challenge in partnership with Blackbird Arts TC and Michigan Writers. The poetry contest opened for entries on October 1 with a deadline of November 15, 2016.

Haiku are a form of Japanese poetry. Each haiku is spare in design, expressing a single emotion or impression in seventeen syllables of unrhymed words on three lines with five, seven, and five syllables on each line, respectively. The short poems are often related to the natural world. The emphasis for this contest will be on celebrating the many facets of Northern Michigan’s harvest season.

TLD Launches Guide to Local Food in Southeast Michigan

Press Release, Tricia Phelps

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Date:               July 7, 2016

Contact:          Tricia Phelps, (847) 809-7643

New Guide to Local Food for Southeast Michigan

Ann Arbor – Taste the Local Difference®, Michigan’s local-food branding and marketing program, will publish its TLD Guide to Local Food in Southeast Michigan starting Thursday July 14th, 2016. The new magazine-format guide will cover nine counties across the region.

Taste the Local Difference® (TLD) has become an iconic brand, helping to market and sell local food in Michigan for more than a decade. Its mission is to “help food businesses and the communities they serve benefit from the economic value of local food while making fresh, healthy, local food available to all.” TLD first appeared in 2004 as a small booklet listing farms and restaurants in five counties around Grand Traverse Bay. Since then it has grown to include a robust set of online, mobile, and print resources for local food businesses across the state. Its annual Guide to Local Food magazine will now have a special printing for Southeast Michigan.

In 2016, TLD began offering its services to the local food community in Washtenaw County through an ACT 88 economic development grant.  TLD has since expanded those services to eight other counties including Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, Monroe, Ingham, Livingston, Jackson and Lenawee counties. The new TLD Guide to Local Food in Southeast Michigan will include maps and listings of farms, farmers markets, and food businesses, making it easy for consumers to find locally grown and produced food.

In addition to the nine counties represented in the southeast Michigan guide, TLD also covers all 15 counties in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, 11 counties in northeast Michigan and 10 counties in northwest Michigan, totaling 45 counties across the state in two publications with a circulation of 80,000 copies.

Inside the thirty-six page guide, consumers will find maps and listings of hundreds of farms and local food businesses. There are also directories of farmers markets, community-supported agriculture (CSA) farms, locally made beverage businesses, and stories about the people and organizations creating a thriving local food movement in southeast Michigan.

Beyond the guide, TLD offers a basic set of marketing resources to farms, farmers, and farmers markets at no cost. Additional marketing support can be added using an inexpensive fee-based system. Value-added food producers, food hubs, restaurants, retail stores, markets, wholesale distributors, schools, hospitals, and other large businesses can also benefit from TLD’s local food marketing strategies. All of this is available at a very reasonable cost, scaled to meet the needs of each business.

The TLD Guide to Local Food in Southeast Michigan will be available to the public free of charge starting on July 14th, 2016.  Magazines may be found at participating farm stands, farmers markets, grocery stores and visitor centers.

For more, information, please contact Tricia Phelps at (847) 809-7643,, or visit



For a print-ready version of this media release click here.

Taste the Local Difference® is a social enterprise of the Traverse City-based Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities. For more than 20 years, Groundwork has focused on three areas to create stronger, more vibrant, and resilient communities: transportation, clean energy, and food and farming. Groundwork’s Taste the Local Difference® program is a recognized leader in developing new models for local food systems in Michigan and elsewhere.


Part-time TLD Position Opening

Get Involved, Learn More, Tricia Phelps

date released: March 9th 2016

Local Food Coordinator Position (part-time)
Magazine Distribution, Building Healthy Communities (BHC) Grant Opportunities
Location: Northwest Lower, Michigan. Office: 1610 Barlow Street in Traverse City, MI
Start Date: ASAP

Our Mission:
“Taste the Local Difference® helps food businesses and the communities they serve realize the economic value of local food, while ensuring that healthy, local food is available to all consumers.”

About Taste the Local Difference® (TLD)
Taste the Local Difference is a local food marketing agency providing a vast array of products and services to Michigan’s local farmers and food businesses. TLD is a community resource and product identifier for local food— meaning the work we do helps consumers to find local food, in stores and throughout the community.

TLD consults with a variety of businesses including retail stores, hospitals and other institutions, about sourcing more local, healthy food options. These local-food consulting services provide value to businesses not only through staff education, procurement strategy development and promotion, but also through simple economics.

The Local Food Coordinator Position is responsible for assisting the TLD Operations Director in business consultations about local, healthy food purchasing. The coordinator will make initial food assessments, strategize with Operations Director on possibilities for improvement, and help promote new initiatives once implemented.

Collecting information from various stakeholder groups about the needs and requests for new marketing materials will also be a requirement. The Local Food Coordinator will work with the Operations Director, and the Brand Manager to develop new materials. These materials will then need to be placed in-stores by the Local Food Coordinator and monitored for rips, tears or alterations. The Coordinator will be representing TLD in the community, interfacing with retailers, and interacting with consumers. The successful candidate is expected to be knowledgeable, professional and above all friendly.

TLD also produces an annual print publication that serves as a free community resource. Distribution of the 2016 Guide to Local Food in northern Michigan will also be a responsibility of the Local Food Coordinator. And therefore a car will be required for this position.

 The position will require a commitment of 20-30 hours per week. It is an entry-level position.

Preferred Experience

  • Retail or Service Industry
  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Optional & Encouraged: Food Production or Farming


Desired Qualities

  • Task-Oriented
  • Motivated
  • Friendly
  • Self-Starter
  • Organized


  • Valid driver’s license
  • Access to vehicle


This is a part-time position. Hourly rate is $12.00/hr.

TLD will pay a mileage rate for use of employee’s own vehicle.


Tricia Phelps
TLD Operations Director

Interested candidates should send a cover letter describing their interest along with a resume of their work and school experiences.

Ending Food Waste – Feeding People

Bill Palladino, Food Policy, food waste


The amount of food wasted in our nation is stunning.


“In the United States, 31 percent — or 133 billion pounds — of the 430 billion pounds of the available food supply at the retail and consumer levels in 2010 went uneaten,” according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

From the point of view of a food business, this statistic erodes already slim profit margins. The USDA goes on to say, “the estimated value of this food loss (in 2010) was $161.6 billion using retail prices.” To bring that down to earth for us, here’s a quote ‘80’s television icon Mr. T, “That ain’t no chump change!”


The Season for Garden Planning: Making a Case for Starting from Seed

Gardening, Learn More, Tenille Enger

It’s hard to believe as we wake up to frost-gilded mornings and experience the darkest days of the year that there’s any logic in thinking about the garden. Most enthusiasts, however, will tell you this is an ideal time to dream.

Seed catalogs for the 2016 growing season are printed and finding their way into mailboxes all across the country. They’re like a passport to choice, offering a mind-boggling array of herbs and vegetables in every shape, size and color. They present you with access to thousands of plants you won’t find at the farmer’s market or garden center or big box store. Sure, transplants are convenient, but why limit yourself to the handful of selections someone else has deemed marketable? Why not search out varieties to suit your tastes and specific growing conditions?

catalogs copy.jpgNever try growing your own? Consider this: not only is it easier than you’ve probably imagined but your dollar goes farther when you grow from seed, and it opens up a world of options you never realized you had. Freedom of choice aside, tap root vegetables (radishes, beets, carrots, parsnips, rutabagas) aren’t available as transplants at all. And if you’ve never experienced the taste of a carrot just plucked from the soil, you’re missing out on one of the great joys of gardening life.

Overwhelmed by the choices? Take a look at your grocery list. What vegetables and herbs do you most often purchase? Use this as a starting point. Consider your space and growing conditions when looking for a particular variety. Don’t assume limited space means you can’t grow your own. Look for compact varieties or those that are well-suited for containers. Also consider your intended use (fresh eating, canning or preserving, juicing, etc.). Not all vegetables are created equal and you may find you need to include multiple varieties of one vegetable. The qualities that make a tomato great for canning aren’t necessarily the ones you’re looking for when you want a juicy tomato slice on your BLT.

glass gem corn copyAlready have some favorites? Consider trialing a new-to-you variety next to your good ol’ standby. You may have a new favorite waiting to be discovered! Or try something new you’ve always been curious about. Carrots in every shade of the rainbow; corn that looks like stained glass; zucchinis shaped like spaceships… don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun! You’ll be surprised how much you learn in the process.

I’ve used a lot of words advocating for herbs and vegetables, but don’t forget the flowers! Some are edible, like calendula, bachelor’s buttons, nasturtiums, pansies. Many are beneficial companion plants, too, attracting pollinators or acting as insect traps or deterrents for pests. And let’s face it – they’re just beautiful to look at. And when you include beauty in your landscape, you’re far more likely to want to spend time there, benefiting you and the garden. Bonus: most are exceedingly easy to start from seed and the variety of colors and forms you’ll find in seed catalogs won’t leave you feeling disappointed.

This is the perfect time of year to sit back and think about the possibilities and research varieties. William Blake once wrote “In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy”. So snuggle in with a seed catalog and some cocoa and give yourself permission to dream about green things. Here are some links to seed providers with a diverse offering of flowers, herbs and vegetables to get you started:



Happy planning!

Tenille Enger is an amateur cook and gardener with a passion for moments when the two intersect. She is an active contributor to Taste the Local Difference® in both digital works and in print. You can contact her at

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Deadline for TLD’s 2016 Guide to Local Food

Find Local Food, Press Release, Tricia Phelps

For Immediate Release

Date:  January 26, 2016

Contact: Tricia Phelps,, 231-941-6584 ext. 716

Taste the Local Difference® Partner Sign-up & the 2016 Guide to Local Food Deadline

Taste the Local Difference® (TLD) is a local food marketing agency based out of northwest Michigan. For over twelve years they’ve been promoting local farmers and food producers through the power of collective branding and storytelling. TLD differentiates local product on store shelves and throughout the community to ensure consumers consider the local options they have when making purchasing decisions.

001_TasteLocal2015.jpgOne of the ways TLD promotes local food in the community is with their annual print publication, The Guide to Local Food- published in partnership with MyNorth/Traverse Magazine. This guide is a free resource for the community and is distributed in grocery stores, community libraries, visitors bureaus and hotels.

In 2016 TLD will distribute 50,000 copies of The Guide to Local Food— they’ll be doubling it’s size and adding content to cover all thirty-seven counties of northern Michigan, including the upper peninsula. Only TLD Partners are listed in the Guide which helps consumers to connect with local food & farms.

The deadline to sign-up as a TLD partner and get your business listed in the 2016 Guide to Local Food is February 1, 2016— less than a week away.

TLD Expands Statewide

Bill Palladino, Economy, Press Release

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 2.49.49 PMMedia Release

For Immediate Release

Date:               January 10, 2015

Contact:          Bill Palladino,, (231) 590-1685

Taste the Local Difference® Announces Statewide Expansion

TRAVERSE CITY – Taste the Local Difference®, Michigan’s local-food branding and marketing program, will expand its services to farmers, food processors, food purveyors, and communities across Michigan starting in January 2016.

vegetable soup

Simple Vegetable Soup

Recipes, Tenille Enger

I first encountered this soup in Ireland, where the recipe varies from home to home based upon their likes and what they may have on hand.  

Though wonderful as written, don’t be afraid to substitute or add.  Roasted root vegetables, squash, sweet potatoes, broccoli, even leftover green bean casserole.  I wouldn’t hesitate to include any of them because once pureed, this is one of those dishes where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.


Homemade for the Holidays

Get Involved, Learn More, Tricia Phelps

The holiday buzz is here— covered in tinsel and flooding your inbox with cyber sales. But a look past the shiny, brash exterior reveals an activity at the heart of the season: gathering together with friends and family.

What brings us all together this time of year?

Well, food.

plum tart

Plum Galette

Recipes, Tenille Enger

As the holidays approach, here is an ace for your sleeve: a wonderfully unfussy and extremely versatile tart that comes together quickly, thanks to the help of the food processor. Blitz up a batch or two of the crust dough and stash them in the freezer to pull out for effortless entertaining, or if, like me, this is your idea of  a perfectly appropriate weekend breakfast to bolster you before the holiday onslaught.