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.

Responsibilities
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

Requirements

  • Valid driver’s license
  • Access to vehicle

Compensation:

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.

 

CONTACT:
Tricia Phelps
TLD Operations Director
tricia@localdifference.org
231.941-6584

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

FoodWasteHero2

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 tenilleee@yahoo.com

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.

The Local Food Economy

Economy, Learn More, Tricia Phelps

Local food has become a burgeoning industry over the last few years as more consumers begin to question where their food is coming from. While it’s true that ‘local’ was popular decades before the rapid globalization of our food system, the local food industry we see today is actually a new one with different players, complexities and market opportunities that make it unique. That is why, at least for now, there is only limited data available to help explain what’s happening.

Interested in Food Preservation?

Event, Get Involved, Learn More, Tricia Phelps

We’re giving away a chance to have fun and learn. That’s right, you heard me! You have a chance to attend a free class of your choice with ISLAND’s Preservation Station (Blanche- for short) thanks to TLD. A class with Blanche will teach you the basics about food preservation, get you excited about preserving food in your own kitchen, and to top it off you’ll get to take home some tasty eats to enjoy next week or a few months from now. 

A “Fresh” Perspective

Economy, Film Reviews, Food Policy, Learn More, Tricia Phelps

A Review of the Film “Fresh”

By Tricia Phelps

There are countless documentaries making comments on the current state of our food system. They each differ in varying degrees of tragedy, omission, honesty and optimism.  “Fresh” became part of that ever growing panoply of films in 2009.  The film’s director, Ana Sofia Joanes, sets “Fresh” apart by providing a well-balanced account of the dismal realities in industrial agriculture while layering the narrative with promising, inspiring and practical solutions that are beginning a movement.