Local at Our Co-op
The Marquette Food Co-op (MFC) is at the center of the U.P.’s emerging local food economy. Check out the ways that the MFC is actively helping to nurture the growing and eating of local food.
Presentations and Workshops
Outreach Department staff give presentations to school personnel, gardeners, farmers, and community members about the importance of buying local, garden planning, seed starting, season extension, hoop houses, curriculum development, composting, and much more.
MFC pays local farmers a fair price for their products and makes sure that their products are attractively priced for our owners and shoppers, thus encouraging the purchase of local food over national brands. Local products have special signage and pictures of local farmers are displayed prominently in the store.
Hoop Houses for Health
The Hoops for Health program, managed by the Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA), puts thousands of dollars in vouchers into the hands of families with children ages 0-5 to spend directly at farmers markets in Marquette and Alger counties. The Marquette Food Co-op is a community partner in the program hosting meetings, offering food demos at markets, and connecting families in the program to farmers.
Since 2005, the Marquette Food Co-op has coordinated tours of local farms that supply the Co-op, so our owners and shoppers have the opportunity to see where their food comes from and how it is grown.
U.P. Food & Farm Directory
After 10 years of annually printing and distributing the U.P. Food & Farm Directory, the Marquette Food Co-op has found a partner for this important publication in a regional local food promotion organization called “Taste The Local Difference” (TLD). This new version will be featured in TLD’s directory which will list farms across the UP and Northern Michigan as well as Farmer’s Markets, breweries, wineries, restaurants and retail businesses that feature local food. The TLD directory will be available in our store in place of the UPFE UP Farm & Food Directory starting later this year. Any businesses or farms interested in being listed with TLD or in more information can find out more at localdifference.org. or contact Tricia Phelps, TLD Operations Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
U.P. School Hoop House/Garden Conference
The Marquette Food Co-op sponsors a yearly conference featuring lesson plan ideas and practical, hands-on experience for teachers and interested community members.
Lexicon of Sustainability
The Marquette Food Co-op is a lending library for the Lexicon of Sustainability, a project that explains the vocabulary of local food and highlights thought leaders in the sustainability movement through words and pictures. These twenty four images are available to teachers and community members to borrow in order to teach others about local food.
U.P. Food Exchange (UPFE)
The U.P. Food Exchange is a resource portal for farmers, businesses, and individuals looking to actively participate in their local food system. The Marquette Food Co-op provides office space and management of UPFE’s website, online marketplace and UPFE-related phone calls and e-mails. Learn More
The Marquette Food Co-op has offered cooking classes since 2005. Though many of the classes feature foods from around the globe, participants are encouraged to source local ingredients when possible. See class offerings & schedule
Farm Food Safety
Through the U.P. Food Exchange, the Marquette Food Co-op spearheaded participation in a food safety pilot program with the USDA and Wallace Center that is looked at the viability of GroupGAP (Good Agricultural Practice) certification for food safety for very small and small farms. The work of this project continues via GAP prep training and support for U.P. produce farmers. Learn More
Aggregation Site for Central U.P. Food Hub
In May of 2014, the Marquette Food Co-op opened a new, larger store with designated food storage facilities in the basement to serve the aggregation needs of the developing Central U.P. Food Hub.
Central U.P. Farm to School Committee
In the winter of 2014, the Marquette Food Co-op convened the first Farm to School group in the central U.P. The Co-op continues to serve as the chair for this growing committee. Learn More
You can support the local food and farming, too!
Here are just a few ways to start:
- Visit a nearby farm
- Shop at farmers’ markets
- Volunteer or intern on a farm
- Donate items (tools, buckets, work clothes, etc.)
- Shop at the Co-op & Other Local Businesses that feature local food
- Participate in Community Supported Agriculture
- Eat with the seasons
- Invest in a farm for the purchase of capital, implements, irrigation systems, etc.