Food, folks, farm and fun—plus a festival or two. Those are all part of the plan at the Lively Farm, a.k.a. Backyard Burdickville, f.k.a. the Eagles property on M-72 just east of Empire. Lively NeighborFood Market is set to debut Memorial Day weekend, pending any surprises with the buildout or weather. The brainchild of Jim and Kelly Lively is the latest addition to the property, which has also served as home to the LivelyLands music festival and the Lively Farm, a CSA farm.

“I feel I’ve been aiming in this direction all along, though it didn’t seem like it at times,” shared Gaia Nesvacil as we sipped a cup of coffee and watched the end of a summer storm approach from the west, wind and rain drops gathering force. “On and off these past three years I’ve been working towards the budding of a flower operation. This is my first year leasing a half acre in Leelanau County to grow cut flowers to take to the farmers market.”

Cherry Republic president Bob Sutherland and his sons Colebrook and Hawthorn bite into Michigan Apple Crunch Day on Oct. 25 at Glen Lake School. The event was sponsored by Cherry Capital Foods, Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District, and the Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, which celebrated 15 years of catalyzing the farm to school movement in northern Michigan.

Thousands of children and adults statewide will crunch into fresh Michigan apples on Wednesday, Oct. 25, in the fifth annual Michigan Apple Crunch, sponsored by Cherry Capital Foods.

The Michigan legislature is considering whether to continue, or expand, a new state pilot project that is increasing business from schools for a significant number of farms and related food companies throughout the state and in Leelanau County.

Big Glen Lake resident Chip Hoagland — dubbed the “Warren Buffet of food” in a recent Traverse Magazine feature story — will be honored with the Milliken Leadership Award by the Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities on Saturday, Oct. 8 at the nonprofit’s annual Harvest at the Commons celebration. Tickets to the event, including dinner and entertainment, cost $45 and are available at