In 2008, a group of local folks — including *culture is not optional Co-directors Rob and Kirstin Vander Giessen-Reitsma — interested in eating food grown locally started publishing a local food guide with listings of local food producers. The Food Group, as they were colloquially known, published the guide for five years before disbanding.
But we didn’t want to see the guide fall by the wayside; it was a great tool to connect eaters with local farmers.
So this year, *culture is not optional partnered with the St. Joseph County Conservation District to publish the 2014 River Country Local Food & Recycling Guide. We’ve printed 7,000 copies and are working to distribute the guides throughout St. Joseph County, east Cass County and south Kalamazoo County. They are currently available in several businesses and other establishments — including the Three Rivers Area Chamber of Commerce (please contact us if you’d like guides to distribute at your business).
We also built a handy web site with all the listings, complete with Google maps and reviews. We’re still developing the site, but there’s a lot of information online already!
Thank you to Carol Higgins, the Chair of the St. Joseph County Conservation District, for all of her hard work in gathering listings for this year’s guide.