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OPINION: Michigan, Our Great State

OPINION: Michigan, Our Great State

Michigan, our great state. Whether we realize it or not, we really do have a great state.

Granted, we had an unusual winter this past year but then again, have you ever seen the grass and trees so green before? Even people returning from Florida this year have commented about everything being so green!

Despite all of the good things, I still hear people complain about it either being too cool, too cloudy, too hot, etc. To those people I say, maybe it’s time for you to move to a perfect climate, wherever that may be.

I love Michigan and all it has to offer. We have the Great Lakes, a treasure on their own. I used to have an older friend, Bill Hickey, who had apple orchards.

He told me, “You will never, ever find an apple as snappy when you bite into it as a Michigan apple in the fall, because of the Great Lakes.” 

My Town: Park patch to help fight hunger in West Michigan

My Town: Park patch to help fight hunger in West Michigan

WYOMING, Mich.—United Church Outreach Ministry is getting down and dirty to help fight hunger in West Michigan.

As part of their newest project, Growing Green Neighbors, ministry members teamed up with community members, Metro Health employees and other volunteers Tuesday to turn a patch of Wyoming’s Marquette Park into a thriving garden.

The food will be donated to Feeding America West Michigan, increasing the amount of healthy fresh vegetables available to pantry visitors.

My Town: Governor names Michigan Tree Fruit Commission

My Town: Governor names Michigan Tree Fruit Commission

------------------------NEWS RELEASE------------

LANSING, Mich. (State of Michigan)– Gov. Rick Snyder today announced nine appointments to the newly created Michigan Tree Fruit Commission.

The nine-member commission was established by growers in 2014 to improve the economic position and competitiveness of the Michigan tree fruit industry.

“The food and agriculture industry is one of the pillars of Michigan’s economy,” Snyder said. “I am confident that this group of appointees will work hard to grow this sector of our economy.”

Initial terms expiring March 1, 2015:

Patrick Goodfellow, of Sparta, is the owner of PG Orchards LLC. He previously worked as a plumbing apprentice and maintenance worker which is beneficial in the day-to-day operations of a farm. Goodfellow graduated from West Catholic High School. He will represent fruit growers in District 2.

My Town: Public hearing May 15 over company's debated move

My Town: Public hearing May 15 over company's debated move

ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich.— The Alpine Township Planning Commission will hold a public hearing Thursday, May 15 over a company’s debated move from Sparta to Fruit Ridge Avenue.

Crop Production Services is asking for site plan approval to move its business onto five acres at 6201 Fruit Ridge Avenue.  The company wants a special use permit to use the site to manufacture its fertilizers and crop protection products.  The plans include building an office, chemical storage facility and dry storage building as well as containment areas. 

 At least one community member is opposing the move, saying the proposed plans would put huge chemical tanks in the middle of apple orchards and vegetable fields, and the influx of semi trucks will only add to the hazards on a busy country road that already experiences a lot of crashes.

The public hearing begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

My Town: Consumers Energy donates energy-efficient bulbs to food pantries

My Town: Consumers Energy donates energy-efficient bulbs to food pantries

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.—Consumers Energy is shedding a light on savings by donating energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs to thousands of struggling families in West Michigan.

The utility company is donating 85,000 energy-efficient light bulbs to food banks for distribution. Feeding America West Michigan of Comstock Park will distribute 40,000 of the Energy Star-qualified bulbs this month.  Another 2,500 will be distributed through the Food Bank of South Central Michigan in Battle Creek during the week of May 26.

My Town: Seed Library now open to greenthumbs

My Town: Seed Library now open to greenthumbs

LOWELL, Mich.—Spring is here, which means the Kent District Library has officially opened its Seed Library at 13 branches.

Patrons can visit the library to “borrow” up to three packets of heirloom seeds for their garden.  People who take seed packets are asked to save seeds from the plants they grow and return them in late summer or fall for someone else to use next year.

The library is also accepting any heirloom variety seeds gardeners want to add to the library.  For more information, visit the library’s website.

Participating branches include those in Alpine Township, East Grand Rapids, Lowell, Grandville, Plainfield Township, Rockford and Wyoming.

My Town Alpine Township: Organic gardening classes and plots open

My Town Alpine Township: Organic gardening classes and plots open

ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich.—  Apartment living often leaves no space for gardening, but Family of Christ Church in Alpine Township is working to change that.

The church is organizing two classes for community members interested in organic gardening. Phil Chaffee will lead the sessions. The class times are as follows:

  • Saturday, March 22, 1 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. at York Creek Community Center
  • Saturday, April 5, 1 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. at York Creek Community Center

Family of Christ Church is also opening up its community garden to greenthumbs primarily living in area apartments.  The church began putting together the garden last year, but this is will be the first full season the raised beds are ready for use.  The community garden is on the church’s property, located at 1100 Henze Street, behind Sam’s Club and WalMart.  The program is $10 per raised bed, and participants must practice organic gardening.