Source: Sherman Publications

Roots to Fruits hopes to revive local foods culture

by Mary Keck

August 15, 2012

Most believe the economy could use a boost, but is the answer to financial woes in fruits and vegetables? According to the owners of Clarkston’s Roots to Fruits ecological design firm, farming isn’t only an avenue to a stronger economy; it is also a road to reviving local culture.

At one time, North Oakland County was a “rich and diverse agricultural area” where farming was the “basis of the economy” and “very much a part of the culture,” said Mark Angelini who co-found Roots to Fruits with Trevor Newman.

Through their Local Food Starts at Home event at the Clarkston Methodist Church on Aug. 30, Angelini and Newman hope to “start a conversation” about reviving North Oakland’s rich farming culture, said Newman.

From 6-9 p.m. the public is welcome to an evening of educational presentations and roundtable discussions on the past, present, and future of local foods in North Oakland County.

Not only will the co-owners of the Roots to Fruits edible landscaping business be sharing information about food production, but people they call “local food heroes” like Bob McGowan and Lorij Schmidt will present on their personal experiences with growing fruits and vegetables.

“We’re challenging people to become more interested in local food,” said Angelini.

He expects the Local Food Starts at Home event to be educational as well as offer growers networking opportunities and stimulate discussion about the social and economic benefits of eating foods grown in North Oakland County.

From Angelini’s perspective, farming “keeps people employed locally,” and the development of regional products offers something unique, which will draw people to the area.

“Food is a core component of culture,” said Newman.

He believes encouraging local food production in Springfield and Independence townships will offer newcomers more than delicious vegetables and fruits. They will also get a taste of the flavor of the community.

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