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All are welcome to join us at our monthly meetings: 4th Tuesday, 7 pm. These are usually at the church, Brown Room, but April 24th will be off-campus. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you wish to attend.

Recipes - from our tasting tables. Here they are!

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is from the Washtenaw County Food Policy Council website:

Farmers’ Perspectives on the Farm Bill

February 27, 2018 · by reistera · in Resources. ·

By Jae Gerhart, Full Council Member and Chair of the Farmers & Institutional Purchasing Policy Action Team

Do you eat food?

The Farm Bill – a huge piece of legislation that is revised every five years – affects the quality of life for each and every American resident and visitor. The Farm Bill connects the food on our plates, the farmers and ranchers who produce that food, and the natural resources – our soil, air and water – that make growing food possible. Through programs such as crop insurance for farmers to healthy food access for low-income families, and from beginning farmer trainings to support for sustainable farming practices, this powerful package of laws sets the course of our food and farming system.

The Washtenaw County Food Policy Council’s Farmers & Institutional Purchasing Policy Action Team has produced two videos that highlight our local Washtenaw County farmers’ perspectives on two Farm Bill programs that are under threat during the upcoming Farm Bill revision: beginning farmer development programs and conservation programs.

Click on the image to view the videos.

 2018 farm bill beginning farmers picture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 farm bill conservation picture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plant-Powered Family Potluck

HarvestPotlucklineupMany folks joined us for our Vegan Potluck Saturday, April 7, 2018 in the Fahs Chapel. 

They shared plant-based vegan dishes without meat, fish, eggs, dairy, honey, or other animal products. Questions? Contact Sheila Sanders (734) 645-0405 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Theme for April 2018: Super Foods!

We had a terrific tasting table on Sunday the 8th, featuring such super foods as broccoli, blueberries, strawberries, kale, sweet potatoes, and more. What are Super Foods? Not really a scientific label, but one of popular culture. But most agree that certain foods have much going for them in terms of health benefits. See what the American Heart Association has to say about SuperFoods.

 

Theme for March 2018:
Eat for Your Health

We previewed some cookbooks featuring beautiful, tasty, and healthy foods, as well as plenty  more information on eating too stay healthy. We had a tasting table featuring some gluten-free, some nut-free, some vegan recipes.

All were delicious! Check them out: Recipes

Theme for February 2018:
Try Something New

We had two tasting tables in February:

farro2On the 4th we featured new items for BREAKFAST, such as Chickpea flour mini Veggie Fritattas, Farro, No-Bake Sunflower Bars and Vegan Sweet Potato Muffins.

On the 18th we featured new or unusual VEGETABLES: Rutabagas, Sweet Potato and Leek Soup, Roasted Kabocha

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Squash, Romanesco and Chickpea Curry.

 

All were delicious! Check them out: Recipes

 

ItsGoodForYou 300x194Theme for January 2018: Meatless Mondays

The Mindful Eating Team is helping out with resources for how you might begin 2018 practicing Meatless Mondays (or more!).
Here ya go:

Theme for December 2017: Buying Local

The Environmental Benefits of Buying Locally:  Last month, the Mindful Eating Team focused on the many reasons to purchase local food and goods. Some of the most important aspects have to do with the environmental impact.

  1. Reduces your food miles: Many foods and products sold in major grocery chains travel up to 1,500 miles before landing on the store’s shelf, and eventually in your pantry.
  2. Food is more accessible: Consumers have easy access to local businesses and farmers markets, without having to drive to remote big box grocery stores.
  3. Provides for fresher produce: Food arrives on the table sooner, staying fresher. This means less food waste.
  4. Protects local land and wildlife: Supporting locally grown food helps keep land for farming, and out of the hands of developers.
  5. Supports the local workforce: Without consumer demand for local food, farmers and other food workers might have to seek employment elsewhere, outside of the community. Highway congestion and fuel consumption would increase, resulting in a larger carbon footprint.

How can you buy local foods in the winter in Washtenaw County? We're here to help with lists of Washtenaw County Farmers Markets Open in Winter and Washtenaw County Stores Offering Local Foods.

What is SNAP and why is it important to know?

Hunger is a probsnapImagelem as big as America. Here are eight things you need to know about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the nation’s most successful hunger-fighting program. It helps over 40 million people have enough food to eat, responds to the economy, and has long-term benefits for its participants.

 

 

 

Exciting things we've recently done:

 

panelistsSNAP Panel Discussion

Thanks to our great panel of experts on SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) for a very informative discussion: Billy Kangas, owner of Cultivate Coffee and Tap House, Ypsilanti; Markell Miller, Director of Community Food Programs, Food Gatherers; Lauren Velez, Family and Youth Services Team Leader, Ozone; and Krista Nordberg, Director of Enrollment at Washtenaw Health Plan. We learned that every $1 given to a SNAP recipient generates $1.80 in the community. We also found out that the eligibility requirements are quite stringent, and the error rate is low. $3 million in SNAP funds is distributed in Washtenaw County every month - it's vital to our community.

HarvestPotluckDessertLine

Fall Harvest Potluck

On October 20th, we shared the bounty of locally-grown foods.

Stephanie Willette, Ann Arbor Farmers Market Manager, spoke to us about changes coming to the Market, as well as other important issues, such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and how it affects people in our area.

 

We also recognized Farmer Bill Schmid and the Food Gatherers Farm Project volunteers.

groupUUAA Auction Chocolate Dinner

On Saturday, September 30, the Mindful Eating Team hosted Chocolate Dinner at the home of Merrill Crocket. We served ten folks who had been the high-bidders at the UUAA Auction last spring. We also had two guests: Farmer Bill Schmid and Nancy Biehn. Nancy is owner of Sweet Gems Conservingfections in Ann Arbor, and she spoke to the group about the history of chocolate and how it is produced, as well as her personal journey through the chocolate world.

The dinner had chocolate in each course: white chocolate parsnip soup, mixed greens with chocolate balsamic vinegar, chicken with mole' sauce, chocolate-infused sweet potato enchilladas, Spanish rice (actually no chocolate there), and a to-die-for vegan chocolate cake. There was even chocolate wine mixed with sparkling water and chocolate beer! The guests left with a gift package of chocolate truffles (made by Nancy) and a chocolate mint plant.

 

 Food Gatherer's Farm Project

This has been an extremely productive summer at the farm this year. We have donated over 3,600 pounds of food to Food Gatherers!
Here are some photos:

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In April, 2017, a group of German high school students who were in Ann Arbor with Youth for Understanding, volunteered a few wet, soggy hours at Farmer Bills.

 The Coming of Age group were out recently, as was the church's 7th grade class. Lots of help from the young people!

Would you like to volunteer to help outTo sign up throughout the summer, click here.

germanPushups germansGarage germanManure

Just Eat It: A food waste story

North American households waste 15-20% of all the food they buy. A crowd watched this movie follow a couple from Vancouver who take a six-month challenge to survive only on discarded food.

banana

This great event was co-sponsored by: Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC), Temple Beth Emeth (TBE), Interfaith Council for Peac and Justice (ICPJ), 1st Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor - Mindful Eating Team.

 

 
Plant-Powered Family Potluck 
 
HarvestPotluckDessertLineWe had many fun family-friendly vegan potlucks in the Social Hall. This is on hiatus for the summer. Look again next Fall!
 

 

 

 

The Lives of Farm Workers in Michigan and the U.S.
Sunday, Feb. 5, 1:00 pm
Ever wonder what the lives of farm workers, including migrants, are like in Michigan? In the U.S.? Mental illness, migrant stat
migrant-farm-workers
us, wage violations, working conditions, housing, and sexual harassment are some of the issues were addressed by Kim Daley of the Ann Arbor Solidarity with Farmworkers Collective, an Eastern Michigan student from a Sociology of Work class, and a Florida farmworker.
 
 

 

 

Meet Your Farmer: Dyer Family Organic Farm

dyerSlidesOn Sunday, January 15, Dick Dyer talked to a nice crowd about how the Dyer Family Organic Farm (aka Dick's 'PdyerHoneyretty Good!' Garlic) was started by Dick and Diana Dyer in 2009. He discussed the different varieties of garlic they grow, how being organic is so important, and about their bee hives and the honey they sell.

See their website: http://www.dyerfamilyorganicfarm.com/

 

 

 

 

 

The Ethical Eating Statement of Conscience (SOC) was adopted by our congregation and the national UUA at the spring General Assembly.  The UUAA's Ethical Eating Team (EET) had served its original purpose of learning and exploring with the congregation what ethical ways of eating were in order to help write the SOC (click here to see what we did).

The EET's coordinators, Colleen Crawley and Cathy Muha, met with representatives of  the well-established Locavore group: Guala Lauzzanna, Connie McGuire , Eileen Wright, Merrill Crockett and decided to join together.