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E-M:/ Daily Special Farm Tour on August 20! Sign up now!

Hello Michigan – these folks are doing awesome positive work!  Go and check them out!  It seems like everyone should want to know where their food comes from!   -Rita




A network of concerned citizens and groups promoting safe, sustainable farming in Michigan. fwh@ameritech.net


July 30, 2006

Media Contact: Gail Philbin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                              616-456-5926


“Daily Special” Farm Tours Continue with Visit to Trillium Haven Farm

Jenison, Mich. -- The second in the Daily Special Farm Tour series sponsored by

Farms Without Harm shines a spotlight on the sustainable practices of Trillium Haven

Farm, a small, family owned produce farm in Jenison.


Tours of Trillium Haven Farm, a 50-acre operation started by Anja Mast and Michael

VanderBrug, take place Sunday, August 20, at 1 and 3 p.m. They are open to the public

but space is limited to 25 per tour. Reservations can be made by calling 616-558-6490.

Participants in the Trillium Haven Farm tour will be able to take a wagon ride

around the farm and see how Mast and VanderBrug raise healthy, chemical-free produce

and heirloom vegetables. The couple are Calvin College graduates with no agricultural

background who decided to start a small, sustainable farm back in 2001.


Tour takers will also get to meet Fouad Catrib, owner and chef at Marie Catrib’s

Café, a popular East Hills neighborhood eatery. The Daily Special Farm Tour series is a

collaboration with Marie Catrib’s, which offers daily menu items featuring ingredients

sourced as much as possible from local farms that raise crops and animals in a sustainable

manner. This means the farms are small in scale and use methods like natural pest control

and composting that maintain ecological balance and avoid depletion of natural resources.

Anja and Michael don't use any pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers,

because they see their farm as a living system, where its elements work together to build

and maintain soil fertility. They consider their mission to "facilitate community and personal

growth in a world that continues to become more globalized and depersonalized."

The couple believes there are better ways to farm than the industrial model of using

huge tracts of land and large equipment to grow a single type of crop that is then shipped

long distances (often cross-country) from grower to consumer. They sell directly to local

residents through their 225-member CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) operation,

enabling people to keep their resources in the Jenison/Grand Rapids area instead of supporting

absentee corporations in another state.


The kickoff event of the Daily Special Farm Tour series took place July 22 at Steve N

Sons Grassfields Cheese in Coopersville and attracted 70 people. Originally scheduled as

one tour, a second one had to be added the same day to accommodate the demand, according

to Gail Philbin, founder of Farms Without Harm, a network of groups, small farmers

and concerned citizens that supports sustainable farming in Michigan.

“People are really hungry for this type of experience,” said Philbin. “They are

thrilled to have the chance to learn more about where their food comes from and to meet

the people responsible for growing it in a healthy and humane way that respects the environment.”


As part of the Daily Special Farm Tour series, monthly public tours of farms from

which food at Marie Catrib’s is sourced are being offered through FWH in conjunction with

the Greater Grand Rapids Food Systems Council (GGRFSC) Both groups are working to

build a sustainable food system in West Michigan that provides a secure living for farmers;

protects the environment, supports the rural community, and respects farm workers, consumers

and animals.


Farms Without Harm was established in March 2005 to educate consumers about

where their food comes from and offer alternatives to the industrial agricultural system.


Since 2000, GGRFSC, as a program of the West Michigan Environmental Council

(WMEAC), has been developing programs to support community gardens, farmers markets

and other components of a sustainable local food system.


The GGRFSC just released the 2006 West Michigan Food Guide to help consumers

find local products. This free resource lists information for about 200 area farms, restaurants,

retailers and other sources of locally produced food.


The guide is downloadable at www.foodshed.net/foodguide and available at area

retail outlets. For more information, contact Tom Cary at 616-451-3051 or email


For details about the Daily Special Farm Tour series and Farms Without Harm, call

616-558-6490 or email fwh@ameritech.net.








Rita Jack

Water Sentinels Project

Sierra Club Michigan Chapter

109 E. Grand River Ave.

Lansing, Michigan  48906

tel:  517-484-2372




Make all Michigan's waters fishable and swimmable.