About

Hi. My name is Emily. Welcome!

This blog is dedicated to exploring foods grown and produced within 100 miles or so of Ann Arbor, Michigan, where I currently reside. You’ll often hear the words “locavore” and “ethicurean” from me – terms that mean “to eat locally” and “to eat things that were raised ethically and taste very good.” I’m also a big gardener, and I care a lot about keeping Earth habitable, so chances are you’ll hear about those things, too.

There are lots of reasons to eat locally-produced food – environmentalism, supporting local economies, keeping farms from turning into subdivisions, avoiding contaminated foods, and so on. It just makes sense to me that in a state with a rich an agricultural heritage as Michigan, most of our diet should be grown in Michigan, not California or China. Along the way, we get food that tastes better, uses less fossil fuel to transport, and keeps our neighbors employed.

I’ve recently started a group called Preserving Traditions, which aims to share knowledge about cooking and food preservation among neighbors. The group has its home in the Pittsfield Grange (what’s the Grange?) near Ann Arbor, and you can read about events at http://preservingtraditions.org/ .

Most clip art comes from ClipArt.com and, to the best of my knowledge, is used in accordance with their non-commercial usage policy.

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35 Comments

  1. Momster said,

    November 8, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    This is terrific! Sign me up! I will start exploring–let’s not forget local maple syrup and honey!

  2. Emily said,

    January 22, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    I’m glad I can still get syrup that’s local to me, even if I can’t have the stuff from the maples I grew up with. 🙂

  3. March 5, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    […] of close. I am happy to report that our quest has come to and end thanks to fellow blogger Emily at Eat Close To Home. Emily has 3 basic sauce recipes, Brown Sauce, White Sauce and Spicy Orange […]

  4. Warda said,

    April 8, 2008 at 11:44 am

    Hi Emily!
    My name is Warda and I am a fellow SE MI food blogger. Sorry to drop the invitation here but I couldn’t find yur e-mail anywhere:

    To celebrate this year Earth Day, I thought we could have a second food bloggers reunion on the 20th of April for a potluck at my house in Farmington. The theme of this potluck will be “Local goes Global”: Dishes from around the world made with local ingredients.

    I was thinking we could meet at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market on Saturday the 19th to do our shopping and meet on Sunday at my house at 1PM to share our concoctions.

    And if you don’t feel like cooking or baking, you can always bring a loaf of bread, some cheese or any ready-made item as long as you are supporting a local store.

    Christine from Holybasil has kindly offered to bring a dessert and I will be in charge of the main course, which will be North African.

    We hope to have you joining us to celebrate our beautiful planet and to share a fun time and the simple pleasure of a get-together.

    I will send you my address if you want to come and we will arrange a time to meet at the farmer’s market.

    If you have any questions or suggestions, please let me know!

    Happy Day!

    Warda

  5. Emily said,

    April 8, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Oh, Warda, this sounds wonderful! Thank you for the invite. Sadly, I will be out of town that weekend. I wish I could attend! Maybe next year?

  6. Hanna Raskin said,

    May 13, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Hi Emily —

    Great web site! I wanted to alert you to an event my non-profit organization is hosting next month that encapsulates the Eating Close to Home philosophy. In keeping with our mission to celebrate the nation’s diverse vernacular foodways, we’re sponsoring “Laboring Over the Stove: A Working Definition of Detroit Cuisine” on June 28-28. This three-day tour will explore the city’s unique diet through a series of one-of-a-kind, interactive experiences, including a tour of the Eastern Market led by the women who literally wrote the book on the topic, a progressive lunch of ethnic favorites that will wind through the city’s landmark houses of worship and small-group pastry making lessons at top ethnic bakeries.

    We’d love for you and your readers to consider joining us for this edible adventure. To learn more, check out our web site at http://www.tabletours.org. Or just shoot me an e-mail at hanna@tabletours.org. Hope to see you in the D!

    Yours in good eats,

    Hanna

    Hanna Raskin
    Director
    The American Table Culinary Tours

  7. June 14, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    Hi Emily…

    I’d love to contact you personally but do not see a contact button.

    Thanks….

    Lois Smithers

  8. Christine said,

    July 30, 2008 at 11:26 am

    Great website! I’m from Ann Arbor too, and we’ve joined a local CSA for the first time. We’re having a blast discovering how to cook and prepare all these locally grown vegetables.

  9. Diana said,

    August 4, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Beautiful website! There’s a lot here for me to learn as I try to figure out what to do with the 30 lbs of apricots one of my dinner co-op buddies just dropped off from his tree.
    Being in a dinner co-op has freed up a lot of time for me to expand the veggie garden and learn more about preserving the harvest. I recommend checking out my website for more information on dinner co-ops: http://www.dinnerco-ops.com.

  10. kicking_k said,

    August 18, 2008 at 7:02 am

    Hello…

    I love the idea of this site. My husband and I are trying to reduce our household waste (for various reasons including environmentalism and frugality), and part of that is producing our own veg as much as possible, and using every bit of what we do buy.

    Unfortunately we have a grand total of four square metres of vegetable-growing space, but it’s a start!

    I don’t know how plausible it would be to go entirely locavore – we live in Scotland, and it seems a little bleak never to eat a banana or an orange, or any green vegetables in winter except for kale and cabbage. But we are trying to reduce our impact in whatever ways we can.

  11. Cosmo said,

    October 27, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    What a great site! A friend & I recently decided to try Vegetarianism for two weeks (or more). While doing research for our grand plan, I ran across your site! Thanks for sharing your insights, thoughts, & menus!

    I do have a request. Is there a way you can put the .rss feed option on your site? I really hate to ask, but it enables busy readers like me to easily keep up with your posts.

    Regardless, keep up the wonderful work!

  12. Emily said,

    October 28, 2008 at 8:25 am

    Cosmo-

    Sure – I didn’t realize I needed to do anything for you to get the feed. I use Firefox, and anything “feed-able” you just have to click the RSS icon in the address bar to nab it.

    Emily

  13. Tina said,

    December 23, 2008 at 11:17 am

    I’m creating a new webpage for Westwind Mills – do you mind if I have a link to this discussion on the page?

  14. Emily said,

    December 23, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    Tina – Go for it! Did you see my article on Westwind?

  15. Rachael said,

    March 16, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! I have an active toddler, and my cooking has suffered greatly as a result of all of the toddler chasing I now have to do. Your recipes are so quick and easy, and I love your simple “cut to the chase” cooking instructions. You have made it possible for me to once again put some healthy food on the table.

  16. Jessica said,

    September 24, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Hi Emily,
    I’m sorry to post this here but I couldn’t find an email address! I recently came across your blog and I see that you have great content about good, sustainable food. I wanted to let you know that Brighter Planet has just launched a cooking contest, which I thought you might be interested in joining. We’d really appreciate your involvement (and your help spreading the word)! It’s free, it’s fun, and anyone can enter– ideal for cooks, food lovers, and budding environmentalists alike!

    Here’s the info:

    Brighterplanet.com is a new social website that helps people manage their environmental footprint. We just launched the “Mastering the Art of Sustainable Cooking” contest, aimed at inspiring folks to reduce the environmental impact of their diet.

    With this contest, we’re looking for people to complete sustainable cooking conservation tips and share their experiences, recipes, pics etc. The entries that have racked up the most thumbs up will be judged by a panel of environmental and culinary heavyweights (including Alice Waters, Bill McKibben, Gary Hirshberg and Amy Trubek) who will determine the final winners.

    The best write-up in each of the five tip categories will win a Kindle DX and a $100 gift certificate to load it up with your favorite cookbooks!

    How are you reducing your “foodprint?”

    http://blog.brighterplanet.com/sustainable-cooking/

    Thanks!
    Jessica

  17. Jessica Stern said,

    January 11, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Hi Emily!

    I saw your recent post “Garden self-sufficiency” which talked a little bit about how much you love Dei Fratelli’s Pizza Sauce. As you may know, Dei Fratelli is a fourth generation, family owned company based in Toledo, Ohio. All of their products are grown on family farms, with 90% of them located within 50 miles of the processing plant.

    I’d love to send you some samples of some of their other products including their line of pasta sauces and salsas. Let me know what you think and if I can get some samples sent out to you. You can reach me by email at stern@RMDadvertising.com.

    Looking forward to hearing from you!
    Jessica

  18. January 12, 2010 at 1:36 am

    Hi Emily,

    I just found your blog after googling vegetarian weekly menus and I want to thank you for your two whole months of recipes! I am excited to get started on the first month. I am also very interested in eating locally and as I am in Victoria, BC I am not too sure if our local products are the same seasonally as yours, but it would be interesting to find out. As for right now, we are in the “hungry months” with mostly all produce coming from hothouses and the south (California and Mexico). My partner and I are planning to enter a box program called Share Organics, you should check our their website: http://www.shareorganics.bc.ca/ — do you participate in a local only box program? Thanks again and I look forward to reading more of your blog!!

    Jenn

    • Emily said,

      January 12, 2010 at 11:19 am

      Hi, Jenn! I’m glad you like the recipes. 🙂

      I am a big fan of CSAs/box programs, though I grow enough of my own vegetables that I don’t belong to one myself. In Ann Arbor, we’re lucky enough to also have a frozen fruit/veg CSA and some extended-season CSA programs for winter vegetables. I’m also building a root cellar this year so I can store local veg I grow or buy in the fall.

      BC is more temperate than Michigan – warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer – so I imagine you can grow local food more months of the year but have more trouble with hot-season vegetables like peppers and tomatoes.

      • LakeLili said,

        April 11, 2010 at 8:18 am

        Hi Emily,

        Really enjoying your blog – found you when looking for information on grain mills. I am interested in your root cellar – are you building it from a plan or adapting an existing portion of your home. Would love to learn more.

        Thanks!

        PS – Was unable to use your link to the Pantry Planner – it seems to have gone MIA.

  19. Amanda said,

    January 12, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Hi, Emily, I learned about your blog through my friend Sarah Lenz. I’ve really enjoyed reading it! I was wondering if you would interested in submitting some of your unpublished food writing to the food column at Connotation Press (connotationpress.com) Would you please email me if you are interested (amandamcguire@connotationpress.com)? Thanks!

  20. April 14, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Hi Emily,

    I just came across your blog when I moved my gardening blog from blogger to wordpress. I too am a gardener in Ann Arbor, I have a garden plot through Project Grow Community Gardens here in A2.

    Your blog is great, I am looking forward to trying some of your vegetarian recipes.

  21. Kathy said,

    May 13, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Hi I was just wondering if the drag and drop garden tool still works? I have tried it a couple of different times now and could not get it to work. It takes me to a web design site. Please let me know. Thanks.

  22. Hillary said,

    August 10, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Hi Emily! I’m an editor for RecipeLion.com and I was writing a blog on potluck recipes and liked your recipes for sage and garlic beans and watermelon awesomeness, so I used them for this blog- http://blog.recipelion.com/potluck-recipes-you-will-love/
    Just thought I’d let you know. By the way, great blog!

  23. Erika said,

    October 11, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    Do you know of any local sources of garlic? There was an article in the NYTimes a week or two ago about growing garlic and my husband tasked me to find some to plant for next year. I was going to check the AA farmers market and search around, but thought you might have a good source already.

    Great site! Thanks.

    • Emily said,

      October 12, 2010 at 8:25 am

      I usually get my from Downtown Home and Garden. I’d love to get it from Dick and Diana Dyer (Dick’s Pretty Good Garlic/Dyer Family Organic Farm) but they are sold out for the year!

  24. January 14, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Cook with all natural Michigan spices! Join us at http://www.milfordspice.com. Use code Twitter to get $5 off your order.

    • Emily said,

      January 14, 2011 at 2:38 pm

      Are any of your spices actually grown in Michigan?

  25. Kori said,

    January 17, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    I would love to talk to you about an issue that I feel is a hot topic in environmental news. I have written an article that I think your readers would be interested in seeing on your blog.

    Encouraging grocery shoppers to branch out from their usual selections and to join the local food movement, will help us conserve the forgotten species, and create a more sustainable agricultural system.

  26. Mark Smith said,

    January 25, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Hi Emily,
    Mark from Simple Pump here. We are working on a updating our brochure. We would like your permission to use the photo at the top of this blog. This would be a hard-copy version used mostly in South America.
    You can either write me, or use our Contact Us form at http://www.simplepump.com/Contact.html
    Thanks!
    Mark

  27. July 25, 2011 at 8:25 am

    I am a master gardener and my profession web application developer/project manager. In the spring of 2009, I taught myself the PHP programming language to improve my professional skill set. To practice, I created The Farmer’s Garden website. The site, http://www.thefarmersgarden.com is a place where people can post free classifieds to sell, trade or give away their surplus backyard garden produce.

    I launched my site in May 2009 and it is nationwide. I think it is a great resource for members of your community. It is very easy to grow more produce than you and your family can use. Why not share your local, fresh and delicious vegetables, fruit, berries, etc. with others?

    Registration is free and required to post classifieds to buy, sell or trade surplus produce. Individuals and non-profit organizations can also post wanted classifieds. Registration is not required to search the classifieds. Can you please provide a link to my site, http://www.thefarmersgarden.com on your site?

  28. Mary said,

    April 3, 2012 at 11:01 am

    HI, a note about BPA canning jar lids…the Tattler plastic lids contain a chemical that we have avoided for years in our cosmetics/foods. Whenever we see “oxymeth” or “oxyeth” we avoid it as a dangerous cancer causing toxin.

  29. Carol A. said,

    August 15, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Hi! I was looking for menus and I came upon your blog. I am just tickled to find that you are in Michigan. I live in North Carolina, but I was born and raised in Michigan (Royal Oak and Detroit) and my three sons were born there as well. Michigan seems to be full of active, caring, organizing people, and good people. I say that because in my Internet searches, whenever I find some really interesting activity, I can count on there being a chapter or group in Michigan. Not so in Eastern North Carolina. I pinned you on my Pinterest page. I really wish I were there to visit your food preservation demonstrations. But my son has planted several fruit trees in his yard, and I’ll pass your page on to him. BTW, did you plant your orchard? What did you plant?

    And – Thanks For The Menus! I needed the help and was getting frustrated. Only been eating vegan/vegetarian six months (with a couple of lapses). I have cookbooks from Forks Over Knives, Engine 2, and Happy Herbivore, but haven’t found enough recipes I want to try. I think part of that is due to the fact that I’m not into tofu yet. That’s one thing I liked about your recipes–you mentioned the extra extra firm tofu as being one you liked. I am willing to try it 🙂

    God bless you for your efforts to make the world a better place.

    • Emily said,

      August 17, 2012 at 11:42 am

      Thanks so much for the kind words! I did plant an orchard…and we moved the next summer. Leaving the fruit trees was one of the hardest parts…but the new place is in the woods and really wonderful. 🙂 I planted 5 apples (honeycrisp, nova spy, cameo, keepsake, and grimes golden) which were chosen to give eating-apple harvest from late August to October, with the bulk and the cider apples in October. Honeycrisp, cameo, and keepsake all keep through the winter, too. Oh, and I planted a peach, as well.

      Keep cooking!


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