Monday, May 9, 2016


Just like that May is here with the trees blooming, the grass growing and getting much closer to planting that amazing garden to grow the best vegetables in the state.  I personally love a garden because I only have to go to my backyard to go shopping instead of throwing elbows at Meijer.  One of the best highlights Northern Michigan has is its love and environment for Agriculture.  This is some of the best Agriculture in the land.  I am happy I get the chance in this blog to not only give updates but in this edition talk about Agriculture in Northern Michigan.


The first topic of Agriculture that comes to mind in the month of May is FARMERS MARKETS.  We have some amazing markets in Grand Traverse and Leelanau County that are a must to go see, buy, visit, and just walk around and meet the local farmers.  You will find a little bit of everything from honey to asparagus to lavender and of course home baked goodies.  Farmers markets are also a great place to find specialty items such as Gluten Free products, all natural soaps, and grass fed beef.  The best part is it all takes place outside and not in some stuffy grocery store with the AC blasting in your face.  Just think when you make a purchase at a farmers market, you are supporting local farmers, bakers, and growers.  What a great way to support our small wonderful community.  You may spend a dollar or 2 extra as opposed to going to Meijer, but everything is local and grown locally.  I also love knowing where my food came from and getting to chat with the famers is always a hoot and an adventure because they all love what they do.  


The first market I would like to highlight takes place in the parking lot across the street from the Bijou, which is known as the Sarah Hardy Farmers Market.  The Sarah Hardy Farmers Market is officially the largest grower’s only market in the state of Michigan.  Over 115 vendors are represented throughout the season.  It is one of the top 3 largest markets in the state.  This market is so good that starting in June it is twice a week.  The days you need to remember are Saturdays from 7:30am to 12:00pm and Wednesdays from 8am to 12am.  This market is best visited early in the morning when the goods are fresh and plentiful because as we know in Northern Michigan, our population grows significantly in the summer months.  


The second market takes place all over Leelanau County, which I believe is pretty nifty because it will make you take a day trip to go to some of these markets, which means us locals can play fudgy for a day.  These markets are different in each little city because you will see different vendors, farmers, growers, and bakers.  If you have a Tuesday free for example, head to Glen Arbor for the Farmer Market, then head to Sleeping Bear Dunes for the dune climb and Pyramid Point for the best view EVER, then head back to Boonedocks or Arts for a late lunch or early dinner and then head for home.  I do not know about you, but that sounds pretty good to me.  Here is the list of cities the Leelanau Farmers Market visit in 2016.  The time for all the markets is 9am to 1pm with the exception of Cedar.  


Suttons Bay:  Saturdays - May 7th to October 29

Empire:  Saturdays - June 18 to September 10

Lake Leelanau:  Sundays - June 12 to September 4

Glen Arbor:  Tuesdays - June 14 to September 6

Leland:  Thursdays - June 16 to September 1

Northport:  Fridays - June 3 to September 9

Cedar:  Fridays - June 17 to September 9 (3pm to 7pm)

            The second topic of Agriculture that I wanted to throw at you is chickens and eggs.  The reason I bring this topic up is for a few reasons.  I just happened to have 16 baby chicks in a horse watering aluminum trough in my house.  My wife decided she wanted chickens, but both of us never realized how much work they actually are.  You have to keep them extremely warm until they develop their feathers before they can get shipped outside to a chicken coop that my friend and I have been constructing, which has been the fun part for me.  It is never a bad thing to have a reason to build something and use power tools.  Also, it seems like everywhere I drive around Leelanau County, you either see chickens by the road pecking away at the ground or a sign that says farm fresh eggs, which is the main reason we decided to get chickens.  It is all about those farm fresh eggs because knowing where your food comes from is important.  My advice to all you chicken/farm fresh eggs lovers, is do not be afraid to try something like raising chickens one time.  Even if you live in the city, you are able to have up to 6 chickens. 


I have a few challenges for everyone that reads this blog.  I challenge you to go 2 at least 4 different farmers markets around the area.  I also challenge you to stop at 4 or more fruit stands to support our local farmers.  Another challenge I have for you is to grow your own vegetables, start your own garden or plant fruit trees or plants.  If you have a garden or grow vegetables or plants, please, please, please, take pictures and email them to me so when harvest time rolls around, I can make a huge post with tons of fun pictures.  Get creative and have fun being outdoors using the earth in a way many are not able to.  If you live in an apartment, get pots or buckets and plant tomatoes and peppers.  My final challenge consists of finding a YOU PICK farm where you can go and pick cherries, blueberries, raspberries or any other product you can pick up here.  It is so rewarding to harvest what you are going to eat.  I can promise you that walking in the middle of a cherry orchard in late July is PRICELESS. 

Ribbon Cutting for a boutique opening in downtown Traverse City
Pink Anchor will open its doors at 11am on June 1st with a Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting. The boutique will offer colorful and timeless women’s clothing with designers from around the country.  The selection of dresses, tops, pants, and accessories can go from work to a dinner date at an affordable price. Designers Julie Brown, Gretchen Scott, Barbara Gerwit, Tracy Negoshian, Malabar Bay & Mud Pie all offer classic designs and exclusive prints. In addition designers Ella Vickers creates totes of recycled sail cloths, Kiel James Patrick handcrafts pearl jewelry, and Jack Rogers has classic and durable shoe line.
The store has something for every age group, but at least 50% of clothing is geared towards women in their early 30’s to late 40’s. Personally and after listening to other women in the area there seems to be a gap in clothing options for women of that age group. I wanted to provide where some women feel left with few local shopping options.  
Dark colors seem to dominate most retailers and I really wanted to change that, bringing bright and bold to Traverse City. Sometimes we dress to reflect our mood whether it’s happy, sexy, or tired. We should have more clothing options that reflects the vibrancy of Traverse City and the women who live here.
A little about me: I left Detroit to permanently return to my favorite city, Traverse City. I had a successful career in TV news for the past 13 years, but decided to leave that behind for the beauty and lifestyle of up north. I previously lived in Traverse City in the early 2000’s where my broadcasting career started and returned year after year to visit family and take in the beauty. In wanting to return and start a family, I decided to follow my entrepreneurial instinct and use my love of design and clothing to offer something new and unique.
In the future we hope to use our shop to give back to the community through fundraisers and non-profit events. Please contact Jennifer to inquire.
I sincerely hope you can join me for my opening! Please arrive no later than 10:45am June 1 at 121 East Front Street, suite 103, Traverse City (directly behind Harbor Wear).

Pink Anchor LLC.
121 East Front Street
Suite 103
Traverse City, MI 49684

 TCAPS Update


TCAPS High Schools Recognized by U.S. News & World Report’s “Best High Schools” and The Washington Post’s “America’s Most Challenging High Schools”

Traverse City Central High School and Traverse City West Senior High School received two national rankings for 2016 that put them among the top 5% of schools in the state of Michigan and among the best in the nation. Both schools have continued to receive these honors year after year in recognition of the rigor of the coursework they offer and opportunities they provide to all students to prepare for college, careers and life. While the honors are given to TCAPS’ high schools, they are shared by all of the district’s schools, because great teachers from pre-school through 12th grade help prepare students for high school and beyond.


Staff Appreciation Week—May 2-6th (Photo Attached)

Each year, the TCAPS Board of Education designates a week to honor the hard work and dedication of the amazing teachers, custodians, food service workers, bus drivers, principals, social workers, office staff and more who work tirelessly on behalf of the young learners of the Traverse City region. This year, as a way to celebrate, the district has compiled videos of students, parents, staff and community members sharing why they think “TCAPS staff are the best.” You can view the videos here. If there is a teacher or education professional who has impacted your life, be sure to take a moment to say “thank you!”


Westwoods Elementary School Receives 10 InStride Desk Pedals from Fox Grand Traverse (Photos Attached)

It was Walk/Bike to School Day on Wednesday, May 4th, and while the weather was rainy outside, students at Westwoods Elementary School pedaled throughout the day while staying dry. The school recently received a grant to purchase desk pedals from fellow Chamber member Fox Grand Traverse as a new way for students to exercise and expel energy during the school day. The bikes are being used in the school’s 5th grade classrooms. “Research shows that increasing physical activity can help promote learning and enhance problem-solving abilities, however it is often difficult to ensure that each student each gets enough exercise during the day. The bikes are a great help to provide movement while learning curriculum,” said Westwoods Elementary School Principal Jessie Houghton. “Our students would pedal all day if they could. It’s really popular and our kids have a lot of fun.” 


Hosting an International Exchange Student (Photo Attached)

Have you ever thought it might be fun to be an ambassador for our region and country without ever leaving home? Have you ever wanted to share your family traditions, culture and language with someone from another country? Have you ever considered how your child’s ability to learn, adapt, live and work well in our global economy and society could be enhanced by having a global experience right here at home?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, you can join hundreds of members of our local community who have experienced just how rewarding providing a second home for a TCAPS international student can be. Contact Joe Thiel at 231-933-1766 or to begin the application process, meet current students/families, or to request more information about this opportunity. Monthly reimbursements to help cover the costs associated with supporting an international student are also available.


Toddler Program at TCAPS Montessori at Glenn Loomis (Photo Attached)

The Toddler Montessori Program at TCAPS is designed for children ages 18-36 months and provides a child-directed, child-centered learning environment with activities that nurture and empower each individual child. Children are free to move around the classroom and select a particular activity that is of interest to them. It is expected that children will use the materials carefully and respectfully. In Montessori this is referred to as “freedom within limits,” which means that once children know what is expected of their behavior and have a set of guidelines, they are free to explore and use materials in an original and creative way. “A Montessori toddler classroom is truly an amazing place. Toddlers are moving purposefully around the classroom, taking care of themselves and their environment, and making decisions about their day. In a Montessori school the toddler program is truly the place where it all begins,” said Linda Gibson, Toddler Directress at TCAPS Montessori at Glenn Loomis. For more information about the Montessori Toddler Program at TCAPS Montessori at Glenn Loomis and to enroll, please call 231-933-5608.


TCAPS Board of Education Coffee Conversation—May 26th

The next TCAPS Board of Education Coffee Conversation will be this Thursday, May 26th at Horizon Books from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Come join in the conversation!


TCAPS Calendar Reminders

  • May 30 - No school, Memorial Day holiday
  • June 9 - Last half day for students, full day for staff
  • June 10 - No school, records day for staff
    Stay Connected to Your Schools
    Sign up to receive Traverse City Area Public School’s monthly district newsletter Read the April edition of the newsletter here.
    City of Traverse City Update – May, 2016
    Elections Inspectors Needed! If you are interested in being a part of the Election process and working in a precinct on Election Day, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 231-922-4480. Election Inspectors typically work from 5:45 a.m. until roughly 10:00 p.m. on Election Day and are paid for their time.
    Seeking Volunteers! The City is currently looking for volunteers to serve on various boards and committees. If you are interested in becoming involved with your local government, visit
    Construction Season – keep a look out! The City has begun its season of construction. Please use caution when driving through these areas. For up to date information on construction projects and road project, visit our website at and check the City News & Highlights section.

    Envision 8th Street - Be a part of the future by getting involved in the 8th Street Planning and Design Charrette.  This charrette is intended to plan and design not only the street, but include surrounding land uses to develop comprehensive approach for the entire corridor. Contact the City Planning Department at 231-922-4778 for more details or visit
    UpNorthLive Deals  Grand Traverse County Parks and Recreation is offering 2 half off deals on UpNorthLive: 1 for a Power Island stay/ride good for two nights stay (Sunday through Thursday) at a Power Island campsite with a round-trip shuttle ride and 1 for a full day’s use of historic, beloved Gilbert Lodge (capacity 200) at Grand Traverse County’s Twin Lakes Park in Long Lake Township during the months of November and December 2016 or January and February 2017.  Visit the UpNorthLive Deals page at for more information.
    Brush Drop Off Site Open  The Brush Drop Off Site located at 2471 N. Keystone Road, Traverse City, is open for the season. Site hours are Tuesday Noon to 7 PM and Thursday and Saturday 9-3 PM. Accepted materials include brush, grass clippings and leaves, stumps up to 18 inches in diameter, and untreated construction wood. More information is available at  

    Garfield, Long Lake, and East Bay Townships Offers Residents a No Charge Yard Waste Pass  Garfield, Long Lake, and East Bay Township residents are being offered a no charge brush site pass that can be obtained from the township offices during regular office hours.  The no charge yard waste pass is good for one trip and load not to exceed up to three (3) cubic yards of acceptable material brought to the Grand Traverse County Keystone Brush Drop-Off site located at 2471 N. Keystone Road.