Author Archives: Charlie West

Eating on the Wild Side

The Transition Marquette County Reading Group will meet to discuss the book Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson, at 7pm on Thursday, Feb 8, in the Conference Room at Peter White Public Library.

Robinson, a health writer and food activist, begins the book with the question “Where does our food come from?”. Her answer is not “the grocery store” or “the farmers’ market” or even “the farm – local or industrial.” Our foods come from plants that were wild 10,000 years ago, and have been “tamed” and altered over the years, sometimes by serendipitous mutation, sometimes by careful plant breeding at human hands. Again and again we have selected for sweetness, size, ease of preparation, appearance, shelf-life, and transportability. Unfortunately, in most of these changes the nutritional values of the plants have decreased until today they are far less nutritious than the food which kept our ancestors strong and healthy. For each fruit and vegetable, Robinson shows how to choose the most nutritious variety in the supermarket, at the farmers’ market, and for planting in our gardens. (One general rule is to choose the deepest colors.) She goes on to outline the best way to store each item, and even how to prepare them to get the most vitamins, minerals, and antioxidents. For example, waiting 10 minutes after crushing a garlic before heating it in the pan increases its nutritional value. Cooking carrots whole before slicing them is better than slicing and then cooking. She closes each section with a recipe or two designed to get the most out of each ingredient.

Anyone is welcome to join the conversation. It would help to have at least started to read the book, but because of the special subject matter, a list of the “tips” will be available. For more information, call Charlie at 226-3314 or email

Group Buy for Nutrient-Dense Potatoes

Growing potatoes this year?

While the Seed Co-op is a thing of the past, Transition Marquette County is coordinating a “group buy” of three different varieties of seed potato. They are visually striking – red, blue, and gold with purple skin – but more than that, they have some of the highest micro-nutrient values (vitamin, mineral, and anti-oxidant) of any potatoes available. They are from a company in Wisconsin and are certified organic and disease free. We are ordering them now (by Feb 14th) before they sell out, but they will be delivered to Marquette just in time for planting in May.

We invite you to check out the offerings by clicking on “The 2018 Potato Order” link above, and if they fit into your gardening plans this summer, place an order. We will email you when they come.

If you have questions, email  or and we will get back to you. 

Growing Your Own Food – Session 6


Thursday, April 20th @ 7 pm

Marquette Missionary Church, 1804 Wright St., Marquette

Abbey Palmer, Education Coordinator at the MSU North Farm, will bring her season extension supplies and demonstrate how to use a hoop bender and explain how to take advantage of the free tool library, which has expanded dramatically in recent years.

Tools available to the public include hoop benders, wheel hoe, soil probe kit and soil blockers.

Abbey will also be talking about the principles of season extension and give examples.

We hope you can make it Thursday, April 20th @ 7 pm.

Marquette Missionary Church, 1804 Wright St., Marquette

Seed Swap and Seed Start – it’s time!!

Growing your Food Session 5 –

Session 5:  March 16 @ 7 pm


Marquette Missionary Church, 1804 Wright St.

Presenters:  Ray Bush, Farm Manager, Partridge Creek Farm;  Lanae Joubert, Nutrition Educator, Northern Mich. Univ.

Soil, site — and now seeds! Ray Bush, Farm Manager at Partridge Creek Farm, will work with us on planning a garden using the “square foot gardening method“.   A special “work it thru” handout will be provided (bring a pencil). Count on a lot of Q + A . . .

In addition, Lanae Joubert, an NMU nutrition educator, will give us examples of what we can grow that will provide the same or better nutritional value as the food that’s shipped from far away (at great expense) up to the U.P. 

No, you do not need to bring a pot of soil.

Then here’s an event you’ll be interested in –