A New Season for Eat Local West Michigan

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When I started Eat Local West Michigan in 2010, the local food movement was still young. There were two primary CSAs, Trillium Haven and Groundswell. There were a handful of microbreweries and even fewer farm to table restaurants.

In recent years the culinary landscape has exploded. We became Beer City USA, there are 22 CSAs in the directory, and several Restaurant Week menus feature local ingredients.

It’s an exciting time to be a foodie in West Michigan, and it has been wonderful to be able to share some of the farmers’ and producers’ stories behind the scenes.

Personally, it’s been quite a journey as well. My husband and I had bariatric surgery in November 2014 and we completely committed to a healthy lifestyle. Recently I completed my certification as a nutrition coach. While we do still love to eat out on occasion (and drink craft beer), and I still remain committed to eating locally and supporting our local farmers, producers, brewers, and distillers, I have decided to focus my attention on nutrition coaching for now and have turned over the reigns of Eat Local West Michigan to Lisa Armstrong.

When I first considered letting go of ELWM, I knew that it would have to be to someone who shared the vision of promoting farm to table. Lisa is that person!

While a relative newcomer to West Michigan, she is not new to farm to table.

She grew up in an agricultural community in Southern Indiana and a family lineage of farmers.  She and her spouse previously owned a 13 acre farm in Northern California where she and her family raised swine, alpacas, chickens and a large organic garden and orchard. Lisa had the privilege of being a private chef along her culinary journey in the last 15 years. She believes strongly in sourcing all ingredients locally and striving to eat whole foods at every meal.  Her determination and desire to educate and bring awareness to local farms, artisans and chefs in West Michigan, along with her culinary background will allow Eat Local West Michigan to continue to grow leaps and bounds in the upcoming months.

Lisa Armstrong has been active in the culinary tourism industry for over 12 years.  Her passion for supporting local farmers, artisans and like-minded chefs propelled her in 2010 to create and direct Local Roots Food & Farm Tours in Northern California. She was instrumental in helping to develop the concept of “farm to fork” as well as keeping a strong voice within her surrounding communities. The startup company connected individuals to local farm fresh businesses through culinary walking tours and farm bus tours 6 days a week.  She sold the company this past December in order to relocate to West Michigan. She thrives on educating consumers on where to source, consume and support local agriculture.

So, I am super excited to see where she takes ELWM! Please give a warm West Michigan welcome to Lisa. She can be reached at lisa@eatlocalwestmichigan.com.

As for me, you can find me at wendy@wholisticwoman.com or probably at the Fulton Street Farmers Market from time to time.


Whaddaya think?