The wine industry in northern Michigan is bigger than ever, and vineyards are popping up everywhere you look. It's a business that has a multi-million dollar impact on the state, and is expected to continue to grow. Winemakers on the Leelanau Peninsula say the region is great for grapes; the snow insulates the vines, the peninsulas are surrounded by water, and the summer sunshine doesn't hurt either.
9&10's Sara Simnitch and photojournalist Jeremy Erickson go from vine to wine, talking to Mark Carlson of Silver Leaf, Larry Mawby of L Mawby and Andrew McFarlane of Leelanau.com and the Leelanau Wine Trail in this special report:
Click the poster for details and don't miss Traverse City Beer Week with specials, tap takeovers and more at Traverse City brewpubs all week and a Blues at the Crossroads: Muddy & the Wolf on Friday. It's a tribute by the Fabulous Thunderbirds featuring Kim Wilson with Tinsley Ellis, James Cotton, Jody Williams and Bob Margolin at the City Opera House.
2012 was the warmest year on record according to NOAA, the nation's climate monitoring service. The Midwest was also in the grip of a severe drought. Those two factors have led to the lowest water levels in history for Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, which is considered one body of water hydrologically. The impact of the low lake levels on those who live on the Great Lakes is heavy.
Leland Harbor is the heart of a northern Michigan town. The small town is quiet in the winter, but the population jumps ten-fold in the summer when tourists flock to the harbor, beaches and quaint shops. That tourist economy is now in jeopardy because of the dramatic drop in Lake Michigan's water level.
Harbor master Russel Dzuba said the lake is down more than two feet from its average, and that drop is threatening to close the harbor.
“The economic impact this harbor has on the community is strong. And when things are slow, the guy at the grocery store, the guy at the restaurant comes down and asks me what's going on. They want to know,” said Dzuba. “So, it’s an economic punch that we hate to think what happens if we cant keep that channel open.”
On November 27th at the Suttons Bay High School Auditorium, the Farm Labor Task Force of Leelanau Unit, League of Women Voters Grand Traverse Area, will show the film American Harvest followed by a panel discussion with representatives from the local agricultural community. Light refreshments at 6:00 PM. Film at 6:30 PM.
The documentary American Harvest portrays the truth about agriculture and migrant labor in the United States at the present time. In a series of candid interviews with farmers and farm workers from Florida to Maine the viewer objectively learns the facts and dispels the myths connected with migrant farm workers. The suggested donation for the event is $5. The public is invited.
This presentation has been organized as a follow up to the Leelanau Unit, LWVGTA's year long study on the past, current and proposed employment methods and work visa programs used by agricultural employers in our area. Invite colleagues, friends and all others you think would like to know more about the challenges our agricultural employers face finding skilled workers.
The Inland Seas Education Association invites you to attend the free Great Lakes Seminar on Tuesday, October 9th at 7pm at the Inland Seas Education Center in Suttons Bay.
The guest this month is Mark Breederland of Michigan Sea Grant. Mark will provide an update on the potential for invasion of Asian Carp in our Great Lakes. His talk will also highlight the findings of recent detection work, discuss different views regarding the ability of Asian Carp to become established in the Great Lakes and their tributaries and review state and federal actions to mitigate future threats of introduction.
This event is free and open to the public. For information call 231-271-3077 or visit schoolship.org.
While we're on the subject, here's some of what Michigan Sea Grant has to say about Asian Carp: (more...)
Matthew Eddy shared a photo from this beautiful time-lapse in the Leelanau (dot com) pool on Flickr. He shot it over several July nights on the Leelanau Peninsula near the Sleeping Bear Dunes (School Lake) and on the Zeits farm.
Jacob Wheeler of the Glen Arbor Sun writes that to the most beautiful place in America, second healthiest place nationwide, Leelanau County is on the verge of becoming a prime bicycle destination too! He took a ride down the nearly-completed first phase from the Sleeping Bear Dune Climb to downtown Glen Arbor on the brand new Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail. The trail officially opens on June 20, 2012 and could one day stretch 27 miles, from the Leelanau-Benzie County line to Good Harbor.
Jacob writes that with all these bikers coming to town, they’ll need a place to rent bikes & fix the inevitable flat tires wheels and fix the inevitable flat tires and rusty chains. Read more about the new businesses in Glen Arbor here, and check out this narrated video of a bike ride Saturday along the trail.
Also, the photo to the right is by Tom D'Ambrosio - see his great photos from the trail right here!!