Not willing to rest on its laurels the Rockford Farm Market – America’s Favorite – has added four new regular vendors to its already stellar cast. Filling in the blanks and taking the Market to the next level are relative newcomers as follows: Rockford resident Chef Robin Toldo needs no introduction, her cooking skills are well known to the Rockford community. Robin invites everyone to experience “hummus as never before” at Rockford’s Farm Market. In her booth, next to Great Harvest Bread, she vends 4 varieties of hummus that add a whole new gourmet twist for hummus lovers. Made completely from scratch and composed of 100% fresh natural ingredients, they contain no preservatives or coloring. All natural ingredients equal all natural fresh gourmet taste. Robin calls it HUMMALICIOUS! Don’t take her word for it, sample her offerings yourself at the Market on Saturday mornings. Local resident Vonnie Engelsma, owner of Maisy’s Pie Company, caters to everyone’s sweet tooth. Vonnie has a life-long love affair with baking – pies that is. She learned her craft at the knee of her beloved Grandma Maisy. At her market booth Vonnie offers hand made pies and other sweets just like Grandma used to make. Using only the best ingredients and baking in small batches ensures fresh high-quality products. Along with pies of all varieties and sizes, customers will find popovers, tarts, cookies, cupcakes, and more – just ask! Special orders can be placed for pick up the following week. Celiac disease or wheat allergy concerns? No problem! Rockford residents Kristy Naumann and Emma Darling, the Gluten Free Ladies, have the baked goods to fill your special needs. The ladies are storehouses of knowledge on the subject and are more than happy to answer any and all questions along with offering up really tasty and healthy gluten free products. They also offer “Gluten-free(dom)”, a spiral bound recipe book for gluten-free living. Partners Steve Bowyer and Ryan Raredon, of “The Local Epicurean”, used America’s Favorite Farm Market last summer to test market their handcrafted and organic herb infused pastas. In part because of their huge success in Rockford, the pair opened a storefront early this year on Wealthy Street in Grand Rapids. Back this year at Rockford’s Farm Market, they are […]
by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL Once nearly eliminated from Michigan due to a lack of nest cavities, bluebirds have made a remarkable comeback with the aid of bird enthusiasts who have put up thousands of bluebird nest boxes. In these nesting boxes the female builds a nest and raises two broods a year. For the second year in a row, we were fortunate enough to have a nesting pair of bluebirds in one of our two birdhouses. The second birdhouse had earlier successfully hosted a pair of nesting tree swallows. Sadly our pair of bluebirds lost their first hatch of incubating eggs to a marauding blackbird but, on the second time around, they succeeded in raising a brood of four juveniles. Bluebirds eat insects and fruit and because of this year’s severe drought our pair seemed to be having difficulty finding enough forage to keep the fledglings bellies full. Not to worry. As we did last year we purchased one of their favorite foods, mealworms, at a local pet supply store. We fed them every day, morning and evening, for nearly two weeks. Easily tamed, bluebirds will come to a shallow dish containing mealworms. Seated at the picnic table on our deck, we took the accompanying photos a scant 5 feet away from the bluebird feeding blissfully on the deck’s rail. In our experience, the male is the only one who comes to this dish. Sometimes he eats one or two himself, but most often he loads up his beak with as many mealworms as he can hold and then heads home to feed Mommy and the kids. Our family of bluebirds has flown the coop having brought us hours of bird-watching delight. If you are lucky enough to still have some nesting bluebirds on your property, inexpensive mealworms can be purchased locally at Chow Hound Pet Supply on Northland Dr. in Plainfield Township (next door to Family Foods).
Slow and steady wins the race. Rockford Brewing Co. partners are still aiming for a late summer opening of their signature microbrewery in the heart of downtown Rockford. The three tortoises Jeff Sheehan, Seth Rivard, and Brien Dews are crossing every ‘T’ and dotting every ‘i’ in order to achieve an authentic Northwoods Bavarian lodge look. Pictured is Rivard sanding newly erected timbers in what will be the “Public House”. The surface is being sanded in preparation for the installation of the bar’s countertop. The partners encourage everyone, whenever in town, to window-gawk their progress or, if the door is open, come inside and see for themselves. Rivard is probably wishing he had a stein in his hand and was proposing a toast the likes of, “This one’s for you – West Michigan!”
by RANDY GREGORY Though not quite as overwhelming in the scope of victory as their female teammates, the boys track team from Rockford also took home first-place honors in the Division I regional meet held at Houseman Field in Grand Rapids on Saturday, May 19. Rockford totaled 126 points to easily outdistance the 94.25 points amassed by the runners-up from Grand Haven. Just like the girls, the boys scored points in each of the 17 contested events. The Rams also took home first-place honors in six different events. “We had a great day and the kids really stepped up,” said Rockford Coach Andy Martin. “We got points from some unexpected sources and the biggest surprise was in the discus. Ivy Johnson and Mitch Caywood were seeded eighth and ninth and took home second and third place. It was not a good day to be a distance runner in this type of heat and I think that hurt us some. But all in all it was a superior effort by our kids.” Jeremy Blauser set a new career best in the pole vault with a jump of 13′ 9″ that captured the title in that event and topped the rest of the field by 11 inches. Blauser also ran a leg of the 4×100-meter relay that captured first place with a time of 43.26 seconds. Nick Simms, Chris Eggenberger and Tim Gilbert comprised the balance of the 4×100 relay team. Eggenberger had an excellent meet overall on a day tailor-made for sprinters. Eggenberger took first in the 100- (11.01) and 200-meter (22.22) dashes to go along with the 4×100-meter crown and also ran a leg of the 4×200 relay that took home second and also earned a berth in the state meet. Scott Kaule, Gilbert and Simms were the other participants in the 4×200 relay. The remaining two titlists for the Rams were Drew Woznick and the 4×800-meter relay team. Woznick ran an incredible 4:21.01 in the 1,600 meters in sweltering heat that did nothing to encourage great times from distance runners. Austin Benoit, Grant Aman, Chris Coles and Woznick combined to run a solid 7:59.13 in the 4×800 relay to best the field by more than three seconds. Martin plans to ease up a bit […]