MyNorth News Service

(Press Release provided by Bluestem Farmers)

EAST JORDAN: In a June 20th barn concert, an area food bank, a local farm, and Michigan-based musicians are coming together from different sides of the community to make healthy food more accessible for low-income people.

When the band Breathe Owl Breathe sets up to play in the hundred-year-old barn of Bluestem Farm the third Saturday in June, all proceeds will be used to stock the shelves of area food pantries with organic vegetables.

“Manna Food Project is happy to join forces with the musicians from Breathe Owl Breathe and Bluestem Farm to make it easier for people who are food-insecure to access great, healthy food,” Deb Noblett, director of Manna Food Project, said.

A project of this kind involves not only growing food and giving it away, but also accepting and offering donations, as well as the many logistics involved in distribution, fundraising, and community organization, not to mention the musical event itself.

“We are elated to partner with Manna Food Project and Breathe Owl Breathe to make this happen. As a farm, we’re good at growing great food. Manna is excellent at distribution and community organization. And Breathe Owl Breathe are talented and beloved musicians. We think there’s going to be a great crowd,” Mary Brower, owner of Bluestem Farm, said.

For more than a year, the farm has operated a food donations program in partnership with the Health Department of Northwest Michigan called the Help Others Eat Well Fund. Relying on individual and group donations as well as fundraising events, the fund has supplied over $3500 in donated food in the form of farm memberships, also called CSA shares, to families in need.

Employees of the Health Department select recipients, who receive farm “shares” each week, alongside their neighbors, who are paying customers.

“We think healthy food is an investment in our future, and a very important way to raise our community’s quality of life at the same time we lower the cost of public health,” Erika Van Dam, Director of Community Health Services at the Health Department of Northwest Michigan, said.

The June 20 barn concert begins at 6 pm with a cakewalk and silent auction, which are also fundraisers. Music starts at 7:30. Volunteers, event sponsors, silent auction donations, and cake donations, as well as advance ticket purchases, are all welcomed at


Bluestem Farm | 4218 M-32 (at Adams) outside East Jordan, MI | 231-459-8968 c | An organic farm with year-round build your own CSA shares, community events & food outreach programs. | Read about us in edible