Harrisville Brunch at the Harbor features fresh local food Saturday

HARRISVILLE ­– Get in line early to Taste the Local Difference at Harrisville’s second annual Brunch at the Harbor from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.

Last year, the event sold out in 75 minutes. This year, they’ve doubled up on locally-sourced ingredients to be sure there are enough breakfast burritos to go around.

“It was a rainy day, and it was supposed to go from nine to noon,” event organizer Judy MacNeill recalled of last year’s debut. “These people traveled from all over to come to it.”

MacNeill is the chair of Farm to Fork Alcona and a registered dietitian.

“We will be there from nine to noon or until we sell out, whichever comes first,” MacNeill said.

She said this year the choices have been expanded to include three types of breakfast burritos, and four kinds of muffins, all using mostly local ingredients.

“This year, we are teaming up with the Harrisville Great Junque Hunt, and I think it’s just going to be super fun,” MacNeill said. “The weather is supposed to be good. I’m hoping for bigger and better this year.”

The brunch will be under the same tent as the Great Junque Hunt.

The breakfast burritos will be made again by the Alpena General Store, managed by Stacey Horton.

“They’ve doubled or tripled their batches,” MacNeill noted.

Three different kinds of burritos will be available: pork, sausage, cheese and egg; veggie and cheese; and chicken and cheese.

Burritos will be $5, and muffins will be $2 at this Certified Local Food Event. Muffin options are strawberry-rhubarb, blueberry, honey-lemon, and cranberry-orange.

“Most ingredients have traveled under 50 miles to arrive on our table,” MacNeill said.

The eggs come from Briar Hill of Herron, pork is from Chase Werth of Ossineke, berries for muffins come from A.J.’s of Lachine, and the honey is from Pour Boys of Lachine.

Alcona Coffee Company of Harrisville will be providing coffee, and Grand Traverse Sauce Company will have a variety of sauces made with Michigan peppers.

MacNeill said Certified Local Food Events are important for several reasons.

“One, we are supporting our local farmers, and any money spent here goes back into the community,” she said. “Two, as a dietitian, I support eating locally-sourced food because it’s healthier, and it tastes better.”

She said the third reason is the environment.

“You hear a lot about reducing our carbon footprint, and this is one way we can do it — shopping local, eating local, and just helping the environment that way,” MacNeill said.

Taste the Local Difference, Michigan’s local food marketing agency, is partnering with Farm to Fork Alcona, a multi-phase initiative that is part of Inspiration Alcona, a nonprofit arts and culture organization promoting the friendly rural beauty of Alcona County.

To become a Certified Local Food event by Taste the Local difference, “event organizers must show a sincere commitment to supporting our local food community — from farm to fork to compost and back again,” a press release from Taste the Local Difference NE Local Food Coordinator Molly Stepanski said. “It’s an important step forward to encourage local food sourcing and zero-waste initiatives at our region’s many events, but this certification also aims to provide the validation, transparency, and measurement that is key in order to prove an event is doing more than just talking the talk.”

Since this program’s inception, these Certified Local Food Events have served almost 50,000 people and contributed more than $166,000 to the local food economy across Michigan. Proceeds from the Farm to Fork Alcona event will help grow future programs including the Alcona Small Farm Conference planned for 2020.

See more about Inspiration Alcona’s mission and get tickets to the event here:

www.inspirationalcona.org. Email events@localdifference.org with questions or to find local food events near you.

The Farm to Fork initiative is working to help Alcona County become home to the farm-to-fork movement.

For more information, visit Farm to Fork Alcona’s website at f2falcona.org.