Illuminate Your Inner Fudgie at Grow Benzie

Two winters ago I spent an entire hour updating my star ratings on Netflix to dial in my preferences.

It was worth my time.  Like driving to the U.P., or rising early to exercise.  At first it seems daunting, but soon you’re saying, “I can’t wait to do THAT again!”

I use these examples to illuminate your inner fudgie- the part that never forgets why you live in Northern Michigan, the part that keeps you promising “next year I’ll swim more” or “Frankfort isn’t that far for a day trip” or “I really want to visit Grow Benzie.” TomatoesintheGreenhouse

So let’s discuss the last one.  I’ve worked at Grow Benzie for over two years now, and I can’t tell you how many folks have told me how great our organization is… but have never been here for a visit!  This summer is your summer.  It’s time to take the time.

Come to our Monday farmers market (3-7pm), and you’ll see what the buzz is about.  Did you know our non-profit purchased an abandoned, 4-acre, commercial nursery nine years ago? We have since revitalized it into a thriving community hub including an event center with incubator/commercial kitchen, a ranch ‘studio’ house (w/ office space, a massage therapist, kids camp, grow room, and sewing studio), a large community garden, 16,000 sqft of hoop houses, and a pole building where we host bee box and hoop house construction workshops and recently started a project called MiFiberShed that accepts fiber donations for multiple social enterprises.


THIS SUMMER we have our food truck sourcing ingredients from our gardens and market vendors, we’ll be offering culinary and nutrition demonstrations every Monday, AND we’ll have a newly installed edible trail system (1/4 mile!) that connects all of our learning stations: beehives, monarch way station, mushroom logs, medicine & herb gardens, rain barrels, compost bins, hops poles, worm house, soil museum, lily lane, drinking fountains, benches, and… an edible mini-golf course w/natural ground covers and raised beds as obstacles. If there’s one thing you make time to do this season, make sure to visit Grow Benzie.

On July 7th ‘we GROW BENZIE’ with Bayou in the Barn: Blues & Zydeco Fundraiser Party at St. Ambrose Cellars.  Lots of Louisiana food and music, including Grammy Award winner Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band. Join us! Tickets at

Grow Benzie, 5885 Frankfort Highway (M-115), Benzonia, Michigan 49616

Joshua Stoltz is a northern Michigan native and the executive Director of Grow Benzie. Contact him at [email protected]