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My Town Sparta: Strawberry U-pick season arrives

My Town Sparta: Strawberry U-pick season arrives

SPARTA, Mich.—Strawberry picking season has arrived at Fruit Ridge Farm Market.

The market began offering u-pick strawberries Monday, June 16.  Each quart filled will cost $3.50; each flat (eight quarts) filled is $24. 

Fruit Ridge Farm Market has picking containers, but each customer should bring their own containers to take home the fruit.   For more information, visit the market website here.

Fruit Ridge Farm Market is located at 9000 Fruit Ridge Ave. in Sparta.  Business hours are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

My Town: Governor names Michigan Tree Fruit Commission

My Town: Governor names Michigan Tree Fruit Commission

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LANSING, Mich. (State of Michigan)– Gov. Rick Snyder today announced nine appointments to the newly created Michigan Tree Fruit Commission.

The nine-member commission was established by growers in 2014 to improve the economic position and competitiveness of the Michigan tree fruit industry.

“The food and agriculture industry is one of the pillars of Michigan’s economy,” Snyder said. “I am confident that this group of appointees will work hard to grow this sector of our economy.”

Initial terms expiring March 1, 2015:

Patrick Goodfellow, of Sparta, is the owner of PG Orchards LLC. He previously worked as a plumbing apprentice and maintenance worker which is beneficial in the day-to-day operations of a farm. Goodfellow graduated from West Catholic High School. He will represent fruit growers in District 2.

My Town Sparta: Gardeners invited to plant downtown June 1

My Town Sparta: Gardeners invited to plant downtown June 1
SPARTA, Mich.--  Greenthumbs itching to get down and dirty this spring are invited to join the Garden Club this Sunday, June 1 to add a little floral beauty to downtown.Volunteers should bring their own tools to plant flowers in the downtown planters.  Gardeners will meet at the gazebo by the library at 1 p.m.  

My Town Rockford: Rogue River Expedition registration deadline nears

My Town Rockford: Rogue River Expedition registration deadline nears

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ROCKFORD, Mich. (Trout Unlimited)-- This is your last chance to sign up for this 3-day public journey of discovery to experience conditions and opportunities of Michigan’s Rogue River and its watershed.

 It will be held June 19 through the 21st.  The Expedition team will travel by land, canoes, and kayaks, and provide demonstrations, interactive displays, and exhibits in communities along the Rogue River.

My Town Sparta: Prayer for the Farmers May 24

My Town Sparta: Prayer for the Farmers May 24

SPARTA, Mich.—The Sparta Chamber of Commerce is encouraging community members to take part in "Prayer for the Farmers" Saturday, May 24.

Starting at 10 a.m., community members will be praying for a successful growing season for area farmers, as well as giving thanks.  The non-denominational event will take place at Mamrelund Evangelical Lutheran Church, located at 4085 Lutheran Church Road in Kent City. 

This is the third year for Prayer for the Farmers.

My Town: Public hearing May 15 over company's debated move

My Town: Public hearing May 15 over company's debated move

ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich.— The Alpine Township Planning Commission will hold a public hearing Thursday, May 15 over a company’s debated move from Sparta to Fruit Ridge Avenue.

Crop Production Services is asking for site plan approval to move its business onto five acres at 6201 Fruit Ridge Avenue.  The company wants a special use permit to use the site to manufacture its fertilizers and crop protection products.  The plans include building an office, chemical storage facility and dry storage building as well as containment areas. 

 At least one community member is opposing the move, saying the proposed plans would put huge chemical tanks in the middle of apple orchards and vegetable fields, and the influx of semi trucks will only add to the hazards on a busy country road that already experiences a lot of crashes.

The public hearing begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

My Town: Student Great Lakes protection projects on display May 14

My Town: Student Great Lakes protection projects on display May 14

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—  High School students from six area districts will showcase their efforts to protect the Grand River watershed and the Great Lakes during the Groundswell Student Showcase May 14.

Grand Valley State University is showcasing the exhibit, which provides hands-on environmental learning for students throughout Kent County.  The projects will be on display on the big screen and in the Beacon Lobby at Celebration Cinema North in Grand Rapids.