Think Local First





Join me in helping Ann Arbor, Michigan’s Think Local First in their mission to support and cultivate locally-owned, independent businesses that are committed to making our community a healthier and more vibrant place to live.

You can pledge to spend 100%, 80%, or as much as you can at locally owned independent businesses this season. As a thank you to those taking the pledge, 10 people will be randomly selected to win gift certificates from a variety of great places like Cafe Luwak, Corner Brewery, Morgan & York, and Kerrytown Market & Shops.

Click HERE to take the BUY LOCAL CHALLENGE, or if you are in Ypsilanti, click HERE to take the YPSI BUY LOCAL CHALLENGE.

Below are a few of the events going on around town:

December 7th, All Evening

Moonlight Madness (Kerrytown, Main St., and State Street, Ann Arbor). Stores open late (most until midnight) with bargains galore. Shop with Santa. Many businesses offer specials during Moonlight Madness only. Some include:

  • 16 Hands Gallery: 20% off storewide 10am until 11pm
  • The Peaceable Kingdom: select items on sale
  • Suwanee Springs: 15% – 50% off storewide all day
  • Collected Works: specials throughout the store
  • Downtown Home and Garden: While Downtown Home & Garden ALWAYS matches boxstore and internet prices on All-Clad and LeCreuset cookware items, they’ll be offering 20% off during Midnight Madness.

December 7th, 6 – 8 pm

Slow Food Huron Valley Holiday Gathering: Finger-food potluck and Michigan holiday wine tasting –Location: 310 S. Ashley (Hathaway’s Hideaway). Bring an hors d’oeuvre/finger food to share (with the recipe and your tableware) We’ll exchange ideas for local (food) gifts, ways to celebrate and support our local economy and food system and give gifts with lower environmental impact. Cost: $5 ($10 non-member) for food and good cheer; + $10 for wine tasting. RSVP or questions to Kim at

December 8th, 10am – 2pm

Downtown Home and Garden: Party for the Real Santa – Santa will be accepting wish lists and talking to children. Children get a Christmas orange. Adults get eggnog and roasted chestnuts.

You can also find more information about these and other local events/happenings HERE.

Where we spend our money can have a significant effect on the sustainability of our surroundings. Supporting local businesses will ensure that the people and places that make our cities and towns unique can survive and continue to operate. So wherever you live, I encourage you to increase your connection with your community and neighbors. This can be as simple as buying your fruit from a vendor who sells local produce, getting your haircut at an independently-owned barber, or re-filling your prescription at your neighborhood pharmacy. It’s an investment in a healthy, happy future.


To Market…To Market… We Go


Some say things aren’t looking good for Ann Arbor. Pfizer, its largest employer and taxpayer, is leaving. The local auto industry is down-spiraling. Add to that the harsh climate and weather, and well, you get the picture. Luckily, we still have the farmer’s market. A visit here reminds me that amid the fiscal woes of our area, life goes on, and in brilliant color too.



This time of the year is always fun. While it’s officially fall, we can still indulge in summer’s last flourish with sugar-sweet tomatoes, crispy bell peppers and juicy raspberries. One of my favorite stalls is run by the Merkel family. They’re the only vendor who carry Asian produce, like bitter melon, japanese eggplant and bok choy, to name a few. There’s also the vendor I like who carries special varieties like chioggia beets and french fingerling potatoes.




Wherever you are, I hope you’ll get yourself to a local farmer’s market soon.

And, if you want to learn more about buying from and supporting local farmers, check out these sites:

Eat Well Guide

Sustainable Table

Chez Panisse Foundation