Tag Archives: michigan

Cherry Christmas from Michigan


From my point of view, cherries are one of Michigan’s most extraordinary fruits.  Here are some Cherry Fun Facts:

  • Today, in Michigan, there are almost 4 million cherry trees which annually produce 150 to 200 pounds of tart cherries.
  • Michigan grows 75 percent of the US crop of tart cherries, and about 20 percent of sweet cherries
  • Cherries have no fat and are low in sodium and calories.
  • Eating about 20 tart cherries a day could reduce inflammatory pain and headache pain.
  • There are about 7,000 cherries on an average tart cherry tree (the number varies depending on the age of the tree, weather and growing conditions). It takes about 250 cherries to make a cherry pie, so each tree could produce enough cherries for 28 pies!
  • The World Record for spitting a cherry pit is now 100 feet 4 inches, held by “young gun” Krauss, son of 10 time record holder “pellet gun” Krause
  • It takes 100 cherries to produce an 8 oz. glass of cherry juice 
  • Michigan cherry wine is made primarily from Montmorency cherries
  • Peninsula Cellars in Traverse City produces a white cherry wine, made from the Emperor Francis cherry
  • The same chemicals that give tart cherries their color may relieve pain better than aspirin and ibuprofen in humans.
  • Cherries with the stems attached will stay fresh longer
  • Cherries were brought to America by early settlers in the 1600s. Cherry trees, in fact, were part of the gardens of French settlers when they established Detroit 

The last fact is: The average U.S. citizen consumes about one pound of tart cherries per year. That is more than 260 million pounds per year.

Ho! Ho! Ho!


Homeless Students

Jeff Seidel, in Sunday’s (December 18, 2011) Detroit Free Press writes the first in a four part series on homeless students in Michigan.

Yes, homeless students!  I think it is much more likely that we think of of tattered, uneducated, maybe mentally ill men when we think of the homeless. Not children!

Seidel writes, “Like a silent epidemic, the number of homeless children in Michigan schools is growing.

In the 2010-11 school year, more than 31,000 homeless students attended school — 8,500 more than in the previous school year, a 37% spike attributed to the weak economy, loss of jobs and the foreclosure crisis. Overall, the number of homeless students in Michigan has jumped more than 300% in the last four years. Most experts say those numbers are low because many parents are embarrassed to admit they are homeless. And many school districts lack the resources to identify these kids, as required by federal law.”

This is a serious problem.  Michigan must address our economy, our safety net, and develop our willingness and ability to think together to tackle this problem of the homeless and poverty!

Seidel reports. “Poverty among the state’s children has already grown from 19.4% in 2007, when the economic downturn began, to 23.5% in 2010.”

That is one in four of Michigan’s youth living in poverty.  Poverty is an obvious driver in the issue of homelessness.

It is time to become involved and work toward a day in the very near future that Michigan dramtically reduces poverty and homelessness.  


Michigan Feeds Many Around the Nation and World

Michigan’s economy and Michigan’s agriculture are linked in many ways.  Agriculture is extremely important to Michigan’s over-all economic health.

When we live here it is easy to take for granted all of the wonderful fresh food we have acess to.

Michigan ranks first in the nation for its production of the following crops:

Tart (sour) Cherries

Dry Black Beans

Dry Cranberries

Dry Small Red Beans




And Michigan in the top 10 of all states in the following crops:

Carrots (fresh market) #2

Celery #2

Plums #2

Apples #3

Asparagus #3

Potatoes #3

Sugar Beets #4

Maple Syrup #6

Pumpkins #9

Source: The Detroit Free Press October 9, 2011 


Looking beyond the horizon into the future

You may be wondering: Where are the people that will get Michigan through its challenges?  I would suggest that we all have a role to play in embracing our challenges.  It is time to engage and be intentional!

Being intentional means to step forward and challenge the status quo, have the ability to look over the horizon of time into the future, and work with others to achieve the common good.


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Envisioning Together – What Might Be, Should Be and Will Be

The word ‘opportunity’ signifies, literally, a future that is unknowable and cannot be predicted.  This is true for our state and/or our schools because nobody knows when or where the next creative insight will emerge that can positively shift everything.  Nor does anyone know the combination of important Appreciating of “our strengths”, Envisioning of “what might be”, Co constructing of “what should be” and then Sustaining of “what will be” for our state and schools!  We just know that focusing on ‘opportunity’ makes much more sense than focusing on the negative.  ~ Adaptation of Cooperrider, Whitney and Stavros from their book: Appreciative Inquiry Handbook p. 16, 17 & 34 (2008)

We can look at the whole county, Michigan, schooling across the country and/or schooling in Michigan as a series of problems to be solved or as a ‘broken down’ machine in need of fixing.  Or we can look at America, Michigan, schooling across America and/or in Michigan as opportunities (of infinite capacity and potential) to be embraced.  As an example, we can appreciate Michigan as an opportunity instead of ‘casting’ it as a problem to be solved.  It is our choice.

We also have another choice. We can engage others and talk about Michigan (or America or schooling) as an opportunity of infinite capacity and potential or we can choose to not talk about this perceived potential.  I am advocating that we get vocal and share our thoughts and listen to the thoughts of others.  So that together – we can take some time to acknowledge our strengths and then together envision: what might, should be and will be.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” ~ Dr.Martin Luther King Jr.

The future matters: We need to raise our voices and work together to insure a bright future.