July/Aug 2019 GLE (6)

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July/August 2019


COUNTRY LINES Great Lakes Energy Cooperative

Director Elections For Districts 6, 8 And 9

Green And Bear It At Bear Creek Organic Farm

Historic Farm Honored

Tip Toe Through

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In This Issue July/August 2019 || Vol. 39, No. 7

Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives






Your photo could be featured here.


Executive Editor: Casey Clark Editor: Christine Dorr Copy Editor: Heidi Spencer

Follow Us On Instagram!

Design and Production: Karreen Bird Recipe Editor: Christin McKamey Publisher: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association Michigan Country Lines, USPS-591-710, is published monthly, except August and December, with periodicals postage paid at Lansing, Mich., and additional offices. It is the official publication of the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Subscriptions are authorized for members of Alger Delta, Cherryland, Great Lakes, HomeWorks Tri-County, Midwest Energy & Communications, Ontonagon, Presque Isle, and Thumb electric cooperatives by their boards of directors. POSTMASTER: SEND ALL UAA TO CFS. Association officers are Robert Kran, Great Lakes Energy, chairman; Mark Kappler, HomeWorks Tri-County Electric, vice chairman; and Eric Baker, Wolverine Power Cooperative, secretarytreasurer. Craig Borr is president and CEO. CONTACT US/LETTERS TO EDITOR: Michigan Country Lines 201 Townsend St., Suite 900 Lansing, MI 48933 248-534-7358 editor@countrylines.com countrylines.com


Please notify your electric cooperative. See page 4 for contact information.

The appearance of advertising does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services advertised.

Come share in the splendor of rural Michigan with us

michigancountrylines This capture of a wave breaking in Lake Huron is the most brilliant @lensball capture we've ever seen. #gorgeous :@chase_gagnon

ON THE COVER The Tulip Time Festival is dedicated to honoring Holland, Michigan’s Dutch heritage, showcasing millions of tulips and celebrating the community today. This experience is so much more than tulips. With national and local entertainment, world-renowned Dutch dancers, artisan markets, fireworks, breathtaking sights just off the shores of Lake Michigan and some of the largest parades in Michigan, Tulip Time is truly an experience you don’t want to miss. Photography by Tyler Leipprandt

6 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY Guest Column Exploring The Frankfort Scene Christal Frost, Media Personality

10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Festive Desserts To Celebrate Summer


18 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY Guest Column

The Turtle Race Tradition Jean Alexander, Great Lakes Energy member

Win $150 for stories published! Guest Column: Country Lines invites members to submit their fond memories and stories. For guidelines and to submit your guest column go to countrylines.com under the MI Co-op Community tab.

Christin McKamey & Our Readers

Enjoy a taste of the Old Country! This Dutch favorite recipe, Stamppot van Boerenkool: Curly Kale and Sausages, is shared with Tulip Time visitors from around the world. Enter Our Recipe Contest And Win A $50 Bill Credit!

14 FEATURE Tip Toe Through The Tulips Emily Haines Lloyd

Best of Michigan CRAFT BEER: Give us your personal craft beer favorite. We will publish this member– recommended list in our September issue. Submit your favorites at countrylines.com under the MI Co-op Community tab by July 20.



Elect GLE’s Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Mark Carson Chairman, District 2

01950 Anderson Rd., Boyne City, MI 49712 231-675-0561 • mcarson@glenergy.com

John LaForge Vice-Chairman, District 9 7363 Walters Rd., Delton, MI 49046 269-623-2284 • jlaforge@glenergy.com

Paul Schemanski Secretary, District 1 5974 Stolt Rd., Petoskey, MI 49770 231-439-9079 • paul.schemanski@glenergy.com

Larry Monshor Treasurer, District 4 1541 Thumm Rd., Gaylord, MI 49735 989-705-1778 • lmonshor@glenergy.com

Tim Brechon Director, District 8

22322 220th Ave., Paris, MI 49338 630-379-6218 • tbrechon@glenergy.com

Paul Byl Director, District 7

9941 W. Buchanan Rd., Shelby, MI 49455 231-861-5911 • pbyl@glenergy.com

Richard Evans Director, District 3 11195 Essex Rd., Ellsworth, MI 49729 231-883-3146 • revans@glenergy.com

Dale Farrier Director, District 5

2261 Wheeler Lake Rd. NE, Kalkaska, MI 49646 231-564-0853 • dfarrier@glenergy.com

Robert Kran Director, District 6

7380 N. Tuttle Rd., Free Soil, MI 49411 231-464-5889 • bkran@glenergy.com

Bill Scott, Great Lakes Energy President/CEO


f you’re a Great Lakes Energy member in district 6, 8, or 9, please read about the candidates inside and cast your vote with the attached mail-in ballot. For all other members, your opportunity to vote will come in 2020 or 2021, but you can read about this year’s candidates online at countrylines.com. Every co-op, whether it’s your credit union or a farm co-op—follows the basic principle of one member, one vote. Most often you are asked to vote to elect fellow members who will represent you on the board of directors. These folks are your friends, neighbors and fellow residents of your community. Members vote for director once every three years. In my case, I’m a GLE member in district 1, so I will not be voting this year. This year we only have one candidate running in each district. Candidates for the board and elected board directors are not determined by Great Lakes Energy or by current board members, but by you. As a member of a democratically controlled cooperative, you play a vital role in shaping the way your co-op is run. You can run for the board seat in your district, you can sign another candidate’s nominating petition, or you can simply vote. Co-ops believe in the power of human connections and encourage your participation in the board election and is part of the cooperative difference. Visit gtlakes.com/board-candidate-info for more details.

President/CEO: Bill Scott 888-485-2537

Communications Director/Editor: Lacey Matthews


Beaver Island

231-487-1316 lmatthews@glenergy.com

To report an outage, call: 1-888-485-2537









Change of Address: 888-485-2537, ext. 8924























Great Lakes Energy is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Districts By County


Boyne City Headquarters 1323 Boyne Ave., P.O. Box 70 Boyne City, MI 49712 Hours: 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. M–F Phone: 888-485-2537 Email: glenergy@glenergy.com




2019 election District 6 – Lake and Mason counties District 8 – Clare, Mecosta, Newaygo, and Osceola counties District 9 – Allegan, Barry, Kent, Montcalm, and Ottawa counties

Congratulations To Our Winners! Thanks for your ongoing support of the People Fund.

• • • • • •

The Growing Future Agriculture Business 4-H Club is just one of the many organizations helped by the People Fund.

Werner Meyer, East Jordan Bobbi Harney, Delton Roxanne DuFraine, Kenockee Curt Jones, Ludington Walter Stamps Jr, White Cloud James Cousino, Harbor Springs

Be A People Fund Winner


id you know we award $100 bill credits to Great Lakes Energy members who support the People Fund? Six winners are randomly selected twice per year. Several generous People Fund supporters recently became winners. See the list of members on this page who received a $100 bill credit. Current People Fund supporters and any member who becomes a People Fund contributor before the next drawing on Dec. 1 are eligible to win.

People Fund contributors allow Great Lakes Energy to round up their electric bills to the nearest dollar each month. The rounded-up amounts, which average less than 50 cents a month, are used to award grants to local charities and community groups such as food pantries, senior citizen centers and youth programs. Gifts are provided by Great Lakes Energy and do not involve the use of any People Fund round-up money. Don’t miss your chance to be the next winner! Call our office or visit gtlakes.com to sign up today.

Internet At The Speed Of Brian

"Farmer Brian" Bates and "Queen Bee Anne" Morningstar, Bear Creek Organic Farm

Fiber opens the door for connection. Brian couldn't believe how easy it was to video chat with grandma for the very first time. Now that their home and business are equipped with Truestream fiber internet, Brian's family can enjoy the benefits of a fast, reliable connection that powers their personal connections. Our fiber network is expanding throughout the area’s communities and neighborhoods—get internet at the speed of you today.

1-888-485-2537 | jointruestream.com *Certain restrictions apply. If construction for your area is completed before registering your interest in Truestream, a $149 installation charge will apply. Visit jointruestream.com for construction timelines.

Register now and you’ll receive free installation* (a $149 value)!

Sign up now at jointruestream.com!


MI CO-OP Community

Road pin’ Trip With Christal Frost



very time I travel back to my Benzie County roots, I marvel at how everything feels both exactly the same and somehow very different. I graduated from Benzie Central High School 21 years ago and as I drive through the hilly terrain toward Frankfort, I can’t shake the notion that, although the route hasn’t changed, everything along the way seems to have grown up—including me. Downtown Frankfort is just waking up as I make my first stop at Crescent Bakery for a welcomed cup of coffee, delicious breakfast panini and the bakery’s world-famous fritters. Fueled by caffeine and sugar, it’s time to journey to Frankfort’s pride and joy, the Point Betsie Lighthouse. With views of the Manitou Passage, the Point Betsie Lighthouse is rumored to be the most photographed lighthouse of all time. The views are unparalleled, and it still stands today as a beacon of beauty and direction. Although Point Betsie still functions as a navigation aid, the majestic lighthouse also regularly hosts museum tours and weddings. Curious visitors can even rent the Keeper’s Quarters— available from late May through October. No visit to Frankfort is complete without a stop at Crystal Gardens. Crystal Gardens has been the source for gardening supplies for more than 40 years. However, Crystal Gardens has evolved to give visitors more of an experience, including a rock shop filled with unique gifts made with Petoskey stones and geodes, the Barn Swallow antique store—and even the Nature Exhibit which boasts peacocks, butterflies, a fairy garden and a gigantic stone turtle. My absolute favorite at the Gardens, though, is an entire greenhouse, called Mom’s House, which is fully dedicated to the hardy geranium.

Rolling through town, I spot the A&W Restaurant, in addition to hot dogs, burgers, fries and root beer, A&W


sells nostalgia; and I am definitely buying! I pull up to a drive-in spot and am served by a friendly waitress. Staying in the car, I turn on ‘50s music and pretend I’ve gone back in time. The next stop is Main Street. I marvel at the historic Garden Theatre, the gem of downtown Frankfort. I then make my way into Frannie’s Follies, a must-stop shop for tourists and anyone looking for a t-shirt or trinket. Sunbeams of Promise catches my eye next, and there I find a huge variety of local stones, including the elusive Leland Blue. Our final stop leads us to Elberta, Frankfort’s port city sister, just two miles away. In fact, this tiny town was once known as South Frankfort. My tour ends at the Cabbage Shed, a building that has more history and character than any other place in the county. First built in 1867, the shed offers over 70 varieties of Irish whiskey and the longest running open mic night in Benzie County. If you leave the Cabbage Shed without trying the Drunken Beans, you will never forgive yourself. Only a 45-minute drive from Traverse City, Frankfort has managed to hold on to its small-town charm. And, it welcomes you, like a hug from an old friend you haven’t seen in years. Christal Frost is a media personality who can be heard on Today’s Country MusicWTCM, The Christal Frost Show on NewsTalk 580-WTCM AM.






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See Frankfort In Action

Christal Frost filmed her Frankfort adventure, now available on countrylines.com. For behind-the-scenes footage, see the “Road Trippin” story highlight album on our Instagram @michigancountrylines.


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• Garden Theatre • Frannie’s Follies • Sunbeams of Promise

A& W

Nearby on Main Street:



Enjoy Summer And

Stay Cool While Saving Energy


hen it gets hot and muggy outside, your home air conditioning system is your refuge. The hottest months can really run up your energy bills. These few smart energy-saving habits can help you save!

Limit Device Time

air conditioning to cool off the house. Take your cooking outside! Grilling is one of the joys of summer and a way to save money.

Set The Thermostat

Turn off your electronic device and enjoy the outdoors. Being active outside can boost your mood, decrease stress, improve physical health and allow you to connect as a family.

Adjust your thermostat to keep your house warmer when you are away. When you are home, lower the thermostat setting to 78°F (26°C). Air conditioning controls humidity and will make your home comfortable without needing to set the thermostat too low.

Close Window Treatments

Use Ceiling Fans

During summer days, about 76 percent of the sunlight that falls on standard double-pane windows enters to become heat—close draperies on windows receiving direct sunlight. For natural light, open coverings of the shaded windows.

If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort. In summer, use the ceiling fan in a counterclockwise direction to create a wind chill effect. Be sure to turn off the fan when you leave the room—fans cool people, not rooms!

Grill Out Cooking in the oven and on the stove uses energy and warms the house—and you might be inclined to turn up the

For more ways to stay cool while saving energy, visit michigan-energy.org or call 877.296.4319.

Heat& Save Beat the

Stay cool this summer while saving energy. Here are a few tips to help: ▪ Turn off and unplug electronics, and head outside.

▪ Use shades, blinds and drapes to keep out the heat.

▪ Grill outside to reduce heat generated by the stove or oven.

▪ Use ceiling fans to create a cooling breeze. ▪ Turn fans off in unoccupied rooms— fans cool people, not rooms.

michigan-energy.org | 877.296.4319

Energy Optimization programs and incentives are applicable to Michigan electric service locations only. Other restrictions may apply. For a complete list of participating utilities, visit michigan-energy.org.

GLE Photo Contest

Most Votes On Facebook!




4 5


Four-Legged Friends 1. Puddle Paws—Pete Shankland, Wolverine 2. Puppy love!—Darla Edwards, Gaylord 3. Soaking up the much-needed sunshine— Kelly Roberts-Zielinski, Gaylord 4. Riding with Maggie & Pauline— Tracy Smith, Gaylord 5. Live like somebody left the gate open!— Sarah Schaner, Hart 6. Boer goat triplets—Sue Eilers, New Era 7. A nutty friend—we all have them— Judi Bojanowski, Branch 8. Granddog Millie—David Ebling, Baldwin



Submit Your “Favorite Costumes” Photos!

Enter to win a

Each month members can submit photos on Facebook or our website for our annual photo contest. The photo with the most votes on Facebook is published here along with other selections.


energy bill credit!

Our July/August contest theme is Favorite Costumes. Photos can be submitted by August 20 to be featured in the October issue.

How To Enter:

Visit Facebook.com/greatlakesenergy and click “Photo Contest” from the menu tabs. Not on Facebook? You can also enter the contest at gtlakes.com/photocontest. Make sure to vote and encourage others to vote for you, too.

The photo receiving the most votes from our online and Facebook contest will be printed in an issue of Michigan Country Lines along with some of our other favorites. All photos printed in the magazine in 2019 will be entered to win a $200 bill credit in December 2019. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES


Festive Desserts Celebrate summer with these delectable recipes. Photos by Robert Bruce Photography

Winning Recipe!

Frosty Lemon Pie Rita Schuette, Midwest Energy ¾ ¹⁄³ ¼ • 3 2 1 •

cup sugar cup lemon juice cup butter, cubed dash salt eggs, slightly beaten pints vanilla ice cream, softened and divided graham cracker crust (9 inches) whipped topping, fresh mint and lemon peel for garnish

In a small saucepan, combine lemon juice, sugar, butter and salt. Cook and stir over medium heat till sugar is dissolved and butter melted. Whisk a small amount of the sugar mixture into the eggs several times. Return all to the saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat till mixture reaches 160 F or is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Refrigerate till cool. Spread half of the ice cream in the crust. Freeze for 1 hour or till firm. Cover with half of the lemon mixture and freeze for 1 hour——repeat layers. After the 2nd layer of lemon mixture, cover and freeze several hours or overnight. Remove from freezer 10 minutes before serving. Garnish if desired. Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videos 10 JULY/AUGUST 2019

Grandma’s Scottish Shortbread Gail Gurnee, Great Lakes Energy 1 cup softened butter ½ cup sugar 2½ cups flour Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream butter and sugar together. Gradually knead in flour until well blended. Place in 9-inch ungreased cake pan and roll or press dough in until smooth. Press the tines of a fork around the edges and prick the middle of the dough. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn down oven to 300 F and bake for an additional 50 minutes until nicely browned. Run a knife around the edge to prevent cookies sticking to pan. Cut into short little squares immediately before cookies harden.

Lime Ice Cream Dessert Joyce Tamminga, Great Lakes Energy


Crust: 1½ cups Ritz cracker crumbs (about 34 crackers) 4 tablespoons sugar 5 tablespoons melted butter

GUEST CHEF This traditional Dutch favorite is shared with Tulip Time visitors from around the world. Enjoy a taste of the Old Country!

Filling: 2 quarts vanilla ice cream (½ gallon) 1 quart lime sherbet Topping: 4 tablespoons lime or lemon juice ²⁄³ cups sugar 2 eggs, well beaten 6 tablespoons butter Mix cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter; press into 9x13 inch pan. Chill. Soften ice cream and sherbet enough to mix well and spread over crust. Freeze. Mix topping ingredients in a heavy

saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until thick. Cool completely. Spread the topping on the ice cream. Keep frozen. Note: This can also be made with orange sherbet and orange juice in the place of lime sherbet and lime juice.

Raspberry Delight Pound Cake Tracy Fisher, Thumb Electric 1 1 4 1 ¹⁄³ ½ 2 ¼ 2 2 •

French vanilla or yellow cake mix small instant vanilla pudding mix large eggs cup water cup oil cup sour cream cups raspberries fresh or frozen cup water tablespoons sugar tablespoons raspberry jello (powder) cornstarch, to thicken

Preheat over to 350 F. Mix cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water, oil and sour cream according to cake mix directions on the box. Pour into prepared Bundt pan. In large saucepan, cook remaining ingredients over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Thicken filling

Stamppot van Boerenkool: Curly Kale and Sausages

with cornstarch and water. Drop filling by spoonfuls over top of unbaked cake. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, then turn cake out onto a plate. Dust with powdered sugar or serve with whipped cream.

Venison: due August 1 Christmas Cookies: due September 1 Submit your favorite recipe for a chance to win a $50 bill credit and have your recipe featured in Country Lines with a photo and a video. Go to micoopkitchen.com for more information and to register.

Enter to win a


energy bill credit!

2–3 3 • 1 4

lbs. curly kale lbs. cut-up potatoes Milk, salt, and pepper lb. smoked sausage tbsp. oleo

Strip, wash, and cut kale very fine. Boil kale in water with salt about 40 minutes. Add peeled, cut-up potatoes and sausage and enough water to prevent burning. Cook 30 minutes. Remove sausage from pan. Mash kale and potatoes and stir in boiled milk until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Read the full story about the Tulip Time Festival on page 14, and find this recipe and others at micoopkitchen.com.



Board of Directors Candidate DISTRICT 6  MASON and LAKE COUNTIES 1. Why are you seeking a board seat? I am seeking reelection to the board of directors to continue to promote the goals that have enabled Great Lakes Energy to be an electric industry leader. Our focus is to provide reliable service at a competitive rate with customer service our members expect. A concern for sustainability and environmental awareness is an important part of the direction Great Lakes Energy takes going forward. Wolverine Power Supply, our source of power, has 60% of its supply from non-fossil fuel. Our challenges are to continue to upgrade our lines, find ways to better respond to outages, and to always ensure our employees have the safety equipment and training necessary. 2. Do you have energy industry experience, including work as a Great Lakes Energy employee, electric utility contractor or at another energy service provider? If yes, please list employer(s), years of experience and brief details. As a board member, I served seven years at Western Michigan Electric Cooperative and am completing my 10th year on the Great Lakes Energy board. I am currently on the audit committee and also represent Great Lakes Energy on the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association board, where I serve as chairman. 3. What other qualifications or relevant information about yourself would you like to share?

ROBERT KRAN Home: Free Soil Occupation: Farmer Co-op Member: 42 years Co-op Director: 17 years


Beaver Island









As a member and owner of an electric cooperative, you decide who will represent you on the Great Lakes Energy Cooperative Board of Directors.



Continuing education offered by our national association is essential to help make decisions in an ever-changing industry. I have continued to take classes in risk management, financial planning, strategic planning, good governance practices, as well as others. I have held leadership positions on state and national dairy associations. I have served on a number of local boards, including the district library board and Free Soil township board. It is a privilege to represent you, and I would appreciate your support for another term.











See the back cover to cast your ballot for one candidate in District 6.

People Fund Information For Members Of Great Lakes Energy Cooperative Your cooperative offers a program called the People Fund, which is funded through the voluntary rounding up of your monthly utility bill to the next whole dollar.

Historic Farm Honored


ongratulations to Dennis L. and Beverly K. Kamphouse whose farm in Osceola County received state centennial farm certification. Great Lakes Energy is a sponsor of the Michigan Centennial Farm Program that honors Great Lakes Energy members and other Michigan residents whose farms have been owned and operated by the same family for 100 years. Once a farm is certified through the program, the owners receive a certificate as well as a display marker for their farm. Cooperative members can request an application or receive more information about the program by contacting the Historical Society of Michigan at 517-324-1828, or by visiting the website at hsmichigan.org/programs/ centennial-farm-program/.centennialfarms.org.

An all-volunteer board of directors appointed by the member-elected board of Great Lakes Energy Cooperative distributes the funds throughout the cooperative’s service area. The fund supports charitable efforts in and around the communities we serve. Money from the People Fund has been distributed to educational programs, medical groups, recreational organizations serving all ages, senior organizations, and numerous other local charities. A copy of the most recent People Fund annual report, which details contributions, is available by contacting Great Lakes Energy, and prior year reports are highlighted in previous issues of Michigan Country Lines magazine. Your participation in the People Fund is voluntary. If at any time you wish to discontinue participation in the People Fund, please let us know and we will make the change. If you are participating, your monthly bill is rounded up to the next whole dollar. If your bill is $58.42, it would be rounded up to $59. The 58 cents would then be contributed by Great Lakes Energy Cooperative on your behalf to the People Fund. A member’s average annual contribution is about $6. Your annual contribution to the People Fund is tax deductible. For additional information regarding the People Fund, contact the co-op office by mail or call 888-485-2537.


ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE Electricity is distributed to the grid.

PARTICIPATING MEMBERS Participants are credited for their share of generated electricity.

Participants pay for a share of the solar array.

OPTION DETAILS • 15-year agreement • Credit of $0.10/kWh generated • $600/panel upfront or $10 monthly (for 5 years) payment subscription • $150 rebate available*

Visit spartansolar.com and subscribe today. *Restrictions apply.



By Emily Haines Lloyd Photography by Tyler Leipprandt


or the past 90 years, the first week of May has been a time when Michiganders dust off the cobwebs of winter and look for the first signs of spring. In Holland, Michigan, the first signs look like millions of tulips bursting through the soil to delight locals and visitors alike. Tulip Time was once a local beautification project that started with 100,000 bulbs in 1929. Today it has grown to become an international hot spot for travelers from all around the world to engage in Dutch history while tiptoeing through nearly five million tulips.

In May 2019, Michigan Country Lines teamed up with Tyler Leipprandt of Michigan Sky Media for an Instagram takeover to cover Tulip Time. Leipprandt, an expert at drone photography, captured images that showcase why Tulip Time is just the kind of adventure you can start dreaming of for next spring. “Tulip Time is an opportunity for people to come and marvel at the spectacular tulip gardens and displays,” said Tulip Time Executive Director Gwen Auwerda. “But it’s also the perfect time to explore the beauty of Lake Michigan living.” If the views are saturated with bright pops of flowering color, the history that the event brings to the streets of Holland is equally rich. City officials, volunteers, and even residents don their historically accurate costumes—


complete with real wooden shoes—providing a glimpse into life during the late 1800s and early 1900s. These traditions are proudly passed down through generations, as spectators will find local high schoolers performing traditional Dutch dancing, called Klompen, at demonstrations, as well as through the streets in multiple parades which are scheduled during the week-long event. Along with the themed-parades (Volksparade/ People’s Parade, Kinderparade/Children’s Parade, and Muziekparade/Music Parade), there are dancing demos, flower walks, and an artisan market. At Windmill Island Gardens, visitors can marvel at not only tulip gardens, but “De Zwaan,” the last Netherlands-built working windmill in the United States. Folks can take the four flights up to the windmill for a historical tour, then look at the Amsterdam

street organ, ride on the antique carousel, or purchase some fresh-milled flour to commemorate the visit. Over the years, the charm has never left Tulip Time, but new attractions have been added—a lively carnival sets up annually at the Civic Center, craft and art shows are displayed in the park, festival-goers can try yoga in the tulips, and many food and beverage demos are also featured. The latter is unsurprising, as the food and beverage scene has never been stronger. In fact, Holland boasts a variety of eateries for all preferences and a vibrant beer and spirits scene—including several breweries and distilleries who all participate in hosting the 500,000 people the festival brings in annually within a short, nine-day period.

“ Tulip Time is an opportunity for people to come and marvel at the spectacular tulip gardens and displays. But it’s also the perfect time to explore the beauty of Lake Michigan living.” — Gwen Auwerda, Tulip Time Executive Director

“We have over 800 volunteers along with city workers and businesses who make this more than an event,” said Auwerda. “Tulip Time is a part of the fabric of our community.” Over the years, while Tulip Time continues to grow and provide wonderful new experiences for attendees, it’s the quaint charm that has been a constant. So next spring, as the tulip bulbs once again sprout their brightly colored petals, make plans to visit Holland’s Tulip Time. Those sweet flowers are a reminder of spring’s hope, but also a proud past that one little town along Lake Michigan is keeping alive. Photo courtesy of Tulip Time.



Green And Bear It By Brittany Kielbasa

Brian and Anne Bates, owners of Bear Creek Organic Farm in Petoskey, live their dream of cultivating a sustainable future.


n the outskirts of Petoskey, a small farm packs a big punch when it comes to environmental stewardship. Following college, Brian Bates and Anne Morningstar knew they wanted to live the farm life, and that they wanted to do it in the most environmentally friendly fashion possible. Six years later, these firstgeneration farmers own and operate Bear Creek Organic Farm—a thriving organic farm recognized for their exceptional products and sustainable business practices.

plants. Bear Creek sells more than 85% of its products within 12 miles of the 75-acre farm, distributing to local grocery stores and retailers, farmers’ markets, and restaurants. The farm’s hyper-local concentration ensures customers enjoy products that are thousands of miles fresher by delivering produce to customers as soon as possible after harvest, and thousands of miles greener from a carbon-footprint standpoint by reducing carbon emissions associated with transporting the produce.

Bear Creek Organic Farm, the first USDA Certified Organic farm in Petoskey, operates 52 weeks per year to produce a wide variety of organic greens including salad greens, microgreens, leafy greens, and living herbs in addition to honey, garlic, tomatoes, cucumbers, and other organic

Recognized as “local food heroes” and named 2017 Entrepreneurs of the Year by the Petoskey Chamber of Commerce, Brian and Anne take great pride and care in every aspect of running their farm.


“From the postconsumer recycled content packaging used for nearly all our products to the 30-panel solar array that powers a portion of our electrical needs, we’re committed to being a force for positive change.” Brian Bates, owner of Bear Creek Organic Farm

“We knew early on that we wanted to be ahead of the curve in almost everything we do with respect to energy and resource management,” said Brian Bates, owner of Bear Creek Organic Farm. “From the post-consumer recycled content packaging used for nearly all our products to the 30-panel solar array that powers a portion of our electrical needs, we’re committed to being a force for positive change.” In addition to Bear Creek’s eco-friendly packaging and 10-kilowatt solar array, the farm recently partnered with their electric cooperative, Great Lakes Energy, to implement 30 LED grow lights in their greenhouses. The fixtures provide the benefit of reduced energy consumption—using 75% less energy than traditional fixtures and allowing the farm to produce year-round.

Bear Creek Organic Farm is Petoskey’s first USDA Certified Organic Farm.

The farm has found a partner in their local utility in other ways as well. Great Lakes Energy and power supplier Wolverine Power Cooperative serve members with energy that is more than 60% carbon-free. “We want to be part of a carbon-free future,” said Bates. “The fact that our utility is doing a lot of legwork toward that goal as well is great.” Plus, the farm was one of the first customers connected to Truestream, Great Lakes Energy’s new fiber internet and voice service. The switch to Truestream is another way the farm is able to innovate and save money. To learn more about Bear Creek Organic Farm, visit bearcreekorganicfarm.com, and to learn more about how other Great Lakes Energy members are creating positive change in their communities, visit gtlakes.com/yourpower.


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MI CO-OP Community

The Turtle Race Tradition By Jean Alexander, Great Lakes Energy member


very summer since 1986 our family travels to Six Mile Lake cottage for a week of simple, but magical, lakefront family fun and an interesting tradition—Turtle Races. The morning of departure from Indiana brings together: three sisters, one niece, four nephews, and grandma. Loading the car is always a hoot, as we fit suitcases, extra food, linens, treats for the trip, and even bicycles. The usual eight or nine passengers somehow all fit in, too.

Where In Michigan Is This? Identify the correct location of the photo above by July 20 and be entered into a drawing to win a $50 electric bill credit. Enter your guess at countrylines.com or send by mail to: Country Lines Mystery Photo, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Include the name on your account, address, phone number and the name of your co-op. Our Mystery Photo Contest winner from the May issue is Elsa Oja, an Ontonagon County REA Co-op member, who correctly identified the photo as historic downtown Calumet. Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/August, September and November/December.

What fun upon arrival it is assigning beds, cots and blow up mattresses. Our lakefront offers a playground with sand, boats, a dock, badminton, floats, fishing rods, and a shallow lake. Days are spent fishing, swimming, floating on rafts, baseball games, catching crawdads, laughter, and days of splendid family togetherness. Of course, one day is always chosen for the famous “Turtle Races.” We scout for turtles along the lakeshore, spray paint the start and finish lines and assign everyone a turtle. Each turtle is then named. We hold many races—some long races, some short runs, “a sprayed box-shaped form” where turtles go in all directions to cross lines and continue racing has even been created by grandma for the day. The longest and last race always ends with turtles racing back into the lake, and we bid our turtles goodbye. Our adventure then culminates with prizes being awarded to all the winning “turtle coaches.” Each summer we are reminded how strange it is that turtles never seem to move in a straight path, but wander around going nowhere specific except to the water. But, hopefully, next year we will each get a better, bigger and wiser turtle. Jean enjoys sports, nature and going “up north” to Michigan as often as possible.

May 2019

Photo by Cody McClellan @codyjmcclellanphotography


“We are reminded how strange it is that turtles never seem to move in a straight path, but wander around going nowhere specific except to the water.”

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EVERY MEMBER HAS A VOICE. TOGETHER THEY WORK IN HARMONY. Every electric co-op member has a say in what’s best for the community. Power to the people, from the people. Doesn’t that sound good? Learn more about your Great Lakes Energy board of directors and the election process at gtlakes.com.


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