June 2019 Cherryland

Page 1

June 2019


COUNTRY LINES Cherryland Electric Cooperative

St. Julian Wine Co.



Max-Gen Events On The Rise

La-Tea-Da Raises Funds For Locals Fighting Cancer Cherryland Exceeds Energy-Savings Goal

Half the cost. Twice the benefits. That’s the power of upgrading your geo unit.


Series R, 5.3 COP



30% 26% 22%







Upgrading your geo unit makes it easy to save even more! Using the loops you already have installed under your yard, our state-of-the-art WaterFurnace units can save you even more on heating, cooling & hot water by capturing the clean, renewable energy in your backyard. And right now you can save thousands on installation thanks to a 30% federal tax credit. But hurry, this credit is set to decrease each year through 2021. Contact your local WaterFurnace dealer to learn more about upgrading your geothermal system!

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Kiessel Geothermal Htg & Clg (231) 747-7509 kiesselsgeo.com

Traverse City D & W Mechanical (231) 941-1215 dwgeothermal.com

Portland ESI Htg & Clg (517) 647-6906 esiheating.com

Geofurnace Htg & Clg (231) 943-1000 watergeofurnace.com

WaterFurnace is a registered trademark of WaterFurnace International, Inc. Š2019 WaterFurnace International Inc.

In This Issue June 2019 || Vol. 39, No. 6

Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives





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

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Design and Production: Karreen Bird 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 Life is simple when you just add water. Photo by: @j.mcveigh.52 #fawnlakemi

ON THE COVER St. Julian Wine Co. in Paw Paw, Mich. has been owned and operated by the same family for four generations. Their passion for local farms, real Michigan fruit, and the production of quality wine and juice has been upheld for nearly 100 years. St. Julian Wine Co. is the most-awarded winery in Michigan. Read the full story on page 14.



14 FEATURE St. Julian Wine Co.— Legacy Along The Lake Emily Haines Lloyd

18 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY Best Of Michigan Ice Cream

Here’s the scoop on the best places for ice cream in Michigan from co-op members!

Shades Of Lavender—A Dream Come True Janene Rawlinson, Midwest Energy & Communications member The Rawlinsons share their journey of owning Shades of Lavender Farm in Mattawan, Michigan. Learn all about what this unique farm has to offer on page 6.

Win $150 for stories published!

10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Garden-Fresh Recipes To Enjoy All Summer

Guest Column:

Christin McKamey & Our Readers

Enjoy this refreshing Melon & Proscuitto Skewers recipe from St. Julian Wine Co. to go along with their 2018 Chambourcin Rosé. Enter Our Recipe Contest And Win A $50 Bill Credit!

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.









Board Of Directors

TERRY LAUTNER President 231-946-4623 tlautner@cherrylandelectric.coop TOM VAN PELT Senior Vice President 231-386-5234 tvanpelt@cherrylandelectric.coop MELINDA LAUTNER Secretary 231-947-2509 mlautner@cherrylandelectric.coop DAVID SCHWEITZER Treasurer 231-883-5860 dschweitzer@cherrylandelectric.coop JOHN OLSON Director 231-938-1228 jolson@cherrylandelectric.coop GABE SCHNEIDER Director 517-449-6453 gschneider@cherrylandelectric.coop JON ZICKERT Director 231-631-1337 jzickert@cherrylandelectric.coop GENERAL MANAGER Tony Anderson

CO-OP NEWS Cherryland Members Awarded Scholarships Three high school seniors and two adult learners were awarded 2019 Cherryland Electric Cooperative scholarships. The three high school scholarships are worth $4,000 each—$1,000 per year for four years. The adult scholarships are a one-time award of $1,000 each. Student scholarship recipients: Allison Johnston (Benzie Central High School), David Werner (Grand Traverse Academy), Charlee Schaefer, (Brethren High School) Adult scholarship recipients: Allison Marvin of Kingsley, Kelsey LaCross of Lake Leelanau

81st Annual Meeting Is June 20 Cherryland’s 81st Annual Meeting will take place Thursday, June 20, at Incredible Mo’s in Grawn. Join us for an evening of food, fun and information. Learn more about this year’s Annual Meeting on page 17.

Cherryland Cares Supports Local Nonprofits Cherryland Cares distributes funds to local nonprofit organizations in need of financial support. The funds distributed by Cherryland Cares are a result of members electing to round up their monthly bills to the nearest dollar. Members can contribute to the Cherryland Cares fund by calling 231-486-9200, signing up through SmartHub, or sending an email to cec@cherrylandelectric.coop.

CO-OP EDITORS Rachel Johnson Rob Marsh

If you are an area nonprofit agency seeking financial help, please call Shannon Mattson at 231-486-9234 or email smattson@cherrylandelectric.coop. The deadline for second quarter applications is Friday, June 7.

OFFICE HOURS Monday–Friday 7:30 a.m.– 4 p.m.

Members May Give Input At Monthly Board Meeting

TELEPHONE NUMBERS 231-486-9200 or 1-800-442-8616 (Mich.) ADDRESS P.O. Box 298, Grawn, MI 49637 WEBSITE cherrylandelectric.coop

The board of directors at Cherryland is offering an opportunity for members to provide direct input to the board on Monday, June 17, at 9 a.m. at the cooperative office in Grawn.

PAY STATION Cherryland Electric Cooperative office 5930 U.S. 31 South, Grawn MI, 49637

Members are asked to come to the lobby and request to speak to the board. Members are asked to keep their comments to five minutes. Member attendance at the board meeting is allowed for the public input portion of the meeting only.

Cherryland Electric Cooperative is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Cherryland Office Closed Independence Day

Follow us on Facebook. facebook.com/cherrylandelectriccoop Follow us on Instagram. @cherrylandec

4 JUNE 2019

The Cherryland office will be closed Thursday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day. Normal business hours will resume Friday, July 5. Line crews are on call to respond to any outages or emergencies. You can report your outage through SmartHub or by calling us at 231-486-9200.

The New Max-Gen Math


Tony Anderson, General Manager

hat do I see in the next five to 10 years for the energy industry? Stress. In particular, I see stress on the regional grid that we all rely on for power. This grid is called the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO). MISO is a not-for-profit, member-based organization established to ensure reliable, least-cost delivery of electricity across all or parts of 15 American states (including Michigan) and one Canadian province. In partnership with utility stakeholders, MISO manages approximately 65,000 miles of high-voltage transmission and 200,000 megawatts of power-generating resources across its footprint. A maximum generation or “max-gen” event on the MISO grid means that the regional operator is calling on every available generator, regardless of fuel type, to run (even antiquated but functioning diesel peaking units). They also call on utilities to cancel or delay maintenance that would take a generator offline during a max-gen event. In short, it is all-hands-on-deck to meet the energy demands of the day. In the 10 years prior to the spring of 2016, MISO declared six max-gen events. Since that time, there have been 15 max-gen events. What does this mean? It means we are losing generation faster than we are building it. While we have celebrated coal plant closures and clamored for the end of nuclear energy, we have not been building any alternatives on a scale to keep up. You don’t have to look any farther than the state of Michigan to realize that the numbers will eventually catch up to us. Wind farms are getting killed by townships. Planning commissions are delaying large-scale solar installations. Energy conservation efforts will continue and maybe even increase, but they will not replace the 6,000 megawatts of Michigan coal plants slated to close in the next five years.

What is the solution? It’s building large-scale installations of wind, solar and natural gas. Coal is too dirty. People are too frightened of nuclear. Hydro is simply impossible to construct due to environmental complaints. Opposition to large-scale wind and solar leaves us with one sure thing in the next 10 years: gas. You will see lots and lots of gas turbines installed across Michigan and the MISO grid. Aren’t large utilities dedicated to taking us to a wonderful renewable future? All those laudable goals are in the year 2040 and beyond. I’m focused on 2024 and 2029. Feelgood rhetoric will not solve our near-term simple math. Shouldn’t the parades, rallies and carbon-tax initiatives save the world? We have one almost every week, but none of them address the simple math problem. Instead of railing about the woes of the planet, the time spent on these events should be put towards solving planning, zoning and siting roadblocks. Please don’t write to me about belittling the efforts of climate advocates. Instead, write to me with legal and legislative solutions that clear the path for the actual installation of the needed clean or cleaner energy projects. If we can all agree on the root problem, why are we having so much trouble working on real-life solutions? Don’t lose sleep over the seeming doom and gloom of this column. We have an easy solution, and I expect MISO to take it when the day comes. What is it? Simple math. We will run old coal and nuclear plants longer. To meet the demands of the next max-gen event, the stalwarts of today’s energy fleet will continue to operate. If we don’t build new (and we aren’t), the old will have to continue production. That’s the new max-gen math.




MI CO-OP Community


By Janene Rawlinson, Midwest Energy & Communications member Photos: Jamie Rose Photography


magine rows of purple flowers and the scent of lavender in the air. In addition to its beauty, lavender is sought after for its medicinal properties, fragrance, and use in food and beverages. You can enjoy all things lavender at our inviting Shades of Lavender Farm in Mattawan, Michigan. My husband, Scott, and I own the lavender farm. It’s a story that started out very unromantic and somewhere along the way turned into a blessing that we never expected. It all began with Scott’s statement, “We need to make this land work for us.” I began to research what types of plants grow well in our soil conditions. And when lavender popped up, I became intrigued. I was a full-time dental hygienist at the time, and also going to school for my bachelor’s degree in business. I figured that I would kill two birds with one stone and do my business plan on lavender farming. I quickly became enamored with the history, versatility and benefits of lavender. I was hooked. Fast-forward four years, and our entire world has changed into something most people only get to dream about. We opened to the public in June 2018, and the response from customers has been nothing short of phenomenal. We offer u-pick lavender during the high season of June and July. We also have a farm market full of handcrafted bath and body products.

6 JUNE 2019

Visitors can watch us make the products at the shop with lavender harvested on our farm.


Want to try a lavender treat? Our certified kitchen allows us to make amazing lavender recipes. The shop is open for most of the year, closing in January and portions of the winter. The blissful aromas in our shop are worth the trip anytime of the year! We have over 1,200 lavender plants in the ground, featuring 12 different varieties. The flowing fields are absolutely beautiful when in full bloom, with colors ranging from white to deep purple. There is a constant calming hum from the thousands of happy honeybees that flutter from one plant to the next. Our beekeeper, Stacy, tends to our bees, and they, in turn, help us make sweet lavender honey. Our mission for the farm is to provide a warm, inviting, tranquil destination for our community to enjoy where the atmosphere creates peace and calm. Our farm is a place that friends and family gather together making memories that last a lifetime. We strive to unlock the beautiful wonders of nature through teaching, listening, resting and play. We would love to welcome you to Shades of Lavender Farm. Visit shadesoflavenderfarm.com to plan a visit. 47222 24th Street, Mattawan, Mich. 269-668-5267 : @shadesoflavenderfarm

Lavender Honey Cookies 1½ sticks (¾ cup) butter 1 cup white sugar—— plus more for the top of cookies 1 tablespoon culinary lavender buds

¼ 1 1 2 2 ½

Enjoy this sweet cookie recipe from our kitchen to yours.

cup honey egg teaspoon vanilla extract cups flour teaspoons baking soda teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Place the white sugar and culinary lavender into a blender and pulse until the lavender is ground into tiny bits. Pour this mixture into a large mixing bowl. Put the butter into a microwavable bowl, cover and microwave for 10-second intervals until melted. Do not overheat. Add the melted butter and the honey into the mixing bowl along with the lavender sugar. Beat until fully mixed. Add one egg at a time, beating well between each and then add the vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt. Stir until combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Place a cover over this and refrigerate for approximately 30 minutes. Scoop the dough onto a parchment lined baking tray using a small cookie dough scoop. Take a drinking glass and wet the bottom of the glass (you will only need to do this once). Put some sugar into a bowl. Dip the bottom of the glass into sugar. Gently press each cookie with the bottom of the glass so that it slightly flattens it. You will need to dip the glass into the sugar after each cookie. Bake cookies for 8–10 minutes. Cool and enjoy! @michigancountrylines

Learn How To Make

Lavender Lemonade The Rawlinsons often serve lavender lemonade to guests at their farm. To learn how to make this unique refreshment, check out @michigancountrylines on Instagram. Janene provides a step-by-step instructional demonstration in our “DIY” story highlight album.



Leel an Foun au Cou nt datio its 1 n ce y Cancer 0 l High th annu ebrates a even Tea fund l La-Tea-D raisi t on ng a June 20.

A Cup Of

COMFORT Annual Fundraiser Helps Locals Fighting Cancer By Rob Marsh


very June, more than 120 women and men don spring-time attire and festive hats to fill the Inn at Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay. Sitting down at beautifully-decorated tables, they sip on tea and enjoy lively conversation (and a lot of laughter).

8 JUNE 2019

Their purpose, however, is more serious than it may appear. By gathering for this annual event, one local organization is able to support those dealing with some of the most challenging times in their lives. La-Tea-Da High Tea is the biggest fundraising event of the year for nonprofit and Cherryland Cares grant recipient Leelanau County Cancer Foundation (LCCF). This decadeold event, along with other fundraising efforts, allows LCCF to provide financial assistance to Leelanau County residents dealing with cancer. “It’s just an amazing feeling to be in a room with all these people that have one goal in mind,” said Terry Gremel, LCCF board member. “We’re there to have fun, but also because we’re focused on philanthropy and helping other people.” Gremel has always had a passion for helping people who have cancer. Before joining the LCCF board five years ago, she was a clinical nurse specialist in the oncology program at Munson Medical Center for 17 years. Today, in addition to LCCF, she hosts cancer support groups in her hometown of Northport.

“It’s just an amazing feeling to be in a room with all these people that have one goal in mind. We’re there to have fun, but also because we’re focused on philanthropy and helping other people.” —Terry Gremel, LCCF board member

“One of the things that drew me to oncology as a nurse was that there is something about being diagnosed with a disease like cancer that makes people look at their lives differently,” she explained. “They set priorities differently. They live their life. And they focus on living.” It only makes sense that Gremel would devote her time and energy to LCCF and La-Tea-Da High Tea. “It’s a wonderful event. Our only problem is that we don’t have enough seats available,” said Gremel. Every year, LCCF puts together a unique experience for their high tea guests. They enlist “table designers” to uniquely decorate each table with their own china and tableware. The event includes a speaker, door prizes, raffle, and, of course, tea and other food and drink.

Before Terry Gremel (center) joined LCCF, she worked as clinical nurse specialist in oncology at Munson Medical Center.

The money raised from La-Tea-Da High Tea go towards meeting a wide variety of financial needs of those fighting cancer in Leelanau County. Sometimes LCCF is providing food and gas cards. Other times they’re fulfilling mortgage, rent and car payments. It can be as simple as providing lawn care. “Cancer is such a difficult disease both physically and emotionally. One of the emotional impacts is the burden and the worry about financial issues. We try to decrease their anxiety about that particular aspect of their situation.” Since 2016, LCCF has been able to help 76 Leelanau County residents with over $107,000 in assistance. It’s because of the generosity of people like their La-Tea-Da High Tea guests that make it all possible. “A few people have told us that just knowing that somebody is out there and cares about them, even without the money, is really meaningful to them,” said Gremel. “To be able to provide some comfort is very important to all of us.”

To learn more about LCCF, contact Terry Gremel at 231-645-2120.

La-Tea-Da High Tea features beautifully decorated tables with unique china and tableware.


Get more vegetables in your diet with these garden-fresh recipes. Photos by Robert Bruce Photography

Winning Recipe!

Cashew Sweet Potatoes And Peaches

Katherine Howell, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op 6 1 ½ ¼ ½ ½ 3

medium sweet potatoes pound can sliced peaches, drained cup cashews teaspoon ground ginger teaspoon salt cup brown sugar tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350 F. Peel and cook the sweet potatoes in boiling water until barely done. Cool and slice. Arrange the sweet potatoes, peaches and cashews in a buttered 9x13 baking dish. In a separate bowl mix the ginger, salt and brown sugar; crumble evenly over the sweet potatoes and peaches. Dot with butter. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake about 10 minutes longer. Serve immediately.

Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videos

10 JUNE 2019

Swiss Vegetable Medley Becky Elliott, Cherryland

1 pound bag (frozen) broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots, cooked and drained 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese ½ cup sour cream ¼ teaspoon black pepper 1 jar chopped pimentos, drained 2.8 ounce can french fried onions Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine cooked vegetables, soup, half cup of cheese, sour cream, pepper, pimentos, and half can of onions. Pour into a 1-quart casserole dish and bake uncovered 30 minutes. Top with remaining cheese and onions. Bake 5 minutes longer. Enjoy!

Summer Breeze

Katie Swank, Great Lakes Energy 2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained, cooked according to package (*can use chicken broth or vegetable broth as the liquid to cook the quinoa) 16 ounces black beans, drained 1 onion, finely chopped 1 bulb garlic, minced 1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped (can substitute with dried chives, but use less) 1 orange bell pepper, diced • salt and pepper to taste 2–3 tomatoes, chopped or use grape or cherry tomatoes 1 large English cucumber, diced 1–2 avocados, pitted, peeled and slivered or diced • shredded white cheese, optional • feta cheese, optional • grilled chicken, or sausages, optional

Easy Cheesy Rotini Salad

Katie Schneider, Midwest Energy & Communications 1 2 1 1 ¼ 1 ½ 2

(16-ounce) package rotini pasta cups cherry or grape tomatoes colored bell pepper, chopped large cucumber, diced cup red onion, chopped (16-ounce) bottle Italian-style salad dressing cup grated Parmesan cheese tablespoons salad seasoning, store-bought or homemade (see below)


GUEST CHEF Rinse, drain and cook quinoa according to directions on package. In a small saucepan, heat black beans. Sauté onion, garlic, chives and pepper in a skillet until tender, with salt and pepper to taste. Mix into cooked quinoa and keep warm. Chop tomatoes, cucumber, and avocados, placing each in separate serving bowls. To serve, top quinoa mixture with black beans, chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and avocado with salt and pepper to taste. Optional, sprinkle with shredded cheese and feta and serve with grilled chicken or sausage of your choice (recommended: chicken spinach-feta sausage). Salad Seasoning: 1 tablespoon sesame seed 1 teaspoon paprika 1 teaspoon poppy seed 1 teaspoon celery seed 1½ teaspoons salt ½ teaspoon garlic powder ½ teaspoon ground black pepper Stir all salad seasoning ingredients together in bowl and store in an air-tight container. Bring 4 quarts of water to a rapid boil. Add rotini pasta. Return water to a rapid boil and cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain pasta; rinse in cold water. Combine cooked pasta with tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, red onion, salad seasoning, Parmesan cheese and half of the Italian salad dressing. Add more dressing if desired. Cover and chill. Toss salad before serving. Can be made the night before and stored in the refrigerator.

Tailgating Favorites: due July 1 Venison: due August 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!

Wine and food pairings are a match made in culinary heaven. This summer, enjoy this offering from St. Julian Wine Co. as an appetizer or light dinner with a side salad along with their 2018 Chambourcin Rosé—— a fruity dry rosé is a perfect complement to this sweet and salty appetizer.

Melon & Proscuitto Skewers 1 medium cantaloupe, cut into 1-inch cubes ¼ pound thinly sliced prosciutto 20 small mozzarella balls • Fresh basil for garnish • Balsamic reduction for drizzle garnish • Wooden appetizer skewers

Balsamic Reduction 1 cup balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon Honey Combine balsamic vinegar and honey over low heat until it starts to simmer. Gently cook until it reduces by half, about 15 minutes. Then thread onto small wooden cocktail skewers prosciutto, mozzarella, and melon cubes. Place on a serving platter and sprinkle with chopped basil and drizzle with balsamic reduction. Read the full story about St. Julian Wine Co. on page 14, and find this recipe and others at micoopkitchen.com.



Types of Electric Vehicles If you’re looking to purchase an electric vehicle, use this cheat sheet to help determine the various options. Drivers can choose between three types of electric vehicles (EVs). EVs are classed by the amount of electricity that is used as their energy source.

Fuel: Gasoline

Fuel: Gasoline and/or electricity from grid

Gasoline Engine

Gasoline Engine

Fuel: 100% electricity from grid

Electric Motor Electric Motor

Electric Motor

Gas Battery

Battery Battery








Source: Electric Power Research Institute 12 JUNE 2019

Cherryland Exceeds Energy-Savings Goal In 2018

4,023,667 kWh saved in 2018

Percent Of Rebates Claimed By Category In 2018

By Tammy Squires

Through our state-mandated Energy Waste Reduction (EWR) program, we exceeded our energy-savings goal in 2018. This was achieved by members choosing to become more energy-efficient through specific state-approved measures, including replacing incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs and purchasing energy-efficient home appliances. In exchange for these measures, we offered rebates to participating members. Interested in energy efficiency rebates? Visit our website to learn more!


residential and commercial members received rebates




9% 34%


Lighting HVAC

Refrigerator/Freezer Recycling Solar


Low Income

C sidering an elec ic vehicle? There’s a rebate for that.



$500 - $1,000

Federal Tax Credit

Che yland E V Rebate

Che yland Charging Stati Rebate

WANT TO LEARN MORE? Cherryland does not guarantee that members will qualify for any of the above tax credits or co-op rebates. Please call prior to purchase to ensure eligibility and availability of co-op rebate funds.

Please visit

cherrylandelectric.coop/ev MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 13

St. Julian Wine Co.


LAKE By Emily Haines Lloyd Photos courtesy of St. Julian Wine Co.


hen Mariano Meconi moved The Meconi Wine Company, founded in 1921 in Canada, to Detroit after the repeal of Prohibition in 1923, he couldn’t have imagined the nearly 100-year legacy he would have begun, and the impact he and generations to come would make on the Michigan wine landscape.

St. Julian is committed to using only Michigan fruit in all of our products. That’s been a principle since the beginning of the company. It’s this amazing fruit that brought St. Julian to the area, and we intend to honor that.

—Justin Weeks, St. Julian Marketing Director

14 JUNE 2019

In 1936, Meconi relocated his winemaking operations to Paw Paw after purchasing the former Paw Paw Canning Company facility, strategically located alongside the railroad and near the premier grape-growing area of the Lake Michigan Shore Appellation. He also renamed the company St. Julian Wine Co., paying respect to San Giuliano, the Patron Saint of Faleria, Italy, where Meconi was born. “St. Julian is now 3rd and 4th-generation owned and operated,” said Justin Weeks, St. Julian Marketing Director. “Many family members are involved and passionate about the wine and spirits business.” Family is a common theme in the St. Julian story, with generations of Meconis working alongside Mariano himself until his retirement in the late 60s, including his grandson, David Braganini, who took over operations in the late 70s. At the time St. Julian was producing 300,000 gallons of wine and had 35 employees. He continued

stewardship of the company until 2016. While Meconi’s heritage was entirely Italian, the deep roots and family ties made in Michigan have survived the winemaker. “St. Julian is committed to using only Michigan fruit in all of our products,” said Weeks. “That’s been a principle since the beginning of the company. It’s this amazing fruit that brought St. Julian to the area, and we intend to honor that.” St. Julian builds its family around those ties to the community where it has grown its business. They now have six tasting rooms, including the home base in Paw Paw (Frankenmuth, Union Pier, Dundee, Rockford, and Metro Detroit), most along that same Appellation line, with the exception of the Detroit tasting room, a nod to Meconi’s original relocation to Michigan. Through its name changes and expansion, St. Julian wine has become the most award-winning

winery in Michigan and boasts over 100 products. Additionally, our winemaker Nancie Oxley continues to innovate with new grape variety planting, recruiting new growers, and creating new and exciting products. “We really do want to make sure there is something for everyone,” said Weeks. “Sweet and dry wines, brandy, spirits, cider, even juice for the kids— all made from Michigan fruit.” St. Julian’s staff talks about the winery’s accolades with humility: “When you’re in business almost 100 years, you’re gonna win some awards.” And they have an open-door policy toward novice drinkers and wine snobs alike: “Just drink what you like.” The staff embraces the notion that we’re all a part of the Meconi family, and everyone is welcome, just as they are. St. Julian, now under the stewardship of John Braganini, his wife, and two sons, has the capacity to store over a million gallons of wine/cider/spirits and has well over 100 employees. But the sense of tight-knit kinship is still felt in each tasting room. It’s a feeling that stopping to explore the flavor and honor the earth are perhaps some of

the best ways to build community and family wherever you go. Time is a great teacher. Maybe it takes a hundred years to learn the most valuable lessons, but if we look closely at the stories of St. Julian, it’s easy to remember that family—in all the varied and surprising ways it shows up in life—really is what makes life sweet.

St. Julian’s continues to build family in each community it touches, there are plenty of events to attend to become a part of their extended clan. FIND UPCOMING SUMMER EVENTS AT:


Photo Contest Most Votes On Facebook!




Playing In The Water 1. “ Happiness comes in waves”

by Jennifer and Alexander Tucker

2. “ Playing hooky” by Genevieve Romeos


Submit Your Favorite “Sunrise/Sunset” Photos! Submit your best photo and encourage your friends to vote! The photo receiving the most votes from our Facebook contest will be printed in an issue of Country Lines along with some of our other favorites.

3. “ This is how it’s done”

Our June theme is Sunrise/Sunset. Photos can be submitted through June 20 to be featured in our September issue.

4. “ Like a child running through the

Enter Your Photos And Win A Bill Credit!

by Nancy Crutchfield

sprinklers on a hot summer day, let us find joy each and every day” by Victoria Swanson

5. “ Hey little brother! You are about to

make a splash!“ by Stephanie Maskart

16 JUNE 2019


Enter to win a


energy bill credit!

To enter the contest visit facebook.com/cherrylandelectriccoop and click “Photo Contest” from the menu tabs. If you’re not on Facebook, that’s okay. You can also enter the contest at cherrylandelectric.coop/photo-contest. Enter your picture, cast your vote, and encourage others to vote for you as well. If your photo is printed in Country Lines during 2019, you will be entered to win a credit of up to $200 on your December 2019 bill.


Cherryland Electric Cooperative’s 81st Annual Meeting! Thursday, June 20, 2019 • Incredible Mo’s, Grawn Registration: 4 – 8 p.m. Business Meeting: 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Evening: Food, entertainment and education until 8 p.m. Inside Incredible Mo’s:

• Buffet (pizza, pasta, salad) • Bowling (16 lanes!) • Arcade Games • Special Guest: Willie Wiredhand

Outside Incredible Mo’s:

• Business Meeting • The Michigan Stiltwalker • Bucket Truck Rides • Kids’ Area (face painting) • Cornhole (weather permitting) • Raffle • Selfie Booth

All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who is a Cherryland member at all times.




5:30 P.M. ON JUNE 20.

Your Board In Action April Board Meeting • The board welcomed Nicola Philpott, a candidate in the upcoming board election, to the beginning of their meeting. Every year, candidates are encouraged to meet with the board during their April meeting to ask questions about Cherryland and cooperative board governance. • Cherryland’s safety director presented to the board the results of the co-op’s Rural Electric Safety Achievement (RESAP) evaluation. RESAP, a national safety program in partnership with statewide and cooperative safety leaders, promotes the highest standards of safety among electric cooperatives. The co-op received exemplary marks in all safety categories. • The board approved the list of members to serve on the 2019 Election & Credentials Committee. Overseen by the cooperative’s general counsel, this committee of volunteer members is responsible for the collection and tallying of board election ballots submitted in-person on the day of the Annual Meeting. • The board re-appointed director Melinda Lautner to serve on the board of directors of Wolverine Power Cooperative, the co-op’s power supplier. Lautner, along with director Tom Van Pelt, occupy the two seats designated for Cherryland on the Wolverine board.









Best Ice Cream Here’s the scoop on the best places for ice cream in Michigan. Try these member recommended shops this summer to satisfy ice cream cravings!


House of Flavors, Ludington House of Flavors scoops up some of the finest made ice cream in the Midwest and is a 3rd generation ice cream shop and manufacturer. Laurie Konrad, Great Lakes Energy


Moomers Homemade Ice Cream, Traverse City They have been voted “best ice cream“ place in the U.S. twice and have been in business for 20 years now and have created over 120+ flavors of mouth-watering ice cream, with Cherries Moobilee being their original award-winning flavor to bring them national prominence. The entire staff are friendly and happy to make new friends. Thomas Waclawski, Cherryland


Captain Sundae, Holland Sandy Hansen, Great Lakes Energy

Moose, Portland 4 Chocolate The variety of homemade ice cream flavors is amazing. Quaint little

store, lots of pride in what they do, generous portions, friendly smiles behind the counter, cute moose artwork and delicious treats! Dennis Strahle, HomeWorks Tri-County



1 12 11 7 10 14 4 13 3 8


Plainwell Ice Cream, Plainwell Homemade smooth and creamy ice cream with lots of flavors and great service. Sally Westover, Great Lakes Energy

Cow’s Ice Cream Shop, Chatham 9 Mama Cute, quaint and serves the best ice cream. Denae Nadeau, Alger Delta


The Soft Spot, Zeeland Hands down the friendliest small town ice cream shop around. On certain days the “Cow” sign is tipped for a special of the day!


Country Dairy, New Era A great place to have lunch, take a guided farm tour and enjoy some of the best ice cream around. It is also home of the bottomless cup of milk! Sandy Whitaker, Great Lakes Energy


Jones Homemade Ice Cream, Baldwin I have been a loyal customer for about 50 years. Always a delight! Tom Alliston, Great Lakes Energy

Ice Cream and Café, Dimondale 13 Village Yvonne Esman, Midwest Energy & Communications Moon Ice Cream Shop, Ovid 14 Blue Voted best in Clinton county for several years! Jill Sloat, Alger Delta

House Ice Cream, Lewiston 5 Country Fantastic homemade ice cream. Friendly service and the single scoop is more like a double! Patricia Garrett, Presque Isle Electric & Gas


Fudgees, Central Lake A great place to stop and have delicious ice cream and fudge. Stacey Hamilton, Great Lakes Energy

Trading Post, Mecosta 7 Kings Hand dipped ice cream. Really big scoops dare you to try the triple-

decker. Sharon Varney, Great Lakes Energy

18 JUNE 2019

Best of Michigan UP NEXT: Best 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.

Beat the heat It’s TOO HOT to sleep. I can’t sleep either. We can’t do this all summer. I’m calling Well-Connect!




www.wellconnectgeo.com (989) 356-2113 HEAT $500 FOR AS LOW AS






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