Events for 2009 are coming soon, with the theme of "Practical Local Food." But here's the flavor of last year's offerings.
We taste tested great local food prepared by area chefs. Afterward, participants enjoyed a casual conversation about the challenges, solutions and amazing experiences of eating locally. Led by Kalamazoo's very own Donna McClurkan, one of 15 people who took part in Splendid Table's Locavore Nation challenge.
We learned how choosing to eat locally grown and produced foods can affect your health. Together we explored how nutrition, connectivity and soil health impact our overall well being.
Dave Jacke explored the ecology and design of home-scale food forests in "Edible Forest Gardens." He designs high-yield gardens featuring fruits, nuts, vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, other useful plants, and animals in a way that mimics natural ecosystems.
There's a variety of community and urban gardens scattered throughout Kalamazoo. We hopped on bikes for the first Garden Hop Bike Tour.
Community-based food systems impact healthy eating: We found out how. Featuring Ruth Blackburn, Farm to School Project Consultant for the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor, and Dr. Mike Hamm, CS Mott Professor of Sustainable Agriculture at MSU.
Traditionally, farmers throughout the world have raised hundreds of different animal breeds. Today's industrial farms rely upon only a few specialized types of livestock, so many animal breeds are disappearing. We learned why we should care, what is being done and what we can do.
In 2008, we heard Will Allen of Growing Power explore the link between local food and social justice.
Tim Young, entrepreneur and founder of Food for Thought, talked about the economic benefits of developing a business that helps sustain and preserve our natural world. Food for Thought's organic jams, juices, preserves, and condiments are sold throughout the Midwest and beyond.
The third annual Farms to K: Local Food Showdown featured chefs representing A Food Affair, Food Dance, The People's Food Co-op, Sprout, and K's own Sodexho cafeteria preparing dishes using at least 80% locally sourced food!
When the growing season is winding down, there are some things we can do to give our garden a nice winter rest. Experts from Fair Food Matters offered suggestions for preparing the garden for springtime success.
Finally, in 2008 we celebrated the beautiful bounty of the local harvest with a community potluck. Everyone was encouraged to show off their culinary creativity by bringing a dessert using locally grown ingredients. It was a festive evening of music, food and conversation.