Fair Food Matters’ Winter Farming Events in West Michigan

Winter farmer’s markets

The new Kalamazoo County’s Indoor Farmers’ Market begins October 14, and will be open every Wednesday from 7 a.m.-1 p.m. through April 28. The market will also be open on select Saturdays through the winter season from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Find out more at www.kalcounty.com/parks/

The Bronson Winter Farmers’ Market begins December 11, and is open every other Friday from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m., through April 30. The market, open to the public, is located adjacent to the SkyCourt Cafe and features only local items. There’s plenty of free parking in the ramp at the corner of Vine and Burdick.

Of course, our great seasonal farmers’ markets continue through October (or later), including:

  • The Kalamazoo Farmers’ Market, 1204 Bank Street – Saturdays through November 21, Tuesdays and Thursdays through October 29
  • The 100-Mile Market at the People’s Food Co-op (436 S. Burdick) – Wednesdays through October 28
  • The Texas Corner Farmers’ Market, 7110 West Q Avenue – Saturdays through October 24
  • The Richland Farmers’ Market at the Richland Area Community Center (9400 East CD Avenue) – Wednesdays through October 28
  • The Borgess Farmers’ Market, in the center of the Borgess Campus (1521 Gull Road) – every fourth Friday through October 23.

CSA shares

Community-supported agriculture (aka “CSA”) lets consumers buy shares of what a grower produces through the season. For information on winter CSAs, visit www.localharvest.org.

Food classes

Cooking with Greens – Discover how to create savory dishes with collards, kale, chard and more! Wednesday, November 4, 6-8:30 p.m. at the Can-Do Kitchen (315 W. Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo). $20 per person. Register or find out more at www.peoplesfoodco-op.org.

Mushroom Propagation Workshop – A comprehensive, weekend-long course on growing delicious edible and medicinal mushrooms. Friday, November 6 through Sunday, November 8, at Circle Pines Center in Delton. $300 registration fee includes workshop, lodging and five locally sourced meals. More information at www.circlepinescenter.org.

Vegetarian Thanksgiving – Learn some easy, inexpensive alternatives to traditional holiday dishes, including tofu turkey and gravy, corn chowder and more. Sunday, November 7, 1-3:30 p.m. at the Can-Do Kitchen (315 W. Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo). $20 per person. Register or find out more at www.peoplesfoodco-op.org.

Pies, Pies and More Pies – Join Julie Stanley to learn all about making flaky pie crust, rolling pie dough, how to make meringues, and which apples to choose for baking, plus live demonstrations of preparing many sweet and savory pies. Wednesday, November 11, 6-8:30 p.m. at Food Dance. $55 per person. More information at www.fooddance.net.

Eat Local, Kalamazoo! events

Righteous Meat: Farming and Eating Sustainably – Join “Righteous Porkchop” author and former Kalamazoo resident Nicolette Hahn Niman as she looks at traditional farms vs. “factory farms.” Each event will be followed by a question-and-answer session and book-signing.
Monday, October 19, Kalamazoo College, 7 p.m. (dessert reception at 6:30 p.m.)
Tuesday, October 20, Portage District Library, 6:30 p.m. (networking at 6 p.m.)
Both events are free!

Everything But the Beak – Local celeb-chefs Judy Sarkozy and John Korycki prepare a multi-course meal made primarily of chicken in this fun-filled event. You’ll see the many ways to use “the whole bird” to create a variety of dishes, from breads and soups to appetizers, entrées, even dessert!
Thursday, October 29, 6:30 p.m., Zazio’s
$50 per person

Better Than Store-Bought – Chef Julie Stanley will demonstrate how homemade condiments (chutneys, ketchups and other tasty accents) are easy to prepare and store.
Tuesday, November 3, 6:30-8 p.m., Kalamazoo Public Library

Don’t Run A-fowl of the Law – Join Ann Arbor city councilman Stephen Kunselman and local attorney Suzanne Klein to find out more about how you can keep backyard chickens in an urban setting.
Thursday, November 5, 6:30-8 p.m., Portage District Library

More information about “Eat Local Kalamazoo” events at www.eatlocalkalamazoo.org.

Other food events

The 1st Annual Great Pumpkin Soiree – Hosted by A Food Affair, this “party-benefit” includes pumpkin carving, pumpkin cooking, and an “Iron Chef” pumpkin competition! Proceeds benefit United Way, Loaves and Fishes, and Haven of the Rest. Tuesday, October 20, 3-8 p.m. at the McCamly Plaza Hotel in Battle Creek. More information at www.afoodaffaircafe.com.

Fall Wine Tours – Join Terry Stingley (Harding’s wine guru) for a tour of three wineries on the Baroda Wine Trail. $37 per person. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on both October 22 and October 27. For more information, contact Terry at (269) 599-3394 or wineguru11@yahoo.com.

Food Dance Masquerade
– Celebrate Halloween with decadent French food and wine. October 31, 7:30-9:30 p.m. $55 per person (includes mask!). More details at www.fooddance.net.

Sparkling Wine Tasting – Food Dance continues its casual wine events with a multi-country sampling of sparkling wines from Michigan, Spain and Italy. Discover how to pair sparkling wines with your holiday food. Saturday, November 14, 5-6 p.m. $12 per person. More details at www.fooddance.net.

And finally – TIME Magazine brings us a touching (and surprisingly upbeat) story about how Detroit could survive the cataclysmic changes it has seen. “Detroit has to shrink its footprint,” says the story, “build greenbelts, encourage urban farming, let the barren areas revert to nature.” Read the entire piece at www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1925796-1,00.html.

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