Free 5-week Food Justice class kicks off Nov. 15

Food Policy for Food Justice WOMEN OF COLOR online 2

OKT has developed a series of handouts on Food Justice. Download them on our Resources page; click on Handouts and Zines and then on Food Justice Series.

Food Politics and the Food Justice Movement: Moving Forward, 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays Nov. 15, 22, Dec. 6, 13 & 20 at Garfield Park Lodge, 334 Burton St. SE 

Media watchdog, community organizer, and point-person for OKT’s policy analysis,  Jeff Smith will again lead this important look at how the industrial food system has created food apartheid and what we can do to further food justice.

     Investigate the current food system and food policy, look at food justice responses around the country and discusses what a food justice and food sovereignty movement in West Michigan could look like.
     Whether you are a professional actively involved in local efforts to eliminate hunger and undernutrition or a lay person who wants to know what you can do to increase your neighborhood’s access to healthy foods, this class will open your eyes to how the industrial food complex works and how you can challenge it.

OKT presents at national Black Urban Farmers & Growers Conference

20141018_112729On Saturday Oct. 18, OKT team members traveled to  Detroit to present three workshops to an international audience at the Black Urban Farmers &Growers Conference. OKT garden coach and policy point-person, Jeff Smith, shared the seven pillars of Food Justice, as developed by participants in OKT’s Food Justice class series over the past several years. Garden coach Camilla Voelker led a skill-share on Creating Edible Urban Foodscapes. OKT cooking coach, Toni Scott, and communications officer, Stelle Slootmaker, talked about How to Dialogue on Diet: Fostering Healthier Eating through Popular Education. Executive director, Lisa Oliver-King, pitched in at all three sessions and board member, Anita Moore, served as a great support person. All three presentations enjoyed great attendance and lively discussions. The team felt like they made a real contribution to an important gathering.

 

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Seed Swap and Potluck

Let’s save plant diversity–and save money! The Greater Grand Rapids Food System Council invites all area resident gardeners to meet for a Garden Gathering, Seed Swap and Potluck, 5 p,m. Saturday, Oct. 25 at the Grand Rapids Child Discovery Center, 409 Lafayette S.E 49503. Bring your organic,heirloom or non-gmo seeds and trade them with other local gardeners. The event also includes a potluck, so bring a dish to pass (if you can) and your own place setting.

“I am looking forward to swapping some of my seeds with fellow gardeners, says event organizer, Leslie Powers. “Also, I am excited to connect with people who are also saving seeds and to educate others about the importance of plant diversity and how saving our seeds accomplishes that.”

Leslie also notes that by swapping, you don’t have to buy a whole package of seeds when you only need a few for limited garden space. RSVP to Cynthia Price, skyprice@gmail.com  or (231)670-6059.

LINC offers civic engagement opportunities

lincOn Mondays, LINC invites city residents to gather at the LINC Gallery at 5 p.m.,  eat dinner take a 6 p.m. bus to the 6:30 p.m. GRPS school board meeting. On Tuesdays, gather at the LINC Gallery at 5:30 p.m.,  eat dinner take a 6:30 p.m. bus to the 7 p.m. GRPS school board meeting.
Residents taking part  will look at specific action issues that they may want to work on. “It isn’t just attending the meetings for the sake of attending the meetings,” says Stephanie Gingerich, Real Estate Development Director for LINC Community Revitalization Inc. “Although I do think that people’s presence in the audience is a statement in and of itself.”
For information, call LINC at 616-451-9140 and see how you can get involved.

Canning skill-share a fun success! Next one is Nov. 1.

1011141022a“My mother used to can everything, but I never really learned and I even gave away all her canning jars. Looking back, I wish I hadn’t done that.”
This comment was overheard at OKT’s canning class on Saturday. Co-facilitated by OKT’s cooking coach Ms. Toni and garden coach Jeff Smith, this particular Cook, Eat & Talk session shared how to can applesauce. Every one of the participants said they had never canned anything before, but were excited to learn about the process.
Everyone took part in peeling a cutting up the apples, necessary before cooking them down to make sauce. They made a batch of plain applesauce and one batch with honey and cinnamon. Once all the apples were cut and cooking down, they had an opportunity to talk about the canning process a bit more and discuss techniques for preserving food.
During the discussion, participants were able to enjoy some food that Ms. Toni prepared. This made the conversation about food preparation even more meaningful.
Once the apples cooked down, they put the sauce in jars and did two rounds of hot-bathing, one for the plain and the other for the spiced applesauce. Everyone took a turn at filling jars and then taking the jars out to cool down. Every time one of the jars made a popping sound, people expressed excitement about how quickly the jars were sealing.
By the end of the session, people felt like new friends brought together by great conversation and food. Each participant went home with two pints of canned applesauce. People were so enthused that they gave input on what they might like to learn to can in the November. Suggestions included pickled veggies, pumpkin, apple butter and sweet potatoes. Stay tuned for the next session, which will be held on Saturday, November 1.

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