Our Kitchen Table (OKT) and its Southeast Area Farmers’ Market (SEAFM) staff were part of the crew staffing the “Cultivating Change: A Local Food Showcase” at the 33rd Annual West Michigan Home and Garden Show held at DeVos Place March 1 – 4. OKT’s executive director, Lisa Oliver-King, presented two workshops, “How to Plan Your Home Food Garden” and “How to Grow Healthy Soil.”
OKT’s Yvonne Woodard, SEAFM market manager, filled in at the farmers’ market display. One of the SEAFM’s partner organizations, Greater Grand Rapids Food Systems Council, presented on “Gardening and Composting.”
“It’s always been important for the West Michigan Home and Garden Show to be a part of the community,” said Carolyn Alt, Show Manager. “The work these organizations are doing is important to gardening and the food we are eating. Eating local and growing your own food are so core to the local community.”
Other local foods entities taking part in the Showcase included Groundswell Farm, Real Food Farm, Green Wagon Farm, Earthkeeper Farm, Uptown Kitchen, Farm Link, West Michigan Co-op, Slow Food and Nourishing Ways.
While Our Kitchen Table prefers to engage in activities within the neighborhoods we serve, this was a good opportunity to get the word out that food insecurity exists in the Grand Rapids area and that OKT and the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market are doing something to address it. OKT staff participating at the event did have several meaningful conversations with potential neighborhood gardeners and other local entities involved in the work for better access to healthy local foods.