On Wednesday June 19, Our Kitchen Table hosted one leg of a Grand Rapids tour-stop for people attending The Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society and the Society for the Study of Food and Society conference sponsored by the Michigan State University Department of Community Sustainability. Tour particiants came from as far away as Washington State and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
OKT tour stops included the Eastown Community Association community garden,which offers rental plots; the Logan Street Community garden, which is run collectively and shares food with all neighbors; Mrs. Penda Childrey’s third-generation yard garden; and an OKT container garden situated in a constituent’s yard that is highly lead contaminated. Lisa Oliver-King, OKT executive director, Laura Cassaletto, OKT urban forest consultant, and Dr. Clinton Boyd, OKT consulting bio-chemist, made brief presentations throughout the tour.
In addition to touring Eastown neighborhood gardens affiliated with OKT, the group toured Uptown Kitchen, Founders Brewery, Fulton Street Farmers’ Market,Lubbers Family Farm and Sicilianos Market. “We have purposely chosen a wide range of place to visit including farms, businesses, and breweries in order to give attendees a broad sense of what is happening in this vibrant city,” said tour facilitator, Wes Eaton. “Grand Rapids is a hotbed of all things food related, and on this trip you will experience not only the tastes and sights, but meet the people who aspire to shape their community’s food pathways and hear their stories.”