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OKT’s first free food gardening class tonight!

Deanna 1How to Plan Your Food Garden 1
6 to 8 p.m. at Garfield Park Lodge
334 Burton St. SE, Grand Rapids 49507

Growing food within the urban landscape presents its own challenges but yields wonderful benefits. Every household that grows its own food not only creates a healthier diet for its members (and neighbors) but also helps build an alternative to the profit-driven industrial food system that has devastated our health and the environment.

Our Kitchen Table is offering a series of four food gardening classes starting tonight and repeating in June. Classes meet from 6 to 8 p.m. at Garfield Park Lodge, 334 Burton St. SE, 49507

  • May 2 & June 6: How to Plan Your Food Garden 1
  • May 9 & June 13: How to Plan Your Food Garden 2
  • May 16 & June 20: Composting & Vermiculture
  • May 23 & June 27: How to Save Seeds

The classes are free and open to the public. Donations are welcome from those who not being served by our other programs.

If you would like even more support for your food garden, OKT is now recruiting 20 residential food gardeners for the 2016 growing season. OKT has free gardening resources for you if you:

  • Live within our four target neighborhoods (SECA. Baxter, Eastown or Garfield Park).
  • Are pregnant or have children eight-grade or younger.
  • Have challenges that limit your access to healthy food.
  • Have health challenges that can be addressed by growing your own food.

Resources include organic food plants, seeds, soil, containers, soil resting and a food garden coach.

 

Shakara Taylor to host OKT food justice event Monday

sempa1Diagramming Your Food System
6 to 8 p.m. Monday April 25
Garfield Park Lodge
334 Burton St. SE
Grand Rapids MI 49507

On Monday, OKT’s special guest, Shakara Taylor,  will help us to identify how the industrial food system functions in our neighborhoods and, despite its limitations, figure out ways to build a healthier food portfolio for our families and community. Whether you are a parent, grandparent or live alone and want to discover better ways to stretch your food dollar and improve your diet, this workshop is for you. OKT also welcomes those who work on issues of hunger, under-nutrition and food justice.

A mother, returning generation farmer, educator, activist-scholar and PhD student at Michigan State University, Department of Community Sustainability, Shakara explores decolonial pedagogies in the food justice and food sovereignty movements within the communal praxis of black agrarianism. Her personal journey of loving, healing and decolonizing is intimately wedded with working and learning with the land. She is committed to working with communities and using land-based activism to build food sovereign communities.

Spring into Activism: OKT April Events

sempa1

Activist, farmer, mother and MSU PhD candidate, Shakara Taylor will lead “Diagramming Your Food System” on April 25.

APRIL 18 6 – 8 p.m.
Food Justice Primer

OKT’s Stelle Slootmaker will facilitate an introductory dialogue on Food Justice at Garfield Park Lodge. Even if you’ve been to OKT Food Justice classes in the past, we hope you will stop by to share your thoughts and how you are working for food justice locally. At the conclusion of the dialogue, you are invited to stick around for a yoga nidra relaxation exercise. (Bring a blanket to lay on if you wish to practice this lying down.)

APRIL 22 6 to 7:30 p.m.  Earth Day Spring Tree Tour 

Laura Casaletto will take you on a foraging adventure in Garfield Park that teaches you to identify edible trees and shares information on other edibles growing in our neighborhoods. After the 30-minute walking tour, come to the lodge for snacks and dialogue on other neighborhood edibles. The Earth Day Spring Tree Tour remains one of OKT’s most “poplar” events.

APRIL 25 6 – 8 p.m. Diagramming Your Food System  wsg Shakara Taylor

Learn to identify how the industrial food system functions in your neighborhood and, despite its limitations, figure out ways to build a healthier food portfolio for your families and community. A mother, returning generation farmer, educator, activist-scholar and PhD student at Michigan State University Department of Community Sustainability, Shakara explores decolonial pedagogies in the food justice and food sovereignty movements within the communal praxis of black agrarianism.

 

It’s time to think food gardens!

Gloria1While OKT has been thinking about food gardens all winter — and started growing organic food starter plants in February — now is the time for the rest of us to start planning, plotting and conspiring to grow our own alternative to the industrial food system. For starters, OKT is now recruiting residential food gardeners for the 2016 growing season. OKT has free gardening resources for you if you:

  • Live within our four target neighborhoods (SECA. Baxter, Eastown or Garfield Park).
  • Are pregnant or have children eight-grade or younger.
  • Have challenges that limit your access to healthy food.
  • Have health challenges that can be addressed by growing your own food.

Gardening Classes start in April!

Baxter Community Center is offering its food gardening series in April:
April 6: Garden Basics 1
April 13: Garden Basics 2
April 20: Soil Health/Composting
April 27: Seed Saving

These classes take place on Wednesdays from  6-7:30 p.m. at Baxter Community Center 935 Baxter St. (entrance on Bemis). They are free (but donations are appreciated). For nformation, email anna, ajohnson@baxtercommunitycenter.org.

Our Kitchen Table will be offering two food justice classes in April.
April 18 : Food Policy for Food Justice Class
April 25 : Diagramming Your Food System Class

And, OKT will begin its free food gardening classes in May:
May 2: How to Plan Your Food Garden 1
May 9: How to Plan Your Food Garden 2
May 16: Composting & Vermiculture
May 23: How to Save Seeds

 

 

Order bulk whole foods & pay with your Bridge Card

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Now you can order bulk whole foods and pay with your Bridge Card!

OKT’s Collective Whole Foods Purchase Group is placing an order with Country Life Natural Foods on Jan. 18. If you’d like to add high quality, whole foods to your meal planning strategy this winter, here is your opportunity. A supplier to food co-ops throughout the Midwest, Country Life offers a wide variety of bulk whole foods, everything from (bean) soup (mix) to nuts – and more. View the catalog here.

Simply make a list of the items you want to order and email it to Christina Flier, our Southeast Area Farmers’ Market manager. You can pay for your order when you pick it up on Jan. 28 at the Garfield Park Lodge, 334 Burton St. SE, Grand Rapids 49507.

Here are all of the 2016 order and pick up dates:

order dates

OKT continuing Collective Whole Foods Purchase Group through the winter

 

 

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Market manager, Christina Flier.

Are you looking for a convenient, in-neighborhood, source of whole, healthy, bulk foods? Would you prefer to buy these healthy foods with your Bridge Card (SNAP benefits)? Then OKT’s Collective Whole Foods Purchase Group is for you.

Our Southeast Area Farmers’ Market Manager, Christina Flier, heads up this program which will place orders with Country Life Natural Foods once each month. You can view the catalog here.

Simply make a list of the items you want to order and email it to Christina. You can pay for your order when you pick it up. During the market’s off-season, you can pick up your orders at the Garfield Park Lodge, 334 Burton St. SE, Grand Rapids 49507.

Here are the 2016 order and pick up dates:

order dates

 

Indoor farmers’ market at MLK school Thursday evening

seafm logoThe Southeast Area Farmers’ Market is hosting its first indoor market 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday Nov. 19 at Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Academy, 645 Logan SE, 49503. The indoor markets will feature bulk whole and organic foods, for example, oatmeal, flours, nuts, honey, coconut oil, popcorn and more. Shoppers can purchase items with Bridge cards, SNAP, cash, credit and checks. They can also place order items from the Country Life Natural Foods catalog with  market manager, Christina Flier. OKT does not mark up prices or charge any fees.

The indoor markets, which OKT hopes to sponsor monthly throughout the school year, are part of its commitment to provide access to healthy foods in neighborhood. If you cannot make it to the market and would like to order bulk whole foods email SEAFM@OKTjustice.org or call 616-206-3641. The next orders are due by 5 p.m.Dec. 9 (pick-up Dec 21 at Garfield Park Lodge, 334 Burton St. SE 49507).