Southeast Area Farmers’ Market partners with YMCA Veggie Van


veggie vanSoutheast Area Farmers’ Market
MLK Jr. Park
Fridays 3 to 7 p.m.
Saturdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
SNAP, WIC, Sr. Project Fresh/Market FRESH and Double Up Food Bucks

The Southeast Area Farmers’ Market has another new vendor: The YMCA Veggie Van. Because it operates on a smaller scale than most farmers’ markets, the market has had challenges attracting more vendors. The Veggie Van will nicely complement the great range of items that its current vendors offer—especially now that the market is located at MLK Jr. Park, 900 Fuller Ave. SE, and has a lot more traffic.

Like its other faithful vendors, the Veggie Van will sell locally grown, top-quality fruits and vegetables and accept SNAP, WIC, and Senior Project Fresh/Market FRESH benefits. And, like the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market, it receives funding from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.

While the Veggie Van will only be at the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market on Saturdays, the regular market vendors will be on hand both market days: 3 to 7 p.m. Fridays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Please come out and support these vendors who live, work and grow right here in Grand Rapids’ southeast neighborhoods!

The Tolberts are back with their amazing greens and other delicious in-season produce. Mr. Price offers fresh fruits as well as Watkins products. Ms. Yvonne Woodard, Ms. Darlene Gibbons and other regulars offer everything from herbs and chemical-free produce to kettle corn and craft items. When you buy from these vendors, you not only get healthy foods, you also help build an alternative food system that more justly serves your neighborhood.

Free foraging workshop at Saturday’s market


Urban forager, Laura Casaletto, always has interesting information edibles growing in your yard, park and  neighborhood.

Urban Foraging
12 – 2 p.m. July 9
MLK Jr. Park
900 Fuller Ave. SE 49506

Did you know that many of the native species we see around us (and label as weeds) once were a prize source of both food and medicine? On Saturday July 9, Our Kitchen Table’s urban forester, Laura Casaletto, will lead an Urban Foraging Workshop at the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market. Ms. Casaletto will share how to identify the edible plants growing in your Grand Rapids neighborhoods. She has been using foraging as a means to supplement her family’s food budget for many years.

SEAFM ad 2016The Southeast Area Farmers’ Market warmly welcomes patrons using Bridge cards (SNAP), Double Up Food Bucks,WIC Project Fresh, Cash Value Benefits, Summer EBT and debit cards. If you make a purchase with a Bridge Card, you get $1 for every $1 you spend to buy more Michigan produce (up to $20 each visit).

Second series of food gardening classes begins June 6

Deanna 2How 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.

The June 6 class kicks off  OKT’s second series of four food gardening classes:

  •  June 13: How to Plan Your Food Garden 2
  •  June 20: Composting & Vermiculture
  • June 27: How to Save Seeds

All classes meet from 6 to 8 p.m. at Garfield Park Lodge, 334 Burton St. SE, 49507. They are free but donations are accepted from those not being served by OKT’s programs.

Learn how to save seeds tonight!

seedHow to Save Seeds
6 to 8 p.m. at Garfield Park Lodge
334 Burton St. SE, Grand Rapids 49507

Did you know that when you grow organic or heirloom varieties in your food garden, you can save the seeds to start new plants the next growing season? In addition to growing your garden budget, growing from saved seeds ensures a produce yield that is more nutritious and tastier.

Come and learn exactly how to save seeds from all different types of food plants — and help build an alternative to the failing industrial food complex. OKT also has a free hand-out on seed-saving. Download it here.

This is the fourth in a series of four OKT food gardening classes. We are offering the whole series again in June. Classes meet from 6 to 8 p.m. at Garfield Park Lodge, 334 Burton St. SE, 49507

  • Deanna 1 June 6: How to Plan Your Food Garden 1
  • June 13: How to Plan Your Food Garden 2
  • June 20: Composting & Vermiculture
  •  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 is still cruiting 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. Email for information.

Shane Bernardo, Detroit’s Earthworks Farm, leading OKT event Saturday

6229188421_7963ff8479_bUprooting racism in the food system: What does it mean to be civically engaged in the food justice movement?
wsg Shane Bernardo

 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sat. May 21, 2016
Sherman Street Church,
1000 Sherman St. SE 49507

Grand Rapids, MI. May 12, 2016– Shane Bernardo, a long-life resident of Detroit, works for social justice, primarily food justice issues. Currently, he serves as outreach coordinator for Earthworks Urban Farm, a program of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen.

On Saturday May 21, he will help area community members explore the topic, Uprooting racism in the food system: What does it mean to be civically engaged in the food justice movement? Through this exploration, participants will reshape the way they see food, themselves and their communities as they connect to the importance of and power within food. This power, while holding great potential for families and communities, is threatened by institutionalized racism. Truly sustainable food systems demand racial equity. Part of the day will focus on a power-mapping activity that will demonstrate how all community members can all be a part of this important work.

Born in Detroit a few years after the 1967 rebellion, Shane grew up working in his family’s small, ethnic grocery store on the city’s west side. For 13 years, Shane’s family helped cultivate a safe, nurturing environment for the Asian, African and Afro-Caribbean community to purchase culturally relevant foods and share recipes, traditions and rituals linked to these foods.  As a result, Shane developed a heightened awareness of social and economic conditions within the context of a racially, ethnically and culturally stratified community. Shane is also a member of Detroit Asian Youth Project, The Detroit Food Justice Task Force, Uprooting Racism: Planting Justice, The People’s Platform Detroit and Equitable Detroit Coalition.

Workshop details:

  • Light breakfast and lunch provided.
  • RSVP to or 616-206-3641
  • Please bring a water bottle for hydration.

· Free or $25 donation for those who are able.

Learn how to save seeds for next year’s food garden

“Seed is the first link in the food chain. Seed is the ultimate symbol of food security. Free exchange of seed among farmers has been the basis of maintaining biodiversity as well as food security. This exchange is based on cooperation and reciprocity.”From Seed Freedom: A Global Citizens Report,coordinated by Navdanya

1236462_657749657569146_1000651918_nOur Kitchen Table food garden coaches will facilitate a free workshop “How to Save Seeds,” 6 to 8 p.m. Monday May 23 at Garfield Lodge, 334 Burton St. SE, Grand Rapids MI 49507.

The workshop will address the importance of saving seeds and methods for saving different varieties. Participants will will not only learn a variety of ways to save seeds but will also discuss the importance of non-GMO/heirloom seeds.

This is the fourth in a series of four food gardening classes that OKT is offering this year. The series will repeat, same time, same place, in June as follows:

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