“The people of Grand Rapids are building a food co-op”

grfci-logo-color-1-copy_1_origYou may have visited with people from the Grand Rapids Food Co-op Initiative at the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market last fall. Here’s a brief video they have put together. For more information, visit


Our Farmers’ Market enjoyed a successful season

November 12 marked the last day for the 2016 Southeast Area Farmers’ Market. For the first year, both market days, Friday and Saturday, were held at MLK Jr. Park at 900 Fuller St. SE. The yellow market tents drew lots of traffic from park visitors and passersby. Many community partners, including the Spoke Folks, GRFD, LINC-UP Soul Food Cafe, Planned Parenthood and others, shared resources and special events like Art at the Market and the Greens Cook-off made market days even more fun. Thank you vendors, patrons and partners!

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Come to the last session of Cook, Eat & Talk on Thursday

cook-eat-talk-bannerThursday Nov. 17 marks the final public session of OKT’s 8-week cooking series with Grand Rapids’ cooking chef and farmer, Anja Mast. Participants have  prepared and tasted a host of healthy dishes, become more “food literate” so healthy choices are easier, and learned about food justice. Please join us for either the morning 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. session of the evening 6 to 8 p.m. evening session to learn how to make healthy mac-n-cheese from scratch. Both take place at Sherman Stree Church, 1000 Sherman St. SE 49506.

Last week, Anja shared super-healthy deserts including black bean brownies and bread pudding.

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GR Food Co-op Initiative at last Farmers’ Market tomorrow

14853092_1244022365656665_1021203837394574796_oSaturday Nov. 12 is the last day of this year’s Southeast Area Farmers’ Market. The market is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at MLK Jr. Park, 900 Fuller Ave. SE. The Grand Rapids Food Co-op Initiative will be on hand to answer questions about their plans for increasing access to healthy foods in center-city Grand Rapids. Here’s how they describe their work:
“Grand Rapids is coming together to build a full-service grocery cooperative near downtown. We’re really excited to create a new place for community. Our space is intended to bring people in for more than groceries. We hope it will be a welcoming place for everyone in Grand Rapids. We hope people will spend their free time here. We want friends to meet for a sandwich from the deli, a coffee from the cafe, or some wine they bought off the store shelf. We want to have inviting common areas where people feel comfortable to just hang out and be. We want to gather the community for events like educational workshops on everything from healthy eating to sustainable food systems. Or maybe to watch and discuss a documentary. Or listen to some live music!
We want this place to represent Grand Rapids. We are a diverse city and we want our space to reflect that fully. We hope member-owners of every age, race, income and opinion will shop for healthy food, engage in conversations, and grow personally.”
For more information, visit their website or Facebook page

Southeast Area Farmers’ Market open Nov. 5 & 12

SEAFM 6-17You have ony two more weeks to shop at the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market. Stop by between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday November 5 and 12 to experience a cornucopia of local, fresh produce! And, yes, the market vendors accept SNAP, EBT (Bridge Cards) and WIC!

On Nov. 5, community partner The Great Start Collaborative will be on hand to share resrouces and information. Great Start’s goal is: “Every young child in Kent County will enter kindergarten healthy and ready to succeed in school and life.”

The market hopes to continue to offer monthly opportunity to purchase bulk whole foods, e.g. dry beans, whole grain flours, nuts and seeds, pasta, rice and more (SNAP/Bridge Card accepted for purchase). Items are ordered from Country Life Natural Foods, a supplier to Michigan food co-ops. View the entire PDF Catalog here. If you’d like to place an order, email it to by Dec. 5. Pay at the pick-up (date TBD) at Garfield Park Lodge, 334 Burton St. SE 49507.

Free healthy cooking class tonight!

cook-eat-talk-bannerCook, Eat & Talk
6 to 8 p.m. Thursday Nov. 3

Sherman Street Church kitchen
1000 Sherman St. SE 49506

Join us tonight for week 5 of OKT’s new 8-week Cook, Eat & Talk series with phenomenal cooking coach, Anja Mast. Anja has scoured a host of African American cookbooks to come up with healthy, low-cost, easy-to-prepare dishes that reflect tradition and taste awesome. This evening, we’ll be cooking Slow Braised Mustard Greens (vegan) and  Classic Mixed Greens w/ Ham Hock as well as tasting Hoppin’ John w/ Collard Greens (crockpot recipe) and Dill Pickled Mustard Greens.

No cost. Good eats. Great ideas.

Spoke Folks at the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market Saturday

12033116_935696813168490_1102537330503624023_nThe Spoke Folks will be at the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market Saturday. Representatives from this amazing Grand Rapids non-profit are favorites with market patrons because they not only provide advice and information, they also do bike repairs on-site and teach children and adults how to make their own minor bicycle repairs. Now is the perfect time of year to shop farmers’ markets. You’ll find an abundance of fresh produce as well as cottage food goods and craft items. Do you like Watkins products? 0912151135Be sure to look up or faithful vendor, Mr. Price. Craving collards? The Tolberts have collards, mustard, turnip and more.
The Southeast Area Farmers’ Market is open 3 to 7 p.m. Fridays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Vendors gladly accept SNAP, WIC, and Senior Project Fresh/Market FRESH and Double Up Food Bucks.