Learn about Planned Parenthood’s resources at Farmers’ Market Saturday

14021690_1263886476963384_2948188631749601892_n-1Southeast Area Farmer’s Market
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday Oct. 20
LINC parking lot,
Madison north of Hall St. SE

Bridge Cards, Double Up Food Bucks and WIC Welcome!

On Saturday Oct. 20, staff from Grand Rapids’ Planned Parenthood Irwin/Martin Health Center  will table at the market, providing information about the full range of affordable services that they offer area residents with or without health insurance.

Did you know that in addition to helping with women’s healthcare and contraception, the health center offers general healthcare, HIV testing, LGBT services, men’s healthcare, pregnancy testing and services and more?

In addition, Planned Parenthood’s trained educators offer comprehensive sex education that helps youth and others learn about sex and sexuality, explore values and beliefs about those topics ,and gain the skills that help them make healthy choices despite bullying or peer pressure. Statistics have proventhat comprehensive sex education is more effective than abstinence only programs in reducing teen pregnancies, abortions and STD rates.

OKT is proud to stand with Planned Parenthood!


Have a tasty time at the Greens Cook-off and Green Tomato Festival Nov. 3!

greens-1-4.jpgThe Southeast Area Farmers’ Market is gearing up for its annual Greens Cook-off and Green Tomato Festival.

Chef Nancy LaVoie will honor us as our celebrity chef. Nancy serves as Director of Culinary Events at Thought Design Management Consultants. She has taken part in past our past cook-offs and contributed many delicious recipes to our Green Tomato Cookbook — even a cake! We are in the process of recruiting judges and community partners to take part in the event, as well.

first-placeLast year, first prize went to Andy Geelhoed for greens made in ham-bone broth. Andy won a $75 gift certificate to our market cake vendor. He plans on using it for his mother’s upcoming birthday. Alita Kelly won 2nd place prize, a $50 gift certificate for Country Life Natural Foods. Third place winner, Darlene Gibbons, won a gift certificate to LINC UP Soul Food Café for her super-healthy Kale and Collards.

To enter, simply bring your crock pot of greens or green tomato dish to the market by 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 3. We will provide plug-ins to keep crock pots warm. Prizes will be awarded no later than 2 p.m.


5 reasons to shop at the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market Saturday

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday Oct. 13 & 20; Nov. 3 and 10 
LINC parking lot, Madison Ave.. SE just north of Hall
Saturday Oct. 27 at MLK Jr. Park

SEAFM fall

Here are five reasons why you might want to shop the market this week!

1. Fresh, local produce tastes better and is better for you. You get more flavor and nutrients when produce is picked when its ripe.

2. The market is helping to build community. And that builds people power.

3. Your purchase supports local growers.

4. Your purchase helps build an alternative to our broken food system.

5. It’s fun! Get outdoors, chat with neighbors, go home with good food.

our-city.pngLINC’s OurCity Academy is a program designed to help Grand Rapidians find services and resources in our community. The four-class series will focus on empowering residents to lift their voice in the community. LINC is committed to ensuring that all community members can live, work, and play in Grand Rapids.

OurCity Academy class dates and topics are as follows:

  • October 9, 5:00 – 6:15 City Structure and How it Works.
    Presenter: Tom Almonte, Managing Director.
  • October 23, 5:00 – 6:15 City Attorney’s Office and its functions.
    Presenter: Anita Hitchcock, City Attorney
  • November 6, 5:00 – 6:15 City Budget and Where your dollar goes.
    Presenter: Jon Globensky, City Treasurer

Dinner and presentation begins at 5:00 pm in the Linc Up Gallery. Transportation will be provided for those who want to attend the City Commission meeting afterward

Expired Farm Bill Bad for Farmers Markets & Farmers

unnamed (4)Reposted from Farmers Market Coalition

Farmers, agriculture organizations, and local food advocates across the country have spent the past year fighting for a farm bill that’s supportive of farmers markets, the 2014 Farm Bill expired on October 1st with no replacement and no extension in sight. With midterm elections looming, and the House now on recess until after the midterms, it seems unlikely that any progress will be made before congress reconvenes for the lame duck session in November.

Unfortunately, even that timeline may be optimistic as some members of Congress have speculated that there may not be the political will to get a bill done during a lame duck session. This is an incredibly disappointing — if not deeply concerning — outcome for two reasons:

Over the course of the farm bill’s history, this is only the second time it has expired without a new bill in place (note: When the farm bill expired for the first time October 1, 2012, an extension quickly passed in December of that year, but a new bill wasn’t finalized until 2014). The increasingly partisan nature of Congress has now once again stymied what used to be a very bipartisan process.

Letting the farm bill lapse with no extension on the foreseeable horizon puts critical programs for farmers and farmers markets in jeopardy at a time when farmers are particularly vulnerable.While grants already awarded through the Farmers Market & Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP), Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Program (FINI), and other federal programs will remain operational, no new grants can be awarded until Congress passes new legislation. Congress must either pass a new farm bill or pass language that authorizes funding for FMLFPP and FINI and eight other related programs, collectively known as the “Tiny But Mighty” programs.

Congress should pass a new farm bill, incorporating the Senate’s Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP) before the end of the year. Absent that, Congress must pass an extension that provides funding for the “Tiny But Mighty” programs — otherwise these successful programs would cease to operate.

What can you do?

First, contact your members of Congress today, and tell them the time for delay is over; farmers need a farm bill now.

Second, remember this is an election year. Show up to town halls and campaign rallies in your area, speak up in your support of farmers markets, and vote!

Greens Cook-off & Fried Green Tomato Festival Nov. 3

Greens Cook Off banner 2Enter to win! Stop by to taste!Our Kitchen Table and the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market are gearing up for the annual Greens Cook-off and Fried Green Tomato Festival to be held 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday Nov. 3 at the LINC farmers’ market location.

Do you have a prized green tomato recipe? Here’s your chance to win a prize with it. Do you have a secret family recipe for collards or some other greens? Come and show it off. You don’t have to register ahead of time. Simply bring your dish to the designated table at the farmers’ market by 11:30 a.m. and OKT will register you on site. We will provide electricity to keep your crock-pot warm.

At 12: p.m., our local celebrity judges will taste and evaluate the dishes for taste, texture, nutritional content, presentation and wow factor. Prizes will be awarded for first place, second place and honorable mention at 2 p.m.

As part of the event, OKT will be handing out free Green Tomato Cookbooks.

Farmers’ Market at LINC Oct. 6

SEAFM fallSoutheast Area Farmers’ Market, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays
Oct. 6, 13, 20, Nov. 3 & 10 at LINC Parking Lot, Madison Ave. north of Hall St. SE
Oct. 27 at MLK Park

grfd.jpgOn Oct. 6, GRFD Residential Safety Program (RSP) will share resources at the market.  The RSP is designed to reduce the number and severity of fires in Grand Rapids. The GRFD and our partners are offering free in home fire safety assessments, free smoke alarm upgrades and installations, one-on-one fire safety consultations specific to the residence and a connection with our partners to assist with fire safety issues