On Saturday, April 16 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks invites neighbors to meet at Gerald R. Ford Middle School to clean up trash and prune trees as part of its Mayor’s Greening Initiative the Southtown neighborhood! The first 30 people to registere here will receive a free lunch.
Friends of Grand Rapids Parks is committed to engaging our community in the betterment of our city’s parks, trees, and green spaces through volunteerism, park activation, philanthropy and urban forestry. Learn more about them here.
“Today was so rewarding. I spent the morning harvesting food from the rooftop garden at MLK School and the afternoon passing out the beautiful greens, herbs and lettuce to community members. ” Chaka Holley, OKT staff member (far left).
Early Tuesday morning, July 3, Our Kitchen Table (OKT) staff and community leadership circle members harvested food from the Martin Luther King Leadership Academy rooftop garden. Last spring, OKT worked alongside students from Mr. Andrew Ipple’s class at MLK to plant the food as part of OKT’s Food Diversity Project. While the students are on summer break, OKT has been allowed to maintain the garden, thanks to the support of Grand Rapids Public Schools and the school’s summer staff.
The harvest was abundant!
By 11 a.m., OKT was at another Grand Rapids Public school, Gerald R Ford Middle School, to share the food with neighborhood families. Parents picking their children up from summer school programs were invited to take collards, kale, lettuces and other fresh produce at no charge.
OKT staff will now begin to plant fall crops in the MLK rooftop garden so the students from Mr. Ipple’s class who planted the garden in the spring can also share in its abundance.
Did you have a chance to get out and support your community farmers’ market? This past season, the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market locations tallied more than 1,400 residents in attendance. These market patrons did more than go home with healthy produce, they created two vibrant community spaces where neighbors got to know each other, children discovered “real” food, hundreds attended educational activities and all ages joined in for a little exercise via the Cupid Shuffle.
You see, the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market is about more than doing business. While it is important that our local farmers and growers go home with money in their pockets, it’s even more important that community comes out and grows their own food power.
Food power is waking up healthier in the morning so you can do better at work and school. Food power is knowing that eating certain fresh fruits and vegetables can mean fewer asthma attacks or less arthritis pain. Food power is a pregnant mother providing her unborn child nourishment that keeps her baby in the womb until term while building his or her highly intelligent brain. Food power is saying no to the unhealthy foods that make you overweight, damage your heart or cause diabetes. Food power is saying yes to whole foods that empower you to live life on your own terms―without the burden of added medical expenses.
Dancercise at the Gerald R Ford market location -- The Cupid Shuffle!
Please support your Southeast Area Farmers Market. Do you have suggestions for how Our Kitchen Table can make the market a better experience? Tell us! Are there any whole foods that you would like us to make available next season? Let us know! You can email us at OKTable1@gmail.com or call 616-570-0218. Or, stop by a Community Potluck and Cook-in. The Southeast Area Farmer’s Market is sponsoring these one Friday evening each month at Gerald R Ford Middle School. (Check back for dates and times.)