Tag Archive | okt

Southeast Area Farmers’ Market looking forward to busy fall

Now that school is back in session, the Southeast Area Farmer’s Market Gerald R Ford Middle School location  will remain open–but for fewer hours.  Beginning Sept. 9, this location will be open from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., so as not to interfere with school traffic and activities.

August was a grand month for this location. During the four dates the market was open, we counted a total of 310 customer visits.  That means a lot of healthy food is making it into our neighborhoods’ kitchens. A big thank you to all those who came to the market! Thanks for telling  your friends and neighbors. Another big thank you to The Grand Rapids Times!  The column they have been running about the market has been instrumental in spreading the word.

The Southeast Area Farmer’s Market’s two locations distributed 137 Double Up Food Bucks tokens to our customers. These customers doubled the amount of produce they received for the amount they spent. It’s not too late to take advantage of this program. If you shop with an EBT card, you will receive a $2 token for every two dollars you spend—up to $20 in tokens each time you visit.

The markets also honored $225 worth of Kent County Health Department and Project Fresh coupons. If you have any of these coupons, bring them in before it’s too late!

The Southeast Area Farmer’s Market Garfield Park location is open Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Both farmers’ market locations will be open through November 6.

Empty Molesta Greenhouses Grow Food Plants for Grand Rapids Neighbors

Empty Molesta greenhouses grow food plants for Grand Rapids neighbors


June 13, 2011 Grand Rapids, MI–The women of Our Kitchen Table, a local grass roots environmental justice group, had a dream. They wanted to impact food security by providing resources to area residents who wanted to grow and share food. A grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation provided the seed money—but it was a local philanthropist “rolling up his sleeves and getting his hands dirty” that helped OKT’s Food Diversity Project sprout.

Dave Molesta, who operated Molesta Floral until it closed in 2010, invited Grand Valley State University’s Sustainable Agriculture Project to use Molesta’s empty greenhouses. The GVSU project extended the invitation to OKT.

Though flowers had been the wholesale grower’s focus for the past several decades, it originally provided Grand Rapids area residents with produce year ‘round. That all changed after World War II, when large-scale growers from across the country could ship larger varieties of produce at lower prices.

In a sense, Dave Molesta has gotten back to his roots. The greenhouses began growing 15,000 food plants in March. In addition to granting open access to the greenhouse space, Molesta provided planting containers, heat and water. He also allowed soil to be tested at the greenhouse site to support the effort to grow fresh and safe produce.

Community residents joined in events hosted at the Molesta greenhouse and another greenhouse site where they learned how to plant seeds, maintain seedlings and prepare for planting. In addition, two small urban farmers began growing produce to be sold at the Southeast Area Farmers Market.


Dave Molesta really helped us get our project off the ground this spring,” says Lisa Oliver King of OKT. “All the food plants have been donated out to various community gardeners providing food to families in need, low-income backyard growers and GRPS schools with food gardens. Now that people have these heirloom, organic plants in their gardens, they will be able to save the seeds and propagate their own food plants for years to come.”

OKT also provided plants to others with limited resources, for example, Well House, housing alternative for the homeless, and Clancy Street Church community garden space, where 18-low-income families grow and share food.

It was great to connect with Our Kitchen Table, with the work they do, to get healthy food to Well House community as well as the broader community,” said Judi Buchman, director of Well House. “The plants got us going when we were busy with lots of other tasks … It helped remind us:  it’s time!”



0ur Kitchen Table is a non-profit, grassroots community activist organization working for environmental justice and food security in Grand Rapids area urban communities.

Established in 1930, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and southern Africa. For further information, please visit the Foundation’s website at http://www.wkkf.org.

The Beehive Collective “Dismantling Monoculture”

The Beehive Collective “Dismantling Monoculture” a visual exploration of globalization and militarism in the Americas
The Beehive Design Collective- a non-profit, volunteer driven, political arts organization is headed to Grand Rapids Tuesday March 15!

Collaborative Graphic Design for Movement Building
A hands-on collaborative image making workshop with the Bees at
Red Hydrant Press 314 Straight St. SW Door M
Limited to 50 participants.

Tales of Ants & Economies in the Americas
The Bees present their larger than life banners at
Kendall College Student Commons, 17 Fountain St. NW
On street parking or pay for parking at Ionia/Pearl ramp


Sponsored by Our Kitchen Table, Red Hydrant Press, The Bloom Collective
and Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University.

2011 marks OKT’s 4th year of hosting the Food Diversity Project!

2011 marks OKT’s 4th year of hosting the Food Diversity Project!

Whether you came last week or not, please join us!

OKT Community Dialogue
10 a.m. to noon on Saturday Feb. 19
Eastown Community Association
415 Ethel SE, Grand Rapids, 49506

OKT is beginning year four by growing food starter plants. Join us for a community dialogue that identifies key steps to planning and planting sustainable, year-round neighborhood, indoor, yard and communal food gardens. You’ll also learn about seed selection and future OKT activities.

· Join OKT’s Food Buying Club. No cost for membership!

· Join OKT’s Free Seed Saving Bank.

· Bring used household batteries and CFL light bulbs for recycling.

· Exchange your mercury thermometer for a free digital thermometer.

· Sign up and receive free recycle bins.

While the program focuses on low-income and vulnerable residents from four neighborhoods―Eastown, Southeast (SECA), Garfield Park and Baxter―people from outside these areas are invited to attend. Those outside targeted income groups may have to pay fees for some services associated with the project.

Check out the flyer! Community Dialogue Feb 2011