Food News September 02008

It's true that the rain that generously grows our food could not dampen the spirits of the people attending the HomeGrown Festival yesterday.  Though soggy, the event was totally delicious. The chefs cooked, the music grooved, and the people who came enjoyed a true taste of our beautiful state. 

Did I mention the food was fantastic?  My husband and I stood under the Slow's BarBQ tent and ate plate after plate of incredibly crisp, sweet, smoky hot wings while chef Brian Perrone looked on, amused at our enjoyment. Next door, Rodger Bowser's Chicken Paprika would make your Hungarian grandma cry, it was so good.  And Silvio Medoro's Sage Butter Potato Gnocchi was unbelievably rich pillowy goodness, warm and perfect for a dreary day.  And you thought pizza was all that Silvio's did.  

Although the HomeGrown Festival is over, there are a LOT of food-related events coming up this month from some surprising corners of our community. It's the harvest season - for food and food events.     

"What Will Michigan Eat? How our State Government Bungles the Food System and Threatens our Future."  Tuesday, September 16, 2008. at 7:30pm at Matthaei Botanical Gardens, 1800 N. Dixboro Road, Ann Arbor.

The Sierra Club of Huron Valley presents Filmmaker and Food Activist Chris Bedford from the Center for Economic Security.  Bedford helped to start the Sweetwater Local Foods Market in Muskegon, Michigan - the only market in our state where the food is certified local, organic, and humane.  Bedford is a nationally-known speaker on food issues, and a filmmaker whose films include "What Will We Eat" and "The Organic Opportunity."

"Food and how it is produced forms one of our principle connections to nature.  What the people of Michigan eat affects the land and water that we use, along with native plants and animals.  So why is our food supply -- what we eat and how it is produced -- not on the public agenda?   What would happen if we chose to grow and eat foods that can be produced without harm to our environment?" Everyone is welcome to this talk and refreshments are provided.  

7th Annual Lone Oak Vineyard Estate Harvest Party
Saturday, September 20, 12:00-10:00pm, Lone Oak Vineyard Estate, 8400 Ann Arbor Rd., Grass Lake, MI 49240
"Come celebrate the harvest party under the "big" tent - rain or shine!  Live music by "Kung Fu Diesel" from 4pm to 10 pm. Dining available all day, prepared by Bone Island Grille of Vandercook Lake. Bonfire at 10 pm, with acoustic set by Kung Fu Diesel. Admission price: $5.00 (includes free gift, wine tasting and entertainment.)" For more information: or call 517-522-8167.


"The Old Girl Network: Charity Cookbooks and the Empowerment of Women" Lecture by Curator Jan Longone
Sunday, September 21, 2:30-5:00pm, Clements Library on the Central Campus of the University of Michigan. Building will open at 2:30 for viewing; lecture will begin at 3:00; reception to follow. Exhibit on display June 2—October 3, 2008. Hours: Monday-Friday, 1:00-4:45 p.m., or by appointment.

They say: "Before mass media, communication, and transit, the first wave of the women's movement was already active via the most ordinary of objects: the lowly cookbook. We invite you to our upcoming exhibit at the Clements Library to see the politics just under every woman's nose (and, often, behind many men's backs).


This exhibit features cookbooks on many themes with an emphasis on female empowerment. Many of the compilers worked hard to publish these books (with scant funding) in hopes of raising more women to the level they had already attained. The books demonstrate how women worked together to help themselves, other women, and the outside world. Causes include: Suffrage, military and patriotic support, Temperance, education, working women and Women's Exchanges. In addition to cookbooks, you will encounter political cartoons, memorable quotes, interesting ads, and other ephemeral material that will enhance your understanding of how these women both saw and influenced the world of their time."  See more at:

4th Annual Hope's Harvest Benefit Dinner 
Sunday, September 21, 4:00-7:00pm, 922 W. Michigan Avenue in Ypsilanti
"The Hope's Harvest Benefit Dinner celebrates local chefs and local food sources by offering a delicious variety of dishes prepared with locally produced food. The food station themes for Hope's Harvest 2008 are as follows:
- Sweet and Spicy (Tomatoes and Peppers)
- Three Sisters (Squash, Corn and Beans)
- Eat your Greens (assorted leafy greens)
- Roots and Shoots (root vegetables)
- Meats from the Farm (Beef, chicken or lamb)
- The Fruits of our Labor Dessert Table (apples, raspberries, or other seasonal fruits)

Growing Hope is a Washtenaw County non-profit organization dedicated to helping people improve their lives and communities through gardening. Funding generated through Hope's Harvest is used to support youth and family garden programs, community and school garden training programs and the Downtown Ypsilanti Farmers Market." Tickets and more information available at:

King Corn - Documentary Film and Discussion Led By The University Of Michigan Community Scholars Program

Thursday, September 25, 6:30-8:30pm, Downtown Library Fourth Floor Meeting Room. 

"On Thursday, September 25 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, in the Downtown Library 4th floor meeting room, the Library will host a special screening of this powerful film.  Following the 90 minute film (which is not rated) Professor James Crowfoot, Professor, Emeritus & Dean, Emeritus, The University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment, will offer brief comments and a post-film discussion will be led by the University of Michigan Community Scholars Program."

"Behind America’s dollar hamburgers and 72-ounce sodas is a key ingredient that quietly fuels our fast-food nation: corn.  Corn is everywhere—in everything from apples to antifreeze, body lotion to batteries, margarine to magazines.  In the acclaimed documentary King Corn , recent college graduates Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis leave the east coast for rural Iowa, where they decide to grow an acre of the nation’s most powerful crop. They find that America’s most subsidized crop has become the staple of its cheapest – and most troubling – foods."


Children's Harvest - From Seeds to the Dinner Table
Saturday, September 27, 10:00am-12:30pm, Matthaei Botanical Garden

"Bring your kids to explore the new Gaffield Children's Garden and learn about some of the fruits and vegetables grown thereLearn how to make a salad from garden ingredients, learn how to make sauces with fresh herbs. Take home a special herb mix. For children ages 9-13. Cost: $2.50 per child, pre-registration required 2 weeks prior."  For information about any of these classes call (734) 647-7600 or visit:

Food System Economic Partnership benefit dinner 
Tuesday, September 30, 7:00pm, Zingerman's Roadhouse 3501 Jackson Road, Ann Arbor, MI
"James Beard-award nominated Chef Alex Young will prepare a delicious multi-course meal from a variety of locally-sourced foods."  For the menu and to buy tickets, visit:


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