Were you there when the HomeGrown Festival was announced at Slow Food Huron Valley's Pie Lovers Unite! last year? The time has flown and suddenly, after months of meeting, planning and working together, the weekend of the Festival is here! Even without a Victory Garden at City Hall, the HomeGrown Festival feels like our own mini-version of Slow Food Nation to me. The field behind Community High, just across from the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market, is where this celebration of Michigan's farms and foods will take place.
For the past several months, the HomeGrown Steering Committee has been putting together a line-up of restaurants and vendors who have created dishes made with food from some of our best local farms. Tickets are $2 each for these "tastes of local Ann Arbor." Some of the small plates that will be served include Watermelon Soup, Spinach and Goat Cheese Pizza, Slow Roasted Pork, Michigan Sweet Corn Tamales, real BBQ Chicken Wings and PawPaw Gelato. Mmmm mmmmm. My mouth is watering already.
Each hour during the Festival, area chefs will be demonstrating how to make tasty dishes from food that's available right here right now.
- At noon, Nick Seccia, a leading chef in the local food movement who has made it a priority to
bring food from Michigan farms to the Henry Ford, will be demonstrating how to make Cherry-Squash Chutney and Butternut Bisque.
- At 1pm, Plum Market's Chef Nick Apone will be making Grass-Fed Michigan Buffalo Chili.
- At 2pm, if the concord grapes from his yard are ripe, Zingerman's Deli Chef William Wallo will be making a Concord Grape Pie. Otherwise, it will be Gnocchi with Fresh Tomato and Eggplant Sauce.
- And finally, at 3:15, The Five Lakes Grill Executive Chef Steven Grostick will be preparing a beautiful Goat Cheese Croquette with Local Honeycomb and an Heirloom Tomato, Cucumber and Micro-greens salad.
Ann Arbor's Mayor John Hieftje will open the HomeGrown Festival at 11:00am on Saturday at the main stage. There will be a few welcoming remarks and then the great-tasting food begins. Not only will there be food, there will also be bands playing each hour, fun kid's activities, and lots to learn from local non-profits. What I'm really looking forward to (I can't WAIT for this) is Project Grow's terrific Heirloom Tomato Tasting where the top 10 winners will be identified and I'll know what to plant next year.
Come on down and see what it's all about.
PS - Work up an appetite (and get some free HomeGrown tickets) at the Run Fast, Slow Food 5K Run/Walk happening beforehand.