Thanks to funding provided by community members and expertise provided by local baker Lauren Bushnell, the Experimental Station has constructed a wood-fired masonry oven that is now up and running. Designed by master oven-builder Alan Scott (California), the brick-clad oven is a beautiful, yet functional element in the Experimental Station kitchen. A wonderful educational resource, the wood-fired masonry oven is the center of community bread bakes that encourage the art of bread baking.
At the 61st Street Farmers Market, we have learned that bringing fresh, healthy food to under-served markets means more than selling food. Cooking and Nutrition Education are part of our ongoing effort to build a mutually beneficial channel from field to plate. Hence, we have begun collecting delicious recipes that make use of the wide range of fruits, vegetables & meats available at the 61st Street Farmers Market. Do you have a favorite Farmers Market recipe you would like to share? Let us know!
The cultivation, distribution, preparation, and appreciation of delicious and healthy food are critical to our individual and cultural well-being. A question we ask at the Experimental Station is: can a culture be healthy if its food is not? Our reponse is an emphatic "no." Thus we have developed a Food Culture program, the mission of which is to build a local food infrastructure that provides sources of locally grown, healthy and organic foods, educational resources for learning about food preparation, and food-related community events.
Past projects include:
Thanks to a generous grant from Wholesome Wave Foundation (CT), when the Experimental Station launches our EBT/LINK (food stamp) program at five City of Chicago farmers markets beginning May 13, we will also be launching a Double Value Incentive program that will match LINK beneficiary purchases up to $5 per cardholder per market day. The 'LINK Bucks' issued to LINK recipients will be valid at any of the five City of Chicago farmers markets at which Experimental Station is providing EBT/LINK service (Daley Plaza, South Shore, Beverly, Division Street, Lincoln Square).
Check out Martha Bayne's piece on urban homesteader Erik Knutzen. As you may know, Erik came to visit us in May and talked about his life and work in Los Angeles.
For homesteader wannabes and inexperienced chicken owners like ourselves, on Thursday, May 21, from 7-9pm, Erik Knutzen will to lead an informal presentation on 'Urban Homesteading in Los Angeles', focusing on his and his wife's homegrown systems of adventurous experimentation of chickens, growing, greywater, brewing and more - some successful, some not so much! There is a $7-10 (sliding scale) fee for this Homesteading 101 event.
Please join us for a screening of Seeing Through the Fence, a film that explores the role of food in modern society and our connection, or lack of connection, with both the processes and animals from which our food originates. For more information, please visit www.porchlifeproductions.com.
Here is a link to a story about the L.A. fast food ban. We know these issues impact the quality of life in Chicago too. Lets keep thinking about creative, engaging ways to improve our local food networks and enrich our local food culture. Recognizing the true, detrimental, costs of the fast-food industry and learning what the alternatives are is a good place to begin.
The seed archive is housed in Chicago. The seed archive is particularly interested in seeds that are food or medicinal, habitat building, shade creating or soil-building in nature. The archive only accepts, stores, and loans viable and well-identified seeds. Seeds are alive. They need to be carefully stored in order to remain healthy and assure their germination. They must also be well-identified. Seeds are loaned for free to those who are commited to growing them, enjoying them, and returning some of the next generation of seeds back to store at the seed archive.