Mad Farmer Food Fest returns to KE apartments

Photo courtesy calvin.edu
Photo courtesy calvin.edu

This coming Saturday marks the 6th annual Mad Farmer Food Fest (MFFF), which will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the KE apartments. The event serves as an opportunity for Calvin students to interact with the community, learn more about local food and agriculture, and enjoy some great food.

For the $5 entrance fee, students can eat food from Marie Catrib’s, Brick Road Pizza and Foxtrot Bakery, as well as attend sessions about different aspects of food issues.

“I am excited for Mad Farmer Food Fest because it creates a space for Calvin students and faculty to intentionally reflect on, give thanks for and discuss the food that sustains and connects us,” said Annaka Scheeres, Calvin’s sustainability intern. “Learning about key issues surrounding food is exciting because only through collective education and action can we reclaim the right to define and control our food systems in sustainable and just ways.”

The name for the event was inspired by Wendell Berry’s poem “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front.” It challenges readers to slow down, cherish and be mindful of the natural world around them. The poem ends with the line, “Practice resurrection.”

The festival echoes the themes from the poem and encourages students to become involved with their local food environment.

The kickoff to the festival will be at 10:30 a.m. with opening devotions led by a seminary intern.

From 11:10 to 11:50 a.m., attendees will have the choice to attend sessions on applesauce and canning, food justice, small farms and composting.

The session from 12:00 to 12:40 p.m. includes opportunities to learn about food deserts and urban agriculture, dumpster diving, vegetarian diets or local community supported agriculture.

The sessions will be led by Calvin students and faculty, members of the Grand Rapids community and other leaders in the local food movement.

Lunch will be served at 12:45 p.m., with live music and food provided by the local restaurants.

At 1:30, keynote speakers Robert and Erin Lockridge, farmers from Ohio, will lead a discussion about theology, farming and food.

The couple are Parish Farming Interns, and tend several gardens in their neighborhood, teach children’s gardening classes and run community-supported agriculture.

The idea for the MFFF started with a group of resident assistants who envisioned an opportunity for students to have a deeper understanding of food issues and sustainability.

The groups sponsoring the event — Residence Life, sustainability coordinators, the Environmental Stewardship Coalition and the Social Justice Coalition — and the students planning on attending the event are eager to learn more about these issues.

First year student Nate Jansen, who is planning on attending the event said, “I’m thrilled to see Calvin students sharing their passions and am curious to see their hard work integrating food, faith, stewardship and more in this Saturday’s event. It will be top-notch.”

Scheeres is passionate about the importance of everyone refocusing on where our food comes from. “More than any other action, eating fundamentally and tangibly connects us with God’s creation. We must remember that eating does not entail simply going to the grocery store and grabbing a Saran Wrap-packaged piece of chicken. Eating is about being connected with the land and delighting in the bounty it provides, as well as giving thanks for those who nurtured it.”

Tickets for the event will be on sale on Friday at Johnny’s from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 to 10:30 a.m.

Comments