MADISON -- Seven west side churches in Madison representing four denominations will join together in offering a series of events in January that explore the connections between food, faith, and farming.
||Pictured above and below are scenes from the farmers’ market and brunch held at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Madison. (Robert Nellis photo)
A two-part educational forum at the Madison Christian Community (MCC) on Sunday, Jan. 8 and 15, will be followed by winter farmers’ markets and meals featuring local foods on Saturday, Jan. 21, at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Parish and Saturday, Jan. 28, at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Parish.
Other co-sponsors of the event are Madison Mennonite Church, Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ, and Blessed Sacrament Catholic Parish. The public is invited to all events.
MCC, a partnership of Advent Lutheran Church and Community of Hope United Church of Christ, located at 7118 Old Sauk Rd., will hold the adult education events from 9 to 10 a.m. both Sundays. They include:
• January 8: Excerpts from the documentary film Food Fight will be shown with time for discussion following the film. Food Fight traces a counter-cultural movement led by California restaurateur Alice Waters to create an alternative to our highly industrialized agricultural system: a vital local/sustainable/organic food movement that has brought back taste and variety to our dining tables.
• January 15: John Peck and Tom Nelson are back by popular demand — they were part of a five-person panel at the 2011 Food, Faith, and Farming forum at the MCC. Peck, executive director of Family Farm Defenders, will discuss the importance of a farmer-controlled and consumer-oriented food system that is based on democratic principles, sustainable agriculture, fair trade, food sovereignty, and social and economic justice. Nelson, coordinator of the Rural Life Office of Catholic Charities in Madison and president of the Churches’ Center for Land and People, will explore the connections between food, faith, and farming — how our Christian faith can inform our decisions about food and farming and how we can celebrate deeply-held Christian values when we serve food.
Farmers’ markets, brunches
Farmers’ markets will be held on Saturday, Jan. 21, at St. Thomas Aquinas, 602 Everglade Dr., and on Saturday, Jan. 28, at Our Lady Queen of Peace, 401 South Owen Dr. Both events take place 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and will feature local farmers selling their goods including eggs, cheese, maple syrup, preserves, produce, soaps, meats, and more.
A portion of proceeds from the markets will benefit Harvest of Hope, an emergency fund for Wisconsin farm families.
Beginning at 11 a.m. at both farmers’ markets, a brunch will be served. Chef Steffi Culberson of Sustainable Bites will create the meals using many of the local products available at the markets.
Suggested donation for the meal is $10 for adults, $4 for youth (ages 5 to 13), free for children under age five, and a $25 maximum for families.