By Laura Koch
Discover Kalamazoo Marketing & Communications Intern
Kalamazoo, Mich. – Summertime and the livin’ is easy. Greens are jumpin’ and the cucumber vines are high…
OK, I know, it doesn’t have quite the same ring as Gershwin’s classic. But really, Kalamazoo County is a local foods mecca – from fruits and veggies to wine and chicken.
We in Kalamazoo get excited for Farmer’s Market Season each year. Right now we are eating fresh and local peaches, nectarines, salad greens, cucumbers, and tons of different beans. And as the tomatoes are beginning to come in, I have visions of salsa and bruschetta dancing in my head.
And if cooking is not your thing, don’t worry – there are many delicious restaurants serving up tasty local-food dishes.
When I think local-food restaurants, two downtown establishments jump to my mind: Food Dance and Rustica. Food Dance serves eclectic American cuisine three meals a day featuring seasonal, local and artisan ingredients. As a college student, their soup and half-sandwich lunch is my favorite. Rustica, the new guy on the block, specializes in rustic European cuisine with an emphasis on fresh and local products.
And you can’t forget about Bold in Texas Corners, simple, local food with big flavor. They have a great half-price small-plates special on Mondays!
For all local food knowledge, talk with Fair Food Matters. Fair Food Matters is a non-profit organization founded in 2001 whose goal is to build, educate and empower the Kalamazoo community about local food. They are super involved in the community and host many local food events.
Local food is important to college kids too, Farms to K, a student group at Kalamazoo College, raises awareness of the local food movement on campus. Their goal is to make the college cafeteria all local, and they have a partnership with Fair Food Matters. For information on Farms to K, contact Dr. Amelia Katanski, the Farms to K faculty advisor.
What’s your favorite local-food eatery?
A few places to buy local farm food:
The Kalamazoo Farmer’s Market
Location: 1204 Bank St. (between Lake Street & Stockbridge Avenue off Portage Road)
Phone: Farmer’s Market – 269 337-8899
Parks & Recreation Office – 269 337-8191
Hours: May and November: Saturdays only 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.; June through October: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
People’s Food Co-op
Location: 507 Harrison St. in downtown Kalamazoo
Phone: (269) 342-5686
Hours: Open Daily 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
100-Mile Market: 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays May through October. All food sold at this market is required to be grown or produced within 100 miles of Kalamazoo.
Fair Food Matters
Location: 323 North Burdick St. in downtown Kalamazoo
Phone: (269) 492-1270