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Friday, September 19, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 73.0° F  Partly Cloudy
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Madison eats agenda: Local Harvest, Autumn Harvest Fest, and Dells on Tap

The coming week, in events that get to your heart through your stomach.

Tuesday, October 13

REAP Food Group opens its seasonal Local Harvest: A Taste of the Town showcase of locally-sourced eats and the chefs who champion them. The participating restaurants in this three-day autumn series of special dinners are the Greenbush Bar, Beans 'n Cream Coffeehouse, L'Etoile, the Washington Hotel Coffee Room, The Weary Traveler, Crema Cafe, Dayton Street Grille, Lombardino's, Sardine, and Dardanelles. It is also a fundraiser, with a portion of the proceeds from the meals going to the Buy Fresh Buy Local program that helps "foster sustainable purchasing relationships." For more info, call 310-7832.

The DeForest Area Farmers' Market closes its four-month run today, one of many farewells to the season from local food providers over the next month or so. Market Street, next to the DeForest Library, 3:30-6:30 p.m.

Today is also the last chance this season to pick up some eats at the East Side Farmers' Market, which ends its five-month run in the heart of the isthmus. Central Park, 201 S. Ingersoll St., 4-7 p.m.

Wednesday, October 14

A quartet of reds are on the menu at a wine tasting on Capitol Square this afternoon. They are: a 2007 The Rhoning Stone from Cote du Rhone, France; an organic 2007 Releaf Cab Merlot Shiraz Blend from South Africa; a2007 Restoration Old Vine Red from Portugal; and, a 2007 Le Grand Pinot Noir from France. Savoir Faire Gifts & Wine Bar, 5 N. Pinckney St., 5-6:30 p.m., free. Call 819-8066 for more info.

Thursday, October 15

The popular New Glarus Loves Wisconsin Cheese class returns today with old and new pairings presented by Fromagination cheesemonger Bill Anderson and New Glarus brewmaster Dan Carey. Fromagination, 12 S. Carroll St., 7 p.m., $25. Call 255-2430 for reservations.

Family Farm Defenders is hosting a panel discussion on the UW campus this afternoon addressing the legacy of industrialized agriculture, promotion of genetically modified and corporate patented organisms, and competing models of community development. The speakers on the panel -- which is titled "The Grassroots Struggle to Defend Africa's Food Sovereignty from the Gene Revolution and Corporate Agribusiness!" -- include Josphat Ngonyo of the Africa Network for Animal Welfare in Kenya, Seremos Kamuturaki of Uganda Fisheries and Fish Conservation Association and vice president of the Agricultural Council of Uganda, and Wisconsin farmer and Family Farm Defenders president John Kinsman. UW Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St., 7 p.m. Call 260-0900 for more info.

Friday, October 16

The celebrated Madison chocolatier Gail Ambrosius is teaching a class this evening about single-origin chocolate, a variety of the sublime foodstuff that is made from beans from a single region or farm. Think wine or coffee, but bittersweet. Willy Street Co-op, 1221 Williamson Street, 6-8 p.m., free. Call 251-6776 for more info.

Saturday, October 17

Summer may be long gone, with the outdoor waterparks in Wisconsin Dells shuttered for the season, but the tourist destination will be lively this weekend at the 12th annual Autumn Harvest Fest. This fall celebration offers a farmers' market, pumpkin decorating, scarecrow stuffing, hayrides, a craft market, and more. LaCrosse Street, downtown Wisconsin Dells, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday, free admission. The festival also includes Wisconsin Dells on Tap, a beer testing celebration that features the creations of nearly 30 breweries and brewpubs from around the state. The event also features samples from Carr Valley Cheese and the Mustard Museum with a focus on pairing with beer. The tasting in a tent on festival grounds runs from noon-5 p.m. on Saturday, advance tickets are $25 and $30 at the gate. Admission includes a free commemorative tasting glass.

Hungry diners will be able to warm up this weekend morning with a hot and nutritious Free Community Meal put on by a quintet of local volunteer organizations. Wil-Mar Center, 953 Jenifer St., 11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Call 257-4576 for more info.

Sunday, October 18

Savory Sundays serves free feasts for the homeless throughout the year, but the need of this weekly meal becomes particularly salient as the temperature drops. The group seeks volunteers to first help prepare dishes in the morning, and then serve them to diners in early afternoon. Lutheran Campus Center, 325 N. Mills St., preparation and cooking begins at 11 a.m. Call 233-6967 for more info.

Dane County Friends of Ferals is holding a spaghetti dinner fundraiser this evening in support of its work to provide medical care for cats and kittens. Waunakee Village Center, 333 S. Madison St., 7 p.m., $10 for adults and $7 for children under 7. Call 608-577-1500 for more info.

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