This coming week, in events that get to your heart through your stomach.
Wednesday, May 25
Let them eat beans! The South Central Federation of Labor is hosting its 52nd annual Bean Feed Dinner this evening, a fundraiser for its political education program. It's a steal at $5, with all the hot dogs, baked beans, pasta salad and potato salad one can eat, plus a soda or beer. A worker's delight, and it's supporting a program that couldn't be more timely. Madison Labor Temple, 1602 S. Park St., 6-7:15 p.m., $5 donation. Call 256-5111 for more info.
Thursday, May 26
School gardens are a hot topic, what with the push for more fresh local food and getting kids to eat it. Gardening is one way to get them invested in the foods they eat. Madison's first Project Orange Thumb school garden campaign debuts this afternoon with a groundbreaking ceremony, featuring music, prizes, and more. Black Hawk Middle School, 1402 Wyoming Way, 7:45 a.m.-4 p.m. Call 294-4730 for more info.
Friday, May 27 - Monday, May 30
Have you done your bratwurst homework? No? Let us assure you that this Memorial Day weekend, it is no longer as easy as picking up a brat. Check out our guide to the proliferating wurst fest fundraisers around Madison, including the World's Largest Brat Fest, People's Bratfest, Wurst Times, and Alt-Bratfest.
There is little more pleasing to the palate in the pantheon of flavors than chocolate. Join with other like-minded devotees at the yearly Burlington ChocolateFest, a four-day celebration that features dozens of chocolate-themed events, including tastings, chef demonstrations, vendors, contests, and much more. Festival Grounds, 864 Maryland Ave., Burlington, Friday-Monday. Call 262-763-3300 for more info.
More events this week
Tuesday, May 24
City Chickens 101 class, with instructor Alicia Rheal of Mad City Chickens covering the basics of raising urban chickens, including shelter, feeding, behavior, regulations, and the types of poultry available. Willy Street Co-op East, 1221 Williamson St., 6-8 p.m., $15 owners and $25 all others. Call 251-6776 for more info.
Morel dinner, a special edition of the three-course dinner made with rare wild mushrooms picked a family fried of Chef David Heidi, with the menu featuring prawns and asparagus with deep-fried morels, morel-stuffed ribeye, and a morel and brie tartlet with blackberries. Liliana's Restaurant, 2951 Triverton Pike, Fitchburg, 5-9 p.m., $45 with $10 additional for paired wine flight. Call 442-4444 for more info.
Wednesday, May 25
Wednesday Nite at the Lab, with this latest edition of the weekly lecture series featuring Scott Woody of the Brassica rapa Genetics Resource Program at the Rick Amasino lab in the UW Biochemistry Dept. discussing the genomics of the plant better known as the field or turnip mustard. UW Biotechnology Center Auditorium, 425 Henry Mall, 7 p.m., free. Call 265-2420 for more info.
Thursday, May 26
Community Supported Agriculture talk, with a representative of MACSAC discussing its Partner Shares program and CSA options in the area. Sequoya Library, 4340 Tokay Blvd., 7 p.m., free. Call 266-6385 for more info.
Italian Family Recipes cooking class, with instructor Jennifer Jones preparing a menu of anti-pasto, salad, cheesy garlic bread, and lasagna. Whole Foods Market, 3313 University Ave., 6-7:30 p.m., $25. Call 233-9566 for more info.
City Chickens 101 class, with instructor Alicia Rheal of Mad City Chickens covering the basics of raising urban chickens, including shelter, feeding, behavior, regulations, and the types of poultry available. Willy Street Co-op West, 6825 University Ave., 6-8 p.m., $15 owners and $25 all others. Call 284-7800 for more info.
Friday, May 27
Bring a Bike, Get a Brat, a campaign organized by Dream Bikes to collect, refurbish, and redistribute bicycles, with Saris Cycling Group providing a World's Largest Brat Fest coupon for a free breakfast brat for every bike donated. Alliant Energy Center, 1919 Energy Center Way, 6-9 a.m. Call 467-6315 for more info.
Saturday, May 28
Vilas Zoo Century Birthday Party, a centennial celebration featuring kids' activity tents, a bounce house, magic show, live music, and a cake-baking contest. Vilas Zoo, 702 S. Randall Ave., 10 a.m.-3 p.m., free. Call 258-9490 for more info.
Sunday, May 29
REAP snack prep, with volunteers needed to prepare and package fresh, healthy, and locally-grown treats for kids at 14 elementary schools around Madison. RP's Pasta, 1133 E. Wilson St., 9 a.m.-noon. Call 310-7836 for more info.
Monday, May 30
CPACC Chicken Barbecue, an annual fundraiser for the Cross Plains Area Chamber of Commerce and its community projects, featuring barbecue chicken dinners and hot dogs, a pie and ice cream sale, a beer tent, kids' activities, a parade, and more. American Legion Ker-Endres-Brannon Post 245, 2217 American Legion Dr., Cross Plains, 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Call 843-3166 for more info.