This coming week, in events that get to your heart through your stomach.
Thursday, June 16
Know your farmer! And take a day trip. Certainly the epicenter of progressive farming in southern Wisconsin started in Vernon County. This Field Day hosted by the Madison Area CSA Coalition is achance to visit two community supported agriculture farms and hear the farmers talk about what they're doing. The first stop is the Small Family CSA, operated by Jillian and Adam Varney, near LaFarge. Stop number two is Sylvan Meadows Farm, operated by the Goeke family, outside of Viroqua. Both farms mix livestock operations with produce and other goods. LaFarge and Viroqua, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., free. Call 226-0300 for more info.
Saturday, June 18
Sun Prairie on a Saturday is a good deal. Today is the 24th annual Strawberry Fest at the Colonial Club, with strawberries and a bake sale. There's a fun run and a book sale, too, so you can run off the calories from the bake sale and maybe buy a cookbook so you can make something from the strawberries. It's all about multi-tasking. Speakin' to which, the Sun Prairie Farmers' Market is on Saturday, too, so you may as well stop in. It's a good one. Colonial Club, 301 Blankenheim Ln., Sun Prairie, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Call 837-4611 for more info.
Slavic cuisine will be served in abundance at Ivana Kupala Day in Cross Plains, with the menu including stuffed cabbage, baked potatoes, cold soups like okroshka and borscht, pirogi, kvass, and much more. This second annual festival of ancient cultures in central Europe, marking the Feast of St. John the Baptist and held on the eve of the summer solstice, is put on by the Russian Educational Association, and along with the all the food, also features a bonfire, folk games and dancing, performances, live music, a raffle, and more. Indian Lake County Park, 8183 Hwy. 19, Cross Plains, noon-10 p.m., donations encouraged. Call 225-6294 for more info.
Sunday, June 19
It has been a bratwurst-filled spring here in Madison for reasons not entirely having to do with love for sausages. Now it's time for the vegans to have their day in the sun with Mad City Vegan Fest, which will feature speakers, demos, lots of samples, and a couple of dedicated food vendors, if you are looking for a full meal. Goodman Community Center, 149 Waubesa St., 10 a.m.-5 p.m., free. See Facebook and call 241-1574 for more info.
Judy Hageman of the spinach-growing paragon that is Snug Haven Farm was diagnosed with chronic Lyme's Disease, and is now facing costly medical bills. Friends and colleagues are supporting her in this time of need, and are throwing a community benefit to help pay for her recovery treatments. The party features an outstanding menu of picnic dishes prepared by chefs Tori Miller, David McKercher, Dan Fox, and others, as well as music and dancing, a silent auction, and more. Snug Haven Farm, 1170 Hageman Rd., Belleville, 12:30-4:30 p.m., suggested minimum donations of $25 single person, $45 couple, and $50 family. Call 424-3296 for more info.
More events this week
Wednesday, June 15
Grand opening of Rennie's Dairy Bar, featuring organic ice cream samples from the Babcock Hall Dairy Store in a tribute to Madison's once ubiquitous Rennebohm Drug Store soda fountains. Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 330 N. Orchard St., 2-5 p.m., free. Call 265-4140 for more info.
Thursday, June 16
Prairie Villa Rendezvous, an annual four-day Fur Trade-era historic encampment, featuring a buffalo burger stand, a "primitive" cooking contest, reenactments and demonstrations, games, a flea market, and more. St. Feriole Island, 100 Water St., Prairie du Chien, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, free admission. Call 800-732-1673 for more info.
Baseball Fest, an annual four-day festival hosted by the Fort Atkinson Generals association, featuring baseball games and tournaments, a fish fry and pancake breakfast, a carnival, half-marathon, scavenger hunts, and more. Jones Park, 615 Janesville Ave., Fort Atkinson, Thursday-Sunday. Call 920-563-4479 for more info.
Bloomsday, celebrating a day in the life of Leopold Bloom of James Joyce's Ulysses, featuring a menu of Guinness and oysters on the patio and a turn-of-the-century Irish menu in the dining room. The Coopers Tavern, 20 W. Mifflin St., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Call 256-1600 for more info.
Ed Janus, founder of Capital Brewery and the Madison Muskies baseball team, hosts a book launch and reading of his new release Creating Dairyland: How Caring for Cows Saved Our Soil, Created our Landscape & Still Shapes Our Way of Life in Wisconsin, featuring gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and live music. Capital Brewery, 7734 Terrace Ave., Middleton, 5-8 p.m. Call 836-7100 for more info.
Friday, June 17
MREA Energy Fair, the 22nd annual exhibition put on by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, featuring a keynote address by Will Allen of Growing Power, hundreds of workshops and exhibitors, local food and brews, and more. ReNew the Earth Institute, 558 Deer Rd., Custer, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, $15 day or $35 weekend. Call 715-592-6595 for more info.
Wisconsin Civil Service Birthday Party, a celebration demonstration featuring cake and party games. Downtown Madison, corner of King and Webster streets, noon. Call 220-9395 for more info.
Juneteenth Day, an annual celebration of African-American heritage and final emancipation at the close of the Civil War, featuring a kick-off gathering, parade, performances, children's activities, food, and more. Penn Park, 2101 Fisher St., 7 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday. Call 358-2872 for more info.
Saturday, June 18
Columbus Carriage Classic, an annual festival and pleasure driving competition, featuring courses and classes, barbecue and pies from Olivet Church, more food stands, and a silent auction. Fireman's Park, 1049 Park Ave., Columbus, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, free admission. Call 219-7921 for more info.
Fab Fresh Farmers' Market, a cooking demonstration with Barbara Wright of the old Dardanelles restaurant and a potluck picnic. Monona Library, 1000 Nichols Rd., Monona, 10:30 a.m., registration recommended. Call 222-6127 for more info.
Greener Wiener, a grill-out fundraiser for Dream Bikes, featuring a menu of hot dogs, veggie dogs, rice and beans, and Sprecher root beer. Willy Street Co-op West, 6825 University Ave., Middleton, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., $5. Call 284-7800 for more info.
Radiate Hope Summer Festival, the fifth annual benefit for the Radiate Hope Foundation, featuring food and drinks, children's activities, sports tournaments, and more. Keva Sports Center, 8312 Forsythia St., Middleton, noon-8 p.m. $7 individual or $25 family. Call 334-5051 for more info.
Dairy Month Celebration, a kid's celebration featuring a farmer, baby dairy calf, and samples of dairy products. Madison Children's Museum, 100 N. Hamilton St., noon-2 p.m., free with $7 admission. Call 256-6445 for more info.
Midsummer's Eve, an annual summer solstice celebration at Little Norway, featuring a pig roast, bonfire, Norwegian music, and more. Little Norway. 3576 Cty. Rd. JG, Blue Mounds, 4-8 p.m. $5 admission and $3 kids 5-12 with $7 pork dinner. Call 608-437-8211 for more info.
Sunday, June 19
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.
Father's Day Chicken BBQ, the 50th annual festival, featuring lunch, basebal, and live music. McKellar Park, Blanchardville, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., $10 adults and $8 kids under 12. Call 608-523-2274 for more info.
Father's Day Barbecue, a fundraiser for the Henry Vilas Zoo, featuring tool workshop for dads, and a menu of smoked pulled barbecue pork sandwiches, grilled marinated chicken breast sandwiches, brats and hot dogs, fruit salad, vinaigrette pasta salad with fresh vegetables, potato chips, cookies and brownies. Vilas Zoo, 702 S. Randall Ave., 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., $25. Call 258-9490 for more info.
Cottage Grove Brew Fest, the second annual beer tasting during the Cottage Grove Volunteer Fire Department's 80th annual Firemen's Festival, featuring brews from Ale Asylum, Capital, Gray's, the Great Dane, Lake Louie, Milwaukee Brewing, New Glarus, Potosi, Sprecher, Tyranena, the Vintage, and others. Fireman's Park, 238 S. Grove St., Cottage Grove, 1-5 p.m., $25. Call 444-3586 for more info.
Save the date
Tuesday, June 21
Summer Solstice Sampler, a fundraiser festival for the Food Enterprise & Economic Development Kitchens, featuring appetizers and desserts, live music, and a silent auction. Capital Brewery, 7734 Terrace Ave., Middleton, 5:30 p.m., single tickets $33 advance and $38 door, pairs of tickets $55 advance and $60 door. Purchase tickets online, and call 217-1388 for more info.
Sunday, July 17
Garlic Dinner, with a six-course menu of dishes highlighting garlic, and featuring guest farmer Richard de Wilde of Harmony Valley Farm in Viroqua. Harvest, 21 N. Pinckney St., 6 p.m., $65. Call 255-6075 for more info.