This coming week, in events that get to your heart through your stomach.
Saturday, June 2
June, as every Wisconsinite knows, is Dairy Month. The avalanche of farm breakfasts, where city slickers go eat in the country, will start to ramp up. Cows on the Concourse takes the opposite tack -- the farm comes to the city. The annual festival is hosted by the Dane County Promotion Committee, and runs alongside the Dane County Farmers' Market. It's always a fun time, with cows on the Capitol lawn -- yes, you can pet them, and see how huge their gigantic eyes really are. While there, munch on grilled cheese sandwiches and cream puffs, accompanied with -- what else? -- ice-cold milk. Capitol Square, Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. and Main St., 8 a.m.-1 p.m., free. See Facebook, and call 250-4257 for more info.
Get behind the whole cow thing with a neat Saturday Science at Discovery program. The June edition of the hands-on education series at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery explores the science of dairy. Families will get to make ice cream with liquid nitrogen, perform experiments with milk and cheese, examine cow eyes from the inside out with a UW-Madison veterinarian, check milk fat using the famous Babcock test, and more. A cow-spotted shuttle bus will run between the Institutes and Cows on the Concourse. Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 330 N. Orchard St., 10 a.m.-noon, free. Call 316-4382 for more info.
Burgers & Brew, one of the year's tastiest fundraisers, is back and ready to sate your hunger. Farm-inspired hamburgers will be served by Brasserie V, Graze, Bunky's, Dayton Street Grille, Fresco, Lombardino's, Metcalfe's Market, Monty's, the Weary Traveler, and the Willy Street Co-op, three of which are highlighted in a video preview. The beer side of the menu includes brews from Capital, Central Waters, Furthermore, the Great Dane, the Grumpy Troll, Hinterland, Lake Louie, New Glarus, Pearl Street, Potosi, Sand Creek, Tyranena, and Vintage. The annual tasting benefits the good work of the REAP Food Group and its work to promote local foods. Capital Brewery, 7734 Terrace Ave., Middleton, 4-7:30 p.m., $25 advance or $30 gates. Purchase tickets online, and call 310-7836 for more info.
More events this week
Wednesday, May 30
Rooftop Farmers, a weekly session for kids to explore gardening, raising animals, harvesting, and cooking. Madison Children's Museum, 100 N. Hamilton St., 3:30 p.m., free with $8 admission. Call 256-6445 for more info.
Youth Cooking School: Backyard BBQ, for kids ages 6-12, with instructors preparing a menu of barbecue chicken, potato salad, and lemon cheesecake bars. Whole Foods Market, 3313 University Ave., 4:30-6 p.m., $10. Call 233-9566 for more info.
Thursday, May 31
Summer Frolic, an annual four-day community festival in Mount Horeb, featuring a Wisconsin craft beer tent, a Cornhole tournament, the 10K Norsk Run and a 2 mile run/walk, softball and baseball, mud volleyball, bingo and a raffle, fireworks, parade, carnival, live music, children's activities, and more. Grundahl Park, 400 Blue Mound St., Mount Horeb, 5-10 p.m. Thursday, 5 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Friday, 8 a.m.-12:30 a.m. Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday. Call 437-5914 for more info.
Sip for a Cure, a wine tasting and benefit in support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Western Wisconsin, featuring samples of eight wines, with a percentage of sales going to the charity. Barriques Wine & Spirits, 1901 Cayuga St., Middleton, 6-8:30 p.m., no cover. Call 438-7266 for more info.
Mediterranean Vegetarian/Vegan class, with chef Kevin Appleton of Vom Fass preparing a menu of homemade falafel with tahini, roasted peperonata, arugula salad with oranges and caramelized fennel, and maple nut baklava. Whole Foods Market, 3313 University Ave., 6:30-9 p.m., $30. Call 204-0300 for more info.
Friday, June 1
Festa Italia, an annual three-day community festival presented by the Italian Workmen's Club, featuring a pasta dinner and pasta-eating contest, folk dancing, raffle, live music, and more. McKee Farms Park, 2930 Chapel Valley Rd., Fitchburg, 5 p.m.-midnight Friday, noon-midnight Saturday, 11 am.-7 p.m. Sunday. Call 258-1880 for more info.
Cambridge Farmers' Market, commencing for the 2012 growing season. Veterans Park, Main St. between Spring and Park, 2-7 p.m. Call 847-269-6515 for more info.
Saturday, June 2
Ride to Farm, the ninth annual bicycle ride and fundraiser for the Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers, with participants riding a 64-mile two-stage tour around southern Dane and northern Green counties, and stopping for visits at the Ruth and Joel McNair farm near Brooklyn and Bert and Trish Paris farm near Belleville, with lunch in New Glarus. Goodland County Park, Shelter #2, 2862 Waubesa Ave., Town of Dunn, 7:45 a.m.-end, $75 pledge minimum. Please RSVP online by May 30, and call 265-6437 for more info.
Mad City Chicken Coop Tour, an annual self-guided tour of backyard chicken coops around the city organized by Mad City Chickens, featuring over a dozen stops. Various locations, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. View a map detailing locations on the tour, and call 695-7914 for more info.
Cambridge Art Fair, an annual two-day festival in Cambridge, featuring food vendors, a bake sale, art and craft vendors, and more. Veterans Square Park, 100 E. Main St., Cambridge, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, free admission. Call 608-423-4300 for more info.
Sunday, June 3
Herb Day, an annual exposition at Olbrich Botanical Gardens organized by the Madison Herbal Institute, featuring exhibits, classes, demonstrations, and garden walks. Olbrich Gardens, 3330 Atwood Ave., 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., free. Call 512-9633 for more info.
Ride the Drive - Downtown, a biannual daylong community celebration that closes five miles of downtown Madison streets to motor vehicle traffic and opens them to bicyclists and pedestrians, and featuring activities, information booths, food vendors, and more. Ride the Drive loop around the isthmus, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Call 266-4711 for more info.
Willy Street Thank You Party, a picnic for volunteers and supporters of the Willy Street Park, celebrating a campaign to pay for street improvements, featuring ice cream, cookies, and lemonade. Willy Street Park, corner of Williamson and Brearly streets, 1-3 p.m., free. Call 242-0712 for more info.
Pasture to Plate Dinner, a benefit in support of Safe Harbor Child Advocacy Center, featuring a locally-sourced meal at prepared by Madison Club chefs Dan Fox and Andrew Wilson. Jorandal Farms, W 7977 Sunset Rd., Argyle, 4 p.m., $75. Call 608-328-1052 for more info.
Monday, June 4
Baseball & BBQ, a benefit dinner in support of the Vera Court Neighborhood Center, featuring a barbecue dinner and ticket to the Madison Mallards game versus the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters. Warner Park Duck Pond, 2920 N. Sherman Ave., 5:30 p.m., $15. Call 246-8372 for more info.
Party on the Lake, an annual fundraiser for Breast Cancer Recovery, featuring appetizers, the "Blind Wine Grab," a silent auction, and live music. Bishops Bay Country Club, 3500 Bishops Dr., Middleton, 5:30-9 p.m., $55. Call 661-4178 for more info.
Plough & Barrel, a series of seasonal CSA dinners at The Coopers Tavern and benefits in support of the Fair Share CSA Coalition, with the menu for the first featuring products from Blue Moon Community Farm, Equinox Community Farm, and Potosi Brewing. The Coopers Tavern, 20 W. Mifflin St., 6 p.m., $40. Purchase tickets online, and call 226-0300 for more info.
Growing Blueberries in Dane County class, with instructor Eric Johnson covering the basics of cultivating blueberries, including plant selection, cuttings and transplantation, soil and water pH, pruning, and more. Willy Street Co-op West 6825 University Ave., 6-8 p.m., $15 owners and $25 all others. Call 284-7800 for more info.
Save the date
Friday, June 8 - Saturday, June 9
Permaculture Workshop, a two-day series of classes at St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church, with Mark Shepard of New Forest Farm delivering a lecture on Friday night about permaculture design, and leading a hand-on workshop on Saturday to put those principles in to action. St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church, 6205 University Ave., 7-9 p.m. Friday and 9 am.-4 p.m. Saturday, $40 or $15 for Friday only. Please RSVP by June 1, and call 238-2781 for more info.