This coming week, in events that get to your heart through your stomach.
Wednesday, May 25
Let them eat beans! The 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. DeForest Area Farmers' Market, commencing for the 2011 growing season. DeForest Library, 203 Library St., DeForest, 3-6 p.m. Call 846-2922 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
Whole Foods Market, 3313 University Ave., 6-7:30 p.m., $25. Call 233-9566 for more info.
Friday, May 27
Bring a Bike, Get a Brat, a campaign organized by 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. Savory Sunday, with volunteers neeed to prepare and serve a fresh, hot meal for the hungry. Lutheran Campus Center, 325 N. Mills St., 11 a.m. Call 233-6967 for more info.
Monday, May 30
CPACC Chicken Barbecue, an annual fundraiser for the , 2217 American Legion Dr., Cross Plains, 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Call 843-3166 for more info.