This coming week, in events that get to your heart through your stomach.
Saturday, April 21
It's kind of like opening day... for food! Start out the morning by circumnavigating the Capitol on this first outdoor Dane County Farmers' Market of the new season. Free range meats and poultry, eggs, cheeses, root veggies, pestos, pastas, baked goods and more at the Capitol Square, 6 a.m.-2 p.m. Call 455-1999 for more info.
The 2012 edition of the Southern Wisconsin Farm Fresh Atlas hits the streets today, and can be picked up at the market opener. This handy guide lists all kinds of purveyors of the good stuff, providing a source for, say, raisers of free-range ducks, but also farm visits and other day trips. Altogether, there are 97 farms, 74 farmers' markets, 41 restaurants, and 41 other businesses and non-profits listed in the publication, all included for committing to a sustainability pledge. The atlas will be distributed in print form at farmers' markets, libraries, and other locations around the region, with each listing also available online.
Only a couple of blocks off Capitol Square, the fifth annual Isthmus Green Day will feature a number of demos that underline how crucially food production and consumption is tied to the green-ness of the planet. The all-day expo offers chef demos from Umami Ramen, Local Thyme, and Bloom Bake Shop, and the keynote speaker is Mark Bittman, the New York Times cooking and food politics columnist. More environmental-themed talks, booths, and children's activities round out the day. Monona Terrace, 1 John Nolen Dr., 9 a.m.-5 p.m., free. See Facebook, and call 251-5627 for more info.
The season opener of food culminates with the inaugural contest, all looking for top honors in four categories: classic, classic plus one, classic plus extras, and classic dessert. Organized by the Iowa County Fairgrounds, Fair St., Mineral Point, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., free admission. See Facebook, and call 608-341-6797 for more info.
More events this week
Tuesday, April 17
Kitchen Chemist, a session for kids to make ice cream and learn about the science of freezing and melting. Madison Children's Museum, 100 N. Hamilton St., noon, free with $8 admission. Call 256-6445 for more info.
Why, What, and How to Compost, a workshop featuring a tour of an urban farm and hands-on construction of a composting system using wooden pallets. Voss Organics, 1622 Mayfield Ln., 4-6 p.m., free. Please register, and call 354-9280 for more info.
Whole Foods Market, 3313 University Ave., 4:30-6 p.m., $10. Call 233-9566 for more info.
Wednesday, April 18
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.
Thursday, April 19
Whole Foods Market, 3313 University Ave., 6-7:30 p.m., $25. Call 233-9566 for more info.
Six Spices with Neeta Saluja class, with the chef preparing a menu of curried Indian cheese and peas, tomato and green chili relish, and roti. Willy Street Co-op West, 6825 University Ave., 6-8 p.m., $15 owners and $25 all others. Call 284-7800 for more info.
Earth Day Herb Walk, with Kathleen Wildwood and apprentices identifying and discussing the medicinal and culinary uses of local plants through scientific research and herb lore. Wingra Creek, between South Park St. and Fish Hatchery Rd., 6:30-7:30 p.m., free. Please register, and call 663-9608 for more info.
Friday, April 20
Urban Agriculture Bike Tour, an all-day bicycle tour around Madison hosted by , and Troy Community Gardens, backyard chicken coops, rooftop gardens, and UW Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Call 262-9036 for more info.
Kids in the Kitchen: Excellent Eggs!, a class for kids ages 6-12, with instructor Lily Kilfoy covering multiple ways to cook eggs, and preparing a mini-quiche with seasonal ingredients. Willy Street Co-op East, 1221 Williamson St., 4-5:30 p.m., $10 owners and $20 all others. Call 251-6776 for more info.
Cake Making & Decorating class, with instructor Jennifer Jones demonstrating how to make and decorate a cake from scratch. Willy Street Co-op West, 6825 University Ave., 6-8 p.m., $20 owners and $30 all others. Call 284-7800 for more info.
Saturday, April 21
Sunday, April 22
Union Corners Pantry Garden Kickoff, a volunteer building session for ten raised vegetable beds, organized by the Eastside Pantry Brigade in support of the Fritz Food Pantry at the Goodman Community Center, and followed by a dedication ceremony. Union Corners, Milwaukee St. and East Washington Ave., 10 a.m. Call 332-1493 for more info.
Esculentus Graviora: A Matter of Grave Deliciousness, a tasting and benefit for the Pink Smoke Over the Vatican, a 2011 documentary by Jules Hart about "the controversial movement of women seeking to be ordained as priests in the Roman Catholic Church." Holy Wisdom Monastery, 4200 Hwy. M, Middleton, 6 p.m., $20. Purchase tickets online, and call 556-0680 for more info.
Whole Foods Market, 3313 University Ave., 2-3:30 p.m., $15. Call 233-9566 for more info.
Monday, April 23
Soup & Bread, a benefit supper in support of the Fritz Food Pantry at the Goodman Community Center, featuring a potluck menu of soups and breads prepared by local home and professional chefs. High Noon Saloon, 701A E. Washington Ave., 5-7 p.m., donations encouraged. See Facebook and call 239-1804 for more info.
Whole Foods Market, 3313 University Ave., 5:30-8:30 p.m., $45. Call 233-9566 for more info.
Pasta Making class, with instructor Jennifer Jones demonstrating how to prepare pasta from scratch. Willy Street Co-op East, 1221 Williamson St., 6-8 p.m., $15 owners and $25 all others. Call 251-6776 for more info.
Save the date
Tuesday, April 24
Beyond Parsley & Chives: Starting a Kitchen Herb Garden, a class taught by Lauri Lee of the Olbrich Gardens, 3300 Atwood Ave., 6 p.m., $32 members and $40 non-members. Please RSVP by April 17, and call 246-4550 for more info.