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March Brings Chances to Celebrate Good Local Food

Dazzling and drool-worthy are two words that come to mind as I survey the food and information prospects at the forthcoming Good Food Festival & Conference on March 24-26 at UIC Forum in Chicago.

The event that began eleven years ago as the Local Organic Trade Show has grown into a three-day forum of workshops, exhibits, demonstrations, and a tour for consumers, producers, buyers, chefs, experts, and investors to shop, learn, and network around good local food.

Basket Display at Good Food Festival
Basket Display at Good Food Festival

People in the local food industry and anyone interested in food issues have a stake in the first two days of the event, which kicks off with the Good Food Finance & Innovation Conference on Thursday, March 25, followed by Industry, School Food and Policy day on Friday, March 26.

The festival on Saturday, March 26, is a family-friendly, consumer-oriented day, featuring cooking demonstrations from such top local chefs as Rick Bayless and Paul Kahan; more than 150 exhibitors at the Good Food Marketplace selling their local, sustainably produced foodstuffs; a Purple Asparagus Kids’ Corner; do-it-yourself workshops (cure your own ham or brew your own kombucha); and a local documentary film made in central Illinois, A Farmer’s Road.

Of course, there are lots of speakers and panels all three days of the conference, which is presented by FamilyFarmed.

Faith in Place will be there, exhibiting, taking notes, and meeting old friends and making new ones.

To make it easier for you to join us and learn about and take part in the local food movement, you can register for the Saturday festival and get discounted tickets for only $5 for adults. (Kids under 12 are free.) Buy tickets online at and use the promo code: FaithInPlaceGFFC2016.

Do hurry; March 14 is the last day to take advantage of the discount.

Fraternité Notre Dame sells baked goods at Faith in Place Winter Farmers Markets
Fraternité Notre Dame sells baked goods.

If you’re busy that weekend, here’s plan B. We’ve got one more Winter Farmers Market coming up before the season ends: Our last Winter Farmers Market is Saturday, March 19, at Euclid Avenue United Methodist Church in Oak Park.

There are many opportunities in March to fill up your pantry with local food, meet farmers and other local food producers, and have a festive and informative time any weekend this month.

This week’s blog post was written by Marcia Z. Nelson, who is studying for her Masters of Divinity degree from the Earlham School of Religion and assists with our Winter Farmers Market program as an opportunity to learn public ministry as a Quaker and to serve God, the Earth, and the community.

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