July 20, 2010

Celebrating the 'Bounty of Racine County' on Monument Square

Local health food advocates gathered on Monument Square on Tuesday for "Celebrate the Bounty of Racine County," the second annual event aimed at showing people local, organic and nutritionally rich dining options.

At least 200 people packed the Square, including many children, to learn about the benefits of greens, to mix a healthy snack mix, and to visit with local farmers who produce everything from garlic and carrots to brats and goat meat.

Photos from a great event ...

Abby Carr, known to some as the "Leafy Green Queen," shared tasty recipes for cooking different varieties of green. Carr picked up her love for greens living down South, and hopes Racinians will pick up a taste for the nutritional vegetable. "I'm trying to encourage Midwesterners to expand beyond spinach, lettuce and occassionally arugula," she said. "... Greens are all vitamins, and not a single carb."

 This sign in the middle of the event said it all. 

Parents must have been happy to see kids take an interest in carrots, apples and other healthy snacks.

Robert Stardy, of B.S.W. Farm in Union Grove, sold fresh eggs, beef, goat cheese and goat meat. Stardy's animals are cage-free and grass fed, and all eggs are handwashed. He's been farming in Union Grove since 1959. 

Tony Hammer grows a huge garden at his home Caledonia home. He's spent 40 years working on growing the perfect garlic, and thinks he's just about got it.

Scott Warner, of Bernhart Farms in Lake Geneva, sold hormone-free eggs and meats, including brats, steaks, hot dogs and hamburgers. 

Ben Lehner, owner of Circa Celeste in Racine, talks with a young customer at his stand. Lehner uses all natural ingredients in his cafe's baked goods. 

Great displays greeted large crowds.

Katie Lafond performed on the Square.

Kayla McClure, right, and Veronica Gagliano, left, sold produce at the Lemke Family Farm stand. McClure's grandparents own the farm, which sells at the Elmwood Plaza Farmer's Market on Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to noon and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon, and at the West Racine Farmer's Market on Wednesdays from 1-5 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m.-noon.

 Milaeger's had a nice display. 

Monument Square is a great location for this type of event. Organizer Heidi Fannin said she hopes to see a Farmer's Market on the Square some day. Maybe they should think about Tuesday nights.

 Nancy Carlson demonstrates verma-composting, which uses red worms to breakdown food materials. Carlson keeps four bins at home to turn egg shells, cantaloupe and other foods into "black gold" that is ideal for gardens.  

The worms 

Lots of people ... 

This little girl is planting sunflower seeds with her dad. 

The Junior League of Racine was giving out free trail mix. People got to choose a dried fruit, grain, seed and nut for their mix. The booth showed how easy it is to make a healthy snack without heavy amounts of sugar. 

A few snack ingredients 

Great turnout for a great event