2014: A Year of Food in Kalamazoo
By Amelia Katanski, Department of English, Kalamazoo College
The People’s Food Co-op of Kalamazoo and Kalamazoo College’s “Cultivating Community” First Year Seminar have partnered to produce “2014: A Year of Food in Kalamazoo,” a calendar that shares information and tells stories about individuals and businesses that constitute the Kalamazoo Foodshed. The sixteen incoming college students —all of them new to Kalamazoo—put down roots in the Kalamazoo community by talking with people who grow, harvest, process, bake, distribute, and compost food in the Kalamazoo area.
Calendar sales will support the work of Hether Frayer, Kalamazoo’s Fresh Food Fairy.
Working closely with Chris Dilley, general manager, and Rosie Florian, produce manager, at People’s Food Coop, they identified twelve individuals or organizations affiliated with the co-op for inclusion in the calendar. The students set up and conducted interviews, wrote profiles, took photos, and gathered recipes to build each month of the calendar. Through this process, and with mentoring from their teaching assistant, Kalamazoo College senior Charlotte Steele, the class learned more about the connections among elements of the Kalamazoo Foodshed, recognizing a network of relationships that constitutes a thriving local food system. At the same time, this project has allowed the co-op to highlight its role in building connections among the many individuals and groups included in the calendar, one way that it achieves its goal “to create access to food that is healthy for people, the land, and the economy.”
Calendars will be sold at the People’s Food Co-op for $12 each. Proceeds from this project will go to support the work of Hether Frayer, the Fresh Food Fairy, a Kalamazoo-based educator who goes into the schools to re-frame young people’s relationship to healthy food, emphasizing that “fresh food is fun” as well as beautiful and nutritious.