Field to Family Festival kicks off tonight

Field to Family Festival
Festival events start tonight and continue through the weekend. — photo by Miriam Alarcon Avila

13th annual Field to Family Festival

Various Iowa City locations — Sept. 18-21

Autumn harvest is upon us, and with it comes the 13th Annual Field to Family Festival, a weekend-long series of events that celebrates local foods and support programs like Farm to School and Local Food Finder.

Field to Family, the organization coordinating the event, aims to promote the local economy and educate the public about regional food systems through various means, including the Field to Family Festival, which begins tonight at 5 p.m. with the Culinary Walk, a walking tour of Iowa City restaurants that use local ingredients. Tickets are available at New Pioneer Co-op locations, John’s Grocery and online.

According to Dave Burt, Field to Family Board President, “[It is] much like the gallery walk, but with local food as the created object.”

Saturday is Kids Day at the Market, wherein students who have been growing food in school gardens through the Farm to School program will sell their produce at the Iowa City Farmers Market. On Sunday, Share’s chef will team up with others in the area to prepare the festival’s Harvest Dinner. The plates will be paired with cocktails made from Iowa Liquors and herbs.

“The freshness and spontaneity of the [dishes] fit perfectly with the theme of local and seasonally available,” said Burt. “So we are hoping for some serious food there.”

Also happening this Sunday is the 4th annual Culinary Ride, a bike ride that travels to local farms to taste food and brews. Participants can choose between the 25-mile paved route or the 65-mile course.