Category Archives: Fellow Foodies

The Feast Nearby


I came across The Feast Nearby in Taste for Life, the free magazine I pick up when I shop at Nature’s Market. Each issue has suggested reading–“Food for Thought”–and I figured this book by food journalist and locavore Robin Mather was right up my alley.

The book is about how, within a week, Robin found herself on the threshold of a divorce and laid off from her job at the Chicago Tribune. Forced into a radical life change, she returned to her native rural Michigan where she learned to live on a limited budget while remaining true to her culinary principles of eating well and as locally as possible.

What I didn’t realize when I ordered the book from the library is that “rural Michigan” meant West Michigan. Robin lived only one county away from Bill and me when she wrote The Feast Nearby. I was so excited to read about her exploration for local food sources and her discovery of some of the same ones I use, such as Geukes Market (for meat processing) and Dancing Goat Creamery. (I still need to make a trip to the Kalamazoo Farmers Market, her local market, but it’s a bit of a drive for me.) And, her seasons–as well as her produce options–aligned with mine since she lived nearby.

But even if you don’t live in the Midwest, this book is a great read for locavores, or anyone who is learning to live on a limited budget while eating healthy and procuring local resources. The Feast Nearby chronicles Robin’s preparation of local food through all four seasons of one year, all on forty dollars a week. It’s loaded with recipes that accompany the seasons and tips for storing food long-term, as well as stories about her relationships with her neighbors, local farmers, and other people from whom she procures/barters for food. (As an animal lover, I also appreciated the stories about her three pets that kept her company in her little cabin by the lake.)

When I finished the book, I was hoping I could interview her for my blog but it turns out she moved to Kansas after accepting a position at Mother Earth News. I guess I’ll have to wait until I make that road trip to Kansas to meet her in person. Meanwhile, please join me in following her blog at TheFeastNearby.com.

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Perennial Plate: Episode 56


The Perennial Plate Episode 56: Mississippi Hand Grabbin’ from Daniel Klein on Vimeo.

Daniel Klein continues his Real Food Road Trip with a stop in Mississippi for a bounty of southern hospitality and catfish.

Perennial Plate: Episode 55


The Perennial Plate Episode 55: Mushroom Music from Daniel Klein on Vimeo.

From Daniel Klein’s Real Food Road Trip: Pounds of shiitake mushrooms in the Ozarks!

Perennial Plate: Episode 54


The Perennial Plate Episode 54: To Catch a Frog from Daniel Klein on Vimeo.

(I’m still catching up!) Week 3 of Daniel Klein’s Real Food Road Trip: Catching, killing and eating frogs in Arkansas.

Perennial Plate: Episode 53


The Perennial Plate Episode 53: Lucky Cows from Daniel Klein on Vimeo.

So I’m a little behind….this is Episode 53 from the Perennial Plate, the online weekly documentary series. David Klein and camera girl Mirra Fine recently started out on their Real Food Road Trip across America. Stay tuned for weekly videos!

Real Food Road Trip Has Begun


Graphic via ThePerennialPlate.com

Remember back in March I blogged about the Real Food Road Trip that David Klein had planned for this summer? Well, they’re off!

The Perennial Plate is an online weekly documentary series dedicated to socially responsible and adventurous eating.  The episodes follow the culinary, agricultural and hunting explorations of chef and activist, Daniel Klein.

Daniel Klein (photo by Stephanie Colgan)

Season One took place over a calendar year in Minnesota where every Monday for 52 weeks, Klein and cameragirl Mirra Fine released short films about good food. In Season Two, Klein will be traveling across America, taking the viewer on a journey to appreciate and understand where good food comes from and how to enjoy it.  It all began this week!

Watch for them coming to your part of the country this spring, summer, or fall!

Here’s how you can get involved.

A Real Food Road Trip Begins in May



If you know a farmer, gardener, hunter, chef, or other locavore with a story to tell,  check out the Perennial Plate, an online weekly documentary series dedicated to socially responsible and adventurous eating.  The episodes follow the culinary, agricultural, and hunting explorations of chef and activist, Daniel Klein.  Season One took place over a calendar year in Minnesota where every Monday for 52 weeks, Klein and cameragirl Mirra Fine released short films about good food.

In Season Two, Klein will be traveling across America, taking the viewer on a journey to appreciate and understand where good food comes from and how to enjoy it.

It all begins May 9, so if you have a story to share, here’s how to get involved:

  1. Donate money for the project.
  2. Suggest a story.
  3. Host an event.
  4. Offer Daniel and Mirra a place to sleep and/or eat.
  5. Get your company to sponsor them.

Then, watch where they’re going starting in May and through November. They might come to your neck of the woods!