Cooking classes, workshops, demonstrations and farm-to-table fare are among the highlights
Seven Days of Local Delights is a once-a-year tribute to the local farmers and growers in our region.
The event, sponsored by the Red Hills Small Farm Alliance, presents a mix of programs that share the resources in our community, including cooking classes, gardening, workshops, tours, lunch at one of our top restaurants, making your own grazing board and sampling locally made cheese.
In addition, there will be “restaurant specials at a variety of local establishments,” said Sarah Keith, chairman of the 2024 Seven Days of Local Delights, which started more than a decade ago. “I’m hoping that this event series highlights all the wonderful people doing the important – and delicious – work of growing and serving local food in our community.”
The event also spotlights the restaurants who support local farmers and use their products.
Kool Beanz Cafe’s owner, chef Keith Baxter, with the restaurant’s pastry chef, Sylvia Gould. Photo / Tallahassee Table
“It’s always been a two-fold thing for me,” said chef Keith Baxter, owner of Kool Beanz Cafe. “Firstly, the quality of the products they grow and raise is vastly superior to anything I can usually get.
“Secondly, as a small business myself, being able to support local farmers by naming the source on our menus is something I think my customers enjoy,” Keith said. “It’s been great to see the growth of the Red Hills Small Farm Alliance, allowing local growers to now be able to get their food to market.”
Keith will be hosting a fund-raising luncheon for the Alliance on Saturday, the last event of Seven Days of Local Delights, which begins Feb. 3.
Educating the public “about the value of local food” is key in the Red Hills Small Farm Alliance’s three-part mission, said Louise Devine, owner of Turkey Hill Farm. “So this is a fun way to let people in the community know we have a vibrant and vital local farm community.”
Katie Harris, co-owner of Full Earth Farm, left, and Louise Divine, co-owner of Turkey Hill Farm, are two of the original founders of the Red Hills Small Farm Alliance. Photo provided
Louise is one of four Tallahassee women in agriculture, along with Katie Harris, Mary Russ and Malini Ram, to establish the Alliance, a 501c nonprofit organization, in 2010 to help small farms in our region.
Along with improving professional farmer development and consumer education, the Allliance aims to help provide economic stability for small farm enterprises and expand food access to all citizens in the area.
Since its inception, the Alliance has grown from a seed of an idea to a full-fledged community effort. The organization now works with more than 90 farmers within a 100-mile radius and draws about 1,000 customers.
The Alliance also created the Red Hills Online Market, which connects the public with the people who grow food in the region without physically going to a farmers’ market.
Seven Days of Local Delights helps to showcase these efforts.
Chef Jessica Bright McMullen will be demonstrating the use of local products in a four-course cooking demonstration. Photo provided
“I love this event,” said chef Jessica Bright McMullen, owner of the culinary school, KitchenAble. “I find that our locally grown food is exceptional. We’re so fortunate to have such fresh produce, meat and seafood.
“And I love that the Red Hills Small Farm Alliance has organized and connected a lot of the agricultural community and made it easier for consumers to find fresh local products,” said Jessica, who is presenting a cooking class using ingredients from local farms during Seven Days of Local Delights.
“The secret to really good cooking is finding really fresh, good ingredients and not screwing them up,” she said.
Here’s a schedule of events:
Saturday, Feb. 3 from 8-11 a.m.
Tallahassee Farmers Market Tour with The Prepared Table
Robin O’Donnell and Amy Holland, of The Prepared Table, are offering a tour of the Tallahassee Farmers Market, with a chance to meet local farmers. Included in the cost is a market tote and breakfast at Ology. Cost: $45.: Details will be provided with registration at https://tptkitchenshop.mybigcommerce.com/tpt-goes-to-market-2-3/
Sunday, Feb. 4 at 4 p.m.
Grazing Board Workshop with Hummingbird Wine Bar
Learn how to craft your own grazing board with local cheeses, breads and produce, hosted by Hummingbird Wine Bar. Cost: $50 Location: Hummingbird Wine Bar, 1216-4 N Monroe St. To reserve a spot, contact [email protected] or call or text 850-296-2766.
Monday, Feb. 5 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cooking Cane Syrup with Turkey Hill Farm
Farmer Herman Holley will transform grass stalks to pancake syrup in about five hours. Juicing will begin at 10 a.m., cooking begins about noon, and syrup goes in the bottle about 3 p.m. Times are approximate and it must be a sunny day. Cost: free. Location: Turkey Hill Farm, 3546 Baum Rd. Email [email protected] with any questions.
Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 6 p.m.
Chef’s Table Cooking Class – Cooking with a Local Harvest with KitchenAble
Chef Jessica McMullen, owner of the KitchenAble Cooking School, will present a four-course meal featuring fresh seafood, wild game, and seasonal produce. Cost: $75. Register at http://tinyurl.com/yckca7w8 or visit https://www.kitchenable.net/
Wednesday, Feb. 7 at Noon
Tomato Growing Workshop with Native Nurseries
Native Nurseries co-owner Joe Walthall will teach participants how to grow delectable tomatoes in their garden. Cost: $5. Call 850-386-8882 to preregister. Location: Native Nurseries, 1661 Centerville Rd. Parking: Use the driveway next door to the nursery with the “Workshop Parking” sign.
Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 6 p.m.
Wine & Cheese Pairing with Sweet Grass Dairy at Poco Vino Wine Bar and Market
Jessica Little, co-owner of Sweet Grass Dairy, will share the story of how her business grew from a local creamery to an award-winning, global brand. Participants can try the dairy’s signature cheeses and learn how to pick the perfect wine pairings. Cost: $40. Location: Poco Vino, 225 S Adams St.; 850-320-4552.
Thursday, February 8 from 6-7:30 p.m.
Raised Bed Gardening with UF/IFAS
UF/IFAS Leon County Extension agents Molly Jameson and Mark Tancig will conduct a session on raised bed gardening 101. Cost: free. Location: Dr. B.L. Perry, Jr. Branch Library (2817 S. Adams St.)
Friday, February 9 at 10 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.
Legacy Greens Farm Tours
Take a tour of Legacy Greens and discover the world of microgreens and hydroponics. The purchase of a ticket will include a tour of their operation, a hydroponics discussion, one microgreens grow kit and a small box of greens. Cost: $20. Location: Legacy Greens, 1872 Mill St Unit D8. Register at http://tinyurl.com/36vmkxz6.
Saturday, Feb. 10 at 11:30 a.m.
Farm to Table Lunch at Kool Beanz
Enjoy a Chef’s Lunch with Kool Beanz’s Keith Baxter. The menu will feature local meats, fresh produce and other ingredients from local farmers and producers. This lunch is a fundraiser for the Red Hills Small Farm Alliance. Cost: $100 per seat. Visit http://tinyurl.com/2p97u3sv for tickets.
For more information, visit https://www.redhillsfarmalliance.com/seven-days. Also find out more about our farmers’ markets at https://www.tallahasseetable.com/tallahassees-farmers-markets/