Harvest Hootenanny fundraiser to raise awareness of locally-grown foods

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 | 1:31 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture aims to reduce the distance between sources of food and dinner plates with its fourth annual Harvest Hootenanny fundraiser this Saturday.

The Columbia-based nonprofit will host the fundraiser from 3 to 8 p.m. at its urban farm on 1209 Smith St.

The event will include live music, square dancing, auctions and a raffle. A meal consisting only of ingredients grown in Missouri — including chicken, hamburgers, pork brats, tempeh, roasted vegetables, green salad and apple cobbler — will be offered. Vegan, vegetarian and meat options will be available.

There will be enough food for about 1,500 people, said Erin King, an AmeriCorps member who oversees public relations and advocacy for the center.

"Everyone should have a good, local meal," King said.

Volunteers have been busy preparing for the event, King said. She anticipates getting assistance from more than 120 people, some of whom will help prepare 80 chickens starting Thursday.

The center will ask for voluntary donations to cover event costs and to contribute to its operating costs. Free car and bicycle parking will be available nearby.

Event attendance has expanded 30 percent each year over the past three years, King said.

"We're always finding people in the city who love what we do and are really interested in growing food or sustainable agriculture, or just knowing where their food comes from," King said.

Supervising editor is Richard Webner.

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