Category Archives: Food

Map the neighborhood sharing gardens – RipeNearMe

Share your veggies with your neighbor’s with this great website, RipeNearMe!ripeNearMeHomepageScreenshot

As your garden starts to get going this summer and you don’t know how you could possibly eat 20 cucumbers a day, try sharing them with your neighbors with this website. This site started in Australia and folks are just beginning to use it in the US, so right now there aren’t any dots on the map for Madison, WI. Let’s change that!

Add your spring and summer veggies to the map as they ripen, and then share or sell your local, organic food with your neighbors.

Here is a screen shot of the website listing all the locations around the US that are currently using this website:






Growing food in small spaces with Mary Eberle

Who needs an acre of land to grow food?

(Be a small space farmer!)

Brought to you by Sustainable Atwood and Madison Public Library.

Growing food in small spaces 
with Mary Eberle

~Dinner and conversation afterward~
Friday August 17, 2012 — 5:30pm – 7:00pm

Hawthorne Branch Library 2707 E Washington Ave. Madison, WI 53704
Metro lines: 3, 4, 10

What you’ll learn

You can grow food–even if you dont have a lot of room.  This talk will provide an overview on growing vegetables and herbs in containers and in square-foot gardens.  Growing sprouts in jars and mushrooms on coffee grounds will also be discussed.  In addition, this talk will also provide tips on vertical gardening, community gardening, and urban fruit foraging/gleaning.

Our presenter: Mary Eberle
Mary Eberle is a regular presenter of workshops at the energy fairs of the Midwest Renewable Energy Association and the Illinois Renewable Energy Association. Mary recently started First Step Renew, LLC, a business providing classes on sustainability topics, such as gardening, cooking, growing gourmet mushrooms, and permaculture. She has a Bachelors degree in biology, a law degree, and a Permaculture Design Certificate.  Mary is a member of Madison Area Permaculture Guild and also studies herbalism.

Mary has volunteered with local food groups in Madison since 1994.  She contributed to the first edition of “From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce.”  She also hosted a CSA drop off site for Harmony Valley Farm.

Join us for dinner and conversation afterward
Lao Laan Xang
7:30 pm
2098 Atwood Ave. Madison WI 53704 (608) 819-0140
Dinners range from $7.25-$15.99 (you buy your dinner, we’ll share conversation–and who knows? Maybe sweet sticky rice and fresh mango dessert or squash custard!)

From Lawn to Peaches in the Front Yard

 SUSTAINABLE ATWOOD presents Janet Parker.

From Lawn to Peaches in the Front Yard:  Growing fruit, vegetables, mushrooms & community, with a little work and a lot of harvest. Janet and her partner Walt used deep mulching to easily transform their Eastside lawn into a productive and beautiful garden.  With a minimum of work and a maximum of mulch, they now harvest 14 types of fruit, 2 species of mushroom, and lots of vegetables from their yard.  They also designed and built a solar pergola that generates electricity while supporting climbing beans.  At this presentation Janet will share tips on “no-work” gardening, favorite seeds, garden snacks, and a powerpoint of photos of the garden as it grew over 6 years.  Come alone or with a friend for a great Friday night outing, optional dinner and conversation at Lao Laan Xiang afterward.


“[I]t was really a great presentation…[Janet] not only brought a lot of props, handouts, and food, but [she] really packed in a lot of information in [her] 45 minute talk.  I was inspired – to buy a current bush and a peach tree as well as planting peas in my front yard to climb up and up!  I can highly recommend her presentation and breadth of knowledge.” –Anita Temple

“Two enthusiastic thumbs up from me, too!  Janet’s lifetime of experience with gardening and her love for the subject are wonderfully obvious.” –Diane Farsetta
Parker founded its farmer support and training programs and serves on the board of the Farley Center for Peace, Justice and Sustainability, and is a strong advocate for Madison Fruits and Nuts Coalition
Janet Parker’s From Lawn to Peaches

JUNE 1, 2012

5:30 pm -7:00 pm

Hawthorne Library: 2702 East Washington Avenue, Madison WI 53704

Large conference room

Bus to Hawthorne: 06, 04

Lao Laan Xiang

Join us for dinner and conversation after the presentation (you buy your dinner, we all talk growing food!)
Limited seating
2098 Atwood Avenue, Madison WI 53704


Sustainable Atwood e:  p/t: 608-886-3379 

Sustainable Atwood Green Thursday Films: FRESH

When: Thu, February 16, 6:30pm – 8:00pm

Where: Sector 67, 2100 Winnebago Street, Madison


Description: “Fresh” (film) celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet. Among several main characters, “Fresh” features urban farmer and activist, Will Allen, the recipient of MacArthurs 2008 Genius Award; sustainable farmer and entrepreneur, Joel Salatin, made famous by Michael Pollans book, “The Omnivores Dilemma;” and supermarket owner, David Ball, challenging our Wal-Mart dominated economy. Also, Climate Wisconsin short, “Sugaring.”

Sponsored by: Sustainable Atwood
These free film screenings are part of Sustainable Atwoods Green Thursdays film series. Green Tuesdays & Thursdays are brought to you at various locations in Dane County byThe Natural Step Monona, and supported by the Madison Gas & Electric Foundation, the Dane County Environmental Council, and Richard and Judy Fritz.

Madison SOUP serves up another winning project

Madison SOUP’s 2nd event was a success!

SOUP’s organizer Heather Wentler reports:
There were 25 attendees and 4 pitch presentations for the evening. Which was fantastic because before the event began we had 9 people signed up to attend and no ideas being pitched! Thank you to all the participants who pitched without preparing and were very responsive towards crowd questions and comments.

The 4 projects that were pitched were:
1. Correspondence Writing-a group of people coming together to dedicate time to the lost art of handwritten letters/documents.
2. Product Sharing-an organized community of sharing unwanted supplies that is more organized and functional than Craigslist or Freecycle
3. Apollo67-A team of Sector67 members are trying to create a Hydrogen Balloon with an attached camera to take pictures from space. The project is being created at a very low cost and with everyday items to be appealing to schools, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programs, or just about anybody around the world. Click the link to find out more about this project.
4. Project Sheet Cake-Transforms one of the CNC Milling Machine at Sector67 to attach a Fourth Axis on to be used as a 3D printing platform. Click the link to find out more about this project.

The winning Project was Project Sheet Cake! They won $180 towards buying the parts and setting up the CNC Mill. Congratulations to Scott Hasse for his winning project and we look forward to hearing an update at the January event as to how the project is coming.

Remember that all projects can pitch again at future events if they have not already won.

The next Madison SOUP event will be held on Sunday, January 15th from 6-8pm at Sector67-2100 Winnebago St.

I’m still trying to figure out what the best way is to get people to commit to attending the event so I know how much food to prepare-more food equals more money taken away from the winning project so I’d like to have a pretty close headcount prior to the start of events so I know how much to prepare. If you have any ideas as to this problem or any other suggestions on how to make future events better please send them my way and I will take them into consideration!

Keep checking the Website, Facebook, and Twitter handle: madisonsoup for updates on pitched projects, local events, and information about Madison SOUP and the Sunday Soup Network!

Hope everyone has a happy, healthy, and safe Holiday Season!

Thank you for your time,

Heather Wentler
Organizer of Madison SOUP

Hoop Houses: Winter gardening

Fitchburg Fields offers a workshop on how to make Hoop Houses. Nox Seehafer has taught it in the past. You can purchase supplies from him. You can grow plants all year long. Comes with an insulated plastic blanket over the thick greenhouse-grade plastic. Cover with the blanket on the coldest days. Plants won’t grow in the dark, but they also won’t die. Uncover and use just the plastic when weather permits. Can eat brussel sprouts, kale, spinach and other plants all year round. All will be madly growing and ready for a nice harvest by March. Cost: about $35/each for supplies for a mini hoop house that’s 5′ long, 3′ wide and 3′ high in the center of the arch.

“Good food for great kids”

Radio Hour Scheduled to Educate Community and Focus Conversation
around School Lunch
Retiring Food Service Director opens up Opportunity for Families to Act

February, 2011 (Madison, WI).  The excitement is building throughout parents in the Madison Metropolitan School District that there might be hope for the health of students who eat school lunch.  With MMSD Food Service Director Frank Kelly set to retire this summer, momentum is building to educate the community about the unhealthy state of the school lunch system.

Madison Families for Better Nutrition is moving forward with several community educational opportunities.  They have written and published a Healthy School Food Resolution (found at  This resolution was passed by three Parent Teacher Associations, including Lowell Elementary, Gompers Elementary, and OKeefe Middle School.

Their next effort will be to host a Radio Show on WORT (89.9) on February 21, 2011, at 7pm.  During the first part of the show, Dr. Nancy Gutknecht  will speak about what the bad food does to our kids.  The second part of the show will be live interviews with kids who attend Frank Allis Elementary who formed a group “Boycott School Lunch” in 2009 when they were in the 4th grade (  The  third part of the show will feature Diane Chapeta, the Nutrition Manager for Chilton Public Schools, who has drastically changed their school lunch system to include local whole and nutritious foods.

Community members are encouraged to call in during the program to talk about their experiences with their children and school lunch, as well as ask questions of the three experts.  Locally, call 256-2001;  Toll Free, call 866-899-WORT (9678).

The group, whose motto is “Good Food for Great Kids” successfully acted to have the Slushie Machine removed from  OKeefe  Middle School (Isthmus,

The group had decided to focus this year on getting Sugared Drinks out of the schools, but now is expanding their focus to help get the right person into the Food Service Directors position.  Because 1 in 4 of todays children are considered obese, and given that 40% of MMSD students through Free and Reduced Meal Service (FARMS) eat the innutritious food every day as their main calorie source, the group is hoping the MMSD Board of Directors will see the urgency of this hire.  “This one decision will affect the health of the communitys children for the next 30 years,” says Martha Pings, active member in the group.  “If there is a time to get excited and a time to get passionate and active, this is it!”