Support local eco-friendly agriculture at Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network’s 4th Annual “Graze” on September 9

Participants at the last year’s Graze fundraiser. Photo by Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network

Visiting a farmer’s market today? Care about locally grown wholesome food? If your answer is a resounding YES, consider attending Graze, the fundraiser that supports our state’s leading advocate for farmers and eco-friendly produced food – the Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network.

On Sunday, September 9, 5-8pm at Avondale Brewery, the Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network (ASAN) will be holding their 4th annual farm-to-fork picnic Graze: Birmingham presented by EBSCO. Attendees will feast on a wide variety of one-of-a-kind dishes, each produced by a different local farmer + local chef pair.

The Market at Pepper Place. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

More about Graze

“Graze: showcases the amazing food alchemy that can come from collaborations between farmers and chefs who are equally committed to quality, craft, and to growing a rich, locally rooted food system,” says ASAN Executive Director Alice Evans, “We want to provide a platform where these collaborations can give way to thriving, resilient communities, economic development, and amazing food!”

Supporting ASAN

Birmingham Alabama
Support your local farmer.Pepper Place in the Lakeview District. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Graze ticket sales supports the work of the Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network, which is a grassroots network of producers and supporters of locally, ecologically, and ethically raised food from throughout Alabama. Through training events, field days, scholarship programs, publications, and a community support network, ASAN helps existing farmers and markets to thrive, while also helping new ones to sprout, take root, and grow.

Adds Evans, “ASAN’s mission is to deepen relationships between the people of Alabama, the food we eat, and the place we live. We want Graze: Birmingham to bring together farmers and chefs to create extraordinary food for a diverse community of eaters for a single night. But we also want it to plant seeds for stronger community bonds, and the types of collaborations and interrelationships that form the foundation to make Alabama a healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous place to live.”

How the event works

Photo courtesy of Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network

The chef/farmer pairs serve their dishes beneath farmers-market-style tents in the backyard of Avondale Brewery. Attendees then “graze” from one tent to the next, sampling as many as 15 unique creations, which according to ASAN  might include candied beet salad, shrimp ceviche served with guacamole and tortilla chips, squash and onions, potato medley salad, hushpuppies with southwest seasoning, jalapenos, onions, fresh squash, lady pea salad with lemon herb vinaigrette and more.

Graze is vegetarian-friendly, and several dishes will also be vegan. Checkout the entire menu – HERE.

There will also be a “pick your prize” raffle table featuring a spread of items donated by local farms and other businesses Picnic blankets are provided (some choose to bring their own) where guests can relax while enjoying live music by Will and Liz Doonan of Heron Hollow Farm, and ASAN member Meg Ford and her father Doug Out! Lastly, wrapping up the evening with some spoken word, the multi-talented Chef Thyme Randle of the Underground Cooking Academy.

How to purchase tickets

Tickets to Graze: Birmingham are sold on a sliding scale. This allows Graze to be accessible to a crowd that is more diverse and more representative of our entire community. Adult tickets are $25-75, and kids’ (under 13) are $5-15. Adult tickets include one drink ticket; both alcoholic and nonalcoholic options will be available. Ticket-buyers are encouraged to truly consider their resources and to give as generously as they can.

Tickets are on sale now at http://asanonline.org/graze. Event organizers are expecting a crowd of about 400. Any tickets still available on Sunday will be sold at the door.

Author: Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.