Many of us want to know where and how our food is grown, but we might not know that we can buy a dozen eggs or a half-pound of goat cheese from a neighbor right around the corner.
On Sept. 21, we can tour some of Lexington's farms, markets, and agritourism sites, and meet the people and animals that provide us with fresh, quality foods.
Fayette County Follow the Farm Tour, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., kicks off with breakfast at FoodChain, 501 West Sixth Street, a non-profit indoor urban farm that is raising tilapia in tanks and growing leafy greens.
"Our goal is to provide an opportunity for families to experience all the great food related endeavors that are taking place locally," said Diana Doggett, Fayette County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences.
The tour includes:
■ London Ferrill community garden/Seedleaf and Cooperative of Lexington Urban Chicken Keepers (CLUCK), 250 East Third Street.
■ 4th Street Farm, 262 East Fourth Street, has berries, fruit trees, chickens, and bees.
■ Lexington Farmers Market, Cheapside Park, offers fall produce and seasonal dishes prepared by a local chef.
■ University of Kentucky Horticulture Research Farm, 4320 Emmert Farm Lane, corner of Nicholasville Road and Man o' War Boulevard, produces certified organic vegetables.
■ Bluegrass Farmers Market, 3450 Richmond Road, offers 100 percent homegrown produce and baked goods.
■ Botanica, 6327 Old Richmond Road, is where children can pick and decorate their own pumpkins.
■ Kelley Farms, 6483 Old Richmond Road, has a giant corn maze.
■ Bleugrass Chevre goat dairy and cheese plant, 1175 Grimes Mill Road, will offer demonstrations on making goat cheese.
■ Crave Lexington, MoonDance amphitheatre at Beaumont Circle, 1152 Monarch Street, offers a food and music festival from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. There will be cooking demonstrations, a Best Home Chef competition, High-Lo-Slow dinner led by Chef John Foster, and Sunday Hangover breakfast by Chef Jeremy Ashby. (The dinner and breakfast are ticketed events.)
Trolley service is available for the downtown destinations from 9 a.m. to noon. Free parking is in the High Street lot across from Rupp Arena. Maps for the self-guided tour of 10 sites are available at FoodChain, and Fayettecountyfarmtour.com. Call the Fayette Extension Office at (859) 257-5582.
Arboretum gala fundraiser
Visiting The Arboretum is a way families can enjoy nature close to home. It doesn't cost anything to sit among the roses, go for a stroll, or play there, but The Arboretum is in need of funds to add office and meeting space and a kitchen to the Dorotha Smith Oatts Visitor Center.
You can help by attending the annual Gala in the Garden from 4 to 7 p.m. Sept. 15. Tickets are $50, and $35 for those ages 35 and younger.
The Arboretum is at 500 Alumni Drive. Call (859) 257-6955 or go to www2.ca.uky.edu/arboretum.
Bluegrass Pizza Bake-off
Pizzaovens.com, a restaurant equipment supply company in Nicholasville, will hold its fourth annual Bluegrass Pizza Bake-off at 6 p.m. Sept. 10.
With a donation, guests can sample the entries, and the funds will go to the Lexington Humane Society and the Ronald McDonald House.
The Bake-Off will take place at the Fifth-Third Pavilion in Cheapside Park.
Three Kentucky farmers were recognized as Local Food Heroes in a ceremony in August at the Kentucky State Fair.
Mike Lewis of Gaining Ground Farm in Berea, Clay Turner of Turner Valley Produce in Russellville, and Ramsi Kamar of Raising Hope Organic Farm in Louisville, received awards for being the top vote-getters during the Local Food Hero online voting contest held in July. Go to Seedcapitalky.org.
Lisa Gunther Clark of Lawrenceburg won first place in the Pillsbury Pet-Ritz pie-baking championship at the Kentucky State Fair last month in Louisville. Here's her recipe.
Bourbon chocolate pie
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons bourbon (100 proof)
11/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
11/4 cups chopped walnuts
1 Pet-Ritz frozen pie crust
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, beat eggs and stir in sugars and flour until well blended. Mix in melted butter, vanilla and bourbon. Add chocolate chips and nuts. Pour into unbaked Pet-Ritz pie crust. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes.
Sharon Thompson: (859) 231-3321. Twitter: @FlavorsofKY. Blog: Flavorsofkentucky.bloginky.com.