Healthy local food is about to get easier to find and use for North Lexington: FoodChain is about to open its kitchen, which will allow the non-profit to teach kitchen skills in after-school classes, demonstrate techniques for neighbors, and preserve fresh locally grown foods donated through Glean KY and by farms.
On Saturday, FoodChain’s executive director Becca Self will give a tour of the kitchen, which is expected to open in late October. The tour is part of the annual West Sixth Oktoberfest festivities, which will be going on from 1 to 11 p.m. in Coolavin Park across the street.
Oktoberfest also will raise money to help stock the kitchen. Self said that production will start soon, with apples gleaned from a local orchard, and will give the organization a chance to test out a variety of techniques for preservation.
The kitchen will be able to flash-freeze fresh food as well as dry it. Local groups will be able to preserve gleaned produce in cold storage for later use. The kitchen also will have a small area for retailing goods, packaged with recipes for use.
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Eventually, the kitchen also will add a store to sell goods to the neighborhood, she said.
The kitchen, which was built for under $400,000, was financed with a two-year $450,000 grant as well as $22,000 raised from a crowd-sourcing campaign.
FoodChain already has been teaching cooking classes at area schools that stress knife skills and home-cooking techniques. The next phase will involve training workers to use commercial equipment to process the produce, which will either be donated or purchased at a discount as “seconds” from local farms.
Much of the processed food will go back out through GleanKY’s network to feeding kitchens and food pantries, she said.
If you go
West Sixth’s Oktoberfest is from 1 to 11 p.m. Sept. 30 at Coolavin Park on West Sixth Street and at West Sixth Brewing. The free event will have live music, kids’ activities and a tour of the FoodChain kitchen at 4 p.m.
Beer and food on sale, as well as litre steins; 6 percent of all proceeds will go to FoodChain.