Chow Town

Check out these ideas to get you started with the upcoming Urban Grown Tour

With the Urban Grown Tour coming up the last weekend in June, it’s time to start thinking about how you want to experience the farms and gardens.

The beauty of a self-guided tour is that you get to craft your own adventure. The potentially intimidating downside — especially if you’re a tour newbie — is that you have to figure out how to do that.

Fear not. While exploring your urban food community during the Urban Grown Tour, you can take whatever time and path you choose.

If you’re new to the tour or looking for some new perspectives on how to experience it, here are some suggested options and navigational tips to get you started:

▪  First, think about how much time you have to spend exploring the 30 farms and gardens on the tour. You can have an amazing experience in the one to two hours you can squeeze into your weekend, or the full days spent soaking it all in.

Budget about 30 minutes on average for each site. You could be as quick as 15 minutes or as long as two hours engaging in conversation, listening to music and participating in workshops. Now take your total available time and figure out about how many stops you think you can make.

▪  Stick to a neighborhood. Explore the diversity of growing taking place in one community — be more efficient with your time and see more sites with less driving. Suggested clusters include downtown Kansas City, Kan., (sites such asNo. 4-8) or northeast Kansas City (No. 10-14).

▪  Visit the farmers you shop from at market or enjoy on the menu at your favorite farm-to-table restaurants: Nos. 1, 2, 5, 8, 21, 25, 26, 28, 29 and 30.

▪  Interested in engaging youth with gardening? Check out the school gardens and community projects that focus on growing with youth: Nos. 3, 7, 15, 17, 18, 22, 23 and 24.

▪  How can gardens feed those in need of fresh food? These garden projects focus on giving back to their community: Nos. 4, 9, 13 and 16.

▪  Want to integrate food into your landscaping at home? These sites can give you some inspiration and knowledge: Nos. 3, 10, 12, 13, 19 and 27.

▪  Food brings people together — see this in action on the tour with these community-oriented farms and gardens: Nos. 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 13, 14, 17, 18 and 20.

▪  Are you a workshop and live-event junkie? Check out the full weekend schedule and plan your visits around when you can watch others in action.

▪  Ready to ditch your car for your bike? Join a group bike ride on Saturday or Sunday.

The most important part of your Urban Grown Tour is the experience you create exploring Kansas City’s food landscape. Pick an option above that sounds the best to you and go for it. For more information, check out the Cultivate Kansas City website tour guidebook or Facebook page for updates. Recruit your family and friends, and get out there June 27-28 to celebrate good, urban grown food in Kansas City.

Tickets cost $8 for individuals and $20 for families if purchased in advance or $12 for individuals and $25 for families if purchased on the tour weekend. Group tickets cost $5 for each person for groups of 10 or more. For more information about tickets, pressclick here.

Amanda Perry is an Urban Grown Tour volunteer.