Eat to fight hunger

Tickets are on sale for the Taste of the Nation HOTList event June 24, in which some of the Twin Cities' top chefs raise funds to fight childhood hunger by donating some of their restaurants' trendiest foods and libations, all under one roof. That roof is the Guthrie Theater, the chefs are from Bar La Grassa, Bradstreet Craftshouse, Brasa, Cafe Maude, Dakota Jazz Club, Grand Cafe, Haute Dish, La Belle Vie, moto-i, Saffron, Salty Tart, Sea Change, Solera, Strip Club and 20.21. Tickets are $58 and available at www.tasteofthenation.org/minneapolis. All proceeds from ticket sales go to Share Our Strength.

Farm to fight obesity

Seeking to make farming "cool" again, founders of the national AmeriCorps Farm to School and school garden service program are gearing up to recruit people for a yearlong term of public service in school food systems in communities of need. Service members will build and tend school gardens, conduct nutrition education and build Farm to School supply chains, all toward helping overcome childhood obesity. To learn more about participating, visit www.food-corps.org.

Plant to eat local 

Dan "Dick" Larsen, a local maker of custom cabinets, says he's trying to start a vegetable revolution. Larsen builds and sells 4-by-2-foot cedar planters with a sub-irrigation system that waters plants from the bottom. The reservoir is replenished as needed, so planters could sit for a week untended -- nice for cabin owners. You can choose pre-sown seeds for each of the three containers, or plant your own. The Cabbage Patch Gardens are built in northeast Minneapolis and delivered to the customer's front door in the metro area and western Wisconsin. Cost is $129.99 per planter. For more info, visit www.cabbage patchgarden.com.

Buy to make Dad happy

Two similar ideas crossed our cubicle with Dad's Day in mind. AmazingClubs.com offers more than 20 "food of the month" gifts including wine, beer, hot sauce, peanut butter, lobster, cake and salsa. You can order three months' or a year's worth of treats with varying prices. For more info, visit www.amazingclubs.com.

Upping the ante, Crate to Plate lets lobster lovers lease a lobster trap, choosing from available buoys on an interactive map of Penobscot Bay, Maine. You then can manage the catch through an online "lobster bank" that ships overnight. Leases are seasonal at a cost of $1,995 for a full season, with a guaranteed minimum of 40 fresh lobsters, with other plans available. For details, visit www.cratetoplate.com.

KIM ODE