Tour how our gardens grow

The Twin Cities metro area has more than 400 community gardens and urban agriculture projects, helping provide food to their gardens, but also in many cases helping to rejuvenate neighborhoods. On Sept. 19, you can visit 37 of these gardens (plus five in the Mankato area) in a tour that includes visiting a pit greenhouse, a hydroponic salad table, beehive, community orchard, and more. Some destinations will offer foods, while others will provide entertainment, including the Picnic Operetta, the Mixed Blood Theater club and Teen Voice. Some will have info on American Indian food and agriculture, pollinator-friendly plants and seed-saving. Devise your own tour by visiting, with an interactive map that includes garden celebration times, addresses and complete descriptions of activities. Community Garden Day is sponsored by Sustane Natural Fertilizer and Linden Hills Natural Food Co-op.

L&B cooking school to close

Last week, word went out to chefs, cookbook authors and cooking teachers that the cooking school at the Lunds & Byerlys store in St. Louis Park will close at the end of September. It opened in 1980 as the Byerly's School for Culinary Arts. Any classes that were scheduled for October, November, December and January will not take place. The store's deli area will be remodeled, with the cooking school area needed to provide additional seating space.

The pressure cooker, on film

Fans of food documentaries may want to watch for the release of "The Contender," expected this month from Havenbrook Media. The film takes place in the winter of 2012, where Certified Master Chef Rich Rosendale and Corey Siegel earn the opportunity to represent the United States in the prestigious cooking competition known as the Bocuse d'Or. Gavin Kaysen, executive chef at Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis, also appears in the film, as head coach for the U.S. team. Held every two years in Lyon, France, the Bocuse d'Or represents the pinnacle of competition cooking. The U.S. team embarks on an intense one-year training regimen that includes the construction of a secret test kitchen inside a decommissioned Cold War bunker. Can't make that up!