by Julia Thiel
Varieties available at the Slow Food Chicago Heirloom Tomato Plant Sale include Little Marvel, Mortgage Lifter, Thai Pink Egg, and True Black Brandywine. Buy a plant and get invited to the second annual Tomato Festival in September. 4-8 PM, Uncommon Ground, 1401 W. Devon, 773-465-9801.
Today and tomorrow, the Good Eating stage at the Printers Row Lit Fest features cooking demos and talks from the likes of former Top Chef contestant Radhika Desai, mixologist Bridget Albert, chef Gale Gand (Brunch), and trib reporter Mark Caro (The Foie Gras Wars). Schedule here (PDF). Sat-Sun 10 AM-6 PM, Dearborn between Congress and Polk, free.
The Chicago Botanic Garden Wine Festival features 250 wines from more than 40 wineries, plus cooking demos, seminars by wine experts, food, and live music. Admission includes 10 tasting tickets and a souvenir wine glass. Sat 6/6, noon-7 PM, Sun 6/7, noon-6 PM, Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe, 847-835-5440, $30, $25 in advance, $10 designated drivers, free under 21.
Two Brothers Brewing hosts For the Love of Hops, a festival celebrating the 2009 release of its Hop Juice Double IPA, offered on tap and in bottles to go. Several beers not generally available in Chicago will also be on tap, including Surly Darkness, Dogfish Head Palo Santo, Stone 07.07.07 Vertical Epic Ale, Allagash Fedelta, and Ska Barrel Aged Strong Scotch Ale. There’ll be live music and food all day. Noon-11 PM, Two Brothers Brewing Company, 30W315 Calumet, Warrenville, 630-393-4800, free.
Blue Sky Inn’s annual fund-raiser, Picnics & Pies, features an auction of picnic lunches created by chefs including Rick Bayless, Charlie Trotter, Randy Zweiban, and Ina Pinkney. There’s also a pie contest (register by e-mailing sarah@blueskyinn), a wine tasting, a cake walk, and a cash bar. Noon-5 PM, Lush, 1257 S. Halsted, 773-710-7346, blueskyinn.org/blog, $12, $10 in advance, kids under 12 free.
Michael Thompson, farm manager at the Chicago Honey Co-op, and UIC biology lecturer Alan Molumby discuss rooftop and backyard beekeeping as well as current research on the city’s native pollinators and populations of solitary bees at the lecture "Rooftop Beekeeping in Chicago: The Confluence of Culture and Nature." Part of the class will be in Millennium Park’s Lurie Garden. 3-5 PM, Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, 312-744-6630, $37.
Chef Leah Caplan, founder of Death's Door Spirits, holds a class on how to make summer hors d'oeuvres; attendees can taste the creations paired with Death's Door vodka and gin cocktails. Taste Food & Wine, 1506 W. Jarvis, 773-761-3663, $25.
In Fine Spirits hosts its monthly "Monday Mix" event with Rich Phillips of Integrity Spirits, a craft distillery in Portland, Oregon. On the tasting menu: 12 Bridges gin, Lovejoy vodka and hazelnut vodka, and Trillium absinthe. Chef Marianne Sundquist will pair appetizers with the cocktails. 8-10 PM, 5420 N. Clark, 773-334-9463, $15.