Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fermenting Class

Slow Food Cincinnati and Turner Farm are offering a fermenting class with Jennifer and Jordan from Fab Ferments. This is a beginners hands-on workshop teaching the basic fundamentals you will need to make your own raw cultured veggies! Everyone will go home with three quart jars of fermented food. Jars will be provided, but please bring a harvest basket, cutting board, knives and a pounding instrument. Space is limited so reserve your spot now: The cost is $30.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Search Engine for Local Food

Locavore365 is like a combined Freecycle & Craigslist for produce, with one vast improvement: it's searchable by location.

If you've got a couple of cows you want to sell in halves or quarters, you can post them for people nearby to buy.  If your apple tree is heavy with fruit and you'd rather give the apples away than let them go to waste, you can post them.  And if you input your zip code and a distance you're willing to travel, you can see all the produce that's up for sale, swap, or giveaway within that distance, along with any events.  I would have loved to use this last week when I had green garlic coming out of my ears and none of my neighbors wanted any! 

Of course it only works if people list things so that other people can find them.  The service started in Christchurch, New Zealand, and it's taken off there.  Here in Cincinnati it's just starting out.  So go list something!  I'm going to go list the chives that are taking over my garden.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

La Vigna Wine Release Memorial Day Weekend

La Vigna Estate Winery will be open Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 29 from 11 to 6 and Monday, May 31  from 12 to 6 for the release of their 2009 Proprietary White Wine and 2008 Proprietary Red Wine.  A library tasting of the 2007 Proprietary Red Wine and 2008 Proprietary White Wine will be available.  Music May 29 by Jazz trombonist Sarah Morrow.   937-375-1104 for more information.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council Accepting Applications

The Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council is now accepting applications for seats on the board.  This is a great way for anyone interested in issues surrounding food in our area to get involved. 

Read and download the application, an application overview, and a brochure.  Applications due by May 30th, 2010. 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

2010 CORV Guide Available May 13th

The 2010 Central Ohio River Valley (CORV) Local Food Guide will be unveiled 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 13 at Park + Vine, 1109 Vine Street. A donation of $1 per guide will help CORV cover all its costs for the printing of the guide.

Two New Farmers' Markets to Serve the Northeast Side

Montgomery Farmers' Market will operate Saturdays 9a - 12:30p June 5th - October 30th at Shelly Lane between Remington and Cooper in downtown Montgomery's historic district.  Updates on Twitter and Facebook

Madeira Farmers' Market will operate Thursdays 3:30 - 7:30p June - October on Dawson Road in downtown Madeira.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Granny's Garden School Cooking Classes

Granny's Garden School, located on the grounds of Loveland Primary & Elementary (550 Loveland-Madeira Rd, 45140), is offering a series of seasonal cooking classes by French home cooks Brigitte Cordier and Martine Eneselme using vegetables grown onsite.  The hands-on classes will give participants an opportunity to identify, harvest, prepare and learn the many ways to enjoy local vegetables and herbs.

May 26th:  9:00 am -12:00 pm

June 24th:  9:00 am -12:00 pm

July 13th:  Breakfast in the garden 6:30-9:00 am

September 2nd: 9:00 am -12:00 pm

September 29th: 9:00 am -12:00 pm

$40 per person; $70 for two registering for same class.  Adults and children 14 and older.  (Call for information about children's cooking classes.)   For more information or to register call Brigitte at (513) 235-2644 or Martine at (513) 240 -8994 or email Brigitte or Martine.

Did that "Farmer" Grow the Food He's Selling?

Interesting article in the Wall Street Journal this week about farmers vs. resellers, who purchase cheap produce at auction (photo above of produce at an auction) and sell it at a farmers' market as if they grew it themselves and often at a price that undercuts the farmers who are selling what they produce.

How can you tell if the farmer you're buying from actually grew what he's selling you?  Here are some things to consider:

  • If he grew them himself, the farmer will know that the cucumbers are Greensleeves versus Raiders.  He'll be able to tell you exactly why he chose that variety and how it did for him this year.  If he can't, I'd wager he didn't grow it. 
  • Look at the produce.  Are the potatoes as clean as they are at Kroger's?  Are the onions all the same size?  Do the ends of the asparagus or the silk on the corn look dried out?  None of these are good signs.  Produce at a farmers' market should look both fresher and less perfect -- not as clean, less consistently sized, less photogenic -- than the stuff at the grocery. 
  • Consider the variety versus quantity in her stand.  If a farmer has tomatoes and peppers and corn and beans and cucumbers and cabbage and peas and cauliflower and melons and zucchini and turnips and lettuce and onions and herbs and all in large quantities, I'm suspicious. Very few farms can produce large quantities of lots of different produce all at the same time. 
  • Does he have lots of strawberries while other farmers are saying they won't have strawberries for a couple more weeks because of all the rain?  It's not a sure sign -- different varieties ripen at different times, and two farms that vend at the same farmers' market may be dozens or even more than a hundred miles apart and so be getting different weather and have different seasons.  But it's worth asking about. 
  • Ask the Market Manager if they have a rule about reselling -- and if so, how they check and whether they enforce it.  If the market doesn't have such a rule, ask why -- and consider finding a different market if what you really want is to buy fresh, seasonal produce direct from the grower.  
Anyone have some other things to consider?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Rivertown Breweries Kickoff Party at Arnold's May 19th

Cincinnati’s newest beer producer, Rivertown Breweries, is having their Downtown Kickoff party in the courtyard at Arnold's Bar & Grill (210 East 8th Street 45202) to celebrate Arnold’s being the first bar downtown to carry their brews. The brewers and owners will be in house all night to talk about their beers, and they'll be tapping their Dunkel at 8pm. Arnold’s will also be carrying all 5 of their other brews in the bottle for a short introductory period.

Arnold’s menu for the occasion will consist solely of items that are infused with each of the Rivertown brews. The specials menu will run through the weekend. Live music (local blues staple John Redell) on stage 8-10. Special prices on draft and bottles all night.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Kinkead Ridge Release of 2009 Whites May 29 & 31

Kinkead Ridge Winery will open on Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday May 29 and Monday May 31 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the release of two 2009 white wines. From their announcement:

Mother Nature was not kind to us in 2009 and quantities are VERY limited: only 126 cases of Kinkead Ridge Viognier/Roussanne, and only 42 cases of River Village Cellars White Wine,(a blend of all our other grapes) were produced. There is no Riesling, white Revelation or Traminette from this vintage. To see a list of the 2010 releases, see

This may be your only chance to get these wines. After Memorial Day, whatever is left will be allocated to our wine store customers. Can't make it? We are accepting phone or email orders for these wines prior to May 29. The wines must be picked up the following Saturday June 5th.
Due to the shortage of white wine, Kinkead Ridge Winery will not be open this summer but will open in September for the red wine release.  

Email Nancy or call (937) 392-6077 to reserve the 2009 whites.