Monday, November 30, 2009

Review of Green Dog Cafe at Wine Me, Dine Me

Wine Me, Dine Me has posted a review of Green Dog Cafe, which sources locally. 

King Arthur Flour Bakers' Banter

King Arthur Flour has a fantastic scratch-baking blog, a boon to anyone trying to eat more locally -- which pretty much requires the willingness and ability to cook from scratch.  Their recipes are extensively tested, and as a (former) non-baker, I can attest to their excellence.  Each online recipe page also includes a link to a chat window where you can ask questions in real-time from their experts.  Well worth a visit.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Review of Mayberry at Cincinnati Nomerati

Cincinnati Nomerati has reviewed Mayberry, which sources locally. 

Polly Campbell Reviews Local 127

Polly Campbell has reviewed Local 127, which sources locally.

Local 127  on Urbanspoon

Friday, November 27, 2009

Locally Raised Pheasants Available

Jaybird Farms of Mt. Orab is taking orders for fresh or frozen (depending on the date of delivery) ringneck pheasants in time for Christmas.  Hatched on the farm and pasture raised in a flight pen with antibiotic/hormone-free feed.  $8.50 per pound, birds are 2.5 - 3 pounds processed, deliveries available to Milford, Anderson, Loveland, and Montgomery. To order or for more information, call Vivian at 937-442-4800 or email her.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Review of Mayberry at Cincinnati Bites

Cincinnati Bites has posted a review of Mayberry, which sources locally.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mayberry Sourcing Locally

Chef Joshua Campbell's Mayberry (915 Vine St, downtown) will open for dinner starting Dec 4th featuring a menu that Campbell says will change weekly depending on what is fresh and in season. 

“We don’t want to nail ourselves down to a set menu because it’s important for me to prepare and serve the best dishes possible. I want to be able to go to markets and buy the best ingredients to serve to our guests."
For the first weekend, dinner offerings will include crispy pork belly with Frank’s RedHot butter and cheddar grits and short ribs with creamed corn and smoked bacon. Selected lunch menu items will be available at dinner on a rotating basis. Until Mayberry obtains their liquor license, guests will be able to bring their own alcoholic beverages for weekend dinners.

Mayberry is actively looking for local ingredient sources, so if you've got something you'd like to provide Chef Campbell, call him at 381-5999.

Weekly dinner menus will be posted on the World Food Bar Restaurant Group’s Facebook page and on Twitter, and will also be available by phone at 513-381-5999.

Mayberry on UrbanspoonFor other local blogger's reviews of Mayberry, check Urban Spoon.


There's an experiment in autoblogging here at OpenFarm100, which simply receives Google Alerts for the word "locavore" and automatically creates a new post for each alert.  I'm not sure what to make of it, but it's an easy way to find what's being said about the locavore movement in the blogosphere.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ohio/Michigan Wine Clash: Kinkead Ridge

The Ohio/Michigan Wine Clash is the brainchild of Andrew Hall as an adjunct to the Ohio/Michigan football rivalry and to encourage people to buy local rather than support the transportation of Nouveau Beaujolais across the big pond.

Kinkead Ridge 2007 Cabernet Franc rated top Ohio wine in the 2nd annual Wine Clash. It was the only Ohio wine in the top five, and the least expensive wine in the group at $17.95, besting the other retail prices of $60.00, $45.00, $40.00 and $35.00. Details of the 2nd Annual Wine Clash are here.

Kinkead Ridge 2008 Riesling was in the top 11, and was the least expensive wine on the list at $11.95.

Here's what Joel Goldberg, one of the Michigan judges, said about Kinkead Ridge's Cabernet Franc:

"The only repeat-winner winery in either state from last year’s Clash, Kinkead Ridge makes its home southeast of Cincinnati, near the Ohio River.

They scored this time with the lone under-$30 wine among the top five. It provides the yang to 2 Lads’ yin; instead of a hulking bottle to lay down for years, you’ll be hard-pressed to keep your hands off this, with a berry nose that jumps from the glass and silky, fruit-driven palate that seduces your taste buds with a serious “yum” factor.

Co-owner and winemaker Ron Barrett – who formerly owned a vineyard in Oregon – explains his pricing as “part of our philosophy. Our whole objective is to show we can be competitive in the marketplace. If we priced higher, we’d still sell out – but at the same time we’d turn off some people to our wine.”

Think Before Giving the Gift of CSA

This post is a gentle warning to well meaning relatives and friends of locavores.

Do not buy a CSA share/membership for your locavore as a holiday or birthday gift unless you are really sure that this will be a welcome thing. I have had a few of experiences as a CSA grower where this has happened. Once it turned out well because the buyer was (and is) one of the pillars of the international locavore community and was positive the recipients got the whole CSA idea. And these people had been members of a CSA in Iowa where they lived before moving to Ohio.

The other two gifts did not turn out well. In both cases the giftees had never been a CSA member before and simply did not get the whole concept. Fortunately for Boulder belt Eco-Farm we sell monthly memberships and in both cases where the experience was less than good the gift was for a one month membership. One giftee did not want to drive to the farm so asked if she could do all 4 weeks at once. I told her no but I could do 2 weeks at a time. She was amazed at the amount of food she got the one time she picked up and almost understood why I would not make a 4 week share for her (almost). She flaked out on the second pick-up which was not good for her but a nice donation to our farm. the other giftee I believe picked up one time (and this was at a time we had delivery points) and we did not see that person ever again.

I feel that buying a CSA membership for someone is a bit like buying a puppy for another person. it seems like a great idea at the time but in the case of a puppy, if the person is not a competent dog person the end result could be disastrous (think "Marley and Me").

Okay, I do not believe that there is any way being a member of a CSA farm could ever be disastrous. For one the food is inanimate and will not try to destroy your home or year. But joining a CSA means the member must have cooking skills and know how to deal with raw whole foods, many of which will not be familiar. the member better be into the local foods movement as well and already sourcing a good % of their food needs locally via farmers markets, farm stands, etc.. And by this I mean the person is a very regular (weekly) attendee of at least one farmers market. Casual locavores should not be given such gifts as a CSA share.

What I believe happens to the giftee (remember I am a farmer and have never been a CSA member so I am going on what I have observed over the past 13 or so years I have run CSA farms) is they get overwhelmed with the food, especially if they are not a good cook. And the feeling of being overwhelmed gets worse as the season goes on. They are struggling to use the food and find they cannot use up all the food in a share in a week. So now they start throwing out food and that leads to food guilt. Members also tend to get burned out after months and months of CSA shares (even the long term member can feel this way).

So what one ends up with is a person who feels really guilty they are not using the fresh whole food well and they may quietly drop out (this is fairly common with CSA's everywhere and not just with members who joined because they received a gift membership). This is not good for the member who may have in the future become a great CSA member but needed more time to become comfortable with their locavoreness and now may never ever join a CSA again because they had a bad experience. The giftee may avoid the with the gifter over this whole thing because they do not want to talk about the gift because it is a disappointment for them. And the giftee is likely not to communicate with the farmer well over the issues they are having which always leads to hard feelings and a less than good experience (and with communication most things can be remedied).

So think long and hard before signing a dear friend or relation up for a CSA share at one of the many wonderful local CSA farms in the area and by no means make this surprise gift. If you feel you really have to do this talk about it with the giftee.

If your intended giftee is a member of a CSA already than to buy them a share in the CSA that they have been a member of for years is a horse of a different color. That would be a welcome gift.

So do not give a CSA membership this Holiday season unless the recipient already is a CSA member and intends on doing so in 2010 than go right ahead and buy a membership for that person.

Now if you are still set on giving a locavore a locavore gift it is much much safer to find out which farmers market(s) they attend regularly and buy them some gift certificates for that market. A gift like that will be welcomed and not turn into a food guilt fest.

Lucy Goodman
Boulder Belt Eco-Farm, Eaton OH

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Urban Foraging Experiment

Urban Forager Rebecca Lerner is experimenting with an all-foraged diet.  She'll be eating stored food she foraged over the summer and fall plus food she gathers fresh this week from parks, wilderness areas, and yards in Portland, OR.  Her experiment began yesterday and will end with a Thanksgiving Feast. 

Lerner's menu will include acorns, crab apples, and black walnuts harvested from city trees; mushrooms; stinging nettles; hawthorn berries; yellow dock seeds; cleavers, thistle, sumac, dandelion and other weeds; fat she rendered and stored from a roadkill deer; and more.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thanksgiving Turkeys: update

Mohr Animal Acres still has pasture-raised turkeys available from 6 - 24 pounds.  They'll be making deliveries in Hyde Park and Wyoming this Sunday 11/22. For more information, email them or call 937-484-5950.

Morning Sun Farm also has fresh, pasture-raised turkeys available. Call them at 937-787-4885.

Local 127 Opens For Lunch

Polly Campbell says Local 127, which sources ingredients locally, plans to open for lunch starting December 1. It will be Tuesday-Friday from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Chef Steve Geddes is working on the menu, which will not only have sandwiches, soups, etc., but possibly a three-course businessperson’s lunch.

Local 127  on Urbanspoon

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Slow Food Miami

There's a new Slow Food chapter, Slow Food Miami, starting up as a campus organization in Oxford. Their first event is a showing of Food, Inc. tonight.

8pm, Thursday November 19, 2009, Shideler Hall Room 115 (on Miami's campus), entrance is free and open to the public. For more information contact Jillian.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Preparing for Thanksgiving Dinner

In 1995 fresh out of college, living in a strange city and expecting a visit from my parents Thanksgiving Day I sat down to plan Thanksgiving dinner, my way. Turns out my parents at that time weren't interested in Thanksgiving dinner my way, preferring to eat at the hotel restaurant, so my fiance and I instead celebrated early with a feast straight out of the pages of Vegetarian Times, dinner was delicious, and gratifying. A tradition was born and I've celebrated with my own early Thanksgiving ever since.

The guests have changed over the years and so has the menu. In the early years I celebrated with friends, later added family. Now there is so much family we find other ways to toast gratitude with our friends. I've celebrated as a new parent, a newly single parent and for the last several years as a stepparent in my blended family. The menu has undergone its own metamorphosis. Most of all the celebration has been memorable.

There was the year where the extra mashed potatoes were put in the oven and promptly forgotten, until weeks later the stench reminded us, we obviously didn't use the oven much. Then there was the year that my family ooed and ahhed about how real the turkey looked and tasted... I guess they weren't expecting the vegetarians to pick up a turkey from the Honey Baked Ham Company. Most recently Birdzilla, pictured above, made it's appearance...we ordered a turkey from a local farm and didn't pick up early enough to get a midsized turkey, so wound up with a massive turkey, it didn't fit in our roaster and barely fit in the oven. The picture doesn't do the thing justice in the scale department, I think there are still leftovers in the freezer.

The menu is no longer vegetarian but for at least the last 5 years the bird has been fresh and local, raised by farmers I've met on farms I've visited. On Saturday we'll pick up our turkey from Tewes Poultry Farm. The Tewes family has taken the time to show us where the turkeys live, encouraged my son's love of chickens by letting him hold day old chicks and even came through with feathers to use as quills at his most recent Harry Potter themed birthday party.

The stuffing will be prepared from bread baked along the Little Miami River by Mark and Sara of Blue Oven Bakery. Farmer Mike at Martin Hill Farms grew the carrots. Jim, Karen and their family at Running Creek Farm are providing the celery. I grew the onions in our own back yard. We'll add apples Dennis grew at his Back Yard Orchards along the Ohio River. We'll saute the veggies and apples in butter from our local herd share.

Sweet potatoes are courtesy of friends from their garden. Honey is from Richard at Carriage House Farm. This year we'll have Apple, Cinnamon, Cranberry Sauerkraut as a side dish from our new friends Jennifer and Jordan of Fab Ferments. Nancy and Ron at Kinkead Ridge, and Bill and Patti at Harmony Hill grew the grapes and crafted the wines.

And there will be more... but I'll have to see what is available tonight at the Northside Farmers' Market. There I will visit new found cousins Ande and Lauren from Wind Dance Farm. I'll introduce myself to Mike from Idyllwild Farm, who has been a great source of information and inspiration on our Cincinnati Locavore e-mail list but who I've yet to meet in person. I'll stop and see Farmer Mike, Dennis, Jennifer, Richard, Tom of Rising Sun Farm, David of Wooden Shoe Garden and all the other awesome farmers and vendors there. I'll make purchases for our Thanksgiving, our winter storage, and I will purchase some winter squash for a friend which will serve as nourishment for her baby who is newly eating solids.

I really thought this post was going to be about my quest to avoid frozen turkey of unknown origin but in fact it seems to be about how my family and community has grown in unexpected ways. Much has changed over the last 14 years... I use my oven more, my parents not only eat my cooking but are welcoming my husband and I into their kitchen to prepare our early Thanksgiving this year, I love my life and feel very blessed. Plus the food keeps getting better.

I'm also realizing that by getting to know the farmers that grow our food, I have added to my community of friends and allowed them to nourish me, for that I am grateful beyond words.

Happy Early Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Reskilling Cincinnati: Classes at Enright Ridge Urban Eco-Village

Enright Ridge Urban Eco-Village (ERUEV) is offering a series of hands-on 'reskilling' classes -- that is, classes to teach people traditional skills that have been lost over time to our convenience lifestyle.

The first classes in the series are on soil rebuilding and will include two related workshops, one on soil and the other on composting on Saturday, November 21st.

9:00am Soil: What is it? Why is it all-important? How is it made? Class will include study of local soil horizon, discussion of soil layers, best ways to build and maintain soil, how to take a good soil sample for testing. Instructor: Charles Griffin, biodynamic farmer, MS in Soil Ecology, UC Davis.

1:00pm Composting: Various methods will be demonstrated, including the three-bay system, windrow, and biodynamic. Class will cover how and when to apply compost and recommended components. Instructor: Vincent Stross, Master Composter.
Classes will be held at the ERUEV Farm Project Greenhouse on Enright Avenue, off W. 8th St. in Price Hill (five houses north of W. 8th on Enright). Freewill offerings accepted as donations to cover costs. For more information or to reserve space in one or both workshops call Nancy at 859 240-6140 or email her.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Avoiding Factory Farmed Foods: An Eater's Guide

Over at Fresh, guest blogger Nicolette Hahn Niman (wife of Niman Ranch founder Bill Niman and author of Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms) shares a comprehensive list of pointers for those interested in breaking free of the supermarket. Well worth a look.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ohio River Valley Annual Barrel Tasting Tour November 28th

The following five Southern Ohio wineries will again team up for the third annual Ohio River Valley Barrel Tasting Tour on Saturday, November 28th.

Kinkead Ridge Estate Winery: Taste medal-winning wines and sample red releases directly from the barrel. Tasting fees $3 - $6. 10am - 6pm. 904 Hamburg Street, Ripley. Overflow parking at the large white building across the street. For more information, call 937.392.6077.

Harmony Hill Vineyards: Barrel sample 2009 Woodwind, 2009 Rubato, 2008 Rhapsody. Tasting fees $2 - $4. Noon - 6pm. 2534 Swings Corner-Point Isabel Rd, Bethel. For more information call 513.734.3548.

Burnet Ridge: Tasting fee $15. By appointment, noon - 5pm. 6721 Richard Ave, North College Hill. For more information or to make an appointment call 513.522.4203.

Henke Winery: Tasting fee: 5 wines for $10, includes cellar tour. Reservations required; noon - 6pm. Also offering brunch 11am - 2pm with a Brunch & Barrel Tasting Special. 3077 Harrison Ave, Cincinnati. For more information or to make an appointment call 513.662.9463.

Woodstone Creek: Tasting fees $1.50 - $3.50. 1 - 5pm. 361 Newton Ave, Cincinnati. For more information call 513.569.0300.

Here's a nice map of area wineries from Michelle over at My Wine Education.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

College Hill Farmers' Market Moves Indoors For Winter

The Farm Market of College Hill is moving inside to the College Hill Coffee Company. Vendors attending will include:

  • Madison’s Produce: Organic and local fresh fruit and veggies all winter
  • Shadeau Bread: Gary Skitt will be selling bread and free range eggs
  • Wooden Shoe Garden: David Rosenberg will have organic micro-greens
  • Fab Ferments: Jennifer and Jordan will have raw organic fermented veggies
  • Yoder Farms: Baked goods, and talk to Vern about his herd share
Thursdays 3 - 5:30 until the market moves back outdoors in the spring. 6128 Hamilton Ave. For more information, email David.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thanksgiving Turkeys

You can still place an order for a fresh (never frozen), pasture-raised turkey from the following local farms:

Eaton Farm: Heritage breeds Bourbon Red ($100/bird) and Broad Breasted Bronze ($80/bird) will be delivered to Cincinnati on Wednesday, November 25th (the day before Thanksgiving) and will average 18-25 pounds dressed. Contact Elizabeth via the email link on their Local Harvest listing.

Green Acres: Turkeys will be available for pickup Wednesday, November 25th (the day before Thanksgiving) and will average about 20 pounds and sell for $3.99/lb. 8255 Spooky Hollow Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45242 (Indian Hill). Call Peggy at 513 891-4227 or email her for more information.

Johnson Poultry: Pickups in Wilmington and Lebanon. $2.20/lb. For more information email Walter.

Tewes Poultry: The farm is located off I-75 at the Buttermilk Pike Exit in Northern Kentucky (about 10 minutes from downtown Cincinnati). Fresh turkeys are dressed out weekly, each Thursday through New Years, upon request. For Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, turkeys will be available for pick-up starting the Saturday before and up until the eve of the holiday. $2.00 lb. To order or for more information, call 859 341-8844.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Northside Farmers' Market Moves Indoors For Winter

Starting tomorrow (Wednesday, November 4th) the Northside Farmers Market will move inside to the North Presbyterian Church Auditorium at 4222 Hamilton Avenue (across from the Northside Library).

Fifteen vendors will provide various goods, including apples, cider, eggs, assorted meats, bread, autumn produce, honey, cheese, locally roasted coffee, micro-greens, and baked goods, including:

Backyard Orchards: apples, cider

Idyllwild Farms: autumn produce, salad mix, braising greens, herbs

Back Acres Farm: raw milk cheese, eggs, grass-fed beef, whole hog sausage, American lamb, poultry, and autumn produce

Shadeau Bakery: breads, pastries

Farmer Mike: autumn produce, salsa

Fab Ferments: organic, naturally fermented veggies, kombucha, beet kvass

Rising Sun Farms: honey, pork, greens, eggs, autumn veggies

Cluxton Alley Coffee Roasters: coffee beans, baked goods, coffee/tea

Organic Micro-Greens: assorted micro greens

Wind Dance Farm: herbs, greens, winter squash, apples

Village Green Gardens: greens, bread

Carriage House Farm: honey

Janelson Arts: jams, breads, cookies

North Presbyterian Church Auditorium at 4222 Hamilton Avenue on Wednesdays 4:00- 7:30pm from now until the market moves back outside in the spring. For more information contact Robin Henderson via email or at 513-591-0083.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Chicken-Keeping in Mariemont

The Village of Mariemont, which currently has no regulations concerning the keeping of chickens, is reportedly planning to consider the issue at tonight's Council meeting (Monday Nov 8 at 7:30). The Municipal Building is at 6907 Wooster Pike. If you're in Mariemont and you have any idea of EVER keeping chickens, this would be a very important meeting to attend. Right now chickens are legal. If you want to keep it that way, you need to let your Village officials know how you feel.

Tonight's agenda has been posted, and the issue of chicken-keeping is not on it. However, given that a city employee told me this would be discussed tonight, I think it's still important to attend. If the issue doesn't come up, bring it up during the portion of the meeting reserved for "Permission to Address Council."

I'll be there tonight!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Holiday Master's Canning Gift Basket Class

Sonya over at Jam and Jelly Lady in Lebanon has spots available in tomorrow's (Monday November 9th, 6:30 - 9:30) Holiday Master’s Canning Class.  Bring a small basket appropriate for two jars, and in class you'll make and fill the jars with with Holiday Chutney and Cran-Raspberry Jam and then make a wired ribbon bow and “stage” the basket for gifting. 

For more information call Sonya at 513.932.6470 or email her