Member of Edible Communities
Issue No. 19
Celebrating Local Foods, Season by Season
Day of the Dead Almond Butters • HArd Cider • tHe rurAl soCiety • Anderson orCHArd Flying J FArm • AntioCH College • Heirloom PumPkins
Day of the Dead
the mexican tradition of wooing back the
6 8 10 12 14 16 19 22 25 30 36 46 64
Letter from the Editor
ones we’ve loved and lost by way of food By Sarah Lagrotteria, Photography by Ryan Benyi
The Seasoned Farmhouse Local & In Season
Flying J Farm philosophy of restoration By Nancy McKibben, Photography by Catherine Murray
From the Kitchen
Behind the Bottle
10 15 15 15 20
Farmer and advocate richard Jensen and his
In the Garden
58 59 61 61 61
Apple Cider doughnuts with sweet Cider glaze Almond milk Almond Butter salted dark Chocolate Almond spread Priest’s Collar & royal oak Hard Cider Cocktails mole Poblano Cheese enchiladas with salsa Verde oven-roasted Chicken Pieces sweet and spicy Acorn squash Champurrado
Heirloom pumpkins at roger kline’s farm By Teresa Woodard, Photography by Eric Albrecht
Edible Outdoors Worth the Trip Urban Homestead
On the Cover: The traditional Mexican hot chocolate, Champurrado, for Day of the Dead from Recipe Editor Sarah Lagrotteria, photographed by Ryan Benyi and styled by Bridget Henry.
From the Good Earth Local Foodshed
Table of Contents: Jarrahdale Pumpkins from Roger Kline’s pumpkin farm. Jarrahdale pumpkins are an heirloom variety named after a city in New Zealand. They have a delicious, orange interior flesh.
Photo by © Eric Albrecht.
PHoto By © ryAn Benyi, ryAnBenyi.Com, CreAted By Bridget Henry, BridgetHenry.Com
letter from the Publisher
or me, fall stirs up memories of friendship, comfort, and new beginnings. It causes me to reminisce about the friendships I made growing up in Akron, Ohio, and the two best friends I made so many years ago. Friendships that were cemented with late-night phone calls, first loves, broken hearts, laughter, loyalty, and shared memories. They know my secrets, my weaknesses, my best side, and my past. Even though we are now on different coasts, when the leaves turn in Ohio and there’s a chill in the air, I think of them and count my blessings for friendships that have stood the test of time.
Publisher & Editor in Chief
Tricia Wheeler Managing Editor & Editor
Colleen Leonardi Recipe Editor
Sarah Lagrotteria Copy Editors
Doug Adrianson • Susanna Cantor Editorial Intern
Danielle Vilaplana Design
Melissa Petersen Comfort is something that fall naturally brings. The beauty of Ohio at this time of year is magnificent. Nothing is prettier than driving out of Columbus to our more rural areas and glimpsing red barns, wide open fields of hay, blue skies, and changing leaves. Here at Edible Columbus we are so excited to bring you more inspiration for weekend road trips to towns around Ohio filled with unique and memorable stops. You will find some fall travel inspiration on pages 13, 34, and 35. Our article on page 25 about Warwick Farms and Mt. Vernon, Ohio, is a testament to a beautiful life lived in the country. Page Price and her team will share their farm with us for one day this fall, October 4, during The Rural Society antique and garden sale. My personal favorite day of the year! Here at Edible Columbus we have all had our editor, Colleen Leonardi, in our thoughts and prayers as she has experienced the worst kind of tragedy—losing the person you love the most. She has shown unbelievable grace and courage as she has faced her grief head on. I hope for her a new beginning where kindness, magic, and beauty sneak up on her and reveal themselves in ways she never imagined.
Digital & Communications Director
Alexandria Misch Business Development
Shelly Strange Contributors
Eric Albrecht • Ryan Benyi • Bryn Bird Simon Buehrer • Joannie D’Andrea Bridget Henry • Claire Hoppens Debra Knapke • Sarah Lagrotteria Colleen Leonardi • Nancy McKibben Jodi Miller • Catherine Murray Robin Oatts • Nicole Rasul Carole Topalian • Teresa Woodard Liz Bell Young Contact Us
If you find yourself with some extra time this fall—pick up the phone and call those old friends that are far away in distance, but not far away in importance. In Colleen’s honor, hug and take extra care of the person you love the most. And pay homage to our beautiful state and go explore.
P.O. Box 21-8376, Columbus, Ohio 43221 email@example.com ediblecolumbus.com Edible Columbus
Wishing you countless blessings,
Tricia Wheeler PS: We’d love to connect with you online at Facebook, Twitter and our new website. We’re also thrilled to be on Instagram at @ediblecolumbus, and on Pinterest and Tumblr at “Edible Columbus.” Stop by and let us know what you’re savoring in our local food community!
Edible Columbus is published quarterly and distributed throughout Central Ohio. Subscription rate is $25 annually. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be used without written permission from the publisher. Every effort is made to avoid errors, misspellings and omissions. If, however, an error comes to your attention, please accept our sincere apologies and notify us. Thank you.
PHoto By © CAtHerine murrAy, PHotokitCHen.net
the question before me, now that i am old, is not how to be dead, which i know from enough practice, but how to be alive, as these worn hills still tell, and some paintings of Paul Cézanne, and this mere singing wren, who thinks he’s alive forever, this instant, and may be. —from “Sabbaths 2001” by Wendell Berry
lost the most important person to me this summer. My dear, loving brother, Devin, passed away. He was a brilliant painter, amazing cook, and so much more. I haven’t yet accepted the fact that he will never again cook for my family and me.
“witches’ weeds,” and selling them at the market for what he calls “their beauty;” to Roger Kline, a master pumpkin grower who is devoted to growing rare heirloom pumpkin varieties; we feature folks who have an affinity for what is unique and often forgotten in this world.
When I think of our fall issue and how it’s come together amidst all of my pain sharpening how I now live in the world without the one I love the most, I see how the future enters us long before we are ready to acknowledge it.
And then there is Richard Jensen of Flying J Farm. Reading about his farming practices and philosophy, I’m reminded of how farmers never quit on what others would perceive as lost. Richard raises grass-fed beef and shares a commitment to restoring the health of his land, experimenting with techniques to make his harvest, from beef to vegetables to fish, bountiful. He says: “I believe that happiness and health comes from doing something for others that, in no way, even for goodwill or politics, benefits you. That’s why I planted the trees.”
Fall is a time of decay, letting go of what was so it can decompose and settle. We here at Edible Columbus have become enchanted with the Mexican tradition of Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. Long before my brother passed, we were sculpting and planning recipes and photos for this feature by Sarah Lagrotteria with stunning photography by Ryan Benyi, styled by a new contributor to the edible team, Bridget Henry. The belief that we can woo back the dead by way of food spoke to us, and we wanted to imagine a feast for you, dear reader, that might find a place among your traditions during a time of harvest and rest. We also feature stories about farmers, growers, producers, and people who are resurrecting traditions and old ideas to refashion them into meaningful, substantial experiences for their community. From Richard Reed of Griffin Cider Works, who has created a line of old English ciders in Cleveland and hopes to turn Ohio into a hard cider-producing mecca; to the rebirth of Antioch College in Yellow Springs and their field-to-fork program; to urban homesteader Alison Colman, who manages her home garden using permaculture methods; to farmer Steve Anderson of Anderson Orchard, who relishes growing abnormal plants, from bittersweet to
Whether it’s planting trees, or cooking for those you’ve lost to this world, loving the land enough to allow it to yield its gifts to you to share, savor, and celebrate with fellow human beings is a noble act. So this autumn, amidst a season of decay, how will you love the land and find ways to feel alive? I know my way through my sadness and back into my brother’s loving spirit is by way of cooking with those I love and eating, again and again, what is good about this place, not simply for me, but for my brother’s spirit and all those who are with us in memory, tattooed on our hearts like little rivers of gold, making us brighter and more humane for having lived through unimaginable heartbreak and loss. In gratitude,
The Perfect Holiday Gift! subscribe to Edible Columbus and never miss a single issue with pristine copies delivered right to your door! subscribe for yourself, or as a thoughtful gift for one of your favorite foodies. it’s a gift that will last all year.
Subscribe online at: ediblecolumbus.com, or mail a check for $25.00 payable to: Edible Columbus, PO. Box 21-8376, Columbus, Ohio 43221
Edible Columbus, is supported by our advertisers and subscribers. With your paid subscription, you help support our mission to tell the stories of our local farmers, chefs, growers and food artisans.
PHoto By © sArAH WArdA, sArAHWArdA.Com
letter from the editor
the seasoned farmhouse
We hope you will join us for classes at our French Country-inspired cooking school at 3674 N. High St., near the Clintonville Farmers Market. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. For full class descriptions and to register, please visit theseasonedfarmhouse.com. Private Events: the seasoned Farmhouse is available for private events from corporate team-building to special birthdays. Whatever you’re looking for, we are here to help you create a memorable event. our space is designed for groups to cook together, dine together and gather for private cooking and gardening demonstrations. We have plenty of options when it comes to customizing your event. the seasoned Farmhouse, created by Chef tricia Wheeler, is a recreational cooking school, learning garden, cookbook library, specialty culinary boutique and private event space located in Clintonville. the year-round cookery, gardening and educational programming celebrates seasonal ingredients from the bountiful farms and artisan producers throughout ohio. the school’s rotating instructors come from near and far to share their craft and their passions. We believe nothing is more rewarding than cooking for those you love. the seasoned Farmhouse is a place to learn and connect with our food and our community.
Fall 2014 Cooking Classes September 29: Modern Pressure Cooker learn the creative possibilities and convenience of today’s super-safe pressure cookers as we make soup, veggies, savory pork adobe, and creamy rice pudding from scratch.
October 1: Homemade Gnocchi
Gift certificates from The Seasoned Farmhouse make the perfect gift! 8
enjoy date night making delicious potato gnocchi by hand with homemade sauce and a seasonal fall salad. the finale will be homemade biscotti and gelato.
October 2: Fall Containers Come get creative with celebrating the beauty of autumn by learning how to design and plant your own container garden with a beautiful selection of plants suitable for the season.
Vegan Feast Date Night
designed for those wanting to incorporate more plant-based meals into their diets, enjoy a satisfying menu fit for feasting with a special someone.
October 3: Fall Ravioli Workshop impress your friends by becoming an expert in rolling your own pasta all the way from dough, to filling, to sauce while highlighting the ingredients of the fall season.
October 5: Sourdough Baking at Home go beyond adding a tangy flavor to your breads by learning and sampling the various stages and advantages of a long-rise sourdough process.
October 6: Taste of Cape Cod experience the unique, coastal culture of Cape Cod right here in Clintonville while whipping up clam chowder, corn fritters and cranberry pepper jelly, Portuguese pork, and a blueberry grunt.
October 8: Making Macaroons
November 4: Holiday Cookies and Bars
learn to make colorful Parisian macarons filled with jam, chocolate ganache, and buttercream with chef michelle of Pâtisserie lallier.
learn to mix, roll, slice, layer, and bake enough seasonal cookies and bars to prepare you for years of holiday cookie exchanges and family gatherings.
October 13: An Evening of Hors d’oeuvres
November 5: Paris to Provence
From poached pears with honey ricotta and black forest ham to smoked trout and crème fraîche, learn the secret to perfect hors d’oeuvres with Chef Anton of thurn’s specialty meats.
October 19: Fall Salads enjoy the bounty of autumn by making use of ohio’s dark leafy greens, sweet squashes, and crisp apples with a fresh approach to salads.
October 20: Fall Flavors Date Night Create a delicious italian meal of fresh pasta, risotto, and seasonal biscotti for you and a special someone with our fall date night.
November 19: Thanksgiving —It is all about the Sides!
discover delightful dishes, regional food traditions, and wonderful wines as you embark on a culinary journey through France with the owner of Wanderlust tours.
Perfect mouthwatering sides for fall’s favorite meal featuring mashed potatoes and gravy, Brussels sprout hash, pumpkin soup, chipotle sweet potatoes, a corn bread stuffing, and homemade rolls and butter.
November 8: Holiday Sweets
November 23: Cooking the Book
Put a personal touch on your holidays by exploring the art of candy making with a variety of sweet treats and take-home recipes.
Book Club lovers, sharpen your knives, this series is devoted to the best literary food books and recipes. the seasoned Farmhouse will share our favorites starting with ruth reichl’s tender at the Bone.
November 9: Cooking for Babies experience the joy of watching your baby discover food by introducing them to a range of healthy and delicious flavors at each developmental stage.
November 11: Betty Rosbottom October 27: Taste of Fall this demo class by tricia will celebrate pumpkins, squash, and maple syrup, and will include three courses that will give you new ideas for the season of how to prepare delicious fall vegetables. We start the night with a fall cocktail.
November 3: Fresh and Stuffed Sausage Making express your creativity and explore international flavor combinations through the basics of grinding, seasoning, and prepping sausages and bratwursts.
cakes on arugula, slow-roasted tenderloin, potato fennel gratin, english peas with mint, and chocolate macadamia nut cake.
Betty rosbottom shares her knowledge from her new cookbook, sunday Casseroles, in this mouthwatering demonstration class and book signing.
November 16: Elegant Fall Brunch Prepare an elegant brunch fit for the crisp fall weather by learning some of sarah’s favorite meals to serve between breakfast and lunch.
November 17: Autumn Holiday Dinner Party Hosting guests and not sure what to serve? Please join us as we effortlessly show you how to prepare a menu featuring mini-crab
November 1: Day of the Dead We are filling the farmhouse with candlelight and stringing paper skeletons from the eaves. it’s not Halloween but dia de los muertos, or day of the dead, a mexican tradition of cooking to woo your deceased loved ones back to the earth for one last night. We’ll start with seasonal tamales and mexican beer and warm cider on the patio then take a seat at one of the farmhouse tables and enjoy a menu based on traditional day of the dead recipes: roast chicken with mole poblano, cheese enchiladas with salsa verde, and sweet spicy roasted squash wedges. We’ll end the night around the fire pit with mexican hot chocolate ice cream sundaes made with bittersweet chocolate sauce, toasted almonds, sea salt, and fresh whipped cream. $75 per person
November 24: Holiday Container Gardening & Indoor Blooming Winter Bulbs it’s never too cold for containers. learn how to protect your pots and plants outside while also designing greens and bulbs for inside enjoyment.
December 1: Bûche de Noël Bake and assemble a three-layered pistachio cake filled with dark chocolate ganache to take home and share with your friends and family for the holidays.
December 8: Bûche de Noël Bake and assemble a three-layered pistachio cake filled with dark chocolate ganache to take home and share with your friends and family for the holidays.
We still have openings in our 30-week Classical French training series, starting October 2014! Please see our website for more details.
Thank you to our Pantry Sponsor
local & In Season
What to Cook Apple Cider Doughnuts with Sweet Cider Glaze Sarah Lagrotteria makes about 12 three-inch doughnuts and 12 doughnut holes nothing heralds the change of season more than the first sip of apple cider at the farmers market. this year, i’m bringing the flavor home with an easy recipe for apple cider doughnuts. these doughnuts have a soft, cake-like interior and craggy exterior that capture pools of sweet cider glaze.
1 cup apple cider 3½ cups cake flour, plus more for the work surface
Bring the cider to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. reduce to ¼ cup, about 15 minutes. set aside to cool.
2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves ½ teaspoon salt
in a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. set flour mixture aside. in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until smooth, about 5 minutes. one by one, add the egg and egg yolk, mixing until smooth after each addition. turn the mixer
4 tablespoons room-temperature, unsalted butter
speed down to low and pour in the cooled cider and then the buttermilk, mixing
1 cup brown sugar
until just combined. With the mixer still on low, add in the flour mixture and mix
1 large egg
until just combined, using a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl when
1 large egg yolk
necessary. your dough will feel like a wet cookie dough when done.
½ cup buttermilk Vegetable oil for frying
line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and dust generously with flour. turn the dough out onto the baking sheet. Flour your hands and use them to
For Glaze 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
gently push the dough out over the pan, spreading it into a ¾-inch thick rectangle. dust with flour and then top with a second layer of parchment. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour and up to 12.
3 tablespoons apple cider line a second baking sheet with parchment paper and dust lightly with flour. remove dough from the refrigerator. dip a 3-inch and a 1-inch biscuit cutter into flour and use to cut out doughnuts and doughnut holes, dusting the cutters with more flour whenever necessary to keep the dough from sticking. Place the cut doughnuts and holes on the new baking sheet. dust with flour and cover with a second sheet of parchment paper. Chill for at least 30 minutes more.
Fruits: Apples, Blueberries, Apricots, Blackberries, Cantaloupe, grapes,
While your doughnuts chill, make the glaze. sift 1 cup confectioners’ sugar into a small bowl. Wet with 3 tablespoons apple cider and whisk until smooth. Pour into a shallow bowl wide enough for dipping a finished doughnut into glaze.
Peaches, Pears, Plums, strawberries, Watermelons, tomatoes in a heavy-bottomed pot fitted with a candy thermometer, bring at least 3Greens: Collard, mustard, and turnip greens; lettuce, kale, spinach
inches of vegetable oil to 350°, adjusting the heat when necessary to keep the temperature consistent. line a large plate with several layers of paper towels for
Cabbage Crops: Broccoli, Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, Cauliflower,
draining your doughnuts.
radishes use a flat metal spatula to carefully add a few doughnuts to the oil, being Root Vegetables: Beets, Celery, green onions, leeks, okra, onions, Carrots, Parsnips, Potatoes, garlic
careful not to crowd the pan. Fry until golden brown, about 60 seconds. turn the doughnuts over and fry until the other side is golden, 30 seconds more. remove to the lined plate and let drain on paper towels for a few minutes.
Last of Summer: Herbs; Hot, Bell, and sweet Peppers; sweet Corn
When they are cool enough to touch, dip one or both sides of the warm doughnuts into the glaze and serve immediately.
Squashes: yellow squash, Zucchini, Winter squash, Pumpkins
PHotos By CAtHerine murrAy, PHotokiCtHen.net
What to Eat
What to Plant & Harvest September and October Planting if you didn’t have time to sow seeds for crops that like cool temperatures, there is still time to sow faster-maturing vegetables like radishes and greens: collards, kale, mache (corn salad), mustards, leaf lettuces, etc. Harvesting Winter squash and pumpkins are ready to harvest when the outside rind is hard and resists denting by your fingernail. they can tolerate a light frost*, but a hard frost** will damage the fruit. either cover them with row cover or bring them into a cool dry space. usually tomatoes offer their last fruits by the end of september, but it is possible to harvest them into october. Consider pickling the green tomatoes that will be caught by the first frost. tomato plants will be damaged or will shut down as temperatures dip below 40°. Potatoes signal they are ready for harvest when the plants yellow and die. this usually is in september for Central ohio. Harvest potatoes on a warm, dry day and allow them to dry in the sun one to three hours before storing in a cool, dry place. Harvest your basil for pesto before temperatures go below 40° for more than a couple of hours. August-planted peas will produce pods until a hard frost.**
October Planting october 15 is a good target date for planting garlic and shallots for next summer’s harvest. Plant them five inches apart in rows that are six to seven inches apart.
November/December Harvesting you can still harvest August- and september-sown lettuces, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, leeks, kale, collards and turnips, and radishes if we have a warm fall and you have protected your plants with row cover.
Garden Notes: *Light frost: air temperatures are in the 33° to 28° range for a short period of time; the ground has not cooled significantly. **Hard frost: air temperatures are below 25° for an extended period of time (overnight) and ground temperatures begin to decrease.
in the garden
Ohio Squash My fall and winter staple By debra knapke
y father’s vegetable garden did not include squash because they took up too much room. It wasn’t until I was in college that I discovered that pumpkins were actually squash, and that there is so much more to squash than pumpkin pie.
Squash are native to the New World. The genus originated in southern Mexico; its use as a food dates back 10,000 years. From Mexico it spread down into South America and up into North America. It is thought that the tradition of the Three Sisters Garden—corn, beans and squash planted together—was started by the native peoples of the Southwestern United States, since historical records indicate that maize and beans were first cultivated there about 7,000 years ago and about 4,000 years ago respectively. By about 5,000 years ago, squash had become a staple on the eastern shores of North America. The name we use for this food is derived from an eastern native peoples’ word: akūtasquash, meaning “green thing eaten raw.” Squash travelled through the network of native peoples in the New World, eventually to become a part of the traditional Thanksgiving feast for European settlers. From late September into the winter, vendors at farmers markets display squash that flaunt autumn colors in a rich range from red to orange and apricot, from cream and gold to soft green and even dusky blue. The fruits can be smooth, ridged, dimpled, or warty. The variety of shapes and colors seems infinite. I have purchased squash on their eye appeal alone and used them as fall decorations while I decided how to prepare them.
I have eaten more varieties than I have grown because of limited space in my garden. Squash grow well in Ohio. Here are a few of my favorites, but know that there are hundreds of heirloom varieties, all waiting to be tried in your garden or in your kitchen. •
Acorn: More savory than sweet, with a drier texture; superb when roasted
Blue Hubbard: Sweet and flavorful; usually very large fruits; look for Baby
and stuffed with wild rice, pine nuts and cranberries. Blue if you want to grow this variety in a smaller space. • •
Buttercup: Sweet, but often more difficult to peel. Butternut: Sweet; meaty without being dry; along with Blue Hubbard, my
favorite for roasting; this is the “pumpkin” in the can that you buy for your pumpkin pies.
But squash are not just another “pretty fruit.” From a healthy eating perspective, squash give us vitamins A, B-6 and C, a variety of other vitamins and minerals, fiber and virtually no fat… well, until you add olive oil or butter. The carbohydrate/sugar content of squash varies with the type and with weather conditions. But all are tasty, be they savory or sweet. If you decide to grow squash, give them room to roam. There are some cultivars that are labelled as bush varieties, but this often means that they have a semi-upright-to-spreading growing habit and just take a bit longer before they take over the garden. The dwarf varieties do have smaller leaves and will take up a bit less space. But the role of squash in a Three Sisters Garden is to cover ground and to keep the soil cool, and it does this very well.
Delicata: This is my favorite for sautéing, peeling is optional; there is a
bush variety. •
Turk’s Turban: Possibly the most striking squash; in between sweet and
savory; full of flavor.
Debra Knapke is a teacher, lecturer, garden designer, photographer and gardener. Her gardens are eclectic combinations of trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals that she has stuffed into an acre. she is the co-author of five books and is a Heartland gardener: heartland-gardening.com.
Freshly made almond milk
from the kitchen
Almond Love By sarah lagrotteria Photography by Catherine murray
milk alternatives are taking over the supermarket.
making peanut butter is as easy as blending
soy, almond, hemp, coconut, and flavored versions
peanuts. making almond butter is more an act of
of them all compete for our attention. Almond milk
faith. Prepare to spend at least 20 minutes
has been criticized for being mostly water and little
blending to release the oils that make your butter
almond nutrition, and for the fact that almonds
creamy and smooth.
ternative when it comes to daily consumption, but
1 teaspoon coconut oil 3 teaspoons maple syrup
when it comes to taste, almonds have the edge in
1 tablespoon dutch-processed cocoa powder
makes about 1½ cups
makes about 1½ cups 3½ ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly
have a heavy ecological footprint. All factors considered, maybe almond milk isn’t the very best al-
Salted Dark Chocolate Almond Spread
¼ teaspoon vanilla
2 cups whole almonds, lightly toasted and cooled
1 teaspoon kosher salt 1½ cups homemade almond butter
makes about 2 cups
sea salt to taste Place almonds in a large food processor fitted with
1 cup whole almonds
an s blade. A blender will also work, but you will
4 cups water, divided
need to stop and scrape down the sides more often.
over very low heat. stir consistently until melted
maple syrup to taste salt to taste
melt chocolate and coconut oil in small saucepan
Pulse several times to break up the almonds then
and smooth. stir in the maple syrup, cocoa
process until smooth and creamy, stopping to
powder, vanilla, and salt.
scrape down the sides whenever necessary, about soak almonds in 2 cups water for 48 hours. drain and rinse away any grit. Place in a blender with 2 cups fresh cold water. Pulse the blender several times to break up the almonds then puree on high
20–30 minutes. the almonds will go through
spoon the almond butter into the bowl of a food
several stages—first gritty, then dry and pasty,
processor. Pour in the melted chocolate mixture
then, finally, creamy and smooth.
and pulse until evenly mixed, stopping to scrape down the sides with a spatula when necessary.
until the liquid is opaque and the almonds are
enjoy on good bread or fresh fruit with a sprinkle of
ground to a fine meal.
sea salt for taste. store in a tightly sealed jar at room temperature for up to one week.
strain through a fine mesh sieve or a sieve lined with cheese cloth into a large-mouthed glass. Press or squeeze the almond meal to extract as much milk as possible. discard the almond meal. season milk to taste with maple syrup and salt. refrigerate in a tightly sealed glass for up to 2 days.
in Ohio By Bryn Bird
he father of Western Medicine, Hippocrates, is quoted as saying, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” If this simple truth has been so long understood then why, when you think of “hospital food” is health and well-being the last thing that comes to mind? And how are hospitals right here in Ohio looking to change that? While the current direct-to-consumer market is estimated at around $9 billion, local food continues to represent less than 1% of U.S. agricultural production. Most experts and farmers agree that for true fundamental change to happen, a shift in focus to increasing institutional buying of local food is needed. Farmers markets have long been the centerpiece of the local food movement, but they miss almost half of the potential food dollars. In 2012, 43% of foods consumed in the United States were prepared outside the home. Much of the institutional buying focus has been on farm-toschool initiatives, but the healthcare industry has quickly become the newest darling in local food procurement.
Unlike schools, hospitals do not have to work within federal or state regulations, which often inhibits buying local. This makes it easier for hospitals to adapt procurement policies and menus. Additionally, hospitals often have inhouse kitchens and equipment to handle “from-scratch” cooking. In 2012, the healthcare industry spent $12 billion on food and beverage with an average of $4 million per hospital. Most hospitals purchase food through large group purchasing organizations, which require buyers to purchase 80–90% of their food budget from them in exchange pools, buying power to negotiate lower prices. Hospitals, however, are beginning to see local and sustainable food purchasing as a way to give back to the community, educate patients, and to fulfill the mission of a hospital to protect people’s health. In fact, 554 of the hospitals in the United States and Canada have pledged to “first, do no harm” and treat food as preventive medicine. Licking Memorial Health Systems (LMHS) in Central Ohio is doing just that. Change started when LMHS hired Director of Food Services Brian Merritt and Sous Chef Colin Gleek. Both came from restaurant and local purchasing backgrounds. LMHS now purchases local beef, vegetables, vegetarian burgers, chips, grains, salsa, and compostable serviceware from a local distributer. When interviewing Brian and Colin, I expected their reasons for purchasing locally to include something about nutrition or freshness, but they said it was in large part the relationship with the farmer and supporting the community. “We believe having relationships with local producers reinforces Licking Memorial’s mission to improving the health of the community,” Brian says. Now LMHS is leading the Central Ohio health industry in local pro-
curement feeding more than 800 individuals each day and catering events for community organizations. LMHS has gone one step further by supporting an on-site Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program that allows employees the opportunity to purchase local food through payroll deduction. The CSA allows employees to get fresh food conveniently delivered to their workplace at a wholesale cost. Over the next two years, Licking Memorial is looking to make even bigger waves by changing their in-patient food menus to items made in-house. Brian is quick to praise the administrative support he has received within LMHS but agreed many hospitals may be too big or not yet ready to make the switch. One creative solution can be found just north in Youngstown, Ohio. Humility of Mary Health Partners joined with Lake-to-River Cooperative to get fresh and local produce into the hospital through a farmers market when it was unable to get local food into the cafeteria. The monthly farmers market on St. Elizabeth’s Health Center’s grounds has led to a “Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program.” Doctors write patients an actual prescription to increase their consumption of fruit and vegetables. Patients are counseled and educated through dieticians before receiving $25 monthly vouchers for St. Elizabeth’s farmers market. Born out of the desire to get local food into the hospital, this program has provided 160 patients with more than just fresh food. Melissa Miller, a farmer with Lake-to-River co-op, said watching patients nervously picking up a few tomatoes and peppers at their first market to now walking away with bags of fresh food has shown the power behind having a relationship with a farmer. “Before, people did not eat fresh vegetables because they didn’t know how to cook fresh food, but now the farmers are excited to share recipes and get people to buy more, try new things, and share in their excitement for good food.” We are not alone in the benefits of institutional buying. Purchasing within the healthcare industry is just the beginning to ensure that local food continues to have a larger seat at the table.
Bryn Bird is a farm girl hailing from a dirt road outside granville, ohio. she grew up raising livestock and produce on her family’s farm, Bird’s Haven. she gained a master’s in public health from george Washington university in Washington, dC, and is now empowering the rural lifestyle while working with rural Coalition.
behind the bottle
“For me, I approach a cider in the same way I would approach a wine. I wouldn’t expect to be able to taste or smell the fruit. Cider is the same way. You won’t really be tasting fresh apples or smelling fresh apples. You’ll be tasting what we call cider. The true cider taste is just that. It’s not apple. It’s transformed.” —Richard Read, Griffin Cider Works
eal farmhouse cider was a prominent—some may say essential, as it was often safer to drink than the available water—feature on the colonial landscape up through the end of the 19th century. Similar to the decline of rich, complex, flavorful ales during the temperance movement and prohibition, over time hard cider lost its way. But just like the resurgence of craft beer and spirits over the past two decades or so, more and more craft hard ciders are emerging on the scene and changing our expectations and enjoyment of the seemingly endless options concocted from fermented apples. So what is hard cider, exactly?
PHoto © By CArole toPAliAn
In America, we usually add the word “hard” to distinguish cider from its non-alcoholic cousin. Hard cider consists of fermented apples that may be supplemented with yeast (though naturally occurring wild yeasts are often used), sugar, honey, or other kinds of sweeteners (though the natural sugars of the apple are sometimes sufficient) and natural or artificial flavorings (though some ciders go au naturel) to create an alcoholic beverage, sometimes carbonated, sometimes still. Simple enough, right? But what Americans have typically come to know and expect of hard cider—sweet, light, with a faint or not-so-faint hint of apples—is only a small segment of a wide array of possibilities extant in craft cider varieties.
Beyond the Pale Authentic craft ciders in Ohio By simon Buehrer
Richard Read, an English transplant who now resides in Northeast Ohio, is one of the lead proponents and evangelists of not just craft cider but Ohio craft cider. Richard is the cider master and president of Griffin Cider Works located in Lakewood, Ohio, where he steers efforts as the proprietor, producer, distributor, and promoter of “authentic English-style cider.” A sort of apple alchemist, his efforts are fueled by an almost lifelong passion for cider (he brewed his first batch
at age 14) coupled with a scientific understanding of how it’s made (he has a degree in microbiology). The golden results (or copper, even red depending on the variety) are the transformation of a proprietary blend of up to 15 different types of apples into an impressive spectrum of flavors and options—from clean and crisp to extra dry to tart to spicy. There’s even a hopped version—an IPC or India Pale Cider for the discerning hipster who can’t drink anything sans the tang and aroma of Cascade, Centennial, or Kent Goldings. Richard’s ciders are made with 100% Ohiogrown apples and 100% juice. He points out that many mass-produced ciders are made out of apple concentrates—often times imported rather than locally sourced—and may contain natural and artificial flavorings. This light version is what we’ve come to expect of cider and what is usually served in bars, restaurants, and liquor stores. Richard started Griffin Cider Works because he couldn’t find a cider in America that was reminiscent of the traditional English-style farmhouse ciders from his home. He’s now on a mission to help change people’s understanding and perspective of what cider is and can be, and sees Ohio as ground zero for the locally sourced authentic craft cider movement. The state seems well-positioned for such a pursuit. Ohio is in the top 10 of apple producers in the United States, and has more than 140 apple orchards, which is the third highest of any state in the nation. At present, however, there are only five producers of hard cider in Ohio—and not all of them are using Ohio apples. There is
definitely an opportunity for growth, though Richard realizes that a collective of apple growers and cider makers is needed to sustain and expand their efforts. “I’d like to help create an association of Ohioproduced ciders,” says Richard. “We can coordinate mass juice purchasing. That’s one of the biggest challenges—buying enough juice. Especially when we have orchards on the decline. A guild would help us to guarantee that farmers get the price they want. We’re willing to pay a premium price for a premium product. If the apple growers see that they’ll get the bang for their buck, then we’ll all grow. We’ll all benefit.” Another Ohio craft cider is Legend Valley Cider based in St. Louisville, Ohio, near State Route 13 between Newark and Utica. Dave Fayerweather started fermenting ciders back in 2000. Similar to Richard, what started as a hobby eventually grew into a business for Dave and his partner/brother-in-law, Joe Van Ostran. Also like Griffin Cider Works, Legend Valley Ciders are made from 100% Ohio apples. Dave proudly states, “That’s what sets our ciders apart. A lot of mass-market ciders are diluted down, then sweetened. Legend Valley Ciders contain no fillers. Nothing is diluted.” Another thing, which sets Legend Valley apart, is the kick—the Crisp is 8.3% alcohol, which is on the low end of the spectrum. By the time you step up to the version called Ice, you’re up to 13.3%. This is a little unusual as most craft ciders have a similar alcohol content to craft beers—from 4% to 9%. Once you hit the 10% to 12% mark or
Cider Cocktail Recipes
higher, the beverage is re-categorized as apple wine. It can take up to six months or longer to produce a good cider. Some varieties are aged in oak, or even use wine or whiskey barrels to add some flavors and complexities. As with different types of beers, temperature can affect the taste and enjoyment of cider. Some are better experienced at room temperature or even warmed. Others are better chilled first. Griffin Cider Works includes target temperatures for its different varieties. For example, the flagship Griffin Original is best enjoyed between 45° and 50°, while Inglenook Fireside Winter Warmer can be warmed up to 65°, a fit companion for stargazing on a crisp fall evening. Almost all ciders are gluten-free, providing a good alternative beverage for those on a gluten-free diet. Most ciders, especially in the United States, are made of a blend of apple varieties to balance the sweet and tart flavors and result. It can be done, but it’s not as easy to make a good cider from a single type of apple. So what’s next for Ohio craft ciders? Both Richard and Dave are looking to expand their distribution around the state and beyond. “We’re looking to cross the Maumee River and invade that state up north,” says Richard. “And I hear that someone already bootlegs my cider to Chicago. Not much. Just a couple of kegs and some bottles. But I heard it ended up at a couple of bars in Chicago. And I’m like, ‘Hang on. This is interesting.’”
Simon Buehrer is a freelance writer and emerging cider enthusiast. He resides in Columbus, ohio.
Availability Check with your favorite local bar or restaurant
A few mixes courtesy of Griffin Cider Works.
to see if they’re carrying draft ciders. An increasing number have at least one option on
Priest’s Collar 8 ounces of a good quality dry stout
tap, though ohio-based options can be difficult to find.
8 ounces of griffin original or Honey oak Bottles of ohio-based ciders can be found at Pour cider first into a pint glass, then gently layer stout over the cider using a layering spoon (alternative: blend the stout and cider together to create a Black Velvet).
lucky’s market, Whole Foods, Weiland’s market, the Anderson’s, and other local markets, beer/wine, and grocery stores.
Royal Oak 1 ounce Cleveland Whiskey 15 ounces Honey oak Pour whiskey over ice and add cider.
One Taco at a Time Yay Bikes! explores Columbus’s taco truck scene By Claire Hoppens • Photography by robin oatts
he bicyclists descend in a jolly group. They pack closely and arrive all at once—the collective sound of voices and brakes matching the volume of one rider’s stereo affixed to the back of his bike. Tonight, they ride for tacos.
“I’ve lived here 43 years and Ray still takes me to new places,” says Jack Decker, a charismatic rider known for his Hawaiian shirts. “I learned Columbus by bike. It makes the world a lot smaller, but in a good way,” he adds. Los Potosinos is a longtime favorite of Ray’s and Yay Bikes!. It stands as an apt example of how the support of an engaged biking community can uplift local businesses.
There are an estimated 50 riders at a Tuesday night ride organized by Yay Bikes!, a “grassroots member organization that works to increase the number of trips by bicycle and decrease the number of bicycle crashes in Central Ohio.” Each week, Yay Bikes! board president Ray George picks a route and some refueling stops, which often include new restaurants, food trucks, and bars.
“They’re all independent owners—small business owners that would love for people to show up and give them $5–$10 worth of business,” says Ray.
“When we get people to ride, the ultimate goal is to get people to take a look at their lifestyle and look at a bicycle as viable transportation,” says Ray.
At the annual “Bike the C-bus” ride over Labor Day weekend, Los Potosinos supplies food for participating cyclists, which are expected to top 700 this year.
Lidia Labra, owner of Los Potosinos, is ready for the onslaught. Jay has called ahead, as he does before visiting any establishment en masse, to prepare Lidia and team for the peloton that will order from the menu, a collection of tortas, tacos, burritos, and quesadillas scrawled on a white board beside the truck’s window. But Lidia has little to worry about. The group forms a tidy line and waits patiently, many choosing vegetarian options.
“That’s probably one of their best days of the year,” says Ray. “We reimburse them for meals served to our riders and Lidia loves it because it’s right here.”
Los Potosinos is rounding its third year in the King Lincoln District, a transforming neighborhood dotted with historic murals and anchored by the historic Lincoln Theatre, a stone’s throw from the picnic tables where riders dunk the corners of their burritos in homemade salsa. Lidia has been cooking on a taco truck since 2009, the year she and husband, partner, and “the excelente chef,” Eladeo, purchased their original trailer. Honing recipes she learned from her mother with skills she’s picked up from her husband, Lidia cooks food familiar to her home state of San Luis Potosí, a land-locked region in north-central Mexico. The ride feels impressively casual for something rather carefully organized. There’s a taco in the hands of nearly every rider, while the whipping wind carries away stray napkins. “This ride is the highlight of your week,” says rider John Caughell. “It’s during reasonable hours, it’s organized, it’s safe,” he explains. “I’ve made so many good friends.” For John, finding Yay Bikes! and attending rides shortly after moving to Columbus helped him “tune into other facets” of the city.
Ray and a handful of other riders urge a return trip for Lidia’s Pollo al Carbon, a Los Potosinos specialty served on weekends. Taco Trucks Columbus, a blog fueled by roaming food writers Jim Ellison and Bethia Woolf, tout the “grilled chicken with a closely guarded and addictive marinade.” They say, “It’s best right from the grill and can be ordered two hours ahead.” “Exploring by bike opens up the detail of a city,” says Jack, his plate is clean and his smile is huge. Lidia radiates a similar optimism, a trait that feeds her natural hospitality. “I love my business and I love when my customers like my food and come back with new friends,” says Lidia. “I love Columbus. My life changed for good in this beautiful neighborhood.”
raised in a nomadic and adventurous family, Claire Hoppens called five states home and attended three colleges before earning her degree in magazine journalism from the scripps school at ohio university in 2011. Claire is currently a managing Partner for northstar Cafe, one of the many Columbus mainstays to solidify her love of people, food, and our vibrant city.
Yay Bikes! and their Tuesday Night Ride to the food truck Los Potosinos in the King Lincoln District.
worth the trip
The Rural Society
With the help of friends and neighbors, Page Priceâ€™s Warwick Farm in Mt. Vernon reinvents itself By nancy mckibben â€˘ Photography by Jodi miller
On the day that I visited Warwick Farm, grey clouds hunkered over the hills, asters drooped over the low stone walls, and the rain drizzled over all. It was very like the English Cotswolds, where I lived for seven years.
Quirky and Original Page Price and Gene Robinson have known each other—to keep it British—for donkey’s years. He “lived up the road” and began working part time at the farm at age 14. Today at 28, he manages all Page’s enterprises and a few other businesses. “I love paperwork and organization and spreadsheets,” Gene says with a smile that makes me believe him.
I talked with them in the refurbished milking parlor building, now kitted out like an old English cottage, only with a caterer’s kitchen. In addition to being a landscape architect, sheep breeder, floral designer, and wife of local veterinarian Greg Price, 40-something Page “has always” sold antiques. In 2011, she and eight dealer friends decided to hold a sale at Page’s farm.
“We wanted a sale curated of original stuff people could afford,” Page says. “And also to highlight local producers—I love the farmers market people.” Page’s dealers dubbed themselves The Rural Society and launched two yearly shows, fall and spring. This year’s Rural Society Fall Sale falls on October 4: “Antiques, Plants, and Decorative Home & Garden Finds From a Group of Tal-
ented Vendors.” It has grown to 32 carefully chosen dealers; local producers like Ann’s Raspberry Farm and Tilton Hollow Cheese; and even food vendors who produce English teas for hungry sale visitors. “We have a mix of vendors and 75% of what we sell is vintage or repurposed,” Page says. “But half of the sale is the experience. Sometimes people buy early and spend the rest of the time eating and walking around to see the farm and the gardens.” These are herb gardens and flower gardens and vegetable gardens bordered by hand-built, unmortared grey stone walls, another nod to England. Sheep peer through fences and peacocks stroll majestically about. The farm’s 13 cats and five dogs review the proceedings.
Country Weddings The beauty of Warwick Farm has not gone unnoticed. The farm was featured in Country Living magazine, and Free People clothing did a video there. In 2009, the daughter of a dealer asked to be married at the farm, and suddenly, Page was an event planner, with Gene as the organizational left side of the business brain and Page starring as the creative right.
sheep-raising. Through local Dee-Jay’s Custom Butchering and Processing, which Gene also manages, Warwick Farms supplies naturally raised lamb to high-end restaurants like Chef Jonathon Sawyer’s Greenhouse Tavern and Chef Michael Symon’s Lolita, both in Cleveland.
(The Rural Society Fall Sale: Saturday, Oct. 4, 9am–5pm at Warwick Farm, 16620 Wells Rd., Mt. Vernon, Ohio; 740-398-9598; email@example.com; theruralsociety.com. For weddings and events at the farm, contact Gene. Find Dee-Jay’s Custom Butchering and Processing at 17460 Ankneytown Rd., Fredericktown, Ohio 43019; 740-694-7492;
The Culture in Agriculture
Page’s businesses seem organically grown rather than planned, springing from and nourished by a network of friends and colleagues. “My husband, as a vet, knows everyone,” Page says. “We have local people who help with the sales, set-ups, tear-downs, gardening, vaccinating, shearing, and farm work.” She laughs. “We call them the Warwick Kids, even though they’re actually in their twenties by now.”
Nancy McKibben is happy to combine her loves of eating and writing with the opportunity to advocate for local food in the pages of Edible Columbus. Her suspense novel, The Chaos Protocol, the first book of The Millennium Trilogy, was a finalist for the ohioana Book Award for Fiction in 2000. the second, Blood on Ice, followed in 2012 and the third is in the works. (the series is set in Columbus, and the books are available at
When I ask what makes Warwick Farm and the community so special, Gene exclaims: “I love this place!” adding, “We’re never isolated. It’s like the rural Cheers.”
amazon.com.) she is also a poet and lyricist, the mother of six and the wife of one. View her work at nancymckibben.com; contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Page ponders for a moment, then finds the answer. “I think it’s the farm tradition of interconnected community. We barter, we help each other out. We always have a group of people to call on.”
She grows most of the flowers for their events, favoring non-traditional blooms like hellebores, zinnias, and peonies in wild, natural arrangements. The barn seats 300, and wedding parties can dance under the stars or under the canvas awning that pulls over the farmyard to provide a tent. There are three sites for the ceremony, and the farm can sleep up to 30. Page refers overflow guests to the Mt. Vernon Inn or Felicia’s Guesthouse. On non-wedding weekends, “We also rent cottages to Kenyon College parents who come to visit their kids.” Or to anyone who needs a day in the country.
Sheep-ish Page grew up in Monclova, Ohio, outside Toledo (“Flat land; I hated it”). After she and husband, Greg, received undergraduate and graduate degrees from The Ohio State University, they bought Warwick Farm from Greg’s mother. Greg was a vet, not a dairy farmer, but “what’s the point of the farm if it’s not producing?” Page asks rhetorically. Sheep seemed a doable alternative to cows, so Page’s first business became
A Day Out in Mt. Vernon, Ohio recommendations from Page Price and gene robinson of Warwick Farm in mt. Vernon and from susan Cunningham, retired mt. Vernon High school math teacher and department head and life-long knox County resident.
The Rural Society Fall Sale. october 4, 9am–5pm; Warwick Farm, 16620 Wells rd.; 740-392-4590; theruralsociety.com
Second Time Around. 120 W. High st.; 740-397-0848
Farley and Moore. An antique mall with many dealers and good prices, 104 s. main st.; farleyandmooreantiques.com
Primitive Cellar. 23 n. main st.
Local Crafts •
Kudos Art Cooperative. local arts. 15 n. main st.; 740-501-8586; kudosart.blogspot.com
Down Home Leather. Handmade leather goods since 1842. 9 n. main st.; 740-393-1186; downhomeleather.com
The Mt. Vernon Inn. 2014 Certificate of excellence from tripAdvisor. 601 W. High st.; 740-392-9881; themountvernoninn.com
Felicia’s Guesthouse. shabby chic. 10996 Banning rd.; 740-397-2279; email@example.com; feliciasguesthouse.com
Local Foods •
Harvest @ the Woodward. grocery with local foods—try a picnic at one of the venues below. 107 s. main st.; 740-392-6142
restaurants on south main include the Alcove, sips Coffee House and deli, la Paloma mexican restaurant, and Bayleaf india Bistro.
Outdoor Activities and Sights •
Brown Family Environmental Center. kenyon College’s 480-acre nature preserve for research and recreation. 9781 laymon rd., gambier, ohio 43022; kenyon.edu/directories/offices-services/brown-family-environmental-center/academics/
Kokosing Gap Bike Trail/ Kokosing Gap kayak drops. kokosing means “river of the little owls.” Hike or bike the trail; canoe or kayak the river. Accessible from the BFeC (above) and other points.; kokosinggaptrail.org/
Ariel Foundation Park. Former Pittsburg Plate glass factory, complete with a preserved smokestack. trail, lake and fishing; arielfoundationpark.org
Mt. Vernon Public Square. site of the saturday farmers market from 9am–noon.
An Ethic of Care Making permaculture work in the home garden By Joannie d’Andrea • Photography by Catherine murray
Left: Blackberries grow in many areas of Alison’s garden. Center: Alison Colman. Her garden holds more than 50 varieties of herbs, fruits, and vegetables, and she experiments with new varieties everyday, including this Red Aztec Spinach (huazontle). Right: Alison uses large comfrey leaves as mulch around her tomato plants in stacked beds. Opposite page: Top: Alison’s stacked beds. Below: Alison lets her plants go to seed.
lison Colman talks fast. She jumps from thought to thought, pausing occasionally to interject, “I know! Isn’t that cool?” As she moves through her garden, she points out plants like they’re old friends. Tall, scraggly things grow wild. Instead of mulch or grass, straw is laid over soil, with bits of greenery poking through. Spring’s lettuce is allowed to go to seed. If you didn’t know better, you might think an ambitious gardener got in over her head. But look closer. What appear to be pesky weeds are edible weeds like purslane that pack more nutrients than kale. Alison’s mind is like her garden—lively, cluttered with ideas and plans and, above all else, productive. As she leads you through her yard, she rapidly
rattles off the names of edible flowers, medicinal herbs and perennial vegetables, occasionally plucking a leaf or flower to nibble.
Homesteading in the City Alison is a city girl at heart. Growing up in Chicago, she grew accustomed to the cultural activity and opportunities of the city. After leaving Athens, where she was an art history professor at Ohio University, Alison and her husband settled in Columbus. When they bought a home in Clintonville in 2007, Alison knew she wanted to grow a garden in the small yard.
“I love living in [the] city and could not live anywhere else,” Alison explains. “I also love gardening. So my feeling is, just because I have a small plot in the city, doesn’t mean gardening is something I can’t do.” In addition, Alison says said urban homesteading is consistent with her belief that fresh, healthy food is a human right. It allows her to be a producer of food, not just a consumer. “[Urban homesteading] is a way for me to opt out, as much as I can, of the industrial food system that is so pervasive in our country,” says Alison. Mostly, urban homesteading gives Alison the freedom to grow her own food without giving up city living. It’s the best of both worlds.
Choosing Permaculture When Alison and her husband moved into their home, she planned her garden like most people do. She asked herself, what plants love sun? What do I want to eat? Seven years later, those questions just scratch the surface. Today, she approaches gardening like a professor, diving into the latest research while reaching out to others to exchange tips. Alison describes urban homesteading as “an intellectual challenge.” “I like to work with my hands. When I’m gardening and growing my seeds, I feel like an artist.” Alison continues, “It allows me to shape my life in a meaningful way.” Alison’s research eventually led her to the Australian agriculture philosophy known as permaculture. Permaculture originated in Tasmania, Australia in the 1970s. At a time when environmentalism and sustainability were just beginning to reach popular consciousness, permaculture sought to combine those values to form what permaculture enthusiasts call an “ethic of care.” Today, permaculture is known throughout the globe. The word itself is a combination of “permanent” and “culture,” alluding to the goal of using noninvasive, sustainable growing methods. “It’s very sensible,” Alison says. “You have to take care of the earth if you want it to grow food for you.” These days, Alison digs below the surface, to the soil. The quality and character of the soil are crucial to a successful garden. “It’s all about harnessing what nature has to offer,” says Alison.
Adapting Permaculture Methods to an Urban Setting Alison quickly learned that most early Australian literature on permaculture did not apply to growers in Ohio. Unlike her, these writers lived on large farms in a temperate climate. “When you’re in a small space, some things become more important,” says Alison. “Like having good relationships with your neighbors.” Alison says she has to make sure her compost, which resides along her fence, doesn’t get too smelly. Also, though she is excited to begin growing Paw paws this year, she has to be careful that they don’t attract too many flies.
A permaculture method called stacking has helped address space issues. In Alison’s backyard, there are about a dozen circular raised beds. Each is roughly three feet in diameter and two feet high, wrapped in straw and chicken wire. These vertical gardens make the most of precious square feet. In each bed, Alison plants a tall plant or vine, such as a tomato or bitter melon, which acts as an anchor. Surrounding the anchor is a shrub layer, like carrots or potatoes. Because root vegetables grow down into the earth, they stay out of the anchor plant’s way. Lettuce is an ideal addition for the edge of the bed, because it requires minimal root space and nutrition. In every stacked bed, Alison seeks out plants that don’t compete for soil, space, or sunlight. In contrast to traditional gardens, with seeds planted in rows, permaculture gardens have little bare dirt. “You figure out ways to cover as much ground as possible by pairing complementary vegetables,” Alison says.
nutrients of grains, peas, or beans. Her goal for the future is to increase her production of amaranth and buckwheat grains as well as perennial vegetables. As summer draws to a close, she is starting fall seeds: kale, parsnips, beets, lettuce, sea kale, salt wort, carrots, radicchio, and more. These are all vegetables that taste better after a frost. Also, she can dig them up to eat throughout winter. Pretty soon, she will start preparing the ground for winter. To return nutrients and nitrogen to the soil, she will plant cover crops like winter rye, field peas, and crimson clover. She doesn’t pull plants out at the end of the season. Instead, she cuts them back so the ground is never bare. Tall plants that have gone to seed provide habitat for birds in the winter. “They perch and poop and that’s more fertilizer,” says Alison. “It mimics nature.” It’s all a work in progress. Permaculture, after all, is about the long view.
Feeding a Family of Four For Alison, the shift in her approach to gardening came when her twins were born. She wanted to feed them wholesome and delicious food. Later, when they entered preschool, she wanted to naturally boost their immune systems. So she started learning about and growing medicinal herbs and flowers.
Joannie D’Andrea credits her passion for flavor to her years working under Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni’s splendid ice Creams. in her time as a dairy Heiress, Joannie worked as a scooper, a baker, a writer for the marketing team and everything in between. these days, Joannie is in pursuit of a career in special education. she lives in Columbus with her husband, nick, and their houseplants.
These days, she plans on growing more stick-to-your-ribs food to feed her growing children. Salad greens are great, but they don’t pack the calories or
most nights, she rushes home from work to try out a new recipe with nick.
PHotogrAPHy By Jodi miller
from the good earth
A Man Among the Flowers Ohio bittersweet and macabre plants at Anderson Orchard By nicole rasul
tepping onto Steve Anderson’s farm near Pickerington, Ohio, turns the senses upside down. Farm fields covered in tall, green weeds lie in non-uniform patterns across the landscape. Greenhouses sit empty. An orchard where apple trees once flourished is covered in invasive vines. Bamboo and quince trees dot the scenery. Steve’s farm is the antithesis of conventional American farming. A renegade farmer, a self-declared “plant geek” who grows any plant as long as he finds it interesting, Steve does not fit the mold of today’s American farmer. In fact, he boldly shatters that mold. Steve operates as a mad scientist of sorts on his nearly 30-year-old farm. He is known for his quirky farmers market offerings like figs, quince, and bittersweet. Though he grows and sells many common Midwestern staples, such as asparagus, tomatoes, and green beans, in addition to sunflowers, peonies, and nearly 20 other flower varieties, Steve finds great satisfaction in selling the abnormal.
“I originally started selling some of the uncommon plants just to supplement our asparagus harvest in the spring. There are a million people selling petunias and marigolds. I enjoy selling different things, like this year I had figs and goji berries, as well as banana trees started from seed. There’s not a huge demand for these unusual varieties but it’s enough to make it worthwhile for me,” he notes. Anderson Orchard opened in 1985 with the planting of 2,000 apple trees. “I was very naïve, I had never been a farmer before. I thought we could farm organically, but due to the nature of the crop we couldn’t and not farming organically wasn’t something that I was interested in pursuing.”
Opposite: Steve Anderson of Anderson Orchard among his field of flowers and weeds Right: Bittersweet is a climbing vine that has both a native “American” variety and a non-native “Oriental” variety that was introduced to the United States from East Asia in the late 1800s.
Steve soon gave up on apples to focus on crops that he could grow sustainably with very few inputs. With a background in biology and, at that time, a day job as a high school science teacher, Steve focused on growing those plants that he found scientifically or historically interesting and that could survive his unique growing environment. With very little irrigation on the farm and a quest to grow as naturally as possible, Steve discovered a curious friend in weeds. “We use weeds as a cover crop,” Steve says with a chuckle. “We’ve been doing it for almost 10 years and it seems to be working really well. I do occasionally plant winter wheat and winter rye and I am experimenting with a way of using hairy vetch as a permanent self-seeding cover crop, but for now weeds are really doing the job. I think this would shock most farmers that we could get crops out of all of these weeds.” The weeds reduce the amount of inputs that Steve needs to use on the farm. “My hypothesis is that we rarely have to use pesticides and are able to grow mostly organically because of the weeds. Some of the weeds, like Queen Anne’s lace and goldenrod, are habitats for beneficial insects. Weeds really reduce your crop potential, that’s why most farmers don’t use them, because you get less harvest. However, even though the output is less, the input is a lot less.” Pointing to an orchard overgrown with weeds Steve notes, “It takes a field that looks like this to grow bittersweet.” Bittersweet is a climbing vine that has both a native “American” variety and a non-native “Oriental” variety that was introduced to the United States from East Asia in the late 1800s. Each autumn, the vine and the berries it produces beautifully mirror the orange and red hues of the fall harvest. Known for being extremely invasive, the bittersweet vine used to grow rampantly on hedgerows on American farms decades ago. However, with the advent of large farm equipment, hedgerows and bittersweet became a relic of the past. In Steve’s former apple orchard, bittersweet vines now cover the landscape. “It was serendipitous. I didn’t plan it. I noticed it one year and realized that this could work,” Steve says. “Now it’s one of the primary things that we sell
at the market in the autumn. We also make wreaths out of grapevine and decorate them with bittersweet. We’re trying to get out the word that we have it [and] we can supply it in tremendous quantities.” Also in Steve’s unusual plant collection is macabre, or poisonous, plants, once known as “witches’ weeds.” With toxic berries, the bittersweet vine is one such variety on Steve’s farm. He also grows the castor bean and the datura plant, also known as moonflower, among others, which he sells potted at farmers markets in the spring. What started as a clever marketing trick to attract buyers to the specialty plants has garnered a following. “Macabre was just something I wrote on the sign to catch people’s attention so they would ask what they were. However, the strategy was very successful; people were interested in buying them,” he explains. “They are all ornamental plants, they are just beautiful. Our grandmothers had them in their gardens, they used to be so common, people just don’t know the ominous stories behind them.” In this world of homogenized farms, food, and flowers, Steve and his alternative farm stand out as true originals. “I think what most people are surprised about with our farm is that it doesn’t look like a farm,” he notes. He walks past a blooming datura plant, toxic with a sinister history of causing delirious states and being used in witches’ brews and potions. In Anderson’s eyes it is remarkable for its complex past and the beauty in its soft, white blossoms. Find Steve and his bittersweet this fall at the Northmarket Farmers Market on Saturdays.
Nicole Rasul loves all things related to food and is especially inquisitive about food history and culture. she and her husband recently move back to ohio, her home state, after many years on the east Coast. they live in Clintonville where they enjoy the farmers market and their backyard garden.
Day of the Dead The Mexican tradition of wooing back the ones we've loved and lost by way of food By sarah lagrotteria • Photography by ryan Benyi • Food styling by Bridget Henry
Cheese Enchiladas with Salsa Verde. See page 58 for recipe.
t’s been said that we never come to the table alone. That we bring with us the memories of ones we dined with, laughed with and loved. But what would you cook if it could really bring back the dead?
The question sounds fantastical, but it’s a very real part of Dia de los Muertos, a Mexican tradition that dates back to the ancient Aztecs. Day of the Dead revolves around the belief that we don’t leave the earth forever when we die, but can return in spirit form. The Aztecs devoted the entire month of August to honoring the Goddess Mictecacihuatl, their “Lady of the Dead,” and reconnecting with their spirit loved-ones. The Aztecs and other Mexican Indians had to defend this notion of the afterlife against invading conquistadors and the scars from that battle mark our modern calendar. What was once a month-long holiday is now confined to the three Catholic Holy Days of All Hallows Eve, All Saints Days, and All Souls Day. But wedging non-Christian practices into a Catholic holiday didn’t Christianize the beliefs behind them. Dia de los Muertos remains resolutely pagan in its approach to the dead. Dia de los Muertos mirrors elements of another pagan holiday, Halloween. Candles, cemeteries,
skeletons, and sweets are all part of the mix. But trick or treating echoes a Celtic practice of guarding against spirits by leaving food for them on the doorstep. Day of the Dead, on the other hand, is celebrated with the sole purpose of inviting the dead home. More than anything else, the traditional holiday recipes of Dia de los Muertos are entrusted with accomplishing what we all wish we have the power to do: woo back the ones we’ve loved and lost to our world for one last hug, one last kiss, one last moment shared. The rituals begin on All Hallows Eve when children decorate altars with bright toys, sweet sodas, and candied pumpkin. The next day, Día de los Innocentes, the heavens open and the angelitos or deceased babies and children return to their families. On November 2, the actual Day of the Dead, families gather in cemeteries to sweep graves, carpet them with marigolds (the symbolic flowers of the dead) and tempt adult spirits with the dishes loved best since childhood: sweet bread, thick drinking chocolate, rich mole sauce, and more candied pumpkin. Theirs is a homecoming sweetened with comfort food and deep emotion. While sadness surely exists, grief plays a minor note. Sweetness and
joy prevail, which is why the signature Dia de los Muertos decorations, grinning sugar skulls and toy figurines, can seem macabre. The recipes here are our take on the comfort foods that lure the dead from the spirit world. Taken together, they contain the tactile comforts that bring cooks back to the kitchen: kneading, rolling, whisking, peeling, zesting, and melting. Pauses punctuate their rhythms, pauses for simmering and steeping. Pauses for remembering and pauses for imagining—what would you make to beckon back the ones you love? Visit ediblecolumbus.com for our recipe for Pan de Los Muerto, the traditional sweet bread for Day of the Dead.
Sarah Lagrotteria is a FCi-trained chef who has worked for mario Batali, taught writing classes on food culture at stanford and contributed to numerous cookbooks. in 2003, sarah co-founded Apples & onions, a private chef company in malibu, CA. she now lives in Worthington with her husband and daughter, marlowe.
Mexico: The Cookbook “All my life i have wanted to travel through mexico to learn authentic recipes from each region and now i don’t have to—margarita has done it for me!”—Eva Longoria We’re excited about the release of the new Mexico: The Cookbook by margarita Carrillo Arronte, “the first truly comprehensive bible of authentic mexican home cooking, written by a living culinary legend who is known as the marcella Hazan of mexico,” writes elizabeth lagno. Featuring 700 recipes from across the country, the cookbook includes a wealth of recipes for every aspect of a meal for friends and family and highlights recipes from top chefs such as enrique olvera. “From Barbacoa de Pollo from Hildalgo to oaxaca-style Beef tenderloin, and from Zucchini Flower Quesadillas from mexico City to “drunk” Coconut and Pineapple Cake from Puebla, it’s all in there.”
Mexico: The Cookbook is one of Publisher Weekly’s top 10 cookbooks this fall. We plan to spend many fall days and evenings cooking from it and savoring all it has to offer for the home kitchen. (Published by Phaidon, october 27, 2014, Hardcover, $49.95, 668 pages)
Mole Poblano. See page 59 for recipe.
Oven-Roasted Chicken Pieces. See page 61 for recipe.
Sweet and Spicy Acorn Squash. See page 61 for recipe.
Champurrado. See page 61 for recipe.
“it’s important to produce a lot of our own food; it’s important for most communities to be able to do that but especially educational institutions because we have to be teaching the connection between agriculture and a meal; people must understand that connection, otherwise we cannot produce meaningful change.” 46
Field-to-Fork Learning At Antioch College, kale is the unofficial school mascot By nicole rasul • Photography by Jodi miller
n a bright half-acre plot at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, students move amongst rows of plant life harvesting vegetables for dinner. Green beans, tomatoes, and onions are pulled from the ground and picked from the vine, washed and weighed. The eight students working on the farm are all enrolled at Antioch and their work on the farm is a critical component of their undergraduate curriculum.
Antioch College is a small year-round liberal arts college with a curriculum focused on experiential learning. In 2008, the College was forced to shutter its doors due to financial difficulties but reopened in 2011 after a massive fundraising campaign and a bold re-visioning plan by the College’s governing board. With 246 students from 39 states currently enrolled, having recently been named a candidate for accreditation and with a plan to more than double enrollment by 2022, Antioch College is on the rise. In building a new Antioch, leaders and students boldly planned a future focused on sustainability. In addition to a robust local foods focus on campus, the college aims to operate on 100% alternative energy by 2018 with the launch of impressive geothermal well and solar array projects. As part of the re-visioning exercise, the Antioch College Farm was brought to life in 2011 from the remains of an overgrown community garden plot on the south side of campus. In just three years, significant progress on the farm has been made. What began as a quarter-acre vegetable garden has doubled in size and now also includes a half-acre permaculture food forest, a hoop house, chicken, duck and lamb pastures, an apiary, and a recently planted 100-tree orchard. A five-year master plan for the property includes continued expansion, including growing the annual garden, food forest and orchard footprints, adding two hoop houses, as well as the addition of a barn and extensive space for rotational grazing pastures. Though not certified organic, the farm practices sustainable growing methods, including organic, ecological, and permaculture agricultural practices. Opposite: Top, middle: Farm manager Kat Christen (right) helps farm-to-table co-op participant Conor Jameson (left). Top, right: Isaac Delalmatre is the food service coordinator at Antioch. Bottom: Cherokee Hill cuts up squash in Birch Commons for lunch.
Key to the farm’s founding is its use as a learning lab for students. Under the guidance of Farm Manager Kat Christen, students are the farm’s only employees. Since 2011, 26 students have been employed on the farm as parttime workers or as part of the school’s cooperative education program. “The purpose of the farm is to provide a learning laboratory for students and to help the campus be more sustainable. The farm has been growing organically with the increasing student body, which has been an effective way to do it since we’ve been able to tie it closely to the mission of the college,” notes Kat. The farm is a cooperative education location with students working full-time on the farm and spending two afternoons a week in the dining halls where they follow the harvest to its final location. In addition to providing hands-on experience to students on campus, the farm also serves as a learning lab for several of the college’s courses. Antioch College faculty in environmental sciences, botany and the college’s global seminar on food bring their students to the farm to learn about the soil, propagate plants, and study varying ecological practices. “The farm was a big reason I came to Antioch,” says Charlotte Pulitzer, a second-year student. “I saw Joel Salatin speak recently and, addressing my generation, he said, ‘the fact that you want to be sustainable, have your food growing on your campus outside of your door’ and the fact that we are doing that here really spoke to me.” In addition to having spent a cooperative learning quarter on the Antioch College Farm, Charlotte has spent time on farms in Western Massachusetts and Guatemala through Antioch’s cooperative education model. Everything produced on the farm makes its way to the Antioch College kitchens. In 2013, during its second full year of operation, the farm provided 6,000 pounds of produce to the college’s two dining halls, located 1,500 feet from the farm. This produce accounted for 23% of the local food served in the dining halls that year. As the soil quality on the farm improves, which is a key goal for Kat, the yield provided to the kitchens is expected to improve as well. The kitchen and the farm see each other as vital partners dependent on one another for co-existence. Isaac DeLamatre, Antioch College’s food service coordinator and executive chef explains, “It’s understood that these things must go together, when you have that fundamental
relationship established you can produce change, which is what Antioch is all about.” The Antioch College Food Service program is self-managed and does not operate under a corporate food service contract like many of its peers. The vision for the dining program also underwent a massive rethinking when the college reopened and the program today looks vastly different than that which was in operation in years past. “Being self-managed, our goal is not to produce a profit serving the cheapest food possible. Obviously we want to be fiscally responsible, but producing quality food is our priority, not generating large profits,” Isaac says. Sourcing an average of 30% of its food locally (a number that fluctuates based on the season) from both the Antioch farm and 12 to 15 producers working in the Miami Valley region, the kitchens focus on producing a common healthy, high-quality meal with meat, vegetarian, and vegan options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day. Critical to the nature of the dining program is communal eating where students, and often faculty and staff, dine together at the dining halls’ large family-style tables. With visions of continued growth in both the farm and the Food Service program, Antioch has poised itself as a small but mighty leader in rethinking the way higher education interacts with the food system. “We want to create a model that can inspire other school systems or universities to do the same thing,” Isaac says. “It’s important to produce a lot of our own food; it’s important for most communities to be able to do that but especially educational institutions because we have to be teaching the connection between agriculture and a meal; people must understand that connection, otherwise we cannot produce meaningful change.”
A Leader in Sustainability in addition to its robust farm, Antioch College has many sustainability initiatives underway. By 2018, Antioch College is on track to become one of the first colleges in the united states to be heated and cooled almost exclusively by geothermal and solar power. through an $8 million dollar geothermal facility consisting of 300 geothermal wells, the college anticipates saving more than $400,000 per year and offsetting 2,900 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. on five acres near the Antioch College farm, 5,000 solar panels will soon be installed to power 41% of the college’s total energy consumption. through this initiative, 100 tons of carbon dioxide emissions will be offset per year and $350,000 in savings is anticipated over a 25-year period. Additionally, the campus has active recycling, compost, rainwater diversion, and bike-sharing programs. in 2013, 19,542 pounds of material were recycled on campus and 4,600 pounds of waste were composted.
Flying J Farm Farmer and advocate Richard Jensen and his philosophy of restoration By nancy mckibben • Photography by Catherine murray
ilot. Farmer. Retired OSU professor. Sustainability advocate. Richard Jensen of Flying J Farm in Johnstown, aka “Farmer Dick”, has packed a lot into his 72 years. Fit, trim, and tanned, only the wrinkles that fan his keen blue eyes divulge his age, which is itself a good argument for the kind of life he espouses: one that is rooted in the earth and its rhythms, that gives back more than it takes, that begins with restoring human health, and ripples out to restore the environment and the community.
Seeds Born in 1942 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Dick “grew up poor,” his mother widowed and on welfare. At age 9, “I talked Mom into planting beans so I could sell them for six cents a pound,” after realizing that he was picking them for the farmer for only three cents a pound, an early lesson in farm economics. His mother married a farmer when Dick was 12, and he and his brother milked their stepfather’s 12 cows in return for one-quarter of the milk check. But Dick’s dream was to fly a plane, not run a farm. A physics major at the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire, Dick graduated and immediately obtained a pilot’s license, followed by a master’s in aviation and a PhD in aviation psychology from the University of Illinois. Dick then taught aviation psychology, a field in which he pioneered, at The Ohio State University from 1979–2001. In the meantime he married, had three children, and divorced.
Dick raises grass-fed, chemical free beef, rotating their pastures for better land management.
Restoring Health In 1983, Dick’s sister died at age 37 of colon cancer. Already a runner and marathoner, Dick decided to “do something about the way I ate.” At first, he grew vegetables at his Upper Arlington home, but by the mid-90s he was searching for a farm to buy. “I was ready. I thought it would be healthier and less stressful.” The Flying J, with its 250 rolling acres of woods, lake, fields, and stream, is in many ways a grand experiment in healthier living. “It’s a miracle I ever got this place,” Dick says. “It was more than I could afford, but the previous owner held on to it for me, because she liked my plan to grow organically.” Fortunately, “my previous department chairman was on the board of Heartland Bank,” which okayed the loan. Today Dick raises chemical free, grass-fed beef. His own diet is plant-based, and he eats beef perhaps once a week. His dietary advice is tempered. “Every individual is different as to diet, and every diet won’t work for everybody,” he says, “but everybody could eat more fruits and vegetables.” He grows lots of them. In the greenhouse, an intern has arranged a lush still life of the farm’s many-colored produce on a table: apples, peaches, plums, cherries, sweet potatoes, watermelon, three types of beans, brassicas (kale, cauliflower, broccoli), potatoes, blueberries, onions, beets, chard, turnips, sweet corn, cucumbers, edamame, peas—the list is long and amazing in its variety. “Health comes from eating all the colors of the rainbow, which is why we grow different varieties of the same vegetable.” Dick grows his produce organically, and he prefers to sell “to the people who eat the food” at the Granville and Westerville farmers markets. The exception: friends John and Kimberly Skaggs feature his beef at the Wexner Center’s Heirloom Café.
Restoration and Experimentation When Dick purchased the Flying J, it was “beaned out”—fields sucked dry of nutrients after years of soybean monoculture. “Chemicals destroy the life in the soil—the worms, bugs, molds, fungus, mice that drill holes, leave castings. By allowing them to live, you restore the land.” To that end, Dick plants cover crops like buckwheat (the neighbors’ bees are delighted), rests his fields, rotates the pasturing of his cows, uses drip irrigation, and keeps woods and water cow-free Another product of restoration is the lake, which was “totally algaed, ugly, and smelled.” Dick first tried grass carp, then tried dragging out the algae mechanically. Only after he followed the Granville Feed Mill’s recommendation to add a probiotic product to the lake to establish good bacteria did the water clear. Today it is stocked with largemouth bass for fishing. Restoration extends even to the farm buildings. Dick remodeled and lives in the original farmhouse, once the John Denty residence (and mill). The present Farm Market building was “falling off its foundation and bowed in the middle,” and once housed pot-bellied pigs. Hard work and the help of interns (see sidebar) accomplished miracles. Four years ago, snow collapsed the cow barn, since rebuilt on the same concrete pad. It now boasts a 48panel solar array. Dick strives to use what he has. The farm’s fallen ash, oak, hickory, and sugar maple built the Lake Barn. Its windows are recycled and the cast-iron stove was purchased for a song at a farm sale. A windmill provides running water, the toilet composts, and solar panels deliver electricity. The farm’s 100 acres of managed woods fuel the outdoor furnace, which heats the house, the garden barn, the greenhouse, the water in the house year-round, the water in the barn when the solar panels are not working, and the biodiesel processing tank. Yes, Dick even produces biodiesel for his tractor, using waste vegetable oil from Dennison University’s food services.
Restoring Community But self-sufficiency is not insularity. Slow Food Columbus’s annual Farm-toTable Dinner is a seven-year Flying J staple. And each August, 20 Dennison University freshman enjoy a sustainable pre-orientation week at the Lake Barn, cooking outdoors and working on the farm. Likewise, high school seniors from The Graham School in Clintonville can opt to do their senior “walkabout” program here. Dick also sponsors speakers and workshops on sustainability topics. And he especially wants to provide a place for city families to relax and learn about the rhythms of rural life through seasonal festivals: Maple Syrup, Mushroom Gathering, and Fall Fest. In 2013, Dick planted hazel, hickory, and pecan trees along the Lake Garden, an experiment in permaculture, but also a gift for the future and an expression of his philosophy of restoration. “I believe that happiness and health comes from doing something for others that in no way, even for goodwill or politics, benefits you. That’s why I planted the trees.” (Find out more from Farmer Dick at The Flying J Farm, 5329 Van Fossen Rd., Johnstown, Ohio 43031, 740-967-4030. flyingjfarm.com. firstname.lastname@example.org)
Clockwise from top right: Retired OSU professor Dick Jensen brought Flying J’s fields back to life after years of soybean monoculture. Dick promotes a plant-based diet for health and wellness. Interns Robbie Winearls from Great Britain (left) and Marisa Smith from Texas enjoying some coffee before the long day at the farm begins. Flying J grows a variety of vegetables, encouraging a plant-based diet. “Chemicals destroy the life in the soil—the worms, bugs, molds, fungus, mice that drill holes, leave castings. By allowing them to live, you restore the land.”
Restoring Global Community “i had so much help from people when i moved out here,” says farmer dick Jensen of Flying J Farm. like the farmer who sold him his original cows and calves. like the ohio soil and Water Conservation department, who not only advised him, but funded a high-tunnel greenhouse. And he has been happy to give back that help. His interns, 50 of them since 1999, are vital to this philosophy. He chooses them from helpX.org [see below], and they come from around the globe, for weeks or months, providing new friends and farm help for dick, and innumerable intangible benefits (and room and board) for the interns. Below, some of their thoughts. marissa from texas, who ditched a traditional corporate job in Austin for travel and service: “it’s been illuminating being on the farm and really, really connecting to where the food comes from, and how much work it is doing organic farming.” robbie, a British student from sussex university: “i wanted to be self-sufficient. i learned to drive a tractor, i did harvesting and marketing.” Xavier, a 40-year-old computer programmer from Barcelona: “it’s hard, but it fills me up with happiness. this experience marks a before and after in my life.” HelpX.org describes itself as an “online listing of host organic farms, non-organic farms, farmstays, homestays, ranches, lodges, B&Bs, backpackers’ hostels, and even sailing boats who invite volunteer helpers to stay with them short-term in exchange for food and accommodation.
Pumpkin Envy Heirloom pumpkins at Roger Kline’s farm By teresa Woodard • Photography by eric Albrecht
hampion pumpkin grower Roger Kline of Yellowbud knows a thing or two about growing pumpkins. In his 25 years of raising the beloved fall fruits, he’s tried 40 different kinds, ranging from Circleville Pumpkin Show giants to orange miniatures and even warty blue ones, but his all-time favorite pumpkin for eating is the heirloom Tan Cheese. “It’s the best pie pumpkin, bar none,” says Roger. One of the earliest domestic varieties from the species Cucurbita moschata, these old-time cheese pumpkins resemble a wheel of cheese with their buffcoloring and squatty round, ribbed shape. Their insides contain a deeporange, sweet flesh that differs from the stringy pulp of Jack-o’-Lantern pumpkins (Cucurbita pepo). While most of Roger’s Tan Cheese pumpkins weigh in around 20 pounds, last year, he grew a 72-pound one and took it to the Circleville Pumpkin Show to win Best of Show. A farmer for 42 years, Roger started planting pumpkin seeds in 1980. He attributes his mail carrier, Lawrence Radcliff, to getting him started. Lawrence was a long-time treasurer of the Pumpkin Show. “He handed me some seeds, and said ‘Try some’,” says Roger. That initial season, he says, was difficult. On July 12, 1980, a landmark hail storm ripped through Roger’s farm on Route 104 in northern Ross County and wiped out all but one pumpkin vine. Remarkably, a hail-scarred survivor won a prize at the show and was aptly dubbed “Speckles.” The next year, Roger produced a 250-pound pumpkin, which took second place and was featured in a photo on the front page of the Columbus Citizen Journal. In 1982, Roger won his one-and-only giant pumpkin award at the show and sold his prize 414-pound pumpkin to billionaire and pumpkin aficionado Caroline Hunt Schoellkopf, who flew the giant home on her own airline, appropriately named Pumpkin Air.
That same year, Roger started growing Tan Cheese pumpkins when local grower Frank Carpenter decided to stop growing them and shared his seeds with pumpkin growers from the show. Today, four growers—Roger, Lloyd Koch, Darlene Gose of the Pumpkin Patch Farmers Market and Angie Overholt of the Hardman family—continue to cultivate Frank’s pumpkins. “Now, we compete with each other at the show for the best Tan Cheese,” says Roger. According to Roger’s records, the Tan Cheese has been grown locally for more than 100 years. He said farmers grew two varieties—the Red Cow and a heavier Old-Fashioned Red Cow (today’s Tan Cheese) to feed to livestock and sell for processing at the Winnor Canning Co. in Circleville. Since the cannery paid by the pound, the farmers came to prefer the girth of the OldFashioned Red Cows, which weighed three times as much as their counterparts. While the cannery closed in the 1960s, the Coon Brothers continued to grow them and bring them to the Show. Today, Roger says, there are other cheese pumpkin varieties available to grow, but “there’s no taste comparison” to his Tan Cheese. Three cheese varieties include Long Island Cheese, New England Cheddar and Rumbo, and they can be purchased from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed, Burpee Seed Company, Rupp Seeds, and Seed Savers. Growing pumpkins can be challenging. They require a long growing season, typically 90–120 days. And, heirlooms can be more vulnerable to diseases than the heartier hybrids. Roger’s Tan Cheese pumpkins require a longer, 130-day season, so he gets a jump start by planting his seeds in peat pots indoors in mid-April. He’ll then transplant the seedlings outdoors in mid-May after the threat of frost has passed. The seeds he plants are saved from the past season’s crop. Since they’re heirloom seeds and thus open-pollinated, he can count on the bees to pollinate the vines’ orange blooms and generate true-to-form Tan Cheese pumpkins. In mid-September, he harvests the pumpkins to sell at his farm stand for $3 to $10 each, depending on their weight. Kline says they keep for months.
Opposite: At his farmstand, Roger sells plenty of the classic ‘Gold Medal’ orange pumpkins along with an assortment of squashes and gourds with names like Turks Turbin, Camel Camel, One Too Many, Red Eye, Gray Hubbard, and Tennessee Sweet Potato. Below: Besides growing prize-winning pumpkins, Roger Kline is known for skillfully knotting Long Handle Dipper gourds.
One regular customer, Nancy List, a retired teacher from Asheville, annually buys several of Roger’s Tan Cheese pumpkins to make pumpkin pies, pumpkin cookies, and pumpkin rolls. For pumpkin pies, she always turns to Francile Peters’ award-winning recipe. Nancy says Peters and her family ran Peters Farm Market for many years on Route 23 near Circleville, and her pies won awards at the Pumpkin Show in the 1950s. To prepare a fresh pumpkin for baked goods, Nancy says she peels, cubes, and boils the chunks for approximately 30 minutes until soft. Then, she runs them through a food mill or colander to create a puree to be used in recipes. She says one pumpkin will typically make enough for eight to 10 pies. If she’s not using all of the pumpkin puree, she’ll pre-measure quantities for pies and freeze them in storage containers for future use. Nancy says pumpkin is not only tasty but also nutritious. One cup of cooked pumpkin contains only 50 calories but is packed with fiber and vitamin A. Pumpkins are also a great source of beta carotene, and their seeds are high in protein, magnesium, and zinc. A trip to the Pumpkin Show offers plenty of ideas for pumpkin-inspired culinary treats. Here, vendors serve pumpkin soup, pumpkin chili dogs, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin doughnuts, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin mousse, pumpkin fudge, pumpkin burgers, pumpkin cheesecake, and roasted pumpkin seeds. The town’s bakery even cooks up a six-foot, 400pound pumpkin pie and legendary pumpkin doughnuts that draw customer lines out the door.
Beyond Circleville, restaurant chefs are serving pumpkin beers, pumpkin risottos, and pumpkin ravioli on fall menus. To keep pace with this new demand of pumpkin eaters, Roger at age 72 has recruited the help of his nephew, Justin Jacobs, who helps him raise his Tan Cheese and other pumpkin, squash, and gourd varieties. Justin, who started building pumpkin displays at the Pumpkin Show at age 5, also grows his own crop and creates award-winning pumpkin pyramids. The heirloom favorite lives on for another generation.
Teresa Woodard writes home and garden stories for regional and national magazines. she also blogs with two other writers at heartland-gardening.com. this fall, she’s looking forward to trying a pumpkin risotto recipe.
Tan Cheese Pumpkin Sources Roger Kline’s Farm Market 23148 state route 104, Chillicothe • 740-993-4644 Pumpkin Patch Farmers Market 603 e. main st., Circleville • 740-412-0895 Circleville Pumpkin Show (october 15–18) pumpkinshow.com
day of the dead recipes
Mole Poblano Adapted from “Pati’s Mexican Table” serves 10–12 generously mole has a bad rep as a labor-intensive project. gathering and measuring your ingredients will take time, but bringing the sauce together is little more than a sauté and a simmer. the result, a sweet, smoky pudding-like base rich with nuts and chocolate, still tastes like a recipe many days in the making. one word of advice: Wear latex gloves when handling the chiles so the hot oils won’t seep into your skin.
½ cup vegetable oil
Warm a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-heat. Add the oil and warm another minute or two. turn
3 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded, seeds
on your vent before adding several chilies to the pan in a single layer. sauté the chiles until warm and dark, but not burnt, about 3 minutes. remove with a slotted spoon and reserve. sauté the remaining chiles in
reserved 6 dried pasilla chiles, stemmed and seeded, seeds
batches, lowering the heat as needed to brown them without burning. reserve the chile oil in the pan.
reserved 4 dried mulato chiles, stemmed and seeded, seeds reserved
Add the onion and garlic to the chile oil and cook until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the almonds, peanuts, raisins, and pumpkin seeds. Cook, tossing as needed, until lightly browned and fragrant, about 3 minutes more.
2 dried chipotle chiles, stemmed and seeded, seeds reserved
stir in the sesame seeds, reserved chile seeds, cloves, anise seeds, coriander seeds, black peppercorns,
½ small white onion, roughly chopped
cinnamon stick, allspice, thyme, and oregano. Continue cooking, stirring often, until thoroughly combined
2 small garlic cloves, roughly chopped
and warmed through, about 5 minutes. stir in the tomato, tomatillo, tortilla, and bread. Continue cooking
1½ tablespoons raw almonds, skin-on
until the breads begin to melt into the mixture, about 5 minutes more. stir in the reserved chiles and pour
1½ tablespoons raw peanuts
in your chicken broth. turn heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. reduce to a low simmer and stir in the chocolate pieces. once the chocolate melts, stir in the salt and let the mixture
2 tablespoons raisins ½ tablespoon raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes. use a spoon to taste for salt and then remove from the heat. let sit for 30 minutes so the chiles have time to soften in the heat and the flavors
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
continue to meld.
¼ cup reserved chile seeds 3 whole cloves, stemmed
remove the cinnamon stick (if you have a very powerful blender you can keep the stick in, but it can leave
⅛ teaspoon anise seeds or 1 pod star anise
a grainy texture if not completely pulverized) and star anise (if using) and blend mole in batches in the
⅛ teaspoon coriander seeds
blender or food processor until smooth and almost pudding-like in texture.
¼ teaspoon whole black peppercorns 1 stick true or Ceylon cinnamon
your mole will be very thick and spicy at this point. don’t worry. you will loosen it with chicken stock before
⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
serving and the spice that seems extreme now will be just right served over chicken or enchiladas.
Pinch dried thyme When ready to eat, warm 1 cup of mole with ½ cup of chicken stock. serve warm over chicken or enchi-
Pinch dried oregano
ladas with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds on top.
1 roma tomato, charred over an open flame or roasted under the broiler and roughly chopped 1 tomatillo, charred over an open flame or roasted under the broiler and roughly chopped 1 corn tortilla, torn into small pieces 2 ½-inch baguette slices, torn into small pieces 3 ounces mexican-style chocolate (we like the taza brand cinnamon) or bittersweet chocolate 5 cups chicken broth, divided ½ teaspoon salt or more to taste ¼ cup sesame seeds, lightly toasted, for serving
Cheese Enchiladas with Salsa Verde serves 12 Tomatillo salsa (can be made a day ahead)
Place first four ingredients (tomatillos through jalapeños) in a large pot and fill to cover with water. Bring to
1 pound tomatillos, husked
a boil then lower to simmer until vegetables are tender, about 12–15 minutes. drain completely.
1 white onion, peeled and sliced 4 garlic cloves, peeled 2 jalapeños, halved and seeds removed 2 teaspoons ground cumin
Combine cooked vegetables with remaining salsa ingredients in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Pulse until smooth. season to taste with salt and pepper. set aside to cool. Preheat the oven to 350°.
1 teaspoon salt ½ cup chopped cilantro leaves
Combine the cheddar and monterey jack cheeses in a bowl. divide 4 tablespoons tomatillo salsa between
½ a lime, juiced
two large (13- by 9-inch) baking dishes, smearing to coat the bottom of each dish.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (optional) 1 tablespoon of honey (optional)
Place 2–3 tablespoons of the cheese mixture into the bottom third of a tortilla. top with 2 spoonsful of salsa. using your hands, roll the tortilla like a cigar and place seam-side down in the baking dish. repeat
Enchiladas 3 cups monterey jack cheese, shredded 2 cups white cheddar cheese, shredded
with remaining tortillas, placing the finished enchiladas close together until the baking dish is full. spoon 3 ladlesful of salsa over the rolled enchiladas and top with cheese as desired. Bake until cheese is golden and bubbly, about 35 minutes.
24 flour tortillas
day of the dead recipes
Oven-Roasted Chicken Pieces Adapted from Mark Bittman serves 8–10
Sweet and Spicy Acorn Squash
day of the dead festivities feature platters of
Champurrado is a fragrant mexican hot chocolate
candied pumpkin, chunks of pumpkin flesh sim-
thickened with masa harina or corn flour. the
mered with a form of raw sugar cane called pilon-
texture, more like porridge than a drink, will sur-
mole is traditionally served over poached chicken
cillo, which tastes more like molasses than
prise those accustomed to watery mixes. But one
pieces, but we decided to roast our birds with
conventional brown sugar. the finished pumpkin is
sip and you’ll know why children and adults crave
sliced lemons that char and ooze under the heat. if
syrupy and sweet enough to be served with ice
a comforting bowl of champurrado on cold
a guest doesn’t like spicy mole, a well-seasoned,
cream. For our feast, we made squash that is
crispy piece of chicken will do.
sweet and spicy, equally suitable for day of the dead and your thanksgiving table. like traditional
6 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons butter, divided
candied pumpkin, this squash can be eaten in
1 pod star anise
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
whole chunks—the skin of an acorn squash is
2 cinnamon sticks
2 lemons, cut into thick slices
edible when cooked until tender.
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 whole chickens, cut into 8 pieces salt and pepper to taste
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract 2 whole acorn squash
⅓ cup masa harina, or corn flour
¼ teaspoon chili powder
⅓ cup packed dark brown sugar
5 tablespoons brown sugar Preheat oven to 450°.
1 tablespoon molasses
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 ounces mexican chocolate, finely chopped (can
1½ tablespoons minced canned chipotle chiles divide the butter, oil, and lemon slices between two large roasting pans. Place in the oven and let warm until the butter melts, about 3 minutes. While butter melts, pat your chicken pieces dry. generously season each piece on both sides with salt and pepper. Carefully remove the pans from the oven and add in chicken, turning each piece to coat both sides in warm fat. leave the chicken skin side up and place in the oven. roast for 15 minutes. remove from the oven and turn each piece skin side down. return to the oven and roast 10 minutes more. remove and flip each piece again, returning the chicken to the oven skin side up for a final 5–10 minutes. the chicken is done when the juices run clear and the skin is a deep golden brown. remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. spoon the pan juices and the charred lemon slices on top and serve with the mole on the side.
5 tablespoons vegetable oil plus some for oiling the baking dish
substitute bittersweet chocolate), broken into small pieces ¼ teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 400°.
in a medium saucepan, combine the milk, star
Wash and dry the acorn squash. Cut in half from the stem end to the point. scoop out the seeds with a spoon. stand the wedges skin side down in one or two large, lightly oiled baking dishes. in a small bowl, combine the chili powder, brown sugar, salt, chipotle chiles, and vegetable oil. stir into a thick paste.
anise, cinnamon sticks, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Bring to a simmer then remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for up to an hour to let the flavor meld. scoop out the cinnamon stick and star anise. Bring the milk to a simmer and whisk in the corn flour, stirring continually until smooth and slightly thick, about 8 minutes. stir in the brown sugar and
Coat the flesh side of the squash with half the sweet and spicy paste. Cover loosely with oil and roast, covered, until the squash is just beginning to soften, about 15 minutes. remove from the oven, uncover,
molasses, stirring continuously until both dissolve. Add in the chocolate and stir until melted. season to taste with salt, whisk to froth, and serve hot in large mugs or latte bowls.
and spread the remaining spice mixture on top of the squash. return to the oven, uncovered, and let roast until very tender and fragrant, about 30 minutes more. enjoy warm, skin and all.
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The Home, The Apple By liz Bell young
ctober. It was October that made me weep. Some bright, October day in Ohio that I could only vaguely place, but longed for in the way you long for an anchor—for something to hold you steady when you’re wandering and searching and bent on getting lost.
As any frightened, disoriented young wife might do, I left. I’m certain, for effect, I didn’t latch doors or tie shoes. I stormed and kept storming, through our iron gate, away from Orietta’s opera and miles into some neck of the Italian woods where I’d never been. It’s that strange defense of adding lost to lost. I couldn’t navigate the kitchen disruption, couldn’t foresee any resurrection, so I went running for a rabbit hole. The kitchen fight, alone, was probably enough to send me out, but underneath was also this new, strange tremor called The War on Terror—and there we were in someone else’s country, my husband an American soldier and slated for times such as these, and our not knowing what would happen with it all and what would even hold—because I think it’s moments like these when you sense there’s not an end. Not when it’s terror. 64
And all I could think of in that day of lost was apples. Small, golden, green apples from Ohio trees in October. How simple the mind. At first blush, it’s the flight of nostalgia. The need to land on something in the past. A day of apple picking that held glory. A day all windy, fresh, and young. But going a little further, it’s more. It’s those three sisters who climbed the trees with you, that mother, that father. That mother and father who understood why fields and family and a long day under trees were giving space for love. For solace. For communion. Home. I stormed from a kitchen because I didn’t know, yet, how to find apples in it. How to hearken the anchor of October. Or how to stay and wrangle and trust until it came. But at least in the middle of that Italian road with a wet face and awakened heart, I found what I must have feared the most: that home couldn’t be recreated. That you only have one chance.
I’m not eating apples because I haven’t found them here, but I am eating toast. Because toast is my grandmother in Pittsburgh, is my 3-year-old and his crumbs on the counter, is my sweet safety in a city where I’m brand new and spinning and nothing is known. But there is toast. And in two days I will go back to Ohio, back to my boys who run like young chickens in our sweep of a yard, who tackle and dive and shout, need, give. And at night, when we’ve tucked them into their bunk bed and professed all our love, my husband and I will sit on the porch, knowing each other and still going further, because home isn’t once, isn’t limited, isn’t exclusive. It is there for us all.
Liz Bell Young is the author of In
the Wide Country of Love, a memoir about italy, war and
finding home. young is also the founder of “Haven magazine.” she lives in Cincinnati with her husband, two boys and one on the way.
I’m writing now from India. From a hotel room perched above the chaos of Kolkata streets, where
PHoto Courtesy oF liZ Bell young
I was standing on the chilled marble floor of our kitchen in Northern Italy, doors flung open to our fine neighbors and their loud hens and sweeping farms. Our laundry was pinned like a party garland across the back of the house and Orietta was broadcasting opera thru her own kitchen window in such a way that it also found ours. But suddenly, in what was meant to be so storybook, so to-die-for—this first year of marriage in the foothills of Italy where we’d live for a total of four—my husband and I had some small but horrifying argument that made me believe our world had gone to pot. These times that drain your heart, threaten to fell a home.