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Our Food, Our Land, Our Culture, Season by Season

Fall 2017 • Issue No. 30

Leeks • Pumpkins • The Woods • Nose to Tail PRICELESS Member of Edible Communities


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Fall Contents 2017

Locally made herbal tinctures by Erika Galentin at Sovereignty Herbs in Athens, Ohio. See story on page 26.


DEPARTMENTS 4 6 8 10 18 20 23 26 30 36 39 42 45 60 63 64





A roundup of Central Ohio’s local farms and markets offering pig races, corn mazes, apple donuts and more


By Julie Bhusal Sharma




LITTLE LINKS How small pastured meat producers meet nose to tail demands

By Rachel Tayse, Photography by Rachel Joy Barehl


THE TREE WHISPERER Randy Sanders of Pike County Farm and his philosophy on harvesting nature

By Nicole Rasul, Photography by Stephen Takacs




11 12 13 28 28

Leek, Butternut Squash and Gruyère Tart Emerald Leek Soup Pumpkin Mousse Thyme Tea White Pine Vinegar


Cover: GoreMade Pizza in Italian Village with local Fox Hollow Farm pork sausage. See story on page 48. PHOTO BY © RACHEL JOY BAREHL, RACHELJOYBARANSI.COM


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letter from the EDITOR


Franklin County Farm Bureau EDITOR-IN-CHIEF




Doug Adrianson • Susanna Cantor

Central Ohio is unique when it comes to local food. We have a growing, vibrant urban core, yet take a 10-minute drive in any direction past the outer-belt and you can visit a farm. This is rare. Let’s keep this asset of our community going strong by making a renewed commitment to being truly loyal to local. Take the first step. Pick up your copy of Edible Columbus at one of our advertiser locations and spend your dollars at those businesses that invest in us (see our advertiser directory on page 63). Then read our stories. And then take the next step and seek out one of the farms, markets or restaurants and talk to the owners. Learn about what they do, why it matters to them. And then share your experience. Craft a post on Instagram, do an interview on your podcast or attend an event for a farm-to-table experience. Your investment keeps the whole wheel turning. Period. Our autumn issue looks at some of these special places and people out of pure love. We love these folks and what they do. And we know you’ll love them, too. Visit Randy Sanders and see his woodcrafts from the Appalachian forest (page 54). Walk into Butcher & Grocer, pick up meat for dinner and say “Hi!” to Tony (page 48). Go to Granville and spend the night at Orchard House Bed and Breakfast (page 30). Or take your kids out to pick pumpkins and then come home and make our Emerald Leek Soup and restore (page 12). This is your land. This is your community. Show your love. Keep the whole wheel turning. Eat Well,

We’ve grown! Colleen Leonardi, Editor-in-Chief

Visit our new website at and let us know what you think.

Above: Team Edible Cbus (from left to right): Chief Operating Officer, Steve Berk; Editor-in-Chief, Colleen Leonardi; and Associate Publisher, Claire Spurlock. 4

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Melissa Petersen PHOTOGRAPHY

Rachel Joy Barehl • Maria Khoroshilova Dave Wilson Liggett • Stephen Takacs Carole Topalian WRITERS

Tony Bresnen • Jamey Emmert Erika Galentin • Debra Knapke Colleen Leonardi • Nancy McKibben Megan Neary • Tara Pettit Nicole Rasul • Polly Rich Julie Bhusal Sharma • Claire Spurlock Brian Snyder • Rachel Tayse Callie Wells CONTACT US

P.O. Box 21-8376 Columbus, Ohio 43221 Edible Columbus


@ediblecolumbus ADVERTISING INQUIRIES 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.



ommunity Supported Publishing—that’s what we’re all about. Just like your farmer thrives through a Community Supported Agriculture share, Edible Columbus and our team thrives within our community the more you support us and the folks featured in our stories. From the farmers, growers, producers and chefs to the farms, businesses and markets, your engagement with these spokes along the food wheel keep the whole thing turning so we can deliver fresh, beautiful content to you.

Side Dish We’re sharing a glimpse of what fall in Columbus looks, smells and tastes like, through your eyes. Be sure to tag your next edible adventures with #ediblecolumbus. —Claire Spurlock

Top, left to right: @wildorigins, @simplytaylorblog, @ohiyochocolate Middle, left to right: @cosechacolumbus, @theangrybakerote, @sharonteuscher Bottom, left to right: @davidactually, @bestofthemenu, @colleenleonardi 6

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local and in SEASON

Leeks V

The aristocratic allium

ichyssoise: potato soup with panache, simple yet elegant. This was my introduction to leeks.

The leek—Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum—is so attractive that it can hold its own in the ornamental garden, standing tall with blueish-green leaves. Unlike its cousins—onions, shallots and garlic—the leek’s leaves remain green throughout the growing season. Leeks are seldom bothered by insects or mammals, although you might occasionally lose one to an inexperienced fawn. According to William Woys Weaver in Heirloom Vegetable Gardening, the leek’s recorded history started in Egypt as one of the foods added to graves and tombs for 8

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By Debra Knapke nourishment in the afterlife. The oldest dated plants were placed in tombs between 1550 and 1320 BCE. Early leeks had slender, elongated leaves and bulbs. An illustration drawn by Petrus Andreas Matthiolus in 1565 shows skinny leeks that we modern grocery shoppers would shun. By early 1800, artist Pierre-Joseph Redouté depicted leeks that look more like our modern cultivars. Nutritionally, leeks are loaded with vitamins: A, B (folic acid, niacin, riboflavin and thiamin), C, E and K, as well as providing potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and selenium. They have less of the chemicals that cause our eye-watering reaction to onions, which also gives them a softer, subtler flavor.

Leeks are one of the easiest vegetables to grow. Make sure the soil in the bed is amended with compost to a depth of 10–12 inches. While leeks are not deeply rooted, they benefit from soil that is loose and contains a moderate amount of organic matter. It is easy to start your own seeds in early spring. Seed them out in a flat, with rows approximately 1½ inches apart and seeds ½ inch apart within the row. Staggering seed starting times will give you leeks at various stages of maturity—it’s not easy to use 50 leeks all at once! Or you can buy leek seedlings at many garden centers. Usually there are 40 to 50 small “leeklings” in a four-inch pot. Note: you will have to gently tease these seedlings apart when you plant them, a tedious task that I did only once.

Harvest time is late summer to early winter. If you harvest earlier, the leeks will be slender. If you have any left in the garden from the previous year, you can harvest them in spring and they will still be quite tasty. You may notice that bulbils are forming just under the first or second layers of the lower stem. Detach these leek “seeds” and replant them, or eat them as they have a subtle flavor all their own. I have grown these five cultivars and would be hard-pressed to tell them apart by looks or taste. Mostly they taste like … well, leeks—a delicate, refined cross between shallots and garlic. Leeks bloom in their second year and produce many seeds. I have scattered these seeds in my garden and have enjoyed several years of mixed-parentage offspring. Blue Solaise has blue leaves, although a hot

summer will make the blue color less prominent; tolerant of cold soil temperatures; a taller leek, a trait that has been passed on to the mixed-parentage seedlings in my garden; matures in 100–120 days. Giant Musselburgh, an heirloom variety from Scotland that was introduced in 1834; one of the largest-diameter leaks: three inches or more; adaptable to different garden conditions and very tolerant of cold soil temperatures, it grew well in my amended clay, silty soils; matures in 80–150 days.

Striesen, a German heirloom leek that

grows as tall as Giant Musselburgh but not quite as wide; I couldn’t tell them apart. King Sieg Leek, a shorter, thicker leek—up

to three inches—with blue-green leaves; a hybrid between Siegfried Frost and King Richard; approximately 84 days to maturity, but will also hold well in the garden for winter harvesting. Primor also called Baby Primor or French

baby leek; bred to be harvested young in mid-summer but you can also wait and harvest them in the fall with your other leeks; matures quickly: 90–120 days. Now it is time to harvest some leeks for one of our favorite fall pizzas: Roasted Butternut Squash, Pecan and Leek. Thinly sliced leeks perfectly meld with the squash and pecans in this seasonal dish.

Debra Knapke is a teacher, lecturer, garden designer, consultant and gardener who is eagerly anticipating a bountiful leek harvest this fall. She has written five books and is a Heartland Gardener:

What’s In Season Fruits: Apples, Blueberries, Apricots, Blackberries, Cantaloupe, Grapes, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Strawberries, Watermelons, Tomatoes Greens: Collard, Mustard and Turnip Greens; Lettuce, Kale, Spinach Cabbage Crops: Broccoli, Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Radishes Root Vegetables: Beets, Celery, Green Onions, Leeks, Okra, Onions, Carrots, Parsnips, Potatoes, Garlic Last of Summer: Herbs; Hot, Bell and Sweet Peppers; Sweet Corn Squashes: Yellow Squash, Zucchini, Winter Squash, Pumpkins edible

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from the KITCHEN

Autumn’s Harvest By Colleen Leonardi and Polly Rich • Photography by Maria Khoroshilova


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e love the long, unwieldy in-your-market-bag leek—a fall vegetable that pairs well with soups, pastas, pizzas, breads and your morning omelet. We drummed up some leek recipes for you that are easy and delicious. You can cook these. And you’ll be glad you did. Our Emerald Leek Soup is a beautiful, healthy standard for cool, fall evenings or lunchtime. And the Leek, Butternut Squash and Gruyère Tart is perfect for a gathering with friends with some Cabernet Sauvignon and holds up well a few days later in the fridge. We tossed in a Pumpkin Mousse to complement our story on page 14 about where to have fun and pick you own pumpkins. And yes, you can make this mousse, too. And yes, it is positively delicious. —Colleen Leonardi

Cleaning Leeks Wash the whole leek fully, removing the outer stalks and any wilted or browned parts, which you can save for soup stock or the compost pile. Then gather a big bowl of water to soak your leeks. Cut the leeks, discarding the root bottom, into ½-inch rounds and place the rounds in the bowl of water. Massage the leeks, removing any dirt. Discard water and repeat, lifting the leeks this second time from the water to remove any last sediment. —CL

Leek, Butternut Squash and Gruyère Tart Adapted from recipe by Paul Roberts, Food & Wine 1 pound butternut squash (one medium size) ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided 2 leeks, cleaned and cut into ½-inch pieces (see sidebar above for how to

Peel the whole squash first, then cut in half and scoop the seeds out. Cut into ½-inch cubes, or wedges. Preheat the oven to 375°. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spread butternut squash pieces and pour 3 tablespoons olive oil over squash, then mix. Sprinkle salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes, until slightly tender.

clean and cut leeks) 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 14 ounces chilled all-butter puff pastry All-purpose flour for puff pastry

While the butternut squash is cooking, sauté the leeks. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the cleaned and cut leek rounds and toss. After 5 minutes, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and continue to stir until soft. Don’t over-cook the leeks as they’ll cook on the tart in the oven in a bit.

2 egg yolks ¼ cup crème fraîche (Snowville Creamery

Remove butternut squash from oven and transfer to a bowl to cool. Add the leeks and stir.

is the best) ¼ pound Gruyère cheese, shredded 4 teaspoons chopped thyme Red chili pepper flakes, a pinch Salt and pepper

For the puff pastry, prep a clean surface, dust with flour. Roll out the puff pastry to roughly 12½ by 12½ inches. Then, with a knife, trim the edges. Prep baking sheet with parchment paper. Move puff pastry to the baking sheet and prick with a fork throughout except for the edges. Fold the border of the puff pastry ½ inch in, creating a thicker edge. Bake for 20 minutes, piercing with a fork if it rises. Remove from oven and let cool. Raise oven temperature to 400°. Mix the egg yolks, crème fraîche, Gruyère, 2 teaspoons thyme, ¼ teaspoon red pepper and ½ teaspoon salt with the butternut squash and leeks. Spread atop the puff pastry and keep it to within the edges of the tart. Bake for 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and pastry is deep gold. Cut into squares and enjoy.


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Emerald Leek Soup Adapted from recipe by David Tanis, New York Times Cooking

5–6 leeks, about 3 pounds (only use white and tender parks of leeks; see sidebar on page 11 for how to clean and cut leeks) 5 tablespoons salted butter, divided 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced ⅔ cups white rice

8 cups chicken broth (can substitute veggie broth or spring water) 10 ounces of clean, fresh spinach (can substitute 5 ounces with watercress to add spice) Salt and pepper ½ cup crème fraîche (can substitute with plain yogurt) 3 tablespoons chives, sliced thin Sprigs of tarragon, for garnish

Add cleaned and cut leeks to 4 tablespoons butter in a large soup pot. Melt together over medium heat. Stir gently for about 10 minutes until leeks are soft and fragrant. Add the minced garlic and rice and stir for a minute over medium heat. Pour chicken broth over mixture and bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Cook for about 25 minutes until rice is tender. Remove from stove and let the soup cool completely, about an hour. Once cool, purée the soup with an immersion blender or food processor, adding bunches of the raw spinach over time as it is blended. Adjust salt and pepper, and add more broth if needed. Heat soup again to serve, and bring the emerald color forth. Garnish with a dollop of crème fraîche, a hearty sprinkle of fresh chives and a sprig or two of tarragon.


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Pumpkin Mousse Adapted from recipe by Craig Claiborne and Pierre Franey, New York Times Cooking

¼ cup cold water

In a medium pot, bring a few inches of water to a boil.

1 envelope unflavored gelatin (a humble tablespoon), or powdered agar-agar 3 eggs, separated

In a small pot, add ¼ cold water, disburse gelatin to rest on top and let soften. Bring to the stove and stir over low heat to liquefy but not boil. Once the gelatin has dissolved, remove from heat and let cool.

1 cup sugar, divided 1½ cups canned pumpkin purée ½ teaspoon ground ginger ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Use a medium stainless steel mixing bowl and whisk to mix egg yolks and ½ cup of sugar together.

¼ teaspoon salt, if desired

Add the pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and milk. Beat until blended. Place the bowl over the simmering water and whisk the mixture until it thickens and becomes like a custard, about 5 minutes.

1 cup heavy cream, ⅔ for mousse, ⅓ for

Pour all of the gelatin into the pumpkin mixture. Pour all of the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Allow it to cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

½ teaspoon grated nutmeg ⅓ cup whole milk

whipping cream

Candied ginger for garnish

Beat egg whites until they give rise to soft peaks and then gradually add the remaining sugar until it is fully blended. Add half of the egg whites to into the pumpkin mouse, beating until blended. Then add the remaining egg whites, folding them in slowly. Beat ⅔ cup of cream until stiff. Then fold into the mousse. Spoon the mousse into wine glasses or small cups. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or for a day, until set. Garnish with whipped cream, candied ginger and fresh, grated nutmeg.


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A roundup of Central Ohio’s local farms and markets offering pig races, corn mazes, apple donuts and more this season


hen autumn reveals golden waves of corn stalks and pumpkins aplenty we look to those places offering fun for the whole family. Here are some local farm picks featuring corn mazes, pick-your-own pumpkins, homemade pies and more. During the growing season these are working farms, and it’s during fall that they open their doors to the public to enjoy the farm’s full harvest.

By Julie Bhusal Sharma —Colleen Leonardi 14

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Fun On The Farm


Hendren Farm Market When it’s only your second harvest, you’re bound to have butterflies. For Hendren Farm Market in Johnstown, Ohio, now in their second year, those butterflies come in the form of the many uses of butter—from kettle corn to homemade brownies. And there are other goodies too, like pumpkin and apple-flavored donuts and 50 varieties of pickled products. “We turn full fall when the maze opens,” Shawna Hendren, a Hendren co-owner, says. The corn maze along with the option to pick your own pumpkin are the two activities outside of market-browsing that Hendren offers. “A great thing is it’s newer and it’s smaller and a lot of people like that and the quaintness of it,” Shawna says about the market.

The sweetness of Hendren Farm Market started last year when co-owners and brothers Dustin, Marcus and Mitch Hendren along with Dustin’s wife, Shawna, debuted the market in Johnstown. The opening was a natural transition from what the family was up to previously.

The market also has an intricate corn maze, which will be cut in the shape of Ohio for this fall. Last year, the maze was cut to depict a farm and “Hendren Farm Market” aerially. The maze costs $9 for ages 12 and up, $5 for ages 4–11 and free for ages 3 and under.

Just like Apple, the genius of the Hendren Market started in a garage. The Hendren family started selling sweet corn out of their garage to raise money for college but realized that the side hustle could become a full-time gig offering produce and confections.

Also, an activity to do outside of the market doors, is picking your own pumpkin. The pumpkin patch is eight acres and pumpkins aren’t sold by weight, but rather amount.

The farm market now sells produce and goodies like baked goods from McClain Creations in Newark. McClain’s treats are delivered fresh to the market each Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday for market-goers, and they deliver daily.

Opposite: The 2012 Circleville Pumpkin Show; Above: Rides and more on the farms this fall.


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Pigeon Roost Farm

Leeds Farm Leeds Farm, which is in the western part of Delaware County, offers a unique take on the classic hayride. The Leeds’ hayride makes its way through a trail sprinkled with animatronic animals in the woods. The animatronic animals serve an educational purpose, displaying what animals can be found in the area, if the wild ones are too shy to make an appearance. Real animals, however, still can be found throughout the farm. Pig races take place two to three times a day. The farm also hosts school tours weekdays by reservation and is open to the public on weekends, making your pie order the only thing you’ll need to time right. The farm’s specialty gastronomical delight are pies made by Pies From the Heart. And though

there are typically enough to go around, according to co-owner Robert Leeds, if you do have your heart set on a certain flavor, calling ahead is advised. For adventurous activities, Leeds offers an adrenaline level up from the typical slide with its zip lines. The “Big Zip” has three zip lines, all of which launch from a 30-foot platform. Then there are the traditional ways to let gravity do its work. Leeds repurposed a John Deere 8820 Titan II combine so that kids can slide down through its grain tank. “I would say we’re a corn, soybean, goat and pumpkin farm,” says Robert, “and then we do agritourism along with it.”

If you’re thinking “fry” more than “pie,” Pigeon Roost Farm, located in Hebron, is the fall spot for fair-style food. The farm offers french fries, hamburgers, hot dogs and fresh-squeezed lemonade. And, lately, there have been additions to the smorgasboard. “Last year, we expanded our food offerings by adding a Sweet Shop, which features freshly made pumpkin donuts, as well as funnel cakes, apple fritters and strudels— and this year, we will be adding fry pies topped with Velvet ice cream,” Pigeon Roost co-owner Ralph Jutte says. Yet pumpkins are supposed to outweigh everything else. Perhaps that’s why Pigeon Roost Farms brands most of its autumn offerings under “PumpkinFest,” which offers tractor-pulled wagon rides, face painting and more each weekend throughout the season. They offer more than 12 varieties of pumpkins and several hard-to-find varieties, like heritage squash, which Ralph says are not typically found at grocery stores. To him, they’re the “old New England type,” and Pigeon Roost offers such varieties as Hubbard, Cushaw and Cinderella—named after being an inspiration for a plump carriage. “They’re really attractive and people use them for fall decorations and they’re also good for eating,” Ralph says of the heritage varieties.

One of the most popular activities, Ralph claims, is their corn box, which is filled with shelled corn and models the likes of a sandbox. “If you see a child coming out, crying, their mother is probably dragging them out of the corn box,” Ralph says. With all of the fun, Pigeon Roost isn’t losing sight of their farming focus. This fall will be the first in 37 years that the farm is not open daily. A need for a resting day will have the farm closed on Mondays


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Besides decorating and eating fall vegetables at Pigeon Roost, you can jump in one.

Hendren Farm Market 14595 Johnstown Utica Rd., Johnstown, Ohio 43031; 740-325-7224 Hours: 10am –5pm Monday through Sunday Leeds Farm 8738 Marysville Rd., Ostrander, Ohio 43061; 740-666-2020 Hours: Weekends only; September 23– October 29; 10am–5pm Special Events: Horse-drawn hayrides September 30 and October 1, Noon–5pm Giant pumpkin carving October 1 Pigeon Roost Farm 4413 National Rd. SW, Hebron, Ohio 43025; 740-928-4925 Hours: All days but Monday; September 16–October 31; 10am–7pm.

For more fun farm options this fall, we share some additional picks below. PHOTO COURTESY OF PIGEON ROOST FARM

Pheasantview Family Farm 2510 Township Rd. 192 Fredericktown, Ohio 43019 740-358-2273 Lawrence Orchards 2634 Smeltzer Rd. Marion, Ohio 43302 740-389-3019

throughout the fall season. The break will also allow for more time with family— what farms in Ohio are all about. At Pigeon Roost, Ralph’s daughter, Amy Jutte, moved back to Ohio nine years ago after working for Yahoo. In return, she’s become the farm’s retail, website/media manager and school group facilitator and brings about 5,000 school kids to the farm each autumn—proving that whether it’s family members or the season, they will come back again.

Julie Bhusal Sharma is a Columbus native and freelance journalist. She and her Nepali husband, Manjul, enjoy exploring each other's country's cooking and getting gardening tips from Julie's new mother-in-law who is a born herbalist. Julie can be reached at

The Maize at Little Darby Creek maizeatlittledarbycreek.html 8657 Axehandle Rd. Milford Center, Ohio 43045 937-349-4781 Miller’s Country Gardens 2488 St. Rt. 37 West Delaware, Ohio 43015 740-363-5021


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edible EVENTS

Farmhouse Cooking for Health By Callie Wells


uring a recent visit to Central Ohio, a group of Farm Bureau members got a taste of cookbook writer and fitness expert Emily Frisella’s new cookbook, The Fresh Farmhouse Kitchen: Clean-Eating Comfort Food. Combining her experiences with food growing up on the farm, and her passion for fitness and health, Emily’s recipes offer a clean, easy approach to eating well. At The Hive, a local event space and cooking school in Mechanicsburg, Emily led a demonstration of a few of her recipes, including The Better Burger and Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Protein Bites. Both were a hit with attendees. “I really loved how Emily wanted to give advice on healthy cooking but how she also made it accessible to everyone here,” says Lyndsey Murphy, owner of The Hive. “She truly wanted to show people how to just make small tweaks in their diet to live healthier, not a complete overhaul that usually isn’t sustainable.” “I wanted a healthier way to have farmhouse meals, so I took some of my favorite meals from growing up on a farm and created healthier options for families that are budget-friendly and healthy [for] people with any type of diet needs,” says Emily. Emily’s book is organized by season, and includes recipes for main dishes, sides, sweets, smoothies and breakfasts. Each recipe was created following Emily’s philosophy that meals should be healthy, delicious and made with simple ingredients that are easy to find. The recipes have shorter ingredient lists than many recipe books without sacrificing flavor. “It’s healthy food that’s easy to make, and doesn’t taste like you’re on a diet,” says Emily. The book was released in October 2016, and has held Amazon Best Seller spots in three categories. While the book took five years for Emily to put together, it really is a lifetime of experiences in the making.


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Emily grew up surrounded by food and cooking with a mother and grandmothers who cooked farmhouse style meals from scratch. Growing up on a 1,000-acre farm outside of St. Louis, she developed a great respect food and the farmhouse style of cooking. Through her experiences with clean and healthy eating, Emily has developed tips for those looking to start their own clean-eating journey, encouraging others to start with small changes. She says that diving into a drastically new diet too quickly makes small slips off the wagon feel like failures, which creates more opportunity for failures that perpetuate themselves on down the line.

“Growing up on a farm and seeing how much time, effort, money and prayers go into those crops, you develop a respect for the food because you know what it takes to have that food on your plate.” Some of her other healthy and clean eating tips include shopping around the perimeter of the grocery store, where most of the products are whole foods, not prepackaged and processed. “Growing up on a farm and seeing how much time, effort, money and prayers go into those crops, you develop a respect for the food because you know what it takes to have that food on your plate,” says Emily. “You appreciate it more, and with that farmhouse-style cooking inspired me to learn to pull flavors out of the food naturally without having to add a lot to it.” You can learn more about Emily, her cookbook and her other ventures on her website


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Kitchens We Love Athens Caboose By Claire Spurlock • Photography by Maria Khoroshilova


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he caboose looks to be frozen in time, positioned on two pieces of rail by the banks of Dutch Creek about a dozen miles outside Athens, not far from the area it originally serviced at the end of a train hauling coal through the Appalachian hills. Paul and Cindy Freedman, owners of Dutch Creek Winery in Athens, acquired the Chesapeake & Ohio (“Chessie” for short) caboose in 2009, unsure of how they’d utilize it but confident they’d breathe new life into the steel frame. “Originally, at one point, it was going to be a guest cabin,” says Paul, who purchased the caboose at auction after a scenic railroad in Northeast Ohio went under. The Hocking Valley Railroad previously owned the train car, where it was sold after cabooses were decommissioned.

and history. A futon sleeps two, and a full bathroom offers guests luxuries of home in, perhaps, a more uniquely cozy space. At the center of the caboose is the kitchen, built into a lofty area flooded with natural light from windows around the crest of the car, right where the conductor’s chair used to sit. A microwave and oven fit snugly within custom hickory cabinets and drawers. There’s room to prep on the wood block counters, hot water to wash dishes and a small table just under one of the caboose’s original windows, where guests can sit down and enjoy a meal. “This might be a small kitchen, but it’s a pretty functional kitchen,” says Paul.

“Because the winery was not even on the radar when we got this,” adds Cindy, “it was going to be a man cave, train room, farmers market,” she trails off, smiling.

“Working with size, we wanted it to be fully functional, says Cindy. “This is a bathroom fixture,” she says, pointing to the kitchen faucet. “This a bar sink.”

Paul and Cindy still work full-time in Columbus but return to their 100-plus acres each weekend to tend to the land, their growing honey wine business and projects like the caboose and the expansion of their own cabin.

“We wanted to keep original space but make it livable and comfortable,” says Cindy.

“Down here we’ve learned that you have to be open to all possibilities,” says Cindy.

In remodeling and modernizing the caboose, the Freedmans did their best to honor its past. Pine wood paneling that runs along the walls and ceiling bears striking similarities to how it used to look. “We just pulled the old out and put new in,” says Cindy.

The exterior of the car, a sun-lightened yellow, is adorned with the original Chessie Systems logo, a sleeping cat.

Even the original curvature of the ceiling has been preserved. “We try and capture little elements like that,” says Paul.

Inside, the caboose was torn down to the tar-coated steel walls, then reinsulated and rebuilt to retain elements of the caboose’s character

The caboose “fits in with the Athens feel—a little different, unique experience,” adds Cindy.


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food for THOUGHT

Updates From Ohio State’s InFACT

Setting the Table for Food Security in Ohio By Brian Snyder, Executive Director, Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation


he Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation (InFACT) is setting the strategic direction for The Ohio State University’s support of sustainable food systems, defined as achieving a balance of ecology, economy, technology and culture to promote the overall wellbeing of people, animals and the natural environment.


InFACT is one of the Discovery Themes programs initiated at Ohio State in 2014 to address some of our society’s greatest challenges, namely, food insecurity. Currently, one in six Ohio residents, including one in four children, struggles to get the food they need to live happy and healthy lives that are full of the opportunities and potential all Ohioans should enjoy. Since progress begins at home, our program is helping to rethink food systems on the Ohio State campuses. Along with leadership from dining services and the student body, we are lead partners in the university’s Food Sustainability Panel (FSP). Made up of a diverse group of community members, the FSP has been charged by the administration with enabling Ohio State’s efforts in procuring 40% locally and sustainably sourced food for its dining venues by 2025. We are also working with key partners to rethink the use of land on the university’s

main campus. We recently partnered with the Sustainable Growing Club at Ohio State (GrOSU), OSU Landscape Services and faculty at the Knowlton School of Architecture and in the Department of Anthropology to create the Smith Lab “Pop Garden.” The garden features two 20-by20 plots on the 18th Avenue side of the building, where corn, amaranth, sorghum and millet grow, all varieties that can be popped after harvest. The partners hope to educate and engage passersby on alternative agricultural practices and broader issues related to food security. The Discovery Themes are built on the understanding that Ohio State must solve complex problems by connecting inside and outside of the university. Through the W.K. Kellogg Foundation-funded Buckeye ISA (Institutional Supported Agriculture) project, we are partnering with Columbusbased organizations to contribute to the livelihoods and nutritional security of struggling families, particularly in communities classified as food deserts. Family members will be engaged to produce, process and prepare food for their households, and potentially for sale to the university to help meet the 40% challenge. Also through funding from Kellogg, our program is partnering on a multi-year project to help Ohio farmers adapt to a changing climate by improving the resilience of their operations and diversifying

The “pop garden” project at Smith Lab at OSU.

Currently, one in six Ohio residents, including one in four children, struggles to get the food they need. their farms. The partners are taking an integrated approach to land management by identifying, building and nurturing the value chains that support sustainable production of food, feed, fiber and energy. Through these, and many other programs, we hope to “set the table” for improved food security in Ohio and elsewhere in the years to come, and we invite interested members of the Columbus community to join with us in this critical endeavor.

Learn more about our work at and follow progress on social media at @OhioStateInFACT.


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Columbus “Branches Out” for a More Sustainable Future By Tara Pettit


olumbus is on a dedicated green mission to save the entire ecological fabric of its communities, and one way is by planting more trees.

The Columbus Green Community Plan (CGCP), first developed in 2005 under Mayor Michael Coleman, outlines the city’s vision, goals and actions towards “beautiful landscapes, healthy people and prosperity,” all within several targeted cross-functional initiatives. One of those, Branch Out Columbus, has become a catalyst initiative under the green plan objectives, scaling the average community tree-planting program to an expansive citywide engagement project, involving all neighborhoods, community stakeholders and city agencies. The CGCP targets 10 different focus areas with goals aligned to the city’s vision for a more sustainable Columbus by 2020. Branch Out aims to increase urban tree canopy (UTC) a minimum of 1 percent an-

nually over the next five years. That would leave Columbus with a total 27 percent canopy at the end of 2020, a moderate approach to progressing the city’s environmental and economic vision. At 22 percent UTC currently, the city would need to adopt a more aggressive tree-planting strategy to reach the 40 percent UTC as recommended by American Forestry for cities east of the Mississippi River. “There is a lot of work wrapped into meeting all of our plan’s goals, including achieving 27 percent tree canopy,” says city councilmember, Elizabeth Brown. “We are moving full steam ahead towards meeting our goals.” While achieving 40 percent UTC may be ideal, the Branch Out strategies must be supported by proper planting procedures and required resources for upkeep and care to sustainably meet and maintain the goals. “For many years lots of communities had tree programs that didn’t focus on environmental benefits very well,” says Mike Hogan, associate professor of agriculture and natural resources at The Ohio State University Extension. “They planted a lot of species that are not very useful or longlasting, and were even invasive. While we see a lot of communities excited about mass planting trees, we also must invest in the upkeep and ensure we have resources to maintain those trees and teach about planting best practices.” Branch Out aims to go beyond the average citywide tree-planting program in several respects, mainly by taking a deliberate and strategic approach to the city’s tree-planting efforts to meet future sustainability criteria. The initiative wraps in the very specific objectives tied to the city’s overall green plan


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goals with a mission to engage and improve every Columbus neighborhood’s UTC. This neighborhood-by-neighborhood strategy is important—some neighborhoods currently contain only 13–15 percent UTC. “There are neighborhoods lacking in healthy tree canopy cover,” says Elizabeth. “I would like to see more trees planted in neighborhoods so benefits are directly experienced where people live.” The program aims to get communities involved as advocates for neighborhood sustainability in hopes of improving UTC, and to educate residents on tree selections, planting processes and maintenance methods for longlasting ecological benefits. So far, 30,000 trees have been planted and registered with the city’s tree tracker (which can be viewed on the city’s website) as a result of Branch Out. Amy Marsico, program coordinator at Branch Out, indicates that the city is trying to provide local nurseries bookmarks with QR codes so that residents are reminded to register their trees after planting for tracking and follow-up maintenance. Additionally, the city plans to host a Fall Tree Give-Away on September 30. Columbus residents can register for the event on the city’s website. “We can’t increase our tree canopy without the help of our residents and business community,” Amy says. “We can do more as a community working towards this goal.”

For more information or to get involved with Branch Out, visit the website at And for Tara’s full story on Branch Out Columbus visit


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Sovereignty Herbs A new clinical herbalism practice in the hills of Athens + herbal tips for fall By Colleen Leonardi • Photography by Maria Khoroshilova


orth Coolville Ridge Road in Athens, Ohio, rises and wraps around itself like a dirt road in the backwoods of New England. Amidst farm pasture and country homes sprawls Companion Plants (CP), an herb nursery established by Peter Borchard in 1982 and known throughout the world for its wide selection of “medicinal, culinary and ceremonial” common and exotic herbs. For an herbalist or plant geek, it’s mecca. Now, it’s also the site of the new clinical herbalism practice, Sovereignty Herbs. Co-owners of Sovereignty, Erika Galentin and Brooke Sackenheim, took a similarly circuitous path to practicing herbalism. They were both drawn to herbs for their own reasons. Erika, having come from a family of doctors, wanted to practice medical herbalism, a form of herbalism rare in the United States as there is cur-

rently no state or federal licensing for clinical herbalism. To become a medical herbalist, Erika had to travel to the United Kingdom where she earned her degree in herbal medicine and practiced for nearly a decade before returning to this country. Brooke nurtured her connection to the herbs from a young age and spent the majority of her education in what she calls “isolation,” studying from different herbalists in the United States and taking workshops. What has emerged from their mutual calling is a promising endeavor. Opened in April of this year, Sovereignty Herbs aims to empower folks in herbal wisdom across the region. They believe “learning how to safely incorporate herbs, nutrients, nourishing foods and lifestyle practices into your daily routine…is a human right, for all people.”

Education is key. “Often times people are making decisions about trying to support themselves with herbs,” says Erika, “all the while lacking the context for their appropriate, safe and effective use. Buying herbs over-thecounter to address health problems, as if herbs were pharmaceuticals, has led to so many problems including herb-drug interactions.” “Knowledge cultivates individual empowerment,” says Brooke, “and for many that begins with a consultation or a workshop.” Erika is one of only a handful of herbalists in the United States who is a member of the prestigious National Institute of Medical Herbalists. She holds multiple degrees and a wide array of teaching experience; to see her for a consultation is a unique opportunity. She makes her own

Left: Owner of Companion Plants, Peter Borchard. Right: The women of Sovereignty Herbs (left to right), Brooke Sackenheim and Erika Galentin, outside the greenhouse at Companion Plants. Opposite: Rose, linden blossom and passionflower, a tea blend prepared by Erika at Sovereignty Herbs for healthy sleep. edible

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White Pine Vinegar

Thyme and White Pine for Autumn By Erika Galentin

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) This is a wonderful, and very common, culinary herb that also has a rich medicinal history in supporting the respiratory system, especially when suffering from colds, flu and chest infections. Making a cup of thyme tea with a bit of local raw honey is incredibly relieving when you have a painful head cold, your sinuses are all stuffed up or your chest is tight and you’re having difficulty expectorating gunk. And it doesn’t take much herb. Just a pinch or two per cup of warm water, letting it infuse in a covered vessel for 10–15 minutes, add your honey and voila! You can also add it to warm soups and stews, if you don’t fancy drinking it as a tea. Regular garden thyme, Thymus vulgaris is the variety most commonly used in herbalism, but other varieties such as French thyme, lemon thyme and Italian-oregano thyme can also be used in this way. They are all relatively easy to grow in full sun and lack-luster soil and they make a delightful border plant addition to any perennial or culinary garden.


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Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus)* Another wonderful native plant, well, tree actually. Herbalists employ both the needles and pine sap for their antimicrobial properties. In fact, white pine needles, like many of our conifers, are very high in vitamin C and were used historically by physicians and herbalists alike for the treatment of scurvy, a severe form of vitamin C deficiency. Being both antimicrobial and high in Vitamin C, pine needles are the perfect addition to herbal self-care during the fall and winter months, especially for those prone to catching colds and flus. I think the best way to integrate pine needles into your life is by making herbal-infused vinegar with them. All you need is a glass canning jar, fresh pine needles, raw apple cider vinegar and a piece of wax paper. Fill your clean jar with fresh pine needles, completely cover them with vinegar until no needles are sticking up above the vinegar, cover with a piece of wax paper and your canning jar lid. Let this sit in a cool, dark place for a few weeks, strain, refrigerate and use within six months. This easy-to-

prepare extract makes for a wonderful salad dressing or marinade base and imparts an almost balsamic flavor to sauces and dressings.

Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) *Editor’s Note: See our article from our winter 2014 issue on tips for finding White Pine and harvesting it safely and sustainably. Also refer to foraging tips before consuming wild plants.

tinctures, a practice that is also rare, and works with a client over time to find the right herbal routine for their overall wellbeing—body, mind and spirit. What also makes Sovereignty so special is its connection to the plant life of our region. Erika was drawn to Southeast Ohio in 2010 for an internship at the United Plant Savers Botanical Sanctuary (UPS) in Rutland, Ohio. After her time at UPS, she worked at CP with Peter as a grower and overall steward of their mission. Over time, Erika has studied in depth the flora of the hills of Appalachia. “Southeastern Ohio represents one of the most biologically and ecologically diverse places I have ever been blessed to know,” she says. “Many of the medicinal plants that are popular in both domestic and international commerce (such as American ginseng, goldenseal, bloodroot and black cohosh) are native to these hollers and hills.” Sitting with her for a cup of tea, she tells me with such love about the forests of Appalachia. “A lot of people may not know this, but the Appalachian Mountains (and SE Ohio foothills thereof) are the oldest mountains in the world, and the diversity of plant life has persisted here after many a battle, including clear-cut deforestation from the iron furnace years and devastation from coal mining,” she says. “Working with plants native to this region is a wonderful and fulfilling aspect of my practice, as is educating people about how diverse our native flora is and the amazing ecological relationships they represent.”

cians and patients alike. During this era, which has been referred to as the American Botanical Movement, various medical sects developed who directly rejected the tools of their allopathic colleagues (which included treatments such as bloodletting, mercury, lead and huge doses of opium) for the more kindly medicine that herbs could provide,” says Erika. “Columbus, Worthington and Cincinnati were home to universities dedicated to the various botanical traditions. Decades upon decades of work within these various botanical schools, including those of the Thomsonian, Eclectic and Physiomedical physicians, led to the development of rich and important therapeutic strategies and understandings of herbs as medicines, many of which continue to inform the modern practice of Western herbalism, including my own.” And with that, I’ll leave you with some of Erika’s herbal wisdom for fall wellness. Visit our website for additional tips for Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia / Echinacea purpurea) versus Elder, Elderberry (Sambucus) and Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata). And visit Sovereignty Herbs in Athens, or learn more on their website. They offer ongoing workshops and have bigger plans for the future for intermediate and advanced herbalists. As Brooke says, “There is some way for you to connect with an herb.” Be well. Sovereignty Herbs 7247 N. Coolville Ridge Rd., Athens, Ohio 45701; 740-229-9952;

This is local medicine at its best. “Focusing on what is around you can bring a very healing sense of self-awareness, a more keen ability to recognize your impact on the natural world and respect for that land you live upon,” Erika says. And the land we live upon carries a rich history steeped in botanical medicine.

Companion Plants 7247 N. Coolville Ridge Rd., Athens, Ohio 45701; 740-331-7640;

Colleen Leonardi is editor-in-chief of Edible Columbus. Find her online at

“During the late 19th and early 20th centuries the common, or allopathic, practice of medicine was being rejected by physiedible

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worth the TRIP

Granville Where the spirit of local food and hometown traditions come to life By Claire Spurlock • Photography by Maria Khoroshilova


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very time I visit Granville I find new depths to its charm. The village’s cohesive and independent food community beckons, as do the boutique shops and the abundant strolls through blocks of wellloved homes and mature trees bordering downtown. Granville is easily accessible from Columbus and, once there, largely walkable in fair weather. Wherever you look, glimpses of Granville’s history are evident in buildings that remain from its inception and carefully plotted streets built to mimic the New England hometowns of early settlers. Modern Granville residents have helped solidify community traditions and charm and usher in a modern spirit that allows for business and tourism to thrive.

Start at the Market The village of Granville shows great support for its robust local food community. Perhaps nowhere is it more apparent than at the Granville farmers market, now in its 24th year. Start a weekend visit with a trip to the market to get a taste of seasonal produce and a feel for local vendors and growers. “It’s truly a community event here,” says Steve Matheny, executive director of the Granville Area Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the farmers market. “Certainly, it draws visitors from Columbus and even farther away than that. But it pulls a lot of local residents every Saturday. It’s an institution—a social event,” he adds. The market runs from June through September and returns to close the outdoor season with a Thanksgiving market, where local ingredients can be purchased for the holiday meal.

Top: Lunch at Alfie’s Wholesome Food. Middle left: Rosemary Lemonade at Alfie’s. Middle right: A bagel sandwich for lunch at SteamRoller. Opposite: A selection of beers at Three Tigers Brewing Company. edible

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History and Healthy Bites The Robbins Hunter Museum is housed in a Grecian-style building with tall columns facing Broadway. The museum is furnished with relics from the building’s previous owners, which showcase the building’s history, originally a home constructed in 1842, then a fraternity house and museum. Inside are 27 rooms brimming with character like an ornate, vibrant red arched ceiling-way, intricate woodwork and stained glass. Admission is free, though donations are encouraged. Tucked around the corner from the museum is Alfie’s Wholesome Food, a natural deli serving soups, sandwiches, salads and baked goods made fresh every day. Alfie’s mission: “to connect people to what they eat and to each other by being the community’s best place for food.” Alfie’s pays homage to local historical figures in the names of some of the menu items. The most popular sandwich is named for Victoria Woodhull, woman’s suffrage leader and first woman to run for President of the United States, born in a small town just outside Granville. The “V.W.” pairs roasted turkey with brie, fig jam and spinach on a baguette. Find more sandwiches with local flair at SteamRoller Bagel Sandwiches, which made the leap from food truck to brickand-mortar in January. SteamRoller specializes in steamed bagel sandwiches, a beloved quick meal in nearby college towns like Oxford and Athens. Sandwiches feature free-range Ohio eggs and locally sourced ingredients whenever possible including pork from Anderson Farms and produce from Bird’s Haven Farms. Operating partner Shane Richmond taps into local resources like the Licking County Food Council and 30 Mile Meal

Top: Steam buns and a rice bowl at Mai Chau. Middle: In Mai Chau. Bottom: Dining at The Granville Inn 32

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network to help with sourcing. And there’s another incentive to dig in: “Ten cents from each of our sandwiches goes towards the food pantry network here in Licking County,” says Shane. Throwing distance from SteamRoller sits Mai Chau on Prospect, a quick-service Vietnamese-inspired restaurant dishing up steam buns, soups, Banh Mi sandwiches and rice bowls with fresh ingredients and international flair. Founder Scott Wilkins, inspired by years living and eating in Vietnam with his now-wife Ashley, “decided to come home and bring some of that home with us,” he says. In April Scott and his team leased the building next door to Mai Chau and opened Three Tigers Brewing Company. There, visitors can enjoy house-made and guest beers, full-service dining, a full bar, live music and nightly specials. “Granville’s always supported the restaurants in town,” says Scott.

By Day, By Night Between meals, there are plenty of ways to fit in some exercise. Spring Valley Nature Preserve offers hiking over 45 acres acquired in 2007 by the Licking County Land Trust. The Denison Biological Reserve sits just north of town and is open to all visitors who want to explore 350 acres of wooded land and fields crisscrossed with trails named for tree varieties and bird species you’re likely to encounter. And then there’s the walk up to, and around, Denison’s campus, parts of which offer views of the village below. Grab a nightcap at Granville Inn, a 39room inn built in 1924 and fully renovated in 2015. “It has its own little niche in the greater Columbus area being so historic and

Top left: The Granville Inn signature cocktail. Top right and middle: Orchard House Bed and Breakfast. Bottom: Glamping” and more at Orchard House Bed and Breakfast. edible

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having modern upgrades and amenities,” says Linda Turk, director of sales for the Inn and nearby Denison Golf Club. “It’s a great place to visit for the history lover with its old school charm, and for somebody who wants a bit of a modern feel as well,” she adds. Downstairs, the Oak Room offers fine dining options and the Tavern hits more casual notes. A U-shaped bar is the center of the action, where Food and Beverage Director Matt McComb showcases a mix of modern and classic cocktails, like fall-favorite Mill Street Spiced Cider, a warming blend of locally distilled Mill Street bourbon, Ohio apple cider and housemade mulling spice syrup. Settle in at Orchard House Bed and Breakfast, where guests can visit with resident chickens, goats and sheep on the 12-acre property and relax in a restored


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1850s farmhouse complete with spacious guest rooms named for prior residents. Orchard House offers seasonal “glamping” through October and hosts weddings in pine tree grove. Breakfast is served each morning in a sunny nook by innkeeper Dean Lowry, featuring eggs collected daily from the chicken coop, local meats and produce, Lucky Cat bread and One Line coffee. After enjoying a leisurely cup, it’s time to hit the streets for a second round of Granville explorations. “There’s a lot to draw from within community. Certainly, as far as support and resources, but then also in ingredients, manpower and love,” says Alfie’s owner Sam.

Take a trip with Edible Columbus this fall to Granville on October 21. See our announcement at the front of the magazine and visit to reserve your spot, and see The Granville Inn’s recipe for Mill Street Spiced Cider.

Claire Spurlock is now associate publisher at Edible Columbus after years as a writer and admirer. She earned her degree from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, and now specializes in digital communications, community engagement and professional snacking. She lives in Upper Arlington with her husband.

Photos by Chad DiBlasio, DiBlasio Photo, Granville

Explore the Granville Area & Buckeye Lake this Fall Seasonal events, local flavors, independent businesses and plenty of outdoor activities await • •


City Business, Country Roots


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Edible asks Grow Restaurants’ Chris Crader how he manages his big-city restaurant business from his new farm in the country—and why he moved By Nancy McKibben • Photography by Rachel Joy Barehl


f Columbus restaurateur Chris Crader looks surprisingly comfortable on his orange tractor, credit his roots in small-town Pataskala, where his first, favorite summer job was working at the neighboring dairy farm.

Chris met Bethany while working at the Elevator Brewery & Draught Haus in 2001, then did a stint managing restaurant openings: Due Amici, Barrio, Marcella’s.

“Hands in the dirt,” Chris says, “It’s good for the soul.”

In 2009, his plan to finish his degree and attend law school was hijacked by a pizza dinner at Los Angeles’s famed Pizzeria Mozza, owned by Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich and Nancy Silverton.

This spring Chris and fiancée and business partner Bethany Lovell transplanted themselves, daughter Avery, age 3, and 1-year-old Owen Robert (aka Moose) to 20 green acres in Granville, Ohio. Photographer Rachel Joy Barehl and I drove out to talk to Chris about the move.

“I could not get that pizza out of my mind,” Chris says. To hear him tell it, Harvest Pizzeria opened largely as a way for him to eat that style of pizza in Columbus.

Down on the Farm As the car’s tires crunch over the long, gravel driveway that rises to the Craders’ newly built farmhouse, storm clouds roll overhead in dark contrast to the lush Ohio countryside. Fit and friendly, Chris greets us with the appropriate farm dog (Oliver) at his heels. We decide to take our photos before the rains come. Rachel turns her lens to the family/restaurant garden that rambles along a nearby fencerow. At the bottom of the field, a spring-fed stream tumbles into a pond. Chris points to the foliage beyond. “Black raspberries grow all along there. And mulberries. The pond is 16 feet deep—we could have trout. We could have a tiny brewery for making a house ale—we could grow hops and grain. We could raise sheep and make sheep’s milk ricotta. We could do salad bar farming—produce for the restaurants.” The skies open and we hastily adjourn to the house, where we meet Bethany and the kids and drink coffee at the kitchen island. Occasionally Chris jumps up to train binoculars on the spectacular view just outside the windows. “What bird is that?” he asks.

The Pizza that Changed His Life Chris, now 39, meandered into the restaurant business. While concurrently attending The Ohio State University and serving in the Air Force National Guard, he began bartending, then “like so many other student bartenders,” dropped out after five years with enough credits for a dual major, convinced he could make more money as a bartender.

Creating a dough recipe that not only tasted as Chris remembered it, but was also easy enough to handle for restaurant scale preparation entailed nearly six months of experimentation with Amy Lozier of Omega Bakery, which still provides Harvest’s signature pizza dough. Finally, in July 2011, the first Harvest Pizzeria opened in German Village. Their pizza’s success is now legend. Chris and Bethany (with partner Travis Owens) have since opened Harvests in Clintonville, Dublin and Cincinnati, as well as The Sycamore gastropub, Curio cocktail bar, Salt and Pine (now closed) and Cosecha Cocina, all under the umbrella of GROW Restaurants. “Beth is the brains behind it all,” Chris says. “She organizes us and keeps the bills paid and keeps everyone in line.” Chris enumerates two guiding business principles: “Treat our employees like family. Buy as local as possible. If we grow until it becomes impossible to source locally, then the pizza is not going to be as good—so then why are we doing it? There’s plenty of mediocre pizza out there already.”

Green Acres Beth grew up a townie in Kent, Ohio, and at first resisted the idea of life in the country. But when Chris took her to see the acreage, Bethany fell in love. “That moment got me excited. It felt like home.” Now she is acclimated to country life. “It’s very quiet and clean. Granville has a cute downtown with a lot going on, and people are

Opposite: Columbus restaurateur Chris Crader on his 20-acre farm in Granville. edible

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friendly.” She finds the commute doable, travelling to the Columbus office several times a week, handling the paperwork at home. “I’m around the kids more and also I still get to keep the connection with each restaurant. It’s a good blend.” Beth credits the “awesome” support she receives from restaurant managers and office staff.

True to Our Roots Chris mentions in passing that he buys mushrooms from Kip Rondy of Green Edge Gardens in Athens. “Great guy,” he says. “If we got all our food from a big corporate supplier, think of the relationships we’d miss out on.” Perhaps because he is a people person, he cherishes his commute time—”my only hour of the day to myself ”—for planning and reflection. He oversees the day-to-day of the business, stopping at each restaurant several times a week, working late on Fridays, but otherwise reaching home in time to be with the kids. “In the age of elementary school kids with iPads and smart phones, it’s important to maintain a balance between nature and technology,” Chris says. “I think waking up and taking a walk and counting frogs and seeing deer and the sun coming up is priceless for a kid.” Success, as Chris understands it, is success only if it’s sustainable. “I’m not trying to take over the world with Harvest Pizzeria,” he says. “We only opened in Cincinnati because one of my employees wants to raise his family there. We’ll open new restaurants only as long as we’re having fun and can pay our employees well and still know their names and still hold the same values.” The farm helps sustain that vision, the restaurants echoing the farm’s seasonality, the farm keeping Chris true to the restaurant’s roots. “That’s how we started six years ago,” he says. “There wasn’t much talk of farm-to-table in Columbus, and for pizza, it was pretty unheard of to take that kind of care toward sourcing local ingredients.” Chris describes his feelings about connecting the new farm to the restaurants he and Bethany have created and nurtured. “Rejuvenated,” he says. “Excited.”

Nancy McKibben is happy to combine her loves of eating and writing with the opportunity to advocate for sustainable agriculture in the pages of Edible Columbus. Her latest project is Kitschy Cat Alphabet, a rhyming alphabet book in postcards. She is also a novelist, poet and lyricist, the mother of six, and the wife of one. View her work at; contact her at


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a taste of HOME

La Chatelaine A beloved French kitchen is home for many in the heart of Ohio By Megan Neary Photography by Maria Khoroshilova


s Stan Wielezynski leads me to his office at the back of La Chatelaine’s kitchen, we pass several members of his family. His wife, Gigi, is greeting customers with her famous, cheerful “Bonjour!” His son-in-law, Aaron Harden, is preparing ratatouille and his sons Tad and Janek Wielezynski are putting the final touches on

the day’s pastries. His other children, Charlotte Harden and Val Wielezynski, are busy running the Worthington and Dublin locations. Stan and Gigi have achieved the goal they set when they opened the first La Chatelaine more than 25 years ago, “to be all together and doing something together.”

La Chatelaine’s traditional freshly baked breads prepared in a stone oven and handmade, including their signature baguette.


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The idea for opening a French restaurant in the United States had its roots in the family’s experiences in Maine in 1978. They spent a few months there for Stan’s work and discovered a heartbreaking lack of fresh bread and good coffee. So, when the family had the chance to permanently relocate to the United States several years later, they decided to share the coffee and bread they loved with their new neighbors. In 1991, the first La Chatelaine opened on Lane Avenue. Although the menu has grown and changed over the years and they work to source local meat from The Ohio State University (OSU) farms and local ingredients as much as possible, the restaurant has never been without its famous bread and coffee. One of the reasons Stan and Gigi chose Columbus was because, according to Stan, “the families are still families.” Stan says Columbus’ close-knit families have helped

to smooth the “cultural chucks” of bringing a piece of French culture to the United States. The fact that many Columbus residents have visited France, sharing their experiences of the food and culture with their families, has helped to prevent the “Oh man, what the heck do I have on my plate?” reaction that French food might occasionally elicit from first-time diners. Of course, Stan says, there were a few misunderstandings when La Chatelaine first opened. For example, he recalled a customer who purchased a baguette and, three days later, brought it back, complaining, “my bagwheaty is stale.” To Stan, it was obvious that a baguette ought to be eaten the day it was purchased. Despite a few similar incidents, Stan said opening La Chatelaine in Columbus made the transition to the United States much

easier because, “you have the grandpa, who went to OSU, you have the pa, who went to OSU, you have the kids who are going to OSU. They have a level of education, and one of them at one point in his life went to Europe.” Then, when they just can’t stop thinking about that baguette sandwich they had in Paris 30 years ago, they end up at La Chatelaine and bring their families with them. The differences in French and American dining habits were just one of many things that the Wielezynskis had to adapt to. For one, of course, they had to speak to most of their customers and their new neighbors and friends in English. The younger children were enrolled in American schools where they quickly perfected English, but they still spoke French at home.

From left to right: Tad Wielezynski, son of Gigi and Stan Wielezynski, owners of La Chatelaine.


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They also had to adapt to living a great distance from their family and friends. Maintaining tradition in their cooking became one way for Stan and Gigi to feel connected to their pasts as they worked toward their futures. One of La Chatelaine’s more popular dishes, Spaghetti a’ la’ Gigi, is Gigi’s spin on her mother’s recipe. If you’re unsure what to order, you can bet Gigi will suggest the spaghetti. She’ll also be sure to give you a warm piece of baguette to go with it, because she knows we could all use more fresh bread in our lives. Other dishes on the menu can be traced back to Stan and Gigi’s favorite dishes growing up, or to popular items from where they lived and studied. Stan was born in Morocco when it was a French protectorate, and grew up in France. Gigi was born in Belgium.

Another way Stan and Gigi have found to preserve their connection to France is through charity. Just about any charity that calls Stan and Gigi can be sure to receive some sort of donation, but honoring veterans is the work that really inspires them. Stan has never forgotten the lives of the American soldiers that made it possible for him to spend the summers of his childhood on the beaches of Normandy. He was awarded the French government’s National Order of Merit in 2014 for his work honoring D-Day veterans. Every year on June 6, La Chatelaine hosts a D-Day dinner where World War II veterans gather in the restaurant for a free meal and, more importantly, to share stories. As the American veterans eat French food and tell stories in English with French music playing in the background, you catch a

glimpse of the beautiful balance the Wielezynskis have struck between preserving their French traditions and falling in love with their adopted country. “There’s always been something great between France and America,” says Stan. Visit for Stan’s homemade recipe for Ratatouille. And learn more about La Chatelaine and their three locations in Dublin, Worthington and Upper Arlington at

Megan Neary is a writer born and raised in Columbus, Ohio.

The pastry selection at La Chatelaine, including fruit tarts, country pies, napoleons, homemade chocolate mousse and Genoise chocolate sponge cake topped with Belgian chocolate ganache.


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behind the BOTTLE

Ohio Cooperage and Watershed Distillery How local barrel maker Speyside serves as the perfect fit for Watershed’s spirits By Claire Spurlock Photography by Maria Khoroshilova

Above: “We’ve used a number of different barrel makers along the way, so when we heard there was a cooperage in Ohio we got really excited,” says Greg.


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owering glass windows separate Watershed Distillery from the team’s newly opened Watershed Kitchen & Bar. The first wave of dinner guests is likely to see lingering action from inside the distillery—spirits being pulled from gleaming copper stills or spent grain collected after use in a new batch. Stacked nearly to the ceiling are barrels emblazoned with marks designating contents, timeline and origin. It’s not just for visual interest—each barrel is filled with Watershed bourbon, on its way to becoming a richer, more flavorful product. Finding barrels to impart just the right character and flavor has been a journey for Greg Lehman, co-founder of Watershed Distillery. Three of Watershed’s products—bourbon, barrel-aged gin and soonto-be-released brandy—spend time in barrels, some longer than others. In bourbon making, the barrel is as much as ingredient as water, corn and time. It’s imperative to the process, crucial in flavor devel-

The Speyside Bourbon Cooperage barrels crafted in Jackson, Ohio, and used at Watershed.

opment and, according to law, is required to make authentic bourbon. So, Greg was interested to learn of a cooperage, or barrel maker, in Ohio after years of sourcing across state lines.

Every part of the barrel is made in-house at Speyside using steel and new American white oak (Quercus alba), the type of wood legally required to make bourbon.

“We’ve used a number of different barrel makers along the way, so when we heard there was a cooperage in Ohio we got really excited,” says Greg.

All bourbon barrels must also be charred on the inside, though the level of char is up the maker. Speyside custom chars barrels based on customer preference. Char levels range from one to five, five being the darkest in color and, consequently, flavor.

“But we were cautious as well because this is five and a half years in to being a business and you don’t want to change something as big as the barrel without thought,” he says. Speyside Bourbon Cooperage opened in Jackson in May of last year, led by General Manager Darren Whitmer. The Speyside company has operations in Scotland and Kentucky and deep roots in coopering, dating back to the 1940s, but the Ohio facility is the focus on the production of new, charred, white oak barrels. The Jackson cooperage makes roughly 700 barrels a day for distribution across the country. “We went down and toured the facility, met the guys and watched barrels being made. It was a fascinating process but it was also really cool to see the quality and what they were doing and how much they cared about their product,” says Greg.

In a five-char, the inside of the barrel will begin to curl and break off over the course of time as the barrel ages. “So, as you can imagine,” says Greg, “the heavier the char, the more of the smoke and different flavors are imparted from the barrel. You get more influence from the barrel,” he adds. Lighter char may impart fruitier notes. Watershed typically sticks to a level four or five char and will go even lighter for their brandy. “The reason bourbon has such a tight definition is that every factor influences it so greatly that it wouldn’t be bourbon if you didn’t make it with American oak,” says Greg. Beyond the type of wood and how it’s toasted, there’s sourcing of the wood, size of the barrel and even tightness of its grain.


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“If it’s really tight grain you’re not going to get quite as much interaction as quickly with the spirit going in and out of the wood, where if it’s a looser grain, a little bit softer, you’re going to get some interaction there. The tightness of the grain is another key,” says Greg. In a cavernous storage facility just across the street from the distillery and restaurant, barrels of aging bourbon are stacked as much as eight rows high. Intentionally, temperature is not highly regulated inside the building. “As that barrel raises its temperature the air will expand and push that liquid into the wood. As it gets colder, the air space in the head of the barrel will shrink and the liquid gets pulled back out of the wood. When that temp change happens it’s great for the spirits because it interacts with the wood,” says Greg. Consider this: when freshly distilled bourbon goes into a barrel, it’s clear. It is interaction with the wood and time that complete the process and cultivate flavors. “The barrel is responsible for 100% of the color and probably 50% of the flavor of bourbon,” says Darren. “That’s an intriguing part of the story.”

“Used barrels are a commodity unto themselves. Most are repurposed in the Scotch industry, some go into Irish whiskey, some go into tequilas,” Darren says. What used bourbon barrels aren’t repurposed for Watershed’s bourbon-barrel gin are snapped up by MadTree, Seventh Son and Wolf ’s Ridge breweries, among others, for barrel-aged beer projects. “Most barrels go on in life for many, many uses, decades sometimes. It’s not uncommon for a barrel to have a 25–35-year life,” says Darren. Filled with spirits and left to rest, imparting flavors and depth in a time-honored tradition—it’s not a bad life to lead.

Watershed Distillery and Watershed Kitchen & Bar 1145 Chesapeake Ave., Suite D, Columbus, Ohio 43212, 614-357-1936, Paid tours available on weekends at the distillery. Speyside Bourbon Barrel Cooperage 960 East Main St., PO Box 509, Jackson, Ohio 45640, 740-688-2160,

And once the bourbon has run its course inside a barrel?

Inside the Watershed Kitchen & Bar, which is located onsite at the Watershed Distillery.


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Be Thankful for Turkeys How the wild turkey was brought back to the Buckeye State for good + hunting tips for fall By Tony Bresnen

Above: Adult, male wild turkey.


nytime you take a walk, bike ride or drive in a forested area of Ohio, you have a chance to get a glimpse at Ohio’s largest gamebird: the wild turkey. Ohio, like every state except Alaska, is home to these colorful and (at times) boisterous birds, and there are many places surrounding Columbus where you have a good shot at seeing a large tom (male) trying to show off and win the affections of hens (females). While many wildlife watchers may flock to local metro or state parks to see a turkey, you might also spot these animals right along major roads and highways throughout Central Ohio. These birds are very resilient and have shown they can adapt to the wide range of habitats Ohio has to offer. Even though wild turkeys have proven to be resourceful, there was a time when you couldn’t find a single wild turkey anywhere in the Buckeye State. A readily available source of protein, wild turkeys were highly prized as a food source for local Native American tribes and early European settlers. As Ohio’s settlers cleared more and more land for farming or to harvest lumber, wild turkeys lost most of their preferred forest habitat. By 1904, wild turkeys had disappeared from Ohio. Around that time, people began to link the destruction of habitat with the loss of native wildlife. In Ohio, both the state and the


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federal government took action by purchasing underperforming farmland with the intent to restore Ohio’s forests, and by the 1950s, large sections of southern and eastern Ohio were again full of maturing forests. In 1957, the state began reintroducing wild turkeys into Ohio’s growing forests. Wild turkeys were brought into Ohio from surrounding states, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resource’s (ODNR) Division of Wildlife managed the state’s flock intensively, particularly during the early years. Just 50 years later, in 2008, Ohio’s wild turkey population was estimated to number 200,000 birds. The increase in the number of wild turkeys in Ohio is a huge wildlife success story. Today, wild turkeys are common in many areas of Ohio, and because of that, the ODNR Division of Wildlife allows them to be hunted each year, during the fall and again in the spring. Hunting is a valuable tool for managing wildlife populations because it maintains wildlife populations at levels that are compatible with human activities and land use, and available wildlife habitat. As an added benefit, a successful wild turkey hunt can provide you and your family with clean, fresh meat. Knowing where food comes from is important to many people, and hunting can be a great option for people to source their own protein. Buying meat from your local grocery store, even if it is grass-fed or free of antibiotics, just can’t compare to meat harvested from a truly wild animal. You know where it came from, how it was prepared, and how fresh it is because you did it yourself. Many people who are curious about trying wild turkey may wonder how it compares to the supermarket variety. Unlike their store-

bought cousins, wild turkeys do not live a life of leisure. Since a wild bird also spends a lot of time foraging and fleeing when predators are near, the resulting meat is generally leaner, denser and firmer than that of a farm-raised bird. An adult wild tom turkey, which may weigh between 12 to 20 pounds (or more), will usually yield about half its weight in meat, provided the legs, thighs and breast are kept. Many people consider wild turkey meat, which is uniformly dark, to be more flavorful than farmed turkey, but care should be taken to not overcook the bird or the meat will quickly dry out. As you may expect, cooking a wild turkey can be done in many ways. Both the breast and leg meat are great additions to many types of dishes, including pastas, chilis, stir-frys, dips or like a postThanksgiving special, sliced thin and piled onto a sandwich. If you’ve never considered hunting before, thought it was too complicated or never wanted to wake up at 4am on a weekend, consider the benefits it could provide to you and those around you. Hunting enables you to be outdoors in places you might never visit otherwise, teaches you more about nature than any classroom and puts new food options on your menu.

Tony Bresnen is an information writer for the ODNR Division of Wildlife. He writes for Wild Ohio Magazine and other ODNR publications and news releases. Born and raised in Columbus, he is a lifelong Buckeyes fan and enjoys working in his vegetable garden each summer and trying new foods.

Hunting in Ohio is seasonal and regulated to conserve animal populations and maintain sustainable harvests. Before you go hunting, make sure you understand the right time to pursue game and the correct methods of harvest. Every hunter in Ohio is required to take a hunter education course to get their first hunting license. Education courses cover firearms and archery safety, outdoor skills, wildlife management, conservation and more. A new license must be purchased annually. Additional requirements apply for hunting certain species or hunting on specific public lands. You can learn more about hunting in Ohio on the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s webpage at

Adult, male wild turkey.


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Hunting in Ohio


Backyard Birds

Look at the bird, not at a field guide. The bird might fly away but the book or the app on your phone isn’t going anywhere. Look at the bird as long as you can.

By Jamey Emmert, Wildlife Communication Specialist, ODNR Division of Wildlife

Process the characteristics of the bird.

Do you know the feathery acquaintances that stop by your backyard? Many people rushing around in their daily lives might not realize that birds are a constant presence throughout our day.

How big is it compared to a baseball or a ping-pong ball? What’s its shape? Is it round or egg-shaped? Does it appear to be sitting upright or more forward? Is its beak short and stout or long and pointy?

Chances are there’s a larger variety of birds in your backyard than you would ever guess, no matter if you live downtown or in the rural outskirts of Columbus. This fall, be on the lookout for Ohio’s two chickadee species: the black-capped chickadee and the Carolina chickadee. Both species look very similar, and enjoy feeding on hearty seeds, such as sunflower. If you grow sunflowers in your garden, consider leaving the flowers and resulting seed heads in place. The chickadees, finches and cardinals will appreciate it.

Check for field marks.

For many beginner birdwatchers, the most difficult challenge is not so much locating the birds as identifying them. Here are some guidelines on how to begin and where to go from there.

Field marks are the distinctive stripes, spots, patterns, colors and highlights that birds have on their heads, wings, tails, etc. What’s it doing? How’s it behaving? Is it hopping around on the ground, tugging worms from the soil or is it clinging to the trunk of a tree and striking at the bark? Once you get used to following these few steps, you’ll be amazed at how many different birds you see on a daily basis. Visit to learn more about birds you might see in your own garden. Happy birdwatching, friends.

Above: The black-capped chickadee.


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Little Links How small pastured meat producers meet nose to tail demands By Rachel Tayse • Photography by Rachel Joy Barehl


he life of a grazing animal, like hogs or cattle, starts with the soil. Pastured livestock farmers plant nutritious forage crops such as red clover for their animals. They also build fencing to contain herds and flocks as they move from one pasture to the next, converting grass into protein. Eventually the farmer delivers mature animals to the slaughterhouse where you might think the farmer’s work is finished. For some, it’s just beginning. The investment of land, fencing, barns and animal care is best recovered if the farmer can sell every bit of the animal from snout to trotter. Lyndsey Teter is the self-appointed “boss hawg” of Six Buckets Farm, a pastured pig operation in New Philadelphia, Ohio. In

2010, she and her husband Seth began raising heritage breed hogs for sale to customers in wholes or halves. Word spread, and intrepid home cooks across the state began receiving deliveries of dozens of pounds of pork directly from Lyndsey a few times a year. “We really push the offal [internal organs like liver and heart] on our family shareholders and try to hold their hands as they explore various pâtés and meat gelatins that utilize these parts,” Lyndsey shares. “But to be honest, for a lot of folks, a big slab of shoulder is odd and new to work with, as is a ham roast or a pork hock. The absolute best thing we can do as farmers is to eat our own product, nose to tail, and share the adventure along the way. I guess that counts as ‘education,’ but if making pork tongue tacos and posting it on Instagram is ‘work,’ then the hand life has dealt ain’t so bad.”

Even as the Six Buckets customer list grew, so did the number of some odd pork cuts. “Back in 2014, during a month or two of heavy sales, I had accumulated a few freezer shelves full of pig heads that my customers inexplicably did not want. I had not done a good job of evangelizing about head cheese. I barely knew Kevin Caskey of Skillet, but summoned the courage to ask if he would like a whole bunch of pig heads. To my surprise, he said, “YES!” right away, and so I drove a cooler full of heads to him and some of the folks over at The Crest in Clintonville. I was delivering pig heads in the alleys of Columbus. Life was weird.” Jesse Rickard of Fox Hollow Farm calls himself a “grass farmer who sells meat.” Fox Hollow intensively grazes hogs, cattle, sheep and chickens on the farm his parents started in 1987 in Fredericktown, Ohio.

Opposite: Owner of The Butcher & Grocer, Tony Tanner, holding beef ox tail. edible

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Top left: Lindsay Teeter of Six Buckets Farm unloading a pig to Butcher & Grocer. Top right: Butcher Madeleine Kren carrying the belly and ribs of the pig. Middle left: A hog from Six Buckets Farm. Bottom right: Nick Gore of GoreMade Pizza in Italian Village making wood-fired pizza.


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Top left: Mark Richardson at GoreMade Pizza in Italian Village with pizza dough. Bottom left: Head Butcher & General Manager Dustin Butler holding beef heart and beef soup bones. Bottom right: Wood-fired, handmade pizza from GoreMade with sausage from Fox Hollow Farm.


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Building on the farmers market base his parents established, Jesse wanted to expand into restaurant sales with some experimental heritage hog breeds. He found a collaborator in farmers market customer Nick Gore of GoreMade Pizza. “Nick and I started talking about supplying his restaurant months before it even opened,” Jesse shares. “I knew we would have an outlet for the chops and bacon at the farmers market, but not other parts like ham and shoulder. Since GoreMade Pizza needed ground pork, that would help advance our experiment.” When GoreMade Pizza opened in Italian Village in 2016, their wood-fired pies with locally sourced toppings, Fox Hollow Farm’s sausage among them, took off. Jesse reports “The relationship has grown and GoreMade Pizza is now by far our biggest wholesale customer.” Even with direct sales to customers and chefs, small meat producers struggle to sell everything efficiently. Lyndsey confides, “I can’t tell you the number of conversations I had with chefs who want 40 pounds of shoulder, or 16 loins or a cooler of bellies. In other places around the country, I have heard tales that chefs would slap the hand of anyone who dares to cut up a side of hog for them. They want that control. In Columbus, folks are very accustomed to buying prefabricated meat off the freezer truck and most have little time or desire for the whole beast. I can understand that. It’s hard enough to run a restaurant without the added pressure of preparing a whole animal.” That’s where The Butcher & Grocer, a small meat-cutting outfit in Grandview, fills a critical link in the sausage chain. Owner Tony Tanner explains, “We only buy whole animals for the retail operation. The odd cuts, like oyster, Denver or the chuck eye steak that are usually just tossed into the trim bucket find their way to our retail case and have become very popular. Because only whole animal is used for retail, we are able to suggest to customers an alternative to the familiar cuts. This allows us to expose some


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of these less-expensive, but, in many cases, much more flavorful cuts of meat to our customers.” When they opened in 2015, Tony worried about finding the farmers. “At the time, we thought that if we could just get the doors open then farmers would emerge and it has worked out that way for us. Now, we have two beef farmers, four pork farmers, three lamb farmers and our chicken, egg and turkey farmer.” Fox Hollow Farm and Six Buckets are among these farm partners. Lyndsey says “farmers are notoriously independent and work hard to build their brands, but we need that crucial ‘middle man’ to solve some of our cold storage, distribution, supply and transportation issues. Not to mention, craft butchers take our whole animals and make them look absolutely gorgeous.” The Butcher & Grocer alleviates the pressure on farmers to sell the unusual parts themselves. “Right now, all my odd bits are Tony Tanner’s problem. HA!” jokes Lyndsey. Kidding aside, Lyndsey reflects “It’s hard to say what is odd. There is usually someone who wants something others consider weird. You just have to find these people in the right order so you’re not stuck with something.” One of The Butcher & Grocer’s farmers uses spent grain from Jackie O’s Brewery in Athens to feed his cows, and pork backfat goes to ChrisMis Farm in West Liberty, Ohio for their lard-based soaps. This dogged search for uses of all parts eliminates nearly all waste. Tony uses constant communication with chefs to match their desire for highquality, locally produced meat with farmers. He says “the first thing we tell chefs is that we don’t have boxes of product that we can pull from ‘in a pinch.’ We have to have orders 7–10 days early so we can have the animals processed.”

This meat match-making requires patience and flexibility on all sides. “If one restaurant is looking for pork rib chops and another is looking for loin chops, then we are able to work with the farmer to bring us those parts we need and then the farmer can sell other parts of the animal separately,” says Tony. “Sometimes we need to work with a couple of farmers to pull it all together. It’s been a great evolution for us and for our farmers.” Re-creating the meat supply chain on a small, family-farm scale takes many partners, not the least of whom is the home cook or restaurant chef willing to try something new. When someone enjoys pork heart ragù, or oxtail soup or lard pie crust for the first time the rewards of creative collaboration are delicious indeed. Fox Hollow Farm 20060 Gilmore Road, Fredericktown, Ohio 43019; Six Buckets Farm 168 State Route 416 SE, New Philadelphia, Ohio, OH 44663;; 614-288-9042 The Butcher & Grocer 1089 West 1st Ave., Grandview Heights, Ohio 43212;; 614-372-5376 GoreMade Wood Fired Pizza 936 North 4th St., Columbus, Ohio, 43201;; 614-725-2115

Rachel Tayse co-owns and operates Foraged & Sown, a certified organic urban herb and berry farm in north Columbus, Ohio. A DIY butcher since 2010, her favorite way to enjoy offal is heart confit tacos.


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The Tree Whisperer Randy Sanders of Pike County Farm and his philosophy on harvesting nature By Nicole Rasul • Photography by Stephen Takacs


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n a visit to meet Randy Sanders and his Pike County Farm booth at the Clintonville Farmers Market, I notice his booth is unique. It features carefully crafted wood frames, cutting boards, small tables and crosses instead of tomatoes and corn. Randy creates his products by hand using wood that he harvests from his own land, Pike County Farm, LLC, based in Pike County Ohio’s hilly Appalachian foothills. I spot cedar, sycamore, pine and chestnut oak, all varieties of the nearly 30 species that Randy crafts from. Randy happily gives a market-goer details on a frame they’re admiring. “It’s a challenge to mill grapevine,” he says as he touches the piece, which contains the image of a grapevine plant. Each frame on the table in front of me features a photo of the plant used to make that product, a signature of Randy’s design. Randy, who devoted his professional life to Ohio wildlife as a fisheries/aquatic biologist, most recently with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), specializes in the sale of woodland products and native flora harvested from Pike County Farm. A

member of the American Tree Farm System, the oldest and largest network of sustainable woodland farms in the United States, the enterprise follows a forest management plan that prioritizes fostering a healthy and diverse ecosystem that is farmed in a natural way. Pike County Farm historically produced tobacco, hay and livestock, in addition to a small amount of timber. In 2000, Randy and his wife inherited the property from her parents, who since 1974, when they acquired it, had used the land as a hobby farm and rural retreat. Randy, a nature aficionado, spent a significant amount of time on the property hunting, fishing and simply relishing in the acreage’s diverse ecosystem. After retiring from the state, Randy knew that he wanted to devote his ample free time to developing his woodworking craft, a skill that he has seriously pursued for the past 10 years. And Randy wanted to see the family farm flourish in a meaningful capacity. “I wanted to see the land become a working farm again but in a better way,” he says.

Opposite: Randy holding a freshly milled board of Red Maple (Acer Rubrum). Above: Randy with a piece of American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis). edible

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Top left: Randy milling Red Maple behind his barn. Bottom: Randy holding one of his custom built frames made of wood from the Eastern Redbud tree (Cercis Canadensis) with the center tail feather of a ruffed grouse from his woods. 56

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Top: Bottlebrush Grass (Elymus hystrix). Inside left: Patch of New York Ferns (Thelypteris noveboracensis) and Christmas Ferns (Polystichum acrostichoides). Bottom right: Randy examining ferns and other plants on his property. edible

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Recognizing his wealth of natural resources on the property, Randy theorized that he could run a model woodland farm whose harvests minimally impacted the surrounding ecosystem.

Randy takes great pleasure in travelling Clintonville’s tree-lined streets and seeing his woodland plants dot the landscape. As a vendor at the market for 10 years, he has sold countless varieties to his neighbors.

Now, on approximately 160 acres a forest grows. Randy specializes in crafting products from native woods that are farmed on a small scale in a sustainable way. He harvests wood from primarily dead or weather-impacted trees on the property. Due to this, he has carved out a niche for Pike County Farm in the Appalachian timber industry. “I do everything opposite of the traditional forestry industry,” Randy explains. “Our management goals aren’t to get money from every oak tree on the farm. I work with wood that’s pretty much junk, dead or blown down; I use wood that would either go to the landfill or get burned as firewood. Others in the industry cut the bark off of trees; I leave the bark on all of my wood. They sell globally; I sell locally. They want the straightest, tallest trees with no defects and I look for a forked tree with the most defects.” Where there were once fields on Pike County Farm, prairies now dot the horizon. Randy encourages diversity of habitat by installing wetlands and encouraging reforestation on the property. “I farm for nature,” Randy says. “Wildlife comes first on our farm.” Randy logs, mills and dries the wood harvested at Pike County Farm in the property’s ancient tobacco barn or in a sunroom at the farmhouse. He then moves the wood to his city home in the Clintonville neighborhood of Columbus where he crafts his products in a small woodworking shop. He sells his woodcrafts primarily at the Clintonville Farmers Market, but he can also be found at a few select events each year, including as a vendor at ODNR’s annual Wildlife Diversity Conference. Randy also takes custom orders. At the Pike County Farm booth at the farmers market one can also find native perennial plants, depending on the season. These include several species of fern, wildflowers such as the large-flowered trillium, as well as medicinal varieties like goldenseal. Ten acres of Pike County Farm have been designated a nursery and more than 200 species of native flora grow on the property. Randy digs from the wild on the farm to harvest plants for the market. He applies natural thinning practices to already disturbed areas of the property, such as infrequently used roads and under power lines. “On some of the old logging roads on the property—where the fern spores just inhabit the dirt—it looks like some of the most pristine places in Ohio as four to five fern species have grown together in the perfect habitat. It’s neat to rescue a few of the ferns before I have to drive over them to harvest trees,” Randy reflects.


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“It’s nice to see things being replanted that are genetically from Ohio,” he says. “People from other states have wanted to buy my plants but I say ‘no.’ I tell them that ‘they need to go back to their home state and buy something local instead’ as our plant may be an invasive species in their ecosystem.” With decades of knowledge as a working biologist, Randy literally wrote the book on Ohio streams: He is the editor of a 2002 publication called A Guide to Ohio Streams. Today, Randy offers a range of educational services through Pike County Farm, including wildlife habitat consulting, environmental conservation education and woodworking training. While at ODNR, Randy became known for his preaching of the ecosystem benefits provided by the American Sycamore tree, which protects riverbanks from erosion due to the species’ sturdy roots. As a result, his colleagues nicknamed him “Sycamore Sanders.” Pike County Farm’s logo features the image of an American Sycamore leaf and the tagline “growing nature.” When asked casually over a cup of coffee what his favorite type of wood is, which one would assume would be sycamore, Randy’s eyes light up. “I like each type of wood that is a native species for its own reason,” he says, like a doting father with many children running at his feet. “It’s just like in my fisheries work, where I never had a favorite. I can tell you that there are 12 types of non-native fish that I hate but I love each of the 165 native species for their own reasons.” Sycamore Sanders smiles softly and says, “I’ve got a lot of favorite trees as long as they are native. They are each neat in their own way.” Randy Sanders and Pike County Farm can be found on Saturday mornings during the growing season in a booth at the north end of the Clintonville Farmers Market. Visit to learn more.

Nicole Rasul enjoys writing about food history, food culture and profiling our region’s brave producers. She works for The Ohio State University as a program coordinator for the Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation (InFACT). Nicole lives with her family in Clintonville where they enjoy the farmers market and their backyard garden. Follow her on Twitter @foodierasul or view her writing online at

local Marketplace


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edible DIY

An Indoor

Forest Making your own woodland terrarium By Colleen Leonardi Photography by Maria Khoroshilova

Step One Gather the required equipment. You’ll need the following: • • • • • • • •

Glass jar or container, preferably at least a couple inches in height (lids are preferred but not necessary) Potting stones Activated charcoal Potting soil Sheet moss Terrarium plants (I love the selection at Oakland Nursery, pictured across) Watering can Wood or other decorative elements

Step Two


nspired by the prospect of having a mini-forest in my own home during the seasons of rest and root, I embarked on the journey of learning how to make my own woodland terrarium. Jodi Dawson at Oakland Nurseries showed me the steps and what I needed.

DIY terrariums are fun for kids to construct and make great gifts, too. You can explore themes like the succulent, tropical or fairyland forest terrariums. Terrariums are affordable and, most important, they’re beautiful and offer more oxygen to otherwise housebound air. Some folks like to make locally inspired terrariums from the local plants, mosses and trees in their yard or nearby forest. While we love being local, please be respectful of nature if you decide to head out and forage for a piece or two for your terrarium. Recognize that the land is an ecosystem, just like you, with each thing dependent on the other. Removing one piece disturbs the whole, and in a lot of our parks and nature preserves it is not allowed. I remember hiking up a pristine mountaintop with my brother one summer and finding a rock I liked. I wanted to take it with me so I picked it up. Underneath that rock were dozens of little ants that were working and nesting within the crevices of the stone. I put it back, knowing it was there for them and not me. As the autumn leaves descend and the green disappears, bring what is lush and alive indoors with your own woodland terrarium. Grow well.


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Add the stones to the bottom of the container first to catch water, then add activated charcoal to keep the water fresh and from creating mold in the container. Then add a layer of sheet moss to help retain some of the water closer to the soil. Lastly, add the potting soil.

Step Three Create holes in the soil for each terrarium plant first. Then remove the little plants from their pots and gently remove excess soil so the roots are exposed. Place the little plants in each hole, styling your plants as you’d like to see them over time. Pack the soil in with the plants and trim any excess, long leaves, as the plants will continue to grow in your terrarium.

Step Four Position moss on top of the potting soil in between the plants and then water thoroughly. Jodi believes misting the plants is not enough after replanting them and you need to get them nice and wet. Water regularly, watching for condensation in the jar. The terrarium should be placed in bright indirect light. Full sun can magnify the glass and burn the plants. Also, if you have a lid on your container, take it off every month to let the little woodland ecology air out; also pick up any dead leaves to keep it clean and healthy.

1 3

2 4


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local HERO

Stephen Garland Program Director of The Hardy Center

Why is growing food so important for children? “You put a seed in the ground and you have to watch it grow. That’s the concept. They’ll say, ‘my mother don’t like these.’ We have to show them: This is what you do when you pick it, wash it off, cook it like this. Now taste it. They realize that’s something they can do.”

Photography by Rachel Joy Barehl

What programs do you offer around food and community gardening for kids?

“We started with 23 kids; now we have between 350 and 400 every day.”


FALL 2017


“We introduce all younger kids to gardening. Some kids gravitate to the garden all the time and it’s totally volunteer-based. So, they go and Stan (garden manager) gives them something and says, ‘Here, if you’re going to be here every day this is what you’re going to take care of. This is what you do.’ So, they go over there and do their thing. “We need more space. We started with 23 kids; now we have between 350 and 400 every day.”

What does it mean to be a community organization in service to others in need? “It consumes you. I was attempting to retire and the pastor asked me, he said, ‘Steve, I need your heart.’ He explained what he wanted to do. He said, ‘“Feed the kids.’ “You see what the possibilities are and there are possibilities once you understand it. People get into nonprofit work and they think they’re going to save the world in six months and then think of something else to do. You find out that there are all kinds of blocks to doing that. The yield is very low in terms of souls that you save, so to speak. But the ones that you do, it’s really heartwarming.”

For our full Q&A with Stephen visit The Hardy Center 1743 E. Lakeview Ave., Columbus, Ohio; 614-267-3733;

Profile for Edible Columbus

edible COLUMBUS | Fall 2017 | Issue No. 30  

edible COLUMBUS | Fall 2017 | Issue No. 30  


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