Our Food, Our Land, Our Culture, Season by Season
Winter 2016 • Issue No. 28
Garlic • Farmers & Animals • Food Ethics COMPLIMENTARY Member of Edible Communities
Winter Contents 2016
DEPARTMENTS LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
SIDE DISH LOCAL AND IN SEASON KITCHENS WE LOVE
HARRISON FARM Central Ohio’s fearless female farmer, Katherine Harrison, and her commitment to a fifth generation farm By Nicole Rasul, Photography by Maria Khoroshilova
A SHARED FOOD ETHIC Snowville Creamery’s Warren Taylor and his call to organize the local, sustainable food movement in Ohio for the future By Warren Taylor, Illustration by Sharon Teuscher
EDIBLE ABCS FROM THE KITCHEN
FROM THE GOOD EARTH EDIBLE AESTHETICS EDIBLE CULTURE WORTH THE TRIP
A Clintonville Institution By Nancy McKibben, Photography by Maria Khoroshilova
20 years of creating authentic Spanish cuisine in German Village By Stephanie Wapner, Photography by Stephen Takacs
Our cover is inspired by Dutch Master Pieter de Ring's Still Life with A Golden Goblet (1650). De Ring was known for his "flashy" set pieces and we followed his lead, combining the familiar—local elements such as garlic and bread—with the exotic and rich—imported citrus, lush velvet, a festive tassel, one red lobster and a fresh, pearlescent oyster. It’s pure holiday, reflecting the darkness of the season, the austerity of the winter crop and the indulgences of a holiday splurge. Cover Photo by © Marlene Rounds, marlenerounds.com
FROM THE FARMER’S PERSPECTIVE
RECIPES 10 11 21 21
Roasted Head of Garlic Garlic Soup Basic Bone Broth Beef Barley Soup
Above: Katherine Harrison of Harrison Farm in Canal Winchester. See page 50 for her story.
PHOTO BY © MARIA KHOROSHILOVA
4 6 6 8 12 14 17 19 22 24 26 30 36 43 47
letter from the PUBLISHER
s 2016 comes to a close I can’t help thinking that this year has gone by particularly fast. It has been a productive year—one filled with lots of fond memories and a good amount of fun squeezed in. I feel blessed to love what I do and to do it with a team that is full of integrity and wisdom. Together we get the opportunity to publish a magazine we are proud of and expand the conversation about what is possible in our community’s food system.
COLUMBUS PUBLISHER & EDITOR IN CHIEF
Tricia Wheeler ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER
Claire Hoppens MANAGING EDITOR & EDITOR
Colleen Leonardi RECIPE EDITOR
If we want our family farms to survive and thrive, they need more buyers for what they raise and grow. We heard from several farmers that sustainably raise cows, chickens and hogs. Because consumers are used to more traditional cuts of meat, these farmers have trouble getting whole animals sold. It was wisely stated that farmers don’t raise hams, they raise whole hogs. It costs a little more for restaurants to source locally. Consumers should realize there is an appropriate price to pay for food and that cheap food has other consequences. We are missing the infrastructure needed to process meat and vegetables, a crucial step between producers and buyers. If an entrepreneur is looking for a business idea, consider this one.
At the think tank we learned about two commitments from local institutions that are progressive and will have a great impact on our local food system: Columbus City Schools’ Farm Days source food from local farms to serve to the students, and The Ohio State University has made a commitment to purchase 40% of its food from local and sustainable producers, infusing $15 million into our local food system. We will be devoting significant editorial coverage to highlight these impactful programs in the coming year. Edible Columbus is going to help play a role connecting buyers and sellers through our new website, edibleconnector.com. The full site is in developmental stages while we build it out and gather input. The current site is a place to share your thoughts and give feedback on the project. We would love to hear from you. Winter is a great time to take stock of what is important in our lives and find little ways to make a difference. I wish you a joy-filled holiday season filled with moments of happiness and time to reflect. Stay warm!
Tricia Wheeler 4
Doug Adrianson • Susanna Cantor DESIGN
Melissa Petersen CONTRIBUTORS
Bryn Bird • Cheyenne Buckingham Claire Hoppens • Maria Khoroshilova Debra Knapke • Sarah Lagrotteria Nancy McKibben • Tara Pettit Nicole Rasul • Marlene Rounds Julie Bhusal Sharma • Marcia Smilack Stephen Takacs • Warren Taylor Rachel Tayse • Sharon Teuscher Stephanie Wapner • Joshua Wickham Teresa Woodard CONTACT US
P.O. Box 21-8376, Columbus, Ohio 43221 firstname.lastname@example.org ediblecolumbus.com Edible Columbus
@ediblecolumbus ADVERTISING INQUIRIES
email@example.com Edible Columbus is published quarterly and distributed throughout Central Ohio. Subscription rate is $25 annually. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be used without written permission from the publisher. Every effort is made to avoid errors, misspellings and omissions. If, however, an error comes to your attention, please accept our sincere apologies and notify us. Thank you.
PHOTO BY © CATHERINE MURRAY, PHOTOKITCHEN.NET
In late October we held our first community think tank with Chef Bill Glover of Gallerie Bar & Bistro. The goal was to have an in-depth conversation about local sourcing in Central Ohio. Our panel consisted of chefs, restaurant owners, institutional food service providers and farmers. The conversation centered on increasing possibilities for more local sourcing, which would result in greater economic impact for our local farms and our community. Challenges and possibilities were presented. Here are some things for consideration:
hange is. It’s days growing darker and cooler. It’s putting away your summer clothes and bringing out your sweaters. It’s sap returning to the roots for nourishment. It’s chopping down a dead tree to make firewood. I’ve watched Edible Columbus change and the local food community it touches transform over the past seven years. We’ve grown stronger, brighter and more delicious. Yet we have more change to take on in 2017. While we have more farmers markets and people interested in buying local, it’s not enough. As Michael Pollan put it in his recent article “Big Food Strikes Back” in the New York Times Magazine, the food movement is still “Little Food” against “Big Food.” I’m inspired by the creativity and artistry of local food heroes like Aniko Zala of Wild Origins (page 14); Shawn and Beth Dougherty of the Sow’s Ear, and the book The Independent Farm-
PHOTO BY © SARAH WARDA, SARAHWARDA.COM
letter from the EDITOR
stead (page 36); farm artists like Rachel Tayse (page 47); farmers like Littleton Kirkpatrick of the Sustainable Poultry Network (page 43) and Kathryn Harrison of Harrison Farm (page 50); food producers and activists Warren Taylor, Michelle Ajamian and Brandon Jaeger of Athens (page 54); Chef Jacob Hough and owner Scott Heimlich of Barcelona Restaurant & Bar in German Village (page 60); and last, but certainly not least, the late John Williams of Weiland’s Market (page 56). Find out why these local food heroes are worth being inspired by. Each one of them has embraced a paradigm shift—a different way of seeing the world, like artist Marcia Smilack (page 26)—and in their own way empowered a whole community of eaters, cooks, growers, aspiring farmers and chefs.
Blessings for all things merry and bright in the New Year,
This is change. And change is the only pathway to tomorrow. Colleen Leonardi
side DISH By Claire Hoppens We’re sharing a glimpse of what Ohio’s winter looks, tastes and smells like through the lenses of our @ediblecolumbus Instagram followers. We found glimpses of warmth, traditions, seasonal flavors and creative ways to get cozy. Tag #ediblecbus to share your next edible adventures.
@thoughtandsight visits Curio for “coziness and drinks all winter.”
A “thrown-together curry” with crusty bread satisfies @areyoukitchenme.
@rdenka’s Ohio winter “tastes like homemade cranberry sauce by my grandma. She always makes a chunky chutney version and a smooth jelly version.”
Sticky buns served hot out of oven @tasicafe.
local and in SEASON
Garlic The indispensable allium
arlic is a mainstay in my garden and kitchen. I am in complete agreement with Angelo Pellegrini who wrote: “My final, considered judgment is that the hardy bulb [garlic] blesses and ennobles everything it touches—with the possible exception of ice cream and pie.” —The Unprejudiced Palate (1948)
By Debra Knapke Allium is the botanical genus for the group of herbs and vegetables that includes chives, garlic, leeks, onions, ramps, shallots and scallions. They add a spicy, pungent note to foods, and when roasted or slow-cooked, the spiciness mellows to a sweetness that enhances any savory recipe. All alliums are edible, but not all are necessarily tasty; all parts are edible, but the leaves of many species are stringy and tough. For garlic (Allium sativum), the bulb and scapes offer the best flavor and texture. Over time we have selected different garlics for their spiciness, bite, heat and “keeping” quality. This has resulted in the development of two distinct types of garlic: hardneck and softneck.
You can see the remains of the scape stem in the head of hardneck garlic when you separate the cloves. Hardnecks tend to be spicier and hotter than softnecks. Many aficionados claim that hardneck varieties offer the best flavor and are better for roasting. The cloves tend to be larger with looser skins, making them easier to peel and chop. How long they retain their flavor and firmness depends on the growing season. Hardneck garlic stored in a cool, dry place can last up to six months. But after a wet growing season I have had cloves soften and sprout within two months. Softneck varieties do not form a hard scape, and in fact seldom flower. Over time, garlic breeders selected non-bolting (non-flowering) softneck varieties. This guarantees that the energy of the bulb is directed toward the production of more cloves instead of a flower stem. The cloves are smaller than
PHOTO BY © CAROLE TOPALIAN
Hardneck varieties form a stiff “flower” scape in late spring. Removing the scape forces the plant’s energy into forming the underground garlic head instead of bulbils—“baby” garlic cloves that develop at the top of the scape. The optimal time for scape removal is when the scape forms a loop and has not begun to straighten. Don’t throw those scapes away: they make a delicious pesto that freezes well.
in hardneck varieties, but there are more of them. Softneck varieties are known for their milder flavor and for being “keepers,” lasting six to nine months in a cool, dry location. This is the garlic you will find at most supermarkets.
• • • •
Garlic is further subdivided within the hardneck and softneck designations based on characteristics such as time to harvest, number of cloves, degree of heat/spiciness, heat and cold tolerance and length of storage. There are two types of softneck varieties: • Artichokes—flattened head, early harvest • Silverskins—mild flavor, latest garlic to mature, longest-storing The hardneck sub-varieties are more numerous: • Asiatic—spicy • Creole—heat-tolerant • Glazed Purple Stripe and Marbled Purple Stripe—closely related to Purple Stripe
Porcelain—can be intensely sulfurous; mellows with cooking Purple Stripe—the “best” roasting garlic Rocambole—sweet and complex; the connoisseur’s garlic Turban—mild, earliest to harvest
For 17 years I have grown Music, a Porcelain hardneck, in our garden. This year I branched out. My husband and I attended a garlic festival at Jandy’s Farm in Bellefontaine in August where we tasted different garlic cultivars and purchased four highly recommended varieties: Asian Tempest (Asiatic hardneck), Chesnok Red (aka Shvelisi; Purple Stripe hardneck), Peach Mountain (Rocambole hardneck) and Silver White (Silverskin softneck).
the last variety to mature. The plants will tell us when to harvest. When approximately ⅔ of the leaves are yellow, it is time to dig them up. If all the leaves are brown, that means I waited too long and the heads will have started to open underground. This will result in a loss of flavor and a much shorter storage time. Regarding Pellegrini’s garlic ice cream and garlic pie: recipes do exist and there are enthusiastic reviews for the garlic ice cream served at The Stinking Rose restaurant in San Francisco…but I think I’ll stick to garlic in savory dishes.
Debra Knapke is a teacher, lecturer, garden designer, consultant and gardener who is eagerly an-
In October we planted these new—to us—varieties, along with garlic from our July harvest of 300 heads. We will harvest the garlic at various times starting with Asian Tempest (early June), and ending with Silver White (late July or so),
ticipating a bountiful garlic harvest from her
⅔-acre garden next summer. She has written five books and is a Heartland Gardener: heartland-gardening.com.
What to Cook By Sarah Lagrotteria • Photography by Marlene Rounds
he word garlic comes from the old English gār for spear and lēac for leek. Gar refers to the spear-like shape of the bulb. The word fits, more so now when we know how strongly garlic affects our health. Garlic is a warrior; a fierce, sharp-shooting warrior who fights colds, cancers, inflammation, high blood pressure and vampires. She boosts good cholesterol and bone health. She gifts us with hard-to-find vitamins and minerals. On occasion, she reeks. It’s a small price to pay for her guardianship. Here are three ways to incorporate garlic into your diet, in order from most mellow to pungent.
Roasted Head of Garlic When I was in college, two older friends—an actual married couple—brought roasted garlic to my first dinner party. I’ll never forget the sight of them coming in from the cold carrying stillsteaming packets of fragrant foil and a loaf of dark, crusty bread. If only adulthood were always that simple and sophisticated! A good long roast mellows garlic’s sharpness and leaves a gentle, golden flavor behind. Enjoy smeared on toasted bread, stirred into a hot soup or mashed into your holiday potatoes. I love mixing it with chives or parsley in a homemade butter—try it on a baked potato— or smashing it into hummus. One or more whole heads of garlic Olive oil Preheat the oven to 400°. Peel the loose layers of skin from the garlic head, leaving the individual cloves wrapped. Use a sharp knife to cut away the top ¼-inch of the garlic, exposing the tops of the cloves. Drizzle the garlic with olive oil then wrap tightly in foil. Set on a baking sheet and roast until soft and fragrant, about 40 minutes. Once it’s cool enough to touch, unwrap and use your fingers or a spoon to push the cloves out of their skins.
What to Eat Onions • Parsnips • Potatoes • Winter Squash • Turnips • Cabbage • Microgreens Sprouts • Carrots • Maple syrup • Cheese • Milk • Meats • Honey • Local staple crops, such as Shagbark’s Black Turtle Beans and Stone Ground Whole Flours 10
Garlic Soup Serves 4 Make something from nothing. That is the lesson passed down through generations of home cooks. In old Provence, clever cooks learned to rely on a kind of stone soup to get through winter. Called
Aïgo Boulido, or boiled water soup, this thin soup pulls all of its flavor from a few crushed cloves of garlic. As sad as that sounds, garlic soup tastes transcendent, like the jus of a good roast chicken, when made with broth instead of water. Use very fresh garlic or cut out the green germ in older cloves. The germs are bitter and will destroy the soup’s delicate flavor.
Good olive oil 6 cloves fresh garlic 6 cups chicken broth 1 bay leaf 6–8 leaves fresh sage Salt and freshly ground black pepper Toasted baguette slices Parmesan or Gruyere, for grating
Add-ons: Thinly sliced kale or Swiss chard, cleaned and cut into bite-sized pieces Frozen peas Small pasta like orzo or stelle (little stars) Warm a medium-sized pot over medium-low heat. While the pan warms, use the side of your knife to gently crush the garlic cloves, removing the skin and any green germs. Add a tablespoons or two of olive oil to the pot and add the garlic and fresh sage. Warm, stirring occa-
PHOTO BY © MARLENE ROUNDS, MARLENEROUNDS.COM
sionally, until fragrant and sizzling but not brown, about 3–5 minutes. Add the broth and bay leaf
Visit ediblecolumbus.com for Sarah’s recipe for
just before the garlic starts to brown. Bring to a
One: Serve soup ladled over a poached egg on
homemade garlic paste, perfect to add to butter,
baguette toast and topped with grated cheese.
tomato pastes, burgers and more.
boil and lower the heat to let simmer about 10–15 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the garlic and herbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If
Two: If you like a thicker soup, whisk two eggs
you want to thicken the soup, use egg option 2
until one homogenous color in a medium-
now. Otherwise, add your extras of choice and
sized bowl. Continue whisking as you ladle
continue simmering until the greens and/or pasta
quarter cup after quarter cup of hot soup into
the egg bowl until the egg is tempered. Add the soup/broth mixture back into the pot and
Place baguette toasts (with or without a poached
whisk until the entire pot is of the same,
egg on top, see egg option 1) in a shallow soup
slightly thicker consistency.
bowl and ladle hot garlic broth over the bread. Top with grated cheese.
Sarah Lagrotteria is a FCI-trained chef who has worked for Mario Batali, taught writing classes on food culture at Stanford and contributed to numerous cookbooks. In 2003, Sarah co-founded Apples & Onions, a private chef company in Malibu, CA. She now lives in Worthington with her husband, daughter, Marlowe, and son, Ronan.
PHOTO BY © MARIA KHOROSHILOVA;
kitchens we love
A quiet afternoon inside the kitchen of Mary Cusick and Dave Wible
ver the years, Mary Cusick and Dave Wible have made renovations to their 1870s German Village home to preserve the historical in-
tegrity of the space, including the kitchen. “We use the kitchen for all kinds of family traditions, holidays,
Sunday suppers and lots of entertaining,” says Mary. The pockmarked wood floors are original, well-worn by gatherings and visitors past. Mary and Dave chose weathered granite counters, as opposed to a shinier, modern finish, “because that wouldn’t suit the bones of the house,” according to Mary. “You can see how this isn’t a giant kitchen but Dave is a really accomplished cook and it works. So it’s really functional,” says Mary. “Besides entertaining and hosting, I think that’s the other thing about this kitchen: it has a really warm personality.”
Tag a kitchen you love @ediblecolumbus
Support our vibrant community and seasonal partners by shopping locally this holiday season.
By Cheyenne Buckingham
Left: Aniko Zala of Wild Origins mixing one of her signature herbal tea blends.
PHOTOS BY © RACHEL JOY BAREHL, RACHELJOYBARANSI.COM
icture the most eclectic, Pinterestworthy room imaginable. Now throw in an accompaniment of the trumpet in soulful jazz, which can be heard playing softly in the background, complementing the earthy aroma of freshly brewed chamomile tea. This harmonious blend of sight, smell and sound conveys the peaceful atmosphere that Columbus-based apprenticing herbalist Aniko Zala has innately instilled in the comforts of her own home. Her style and spirit embody acquiring peace through natural healing, which she expresses in her own line of herbal remedies, including tinctures, body creams and teas, called, Wild Origins. Her passion for teas began when she was just a child. She describes her mother as a prolific gardener, who managed an epic garden encompassing the outskirts of the house. This piqued Aniko’s interest for herbs from the get-go. She never thought of turning this habitual aspect of her childhood into a profession, however, until after she entered her early twenties, which is when she developed severe stomach problems that countless doctors could not diagnose. That is, until she met one who recommended a natural fix. “Finally, I had a doctor that listened to me and suggested I try peppermint tincture. Peppermint is an anesthetic to the stomach lining, so it just stopped the pain I was having. It was so dramatic that I started studying other herbs I could use to help my digestion.”
It was this pivotal moment that catalyzed Aniko to begin research into what herbs would actually take away the root of the stomach problems, rather than just easing their symptoms. These findings led her to discovering ways to cope with other kinds of ailments, including intense stress, which she dealt with often as a middle school teacher. “All of the products that I make are from (health) issues that I wanted to correct in myself or in friends and family.” It’s this personal touch that separates this newfound business from others of its kind. Since March, Aniko has been teaching workshops at local venues in Columbus like Under Aurora, Tigertree, Replenish spa and STUMP Plants where she gets to help people identify with what she calls their plant allies; i.e., the herbs that will help support their health. She teaches attendees how to construct their own tinctures and leads tastings of herbs and lectures about the health benefits that come from the herbal blends she assembles.
was instantly hooked after the first visit. Aniko even sells some of the flower bouquets that Katie pieces together at her markets. More importantly, the two share a trading system that enables both of their new businesses to grow. What Aniko receives in calendula and chamomile, Katie gets back in several of Aniko’s products. Overall, she’s very pleased with how her vision has evolved in such a short span of time. “It’s growing more than I can hope. It’s been a really fun journey. I’m a maker, I’m a teacher and I’m also addicted to learning and I love nature and plants. It’s all of the aspects of my personality that I get to use with this.” Read more about Aniko and her products at mywildorigins.com. And visit ediblecolumbus.com for Aniko’s herbal recommendations for the winter blues, including a recipe for fire cider.
Cheyenne Buckingham is a health food and fitness writer at Ohio University. In addition to contributing
“I get to talk to people about stuff that makes them feel like they can be empowered with their own health.”
to Edible Columbus, she also freelances for Eat This, Not That magazine.
What’s even better is that she procures a large portion of her herbs locally from Old Slate Farm in Mount Vernon, Ohio. The partnership began after owner Katie Reed took one of Aniko’s classes. She asked her if she wanted to take a look at her flowers and herbs at the farm and Aniko
Keep the Cows Happy Kids raising livestock on the family farm By Bryn Bird
“The animals eat before you do,” a statement said countless times by farmers for generations to stubborn teenagers and tired youngsters who want to put up a fight before heading out to the barn. A subtle reminder that becomes a mantra and then a way of life passed from one generation to the next. When we think about livestock farming, images of overcrowded barns, manure pits and big tractors may come to mind. But, the reality of most family farms have images of calves in the bathtub, lambs in the kitchen, kids assisting deliveries in their pajamas and making piglet formula in the middle of the night. My family moved to our farm in Licking County in 1995 when my parents had just turned 50. As a city girl, my Mom had never been around farm animals and only knew what she had read in children’s books. My Dad, the veterinarian, had raised cattle as a teenager and thrust our family into raising sheep. Quickly our family had baby monitors in the barn and alarms set for 2am checks on laboring moms in the middle of snowstorms. Suddenly, my city-raised Mother who is the definition of “proper” had abandoned lambs living in cardboard boxes in the middle of her kitchen and was down on all four assisting ewes through difficult labors. My parents were definitely able to skip the “birds and bees” talk after that first season of breeding sheep on the farm. These moments of caring for new mothers and babies have carried forward to my own motherhood journey. They also added a lot of colorful anecdotes to bring to birthing and breastfeeding classes that I attended with my blushing husband. Growing up, when a mother ewe was unable to care for her newborn my Dad would send us back out with a bottle in hand to milk their colostrum. We understood the lifesaving importance of this early milk, and I couldn’t contain my sheer surprise at the difference between sheep colostrum and human
after my first born. I do not think the poor nurse was ready to have me go into such excited detail during those first late-night feeds! When I reminisced about raising livestock with Jennifer Osterholt, a childhood 4-H friend who has raised cattle and pigs on a larger production level, we laughed at shared stories of county fair shows gone wrong. What was most shared was the understanding that no matter the size of the operation we all recognized the sacred relationship between the farmer and animal.
swore they could tell them apart. At only 4, Sophia corrected a drawing of the chicken coop and fixed the mistakes by adding heating lamps and fences to protect them from hawks. In this world of “big ag” and the confusing labeling around “cage free” and “free range,” it is important to remember that at the heart of shopping from local family farms is the daily sacrifice these families make to ensure their animals are safe and comfortable. Imagine me with a plastic grocery bag wrapped around my profes-
At only 9, Henry understands that if he takes care of the animals by keeping them safe, comfortable and healthy, they will take care of his family by providing them a living. Jennifer asked her 9-year-old son Henry why they, too, live by the mantra “the animals eat before we do,” and Henry simply replied, “That’s our job!” We take for granted the deep connection to food these farm kids are taught from birth. At only 9, Henry understands that if he takes care of the animals by keeping them safe, comfortable and healthy, they will take care of his family by providing them a living. The only real difference we could find between a tiny sheep operation and their larger production was the fact that baby calves didn’t end up in the kitchen. Instead, they ended up in the heated barns. Jennifer laughed and said, “It was probably warmer in the barn. We spent the extra money to heat the barn and keep the cows happy. After all, my parents said, kids could just use blankets to stay warm.” On our farm we have watched the tender lessons of respect and nurturing form in the lives of the youngest family members. The granddaughters name each and every baby chicken brought into the flock. Last month they named 60 chicks and
sionally done hair and make-up ready for senior prom headed out to the barn to feed my 4-H steer and hogs minutes before my date picked me up. It was hard to be a cocky teenager when I was constantly submitting myself to care for our pigs. I look forward to engraving these same lessons of respect for all life into the lives of my children and watching them roll their eyes as I remind them one more time, “the animals eat before we do.”
Bryn Bird is a farm girl hailing from a dirt road outside Granville, Ohio. She grew up raising livestock and produce on her family’s farm, Bird’s Haven. She holds a master’s degree in public health from George Washington University and is now empowering the rural lifestyle through her work with the Canal Market District in Newark, Ohio, and serving on the Board of Directors for the Ohio Ecological Farm and Food Association.
from the KITCHEN
Bring Home the Bone Broth
Beef barley soup with homemade bone broth
How to make hearty soup in your own kitchen using locally sourced bones By Joshua Wickham Photography by Maria Khoroshilova
oth broth and stock have been at the center of home cooking for hundreds of years. Broths and stocks are prized for their healing properties as well as general nourishment. By simply simmering meat, vegetables or bones in water, we are able to extract wonderful flavors and nutrients from ingredients that might be otherwise inaccessible.
Broth is a liquid that has been flavored by cooking meat and vegetables. The flavor profile is light and wellseasoned. Often broth is consumed alone or with simple inclusions such as small bits of cooked meat, vegetables and/or grains such as rice or barley. While meat is generally the main flavor agent, sometimes broths can be flavored with vegetables alone. Mushroom broth is one example of a meatless broth that is referenced in many classical recipes. The cooking time for broth (about 2â€“4 hours) is generally short compared to that of stock or bone broth. This ensures light color and delicate clean flavors. Broth is still very much a liquid when cold.
Stock is a liquid that makes use of the connective tissues found in the joints of animals as well as the subtle flavors of aromatic vegetables. Generally speaking, whole muscle, with the exception of small amounts still attached to the bone, is not used in the production of stock. Depending on the type of bones used in the stock, cooking time varies—45 minutes to an hour for fish, four to six hours for chicken and 10 to 12 hours for veal. The extended cooking time for stock allows for the collagen and elastin found in joint bones to be dissolved in the cooking liquid, resulting in a very high gelatin content. This gelatin provides body and texture to finished soups and sauces. Since stock is used as a foundation ingredient in many recipes its flavor is generally subtle and under-seasoned. This allows the stock to be used in many different applications without contributing too much of its own flavor. Stock sets into a light gelatinous mass when chilled. Bone broth is a liquid that also makes use of the connective tissues of animals. Ideal bones for bone broth are the joint bones of pork, beef, veal and the back
bones of chicken, as these are bones highest in connective tissue. Unlike stock, when making bone broth you are looking for complete extraction of the gelatin contained in the joints. This is achieved by very long cooking times—24 hours for pork, beef and veal, and 12 to 14 hours for chicken. While vegetables and herbs can be added to bone broth to improve flavor, they should be added during the last couple of hours of cooking to prevent total breakdown resulting in an unpleasant grainy texture in the broth. Bone broth can be consumed alone with a bit of seasoning or it can also be used as the basis of soups and sauces. Finished bone broth is cloudy with an almost creamy texture with a sticky finish. Bone broth sets into a very solid gelatinous mass when cold.
Broth vs. Stock vs. Bone Broth Color
Light color and almost clear
Thin liquid with a clean finish
Light flavor and well seasoned
Light color and slightly cloudy
Thin liquid with a slightly sticky finish
Neutral flavor with lack of seasoning
Darker color and almost opaque
Thick liquid with very sticky finish
Strong bone flavor with lack of seasoning
Where to Get Your Bones When buying bones it is important to specify with the butcher which section of bones you need. Bone broth is best when made with the joints of veal, beef or pork, and the backs and feet of chicken. Bones for marrow applications require the center cuts of long bones. Some butchers will even split the long bone sections lengthwise allowing for easy access to the good stuff (see sidebar). My favorite place to buy bones is Blues Creek Farms Meats in Plain City. Carfagna’s and Weiland’s Market are also great places to get a wide variety of meat products. With a couple of days’ notice, these places can get you just about anything you could want.
Basic Bone Broth Recipe
What to Make With Your Bone Broth
5 pounds veal joint bones 2 gallons water
Beef Barley Soup Serves 10 to 12 Preheat oven to 400°. 2 tablespoons oil Rinse bones and place in a baking dish or highsided baking sheet.
2 tablespoons butter 1½ pounds beef stew meat, cut into ¾-inch
Roast bones for 30 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and slightly caramelized.
cubes 2 yellow sweet onions, diced 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
Add bones to a large stockpot and cover with the
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced 10 cups beef bone broth or stock
Cover the stockpot with a lid and bring to a simmer over medium heat on the stove. Once simmering, remove the lid and reduce the heat to low to maintain a very slow simmer.
1 cup pearl barley 1 whole bay leaf 1 pound diced Roma tomatoes 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
As the bones cook, skim the top of the pot as
Salt and pepper to taste
impurities and excess fat begin to accumulate. Simmer for at least 12 hours, skimming as
Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat.
needed. Once Dutch oven is hot, brown the beef in the When finished cooking, strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve and cool as quickly as possible.
oil and butter. Once the meat is evenly browned, add the onions and garlic. Cook the onions and garlic until they are tender and
Broth will hold in the refrigerator for one
begin to caramelize.
week, or three to four months in the freezer. Add carrots, celery, broth, barley and bay leaf. •
Bone broth can be simmered for as many as
Bring to gentle simmer and allow to cook until
24 hours and beyond. If you plan to cook
barley and vegetables are tender. Stir often
longer than 12 hours, replace the lid and add
and add water if soup begins to get too thick.
a bit of water as necessary to keep the pot from drying out. Always cook over very low
Once the vegetables and barley are tender,
heat and keep covered to reduce evaporation.
add the tomatoes and fresh herbs and cook for another 45 minutes to an hour.
Aromatic vegetables and herbs may be added during the last two to three hours of
Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve
cooking to improve flavor.
with crusty sourdough bread.
The Long Bones
While the short joint bones are great for making stock and bone broth, long bones,
also known as marrow bones, have their uses, too. Marrow bones can be split lengthwise, or roasted whole, and enjoyed as a truly decadent snack or first course. My favorite way to enjoy long bones is to split marrow bones that have been roasted in a very hot oven (500°) and drizzled with a garlic and fresh parsley vinaigrette, accompanied by crispy sourdough toast points or butter fried French bread slices.
Joshua Wickham is an instructor and event chef at The Seasoned Farmhouse as well as a full-time culinary instructor at Columbus State Community College. A Clintonville native, Joshua currently resides in the neighborhood with his wife, Jenelle, and daughter, Guinevere.
from the good EARTH
Meat W and Greet
hen you see Bluescreek Farm Meats being delivered to Pure Imagination chocolatier it’s not your imagination. And, it’s also not necessarily for bacon-chocolate concoctions.
An increase in mandatory open hours at the North Market led Bluescreek to end its 23 years at the historic cultural and cuisine exchange this past May and turn to other retail outlets—including selling its meats through its former North Market neighbor and chocolatier.
Bluescreek Farm Meats maintains link to customers in its new Plain City location By Julie Bhusal Sharma • Photography by Maria Khoroshilova
Fortunately for the meat family business, doing deliveries through a chocolate shop isn’t its only solution to feeding customers’ cravings. In April, Bluescreek opened the doors to its new Plain City location at the corner of U.S. 42 and Ohio 736, which is approximately 17 miles from the farm north of Marysville—less than half the distance from the farm to the North Market. At the Plain City brick-and-mortar, there is no need to validate parking passes, but there certainly is room to test-drive different offerings.
Above: Cheryl and David Smith of Bluescreek Farm Meats
At the North Market, Bluescreek was restricted to selling raw meat only, which has made new-
found retail freedom sweet—literally. Bluescreek has branched out to providing baked goods, prepared foods, groceries and larger, more complex butchery classes. Bluescreek recently hosted a class on primal meat preparation, where attendees ate as they learned, eating the equivalent of a 10-course meal. According to Jamie Johnson, daughter of co-owners Cheryl and David Smith, and manager of Bluescreek, such an involved class would not have been possible in their North Market space. Despite the opportunity Bluescreek has taken advantage of, leaving its past at the North Market wasn’t easy. “One of the reasons why we couldn’t continue with the hours is because we feel an obligation to our customers, which is why we originally opened up, to keep in contact with our customers and educate them on our quality products,” says David. “And for us, to stretch ourselves so thin that we couldn’t be open, that forced us to relocate and change our hours.” Although several vendors have also left the North Market since the hours have changed, Pam’s Market Popcorn is the only other vendor besides Bluescreek that has publicly stated its leave is a result of the increased mandatory hours. But while the landscape of the North Market changes, Bluescreek is adapting well to its new rural setting. The meat makers don’t see local livestock owners nearby as competition—but rather, just a different type of customer. To draw them into the store, Bluescreek has begun processing customers’ livestock so that owners don’t have to do the dirty work to reap the results. And, whether they’re livestock owners or not, customers don’t need to spend time on making a sandwich either. The blue-ribbon star of the novel Bluescreek prepared foods menu is the fried bologna sandwich. However, the pig and cow sandwich, which is filled with grilled ham and cheese, is also a notable menu item with
weekend company from barbecue sandwiches and possibly a dessert to follow. But dessert doesn’t come last at Bluescreek. An in-house baker’s personal gluten-free diet has made way for several gluten-free bakery items— such as muffins and hamburger buns. Vegetarians, however, need to beware. Lard is used in baked goods to follow through with Bluescreek’s mission to use all it can from each animal. And, besides animal fat, you may just find some animal in your baked goods, too. “We have a cookie that’s called a bacon chocolate chip cookie that we make in house that has our candied bacon, cinnamon and cayenne candied walnuts and pretzels—and, it’s the most amazing cookie in the entire world,” says Jamie. The sweet and savory mélange is too popular to be restricted to one form, Jamie notes. “Our bakery guy has adopted that combination as key ingredients in several products. We just started doing a bacon pie and it was going like crazy,” Jamie says. “We were literally making them and [customers] were taking them, waiting in line for them to get made.” So, it isn’t just Pure Imagination that makes raw meat and raw sugar a complementary pair. The sweetest part for the Smiths is having it all—a counter to sell their meats, the family behind it to greet customers and endless possibilities. Bluescreek is taking the latter to heart by working on what’s next in the pipeline: The meat makers will start a catering division, which it hopes to bring to market this November or December. Bluescreek Farm Meats is located at 8120 U.S. 42, Plain City, Ohio 43064, and can be reached at 614-504-6605 or bluescreekfarmmeats.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Calls To Us How scent is always a homecoming By Sarah Lagrotteria • Photography by Marlene Rounds
wo sailors, fresh from icy seas, stumble and weave their way through the dark streets of a seaside town in Massachusetts, searching for salvation in the form of chowder. Their only guide a series of vague directions to an unmarked door hidden in a snow-banked landscape of alleys and dead ends.
If you made it past “Call me Ishmael” in Moby Dick, the scene might sound familiar. Herman Melville devotes an ecstatic chapter — ”Chowder”— to the clam and cod varieties Ishmael and Queequeg devour after their first trip out. Once found, the mystery door opens to “a warm savory steam from the kitchen” and, according to Ishmael, “when that smoking chowder came in…Oh, sweet friends! Hearken to me… Our appetites being sharpened by the frosty voyage, we despatched it with great expedition.” Melville gets his science right. Ishmael and Queequeg are more hungry for the cold. Cold burns calories and the body cries out for extra nourishment. Cold also dulls the nose and dry, winter air slows the spread of scent molecules. In winter we smell less, and because we smell less what we do smell comes at us sharply, clear of interference. And if the source is both hot and humid, like soup? That savory aroma would have volleyed through the air to torch the icy cover of Ishmael’s nose with buttery heat. What I took from my first reading of Moby Dick, what stayed with me all these years is the smell of that chowder. But Melville doesn’t describe the scent, not really. All he gives us is “savory aroma” and, later, “fishy.” Scent is the lifeblood of food. Without it, there is no taste. An experienced cook relies as much on her nose as she does her eyes and ears. A smell tells us immediately if things are going well and one half second too late if they aren’t (the damn toast). Cooking, putting meat or vegetable to heat, triggers chemical reactions, all of which leave an aromatic trace. Our ancestors depended upon smell to keep them alive—avoiding, no doubt, fishy. We depend on it still, and, threat of death largely removed, we savor it. But do we ever really describe it?
“Scent is the lifeblood of food. Without it, there is no taste. An experienced cook relies as much on her nose as she does her eyes and ears.”
I pull out my books. I remember food scents. But Moby Dick has me worried I’m no better than the eye witnesses on Oprah, the ones who watch a mock-attack right there on the studio stage and then, just two minutes later, get everything wrong about the attacker. What if I’m a shoddy nose witness? To me, both personally and professionally, this is a serious question. I flip through Heidi, where I swore I would find an evocative description of the raclette cheese her grandfather warmed over the fire. And find it I do. The description, so grand in my memory, is “toasted.” Smelling is an immediate and individual neurological process. How we interpret scents is as personal as a fingerprint. Even though we think we hold scent memories deep in our hearts or in our bones, that we have some say in how we remember smells, our brain makes scent associations and commits them to memory in spite of us. You usually don’t know what your scents are until you re-encounter them. Smells draw their power not from potency, but from the memories they evoke. A delicate scent can be as fierce as a steel trap, catching you in a moment you thought you had long since left behind. Stronger scents, equally so. My husband, a former choir boy, hasn’t seen an altar in 30 years. He once sniffed the air as I stirred a winedark stew. “Oh,” he said, surprised and pleased. “Smells like church.” Once an association is made, scent and memory travel in lockstep through time. Personalized scent makers understand that yoking effect. They embrace what traditional perfumers have wiggled
around for years. We don’t return to scents because they make us feel strong, sexy or whatever the ad is selling. We seek the scents that take us home: To our mother’s tomato plants, to blackberrying with our sisters or to the churches of our youth. For me, it has always been the smell of cut hay, a great disappointment to someone who longed for something glamorous, yet true to the girl who grew up pressing her face against a horse’s neck. The real truth is that the smell chooses us. But that doesn’t mean we have no role to play. There’s a reason I remember the chowder and the toasted bread being more, well, smelly, than they are. Heidi, in particular, creates a shared scent memory through repetition and naming. Think bacon every Sunday or hot cocoa on snow days. Heidi’s grandfather toasts cheese every time Heidi —literally— comes home. That’s smell at its finest. It collects meaning over time. It says little, but it tells us everything. Like a hound after a hare, we pursue the scents that call to us. But what we are really chasing are memories. Memories to make and to share. Our nose can help us do so more consciously. As with an eye for art or an ear for music, the nose is a muscle we can grow and that process begins with naming, out loud, what we smell. Winter is the time. Let’s take advantage of the clarity the cold provides and make a practice of active smelling. Forget “smells good” and say what you smell: cinnamon and clove in a hot toddy, leeks sweating in butter, pine filling your living room with its fresh fragrance. Where once you stumbled unexpectedly on an unmarked door, you might eventually know your way.
PHOTOS BY MARCIA SMILACK
Tasting Shapes On being a synesthete moved by memories of food Story and Photography Marcia Smilack
Above: “Fish,” 1992; opposite “Potholder Pink,” 2003
he first note I played on the piano was green. Age 6, I was home for lunch eating chicken noodle soup when a piano was delivered to our house. Curious, I struck a white key when, to my astonishment, a vision (“photon”) of green light appeared in front of me. It vanished as quickly as it arrived, at the exact moment the sound receded from the room, but I never forgot it. I quickly grabbed a green crayon, made a mark on paper (my first written music) and left it on the piano, confident that when I got home, I could play the color again. The first time I heard the word “synesthesia” I was in a Laundromat dancing with abandon to the percussion of the dryer. When I twirled around I was
horrified to discover a seated woman who had apparently been watching me for some time. Feeling exposed, I tried to explain when she interrupted me. “I think you may be synesthetic,” she pronounced. Turns out, she was a graduate student in psychology who had read about synesthesia that week in school. She explained that synesthesia is a perceptual phenomenon that affects a small percentage of the population (about 4%) that occurs when more than one sense goes off at the same time. For example, a synesthete might see a color for every letter of the alphabet that stays the same for a lifetime, a synesthete might taste shapes, or might see color along with sound or hear sound from shapes or colors.
“Is that why the first note I played on the piano was green?” I asked, having never told anyone. Her answer was yes. I’ve been using my synesthesia for 30 years to produce images I call “paintings by camera” in which I photograph reflections on moving water, shooting whenever I have a synesthetic response. I have exhibited my work in galleries and my work is featured in more than a dozen books. I currently exhibit at the Hammond Harkins Gallery in the Short North in Columbus. I have also exhibited in two museum shows, the first at the McMaster Museum of Art in Canada where—if I may brag—my work was hung between paintings by Charles Burchfield and Wassily Kandinsky on one wall with David Hockney at the right end and Van Gogh at the left, across from works by Joan Mitchell (all genuine synesthetes). I also exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in Kiev, Ukraine, where I gave two lectures on how I create my images. My process works like this: I use the surface of the sea for my canvas, the season for my palette and the wind for my brushes. I watch and wait until the movement on the water re-shapes the straight lines of a reflection into a design I like. When I feel a surge of ecstasy, I click the shutter. I never manipulate the water to influence results nor do I manipulate the image after. My goal is to capture on film what nature freely provides. Friends would happily attest to my lack of gourmet skills. I am not, in a traditional way, an epicure or foodie. Yet it would be untrue to assume I am indifferent to gastronomic delights. To the contrary, tasting food is one of the most important ways that I process and retain experience. Smell and taste have the power to magically transport me through time by creating a chain of otherwise unrelated events, alike in edible ecstasies.
The first time I noticed a taste response was in Menemsha on Martha’s Vineyard when I was looking at a particular fishing shack in reflection. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I tasted Neapolitan ice cream. On all subsequent visits, I had the same response. A different cottage in reflection produced the taste of a stiff meringue. My taste responses do not vary over time. I could return to the same site 20 years later and the taste would be the same. My tasty images are also redolent of time past. For instance, “Potholder Pink” stimulates two senses. The first is touch. Looking at it takes me back to a childhood afternoon when I wove a potholder for my mother that she kept in the towel drawer of our kitchen all my life. One glance at it, and I am instantly transported to the kitchen of my childhood where I am sitting at the table while my mother prepares dinner. I am suddenly smelling her onions browning on the range, adding them to salmon to prepare one of my favorite dishes—salmon patties. If this experience sounds familiar to readers of Proust’s famous madeleine moment, that is not surprising since Proust was a synesthete like I am. Our experiences are both discussed in a book titled The Proust Effect: The Senses as Doorways to Lost Memories by Cretien Van Campen (Oxford University Press). My image “Pistachio Mints” is named for the taste of the colored mints I found at the bakery Pistachio Vera in German Village. When I took the photograph originally, I called it “Maramor Mints,” which were a delicacy of my Columbus childhood, sold at the elegant Maramor Restaurant (owned by the Sher Family) that had a little nightclub.
“Pistachio Mints,” 2002
“Fish” elicits two responses, depending on how close I stand to the image. If I look at it close-up and focus my eyes on the lower right-hand corner where the water appears to have edges, I feel the texture of blue satin sheets against my skin. Whereas, if I step away and take in the image in an overview, I taste swordfish. Then I notice that the reflected building looks like a fish with windows.
Learn more about Marcia and her photography at marciasmilack.com, or visit Hammond Harkins Gallery in Columbus at hammondharkins.com.
Marcia Smilack, a Columbus native, calls herself a professional “Reflectionist” because she takes photographs of reflections on moving water to produce what
Taste is an essential element in my creative process. Taste and the memory of taste invade my artwork just as they do my senses in the present moment.
she named “paintings by camera.” Smilack’s work is profiled in a many books and documentary films. She is featured in radio, television, magazine and newspaper articles in Europe, Japan, Australia and the United States.
worth the TRIP
Day trip winter finds in Dayton + the 38th Annual Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association Conference
By Claire Hoppens
Above: Press Coffee, a fixture in the Oregon Arts District opened by Brett and Janelle Barker in 2011.
Dayton is a city worth savoring. Between its rich history and modern offerings, a day trip to Dayton can be enjoyed through outdoor activities, creative food and drink and explorations of local heritage. Yes, even in winter. The 60-mile drive from Columbus wonâ€™t set you back much more than an hour. Make your first stop at Press Coffee, a fixture in the Oregon Arts District opened by Brett and Janelle Barker in 2011. Brett got a taste for thoughtfully sourced and roasted coffee in his eight years at one of Daytonâ€™s first independent coffee shops before setting his sights on his own business. Press is an airy, bright space with lofted overflow seating and glimmers of history throughout the building, like filigree in the restored ceiling tiles and towering street-facing windows. The menu is focused. There are recognizable favorites like lattes and espresso, and coffee brewed from beans sourced from around the world. Evans Bakery, a local bakery, delivers fresh donuts every morning. Over the past few years Brett has focused on sourcing and roasting his own coffee beans to ensure quality and consistency. Brett roasts all the coffee served at Press, in addition to handful of wholesale accounts, under the name Wood Burl Coffee. For him, a personal connection to the coffee farmers is a crucial component to operating a sustainable, ethical business. 30
Above: Inside Luna Gifts & Botanicals. “The greenery is too inviting to resist from the sidewalk.”
“I really try and promote specific coffees and their characteristics,” says Brett. At Press, the character of the shop and of the coffee is hard to beat. Just next door an oasis awaits at Luna Gifts & Botanicals, opened in September. Gifts, pottery, artisan jewelry and charming home accessories are nestled in a thicket of house plants, succulents and air plants. The greenery is too inviting to resist from the sidewalk. The unique wares are curated by the store’s six owners, longtime best friends and photographers.
PHOTOS BY MARIA KHOROSHILOVA
“We sought to fulfill a little niche downtown, a place filled with beautiful things that we would want to find while out exploring, and enjoying the neighborhood that we call home,” says co-owner Carly Barrett. Ready to brave the chill? Dayton’s Five Rivers MetroParks operates an ice skating rink from November 25 to February 28 complete with sweeping views of the downtown skyline and the Great Miami River. Hit the ice for a free skate, a curling match or just sip a hot chocolate. Or, if local beer is more your taste, visit Warped Wing Brewery and taproom situated in a lofty red bricked building from 1938. The name of the brewery comes from a method the Wright brothers used to stabilize their plane: wing warping technology. Factor in that a preliminary version of the pull top
Press Coffee 257 Wayne Ave., Dayton, Ohio 45402 pressdayton.com Luna Gifts & Botanicals 261 Wayne Ave., Dayton, Ohio 45402 facebook.com/Lunadayton/ MetroParks Ice Rink
Brett roasts all the coffee served at Press, in addition to handful of wholesale accounts, under the name Wood Burl Coffee.
was invented by a Dayton machinist and it’s a delicious fate. Warped Wing brews and serves its beers on site and offers tours of the brewery at 2pm, 3pm or 4pm on Sundays for $10, which includes a glass of beer or tasting flight. Better still, catch a show. The Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center is a cultural hub in downtown Dayton housing the Dayton Philharmonic, the Dayton Opera and the Dayton Ballet. Built in 2003 by architect César Pelli, the dome of the theater features concentric circles of fiber-optic lights meant to depict the starry night sky exactly as the Wright Brothers would have seen it on the eve of their first flight in December of 1903.
237 E. Monument Ave., Dayton, Ohio 45402 metroparks.org/ice-rink/ Warped Wing Brewery 26 Wyandot St., Dayton, Ohio 45402 warpedwing.com/homepage
If the evening allows, sip a nightcap at the Century Bar, just two blocks from the theater and an even shorter jaunt from the Dayton Convention Center, where the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association will host its annual conference in Dayton starting February 9 to 11 (see page 34 for more details). The bourbon-focused Century Bar serves from an expansive bourbon and rye list in a welcoming space with warm lights and wood details, including a restored cherry-and-stained-glass-back bar from 1862. Choose from carefully mixed cocktails or take a recommendation from the knowledgeable staff.
The Benjamin & Marian Schuster Visit ediblecolumbus.com for more of our favorite finds in Dayton this winter.
Performing Arts Center 1 W. Second St., Dayton, Ohio 45402 victoriatheatre.com/venues/schuster-center/ Century Bar
Claire Hoppens is now Associate Publisher at Edible Columbus after years as a writer and admirer. She
10 S. Jefferson, Dayton, Ohio 45423
earned her degree from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, and now specializes in
937-223-3382 • centurybourbon.com
digital communications, community engagement and professional snacking. She lives in Upper Arlington with her fiancé.
LEFT: PHOTO BY CARLY SHORT PHOTOGRAPHY; RIGHT: PHOTO BY MARIA KHOROSHILOVA
The unique wares are curated by the store’s six owners, longtime best friends and photographers.
Things to Love about the 2017 OEFFA Conference
The Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association has been hosting their annual conference for the farming community for over 35 years. This year they celebrate their 38th gathering in Dayton. Read more about highlights for this year’s conference, and purchase tickets at oeffa.org.
From Granville to Dayton This year’s move to the Dayton Conference Center allows for growth and added amenities, but won’t sacrifice any of the charm or programming that have become synonymous with the conference. “We’re excited to have new partners and reach a new part of the state,” says OEFFA Communications Coordinator Lauren Ketchum. The conference, previously held in Granville, will celebrate its 38th year with the theme “Growing Today, Transforming Tomorrow.”
By Claire Hoppens • Illustrations by Kevin Morgan
Convenience and Comfort Even a late winter optimist can appreciate the tunnel connecting the Dayton Conference Center and all OEFFA activities to the on-site hotel, the Crown Plaza Dayton. Parking is complimentary, and be sure to ask for the special OEFFA rate when booking.
For Farmers and Advocates
Foods’ Erin Brockovich
Dayton is Worth the Trip
Workshops cover a wide range of topics including
This year’s keynote speakers are Robyn O’Brien,
Dayton is home to vibrant neighborhoods, his-
organic and sustainable agriculture, food policy,
former financial and food industry analyst and
torical explorations and family activities in every
home cooking, business tactics and certification.
author of The Unhealthy Truth, and Jim Riddle,
season (see page 30). The 2nd Street Market is a
Whether you’re a farmer seeking organic certifi-
an organic farmer, inspector, educator, policy an-
year-round farmers market open Thursday–Sat-
cation or a local food advocate, there are topics
alyst and activist. Robyn founded and served as
urday in close proximity to the Dayton Con-
suited for all interests and occupations. All work-
the Executive Director of the AllergyKids Foun-
ference Center, RiverScape MetroPark opens a
shops are 1½ hours long and feature prominent
dation, and advises companies making changes in
seasonal ice rink to the public and microbrew-
leaders, teachers, authors or instructors.
the food industry. She’s been called “foods’ Erin
eries, like Warped Wing Brewery, are scattered
Brockovich.” Jim served on the U.S. Department
across the city.
Family Friendly The OEFFA Conference offers unique programming for kids ages 6–12 and teens ages
of Agriculture National Organic Standards Board from 2001 to 2006. He remains engaged in organic issues and operates Blue Fruit Farm, a five-
Community Connections Gathering diverse and passionate people for a
acre farm in southeastern Minnesota.
12–15, in addition to on-site childcare for
food and farming conference makes for
children 5 and under. Teens may adhere to cus-
abundant networking opportunities. Newfound
tomized programming or overlap with the main
Local Meals Made with Love
sessions as they wish, and kids will have oppor-
Conference attendees have the choice to include
perienced counterparts. Interns might connect
tunities to get their hands dirty, take on a project
lunch and dinner options on their ticket. Meals
with future employers. And throughout the con-
and learn on a level that best suits them.
are made from scratch and feature as many local
ference, OEFFA will host designated networking
and seasonal ingredients as possible, some from
sessions and a reception.
Three Days of Trade Exhibitors participate in a trade show from Thursday to Saturday, offering a chance for at-
farmers can garner wisdom from their more ex-
the farms of conference sponsors or attendees. The meals offer a chance to mingle and connect over food prepared lovingly and in the spirit of the conference.
tendees to connect and research sustainable businesses, products and farms. Explore the trade show during schedule breaks or between sessions to learn about innovative new products and tools of the trade, sample food and beverages and meet individuals from all over the state.
The Independent Farmstead
A Q&A with Ohio’s Shawn and Beth Dougherty, authors of The Independent Farmstead
By Teresa Woodard
ith a farm name like Sow’s Ear, it’s easy to wonder how a couple from eastern Ohio transformed a neglected, steep and rocky property into a productive one to feed their family of 10. Today, Shawn and Beth Dougherty blog, teach workshops and recently wrote The Independent Farmstead to share their 20 years of experience with the growing number of homesteaders.
Q: Tell us about your farm. Shawn: We have one farm but two locations with a total 50 acres of grass.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF CHELSEA GREEN PUBLISHING
One farm is at the Franciscan convent where I also serve as their maintenance man. We run 25 of our cows there. A mile and a half away, we have the home farm with seven acres of grass where we run a dozen sheep, six pigs, four small calves and lots of poultry and have a large garden. The farm feeds the sisters and our family with dairy, vegetables and meat. We also run a small community dairy, called Two Sisters Creamery.
Q: Why did you decide to embark on this book project? Beth: When we started out a long time ago, we were forging a new path and
couldn’t find the books and articles to tell us what we needed to know. We spent a lot of time making discoveries. You know how it is when you make discoveries—you think “I wish I could tell other people. Like, here’s a mistake you don’t want to make.”
Farmers Beth and Shawn Dougherty, authors of The Independent Farmstead.
Q: From teaching classes, did you have a good sense of what your readers were looking for? Beth: In class, our discoveries were always that books were giving scaleddown conventional methods for a home-sized chicken yard, garden or pigpen. Basically, here’s how many square feet to allow the animal and here’s how much feed to buy. We would get questions like “why this is so complicated?” and “how can I make this easier?” The answers are often simpler. The snag goes like this: The farming methods we were looking for are the methods of our great-grandparents and great-great grandparents and were known and shared by everyone up until WWII. It was based on how the farm supported itself first, not how the farm created a product that is then marketable for money, and the money is spent to support the farm. Instead, we teach how the farm generates the nutrients that are necessary to keep that farm—all the animals, all the plants and all the people on that farm— before anything is exported.
Q: What are the top challenges small farms face today? Beth: The number one obstacle for young farmers today, even before education and experience, is capital. We hear it over and over again, so we say “then don’t have capital.” Go find someone who is sick of mowing their yard—their acre and a half of fancy country lawn—and ask permission to care for it, put a temporary fence around it and run your animals there. There’s an awful lot of land going to waste or being pastured by somebody’s John Deere instead of a real animal. Shawn: I think the top challenge is too much debt. You’ve got to find a way to do this without lots of equipment and without going into major debt to buy a piece of property. At an upcoming workshop at the Mother Earth News Fair, we’re going to be saying, “The piece of property that you think is the perfect piece of property is too expensive. So, settle for a junky piece and then make it good.” And, you don’t need tons of tools. We’ve done all our milking with no milking machine. We do it all by hand and buckets, and that saves us a lot of money. Our cows are all (fed) on grass, so our expense for feeding the cows is almost zero. We have to have fences to move them from grass to grass, but there is no grain. In our case, the convent was close. People need to use properties that other people are not using, and work with them, and say “I can help feed you by using your property.” Beth: Another challenge is when young farmers leap into a trendy farming niche like microgreens or shiitake mushrooms with the expectation that it will pay their bills. They don’t yet have sufficient experience, but they have all this energy, a bit of knowledge and a niche model. Many times the niche isn’t a good natural fit for the farm. They either fail and quit, or fail by compromising their initial farming motives so they can make money.
Q: What is your secret to successful farming? Shawn: We feel the success comes from ruminants on grass and intensively moving these animals—we move ours every 12 hours to a new paddock. The good it does to the pasture is amazing, and the cows are doing well, too.
(Shawn defines ruminants as “animals like cows, sheep and goats with multi-chambered stomachs that can digest roughage.”)
Q: Are you encouraged by the growing interest in homesteading?
Beth: The secret to farming historically is “he who captures the most sunlight wins.” Since the biggest solar collectors on the planet are grasslands, we have to figure how to harvest those. Since people can’t eat grass, we use ruminants. The ruminants turn it into meat, milk, manure and more ruminants.
Shawn: Yes, and we’re especially evangelical about encouraging people to go out and get a cow. We hear all this talk about eating organically but wonder what those people do for food. How do those people get really nutritional food? And, the only way to do it is find a farmer who’s doing it, or do it yourself. And, for those people that think the notion of having a cow or pigs or chickens is so far out there, it’s not. It’s doable.
We like to tell people when they’re drinking milk, their food is yesterday’s sunlight. As we move our cows, they’re eating the most immediate access of sunlight—even more immediate than very fast-growing salad greens. Cows turn the sunlight into sugars, fats and proteins. If you look at the successful farmers, whether Joel Salatin or Elliott Coleman or Allan Nation or Greg Judy, the ones who make the best use of sunlight and rainfall are the most successful farmers in the long term. “Successful” meaning, in the long-term sense, “as they use their farm, they’re improving their farm.”
Find the The Independent Farmstead at Chelsea Green Publishing, and learn more about Beth and Shawn’s farm at onecowrevolution.wordpress.com.
Teresa Woodard writes and produces home and garden stories for regional and national magazines. She blogs about Midwest gardening with two other writers at heartland-gardening.com. She also volunteers as a master gardener and gardens on 2½ acres along the Little Darby Creek in Madison County. She and her husband, Brian, have three teenage kids, a cat named Shadow, a dog named Tucker and three chickens.
A lamb in the snow at the Sow’s Ear in eastern Ohio
Back to Heritage Bringing America’s first poultry breeds into the market is the name of the game for one organization By Tara Pettit
ake County, Ohio, farmer Littleton Kirkpatrick takes pride in his specialized breed of Buckeye chickens. He owns and operates Golden Buckeye Farms in the Lake Erie region, named after the very poultry breed he raises.
The Buckeye chicken is a part of a diminishing slow-growing class of poultry referred to as “heritage poultry” that have been replaced with fastergrowing breeds aimed to serve the mass-oriented nature the industrialization of the American meat market has taken. Prior to industrialization, “heritage” and “slow-growing” chicken breeds were once the standard breeds grown on farms across the United States. Like the Buckeye, these were more substantial breeds, hardier and more structurally developed from a biological standpoint. Due to their slower maturation rates and that they were typically grass-fed they were, quite simply, “a healthier chicken with a more flavorful meat and overall better food,” says Littleton. But Littleton didn’t just start growing a heritage breed of chicken out of the blue for a better quality chicken.
He is part of a larger growing movement across the United States determined to re-introduce heritage poultry back into the country’s now massively fastproducing and increasingly unhealthy poultry market. The movement is being driven by the Sustainable Poultry Network (SPN), a national organization that started as a small coalition out of North Carolina, formed from one man’s passion for quality poultry and to once again see it produced in the traditional American way for a much healthier, sustainable product. Today SPN operates with an underlying mission to “put all the old breeds of poultry back to work and get those breeds back into the marketplace,” according to Jim Adkins, founder of Sustainable Poultry Network and a 35year chicken breeder who became passionate about saving heritage poultry after being exposed to the effects of industrialization when working for the largest turkey producer in California. “We hang our hat on three different nails: training, coaching and mentoring,” says Jim, “to teach farmers and chefs how to breed, grow and market sustainable flocks of standard bred poultry. If we are going to save these old breeds of poultry, we are going to have to start eating them again. That’s the message we’re sharing.” So, what makes a breed “heritage” and therefore sustainable?
It comes back to the basic genetic makeup of these historical breeds that allows for the bird to grow more naturally at a slower rate, contributing to the development of stronger skeletal structures and healthy organs prior to building muscle mass. The American Poultry Association (APA) Standard of Perfection establishes clear criteria for defining “heritage chicken,” which include both raising standards and genetic qualifications of populations established prior to the mid-20th century. Today’s standard industrial breeds mass-grown in coop houses do not meet the production and environmental factors set by the APA to meet heritage qualification, and, much more distinctively, do not exhibit the substantial genetic traits of the heritage breeds established in early America. “You’re really talking apples and oranges between today’s chicken and the heritage,” says Littleton. Another determinant in the classification of heritage poultry is its natural reproductive capabilities, an ability industrial breeds today do not possess. “While working in the commercial turkey industry, 100 % of the turkeys we raised were unable to reproduce naturally,” says Jim. “Poultry that cannot reproduce naturally are not sustainable.” SPN works directly with farmers to grow, raise and market their own poultry farm that they can self-sustain year after year due to the healthy lifestyle and reproductive qualities inherent in their quality breeds. The heritage breeds SPN helps to grow on farms throughout the United States not only become the healthier product, but much better tasting and flavorfully rich. “You’ve got to taste the difference between a grocery store piece of chicken breast and what you get from a heritage bird,” Kirkpatrick said. “Because the bird is running around all day long, there’s a lot more
dark, dense, flavorful meat. You really are getting an entirely different product.”
Making Movements From its outset, SPN’s mission has infiltrated the local farming community at multiplying rates as more poultry growers hear the “gospel” of how to return to more quality-focused, sustainable methods of producing poultry and enthusiastically get on board. Over the past five years the organization has trained hundreds of interested farmers, engaging them in a mentorship process that ensures they will be successful in their transition to raising the heritage breeds. Part of that mentorship involves hands-on demonstration in the practicalities of raising slower-growing birds, but mentors also guide participants in the process of marketing and distributing to a more niche population that values quality over cost. “You aren’t going to win over the cheap grocery shoppers,” Jim advises. “Our market contains those who have had a paradigm shift in line with our core values.” Though the transition to heritage requires a financial investment, Littleton from Lake County reassures that it is a “sustainable investment worth making.” “It’s the philosophy of whether or not you’re concerned with the quality of product you’re providing,” Littleton says. Any farmer interested in learning more about raising heritage poultry or even how to implement more sustainable practices into their operations is encouraged by Jim to simply reach out to SPN for a baseline evaluation on what their business goals are. Once goals are determined, the organization through its mentorship program invests one-on-one time with farmers to match program offerings with the specific needs and plans of their business. Jim notes that Ohio is a key state where the movement is growing with flourishing heritage farms in the Columbus and Holmes County areas. “There are incredible opportunities for people in Ohio to be involved in any one of the categories of breeding, growing and marketing heritage breeds specific to your business need,” Jim reiterates. “The sky is the limit— whether you are in Ohio or California—as we blaze a trail the old way.” Learn more about The Sustainable Poultry Network at spnusa.com.
Tara Pettit is a Dayton-based journalist and public relations specialist with a focus on community-centered cultural, social and environmental issues. She is a graduate of Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism with a B.S. in journalism and concentration in sociology and environmental biology. She writes for several local and regional magazines and is passionate about local food, arts and activism. When she is not writing, she likes to paint and explore cities for the perfect cup of coffee. You can reach her at email@example.com.
from the farmer’s PERSPECTIVE
Farming as a creative practice By Rachel Tayse • Illustrations by Sharon Teuscher
mber waves of grain. American Gothic. This Land is Your Land. Agricultural scenes are the undercurrent of many expressions by artists for good reason—the pastoral invites explorations of family, production and the familiar.
The truth of most farming these days, though, is that it’s production-oriented. Fields are frequented by machinery, farmers must outfit themselves in protective headphones to run noisy equipment and the bulk of food is processed in artificially lit warehouses by crews in hair nets. Produce arrives to the consumer as a uniform size with dull flavor and looks enhanced by waxes and glazes. Inside the beltway of the straight rows of traditional farms, though, Central Ohio is home to creative types bucking tradition and turning to the medium of soil to exercise their artistry. For farm artists working small plots of land by hand invites a new vision of food production. “I suppose for me gardening is a magical art form since the media we use is alive and constantly changing,” says homesteader Bernadett Szabo of Johnstown, Ohio. “I love the fact that it speaks to all my senses. It’s visual, it’s fragrant, it’s tactile and it speaks with soft rustling, humming, buzzing.” “I often think of Over the Fence as my greatest masterpiece, a representation of my work as an artist and art educator,” shares Clintonville CSA farmer Jodi Kushins of her urban farm. “I had a vision, made a few sketches, gathered my supplies and some folks to help me turn the image in my mind into a reality in my backyard.”
“When I was a high school art teacher I often compared my students to watercolor paints,” says Jodi. “While artists can learn to control them, watercolors are a very fluid medium that can sometimes be hard to predict. Working in the garden is the same. I layout my beds and I imagine how plants will grow in relation to one another, but then the sun, wind and rain have their way, and things often turn out differently than I planned.” Creative farmers use herb spirals, keyhole beds and curved ponds to enhance the visual design of their food plots. Flowers and natural material fences add to the beauty of their working environment. Like many artistic expressions, creative farms are sometimes controversial. “I ascribe to David Orr’s definition of green aesthetics that in order to be beautiful, something must cause no ugliness elsewhere. While some folks might think my yard looks out of place alongside my neighbors’ grass and flowerbeds, I think it’s beautiful both as a living sculpture and for its usefulness,” tells Jodi. Farm artists often plant and sell produce as different as mass-produced hotel art is from a work of art for a small gallery or museum. Cucamelons, a tiny tart explosion of flavor prized by patrons of Clintonville’s Peace, Love and Freedom Farm, is an example of a museum-inspired fruit. Market shoppers and chefs seek out red-veined sorrel for the look of a chartreuse leaf outlined in burgundy, among other gastro-artist favorites. Artistic farms extend their creativity into the marketplace, displaying their produce with the eye of a curator. Many record and share the elegance of their offerings on Instagram and other social media outlets. There’s even a counter-culture movement to feature ugly produce, exploring the potential
beauty in what’s different from the norm and highlighting the food waste considerations of discarding non-uniform produce. Farmers market organizers are in on the creative draw to food, too. Worthington Farmers Market, for instance, partners yearly with Igloo Letterpress to design and print a custom poster advertising market dates. This summer, Pearl Market made its mark downtown with an oversized corn sculpture installation. Yet farm creatives face similar pressures to visual, theater, musical or dance artists. They aren’t starving artists—their product is edible after all—but the materials and time required to reach their vision often exceed financial and personal goals. Jodi explains, “Being a farmer and being an artist both require commitment, sacrifice and drive. Thinking like an artist means looking at things differently than others. Seeing a patch of grass and imagining it as a space to grow food, for example. Committed artists are not afraid to make sacrifices in their lives in order to make their work. Most of the people in the urban farming community are equally passionate about putting good food in people’s hands while maintaining autonomy in their own lives.” Farmers of all sorts must be self-motivated and respond to the changing marketplace of food trends and chef whims. Add in the seasonal nature of growing outside, when a single overnight frost can ruin a crop, and the risk increases. That’s why you’ll sometimes find soil creatives lamenting the viability of their career. Often they seek off-farm jobs, especially in the winter season when income is low or zero. The CSA model, where consumers pay ahead for shares of produce in the time farmers need the cash flow, is another way of funding the tenuous small-scale farmer vision. “I don’t think I will become rich in a monetary sense doing what I’m trying to do,” Bernadett says, “but a lot of it is beyond that anyway. I hope that with the intelligence and persistence of the new generation of farmers we will find a way, or ways, to lessen the struggle, sustain ourselves and have a fulfilling, complete life.”
Rachel Tayse is passionate about connecting Central Ohio families with their food. She curates a cooperative urban farm, Harmonious Homestead, and serves as sustainable food advocate with Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, Central Ohio Young Farmers Coalition and Veggie SNAPS.
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OPENING J A N U A RY 2 0 1 7
Central Ohio’s fearless female farmer, Katherine Harrison, and her commitment to a fifth-generation farm By Nicole Rasul • Photography by Maria Khoroshilova
tepping onto Harrison Farm in Franklin County, just outside of Canal Winchester, the air drips with history, nostalgia and a tie to ancestral land.
Katherine Harrison, a vibrant 40-year-old woman, oversees the farm’s operation. The story of Harrison Farm is rooted in perseverance as Katherine has faced many trials in her quest to continue her family’s fifth-generation farming tradition. She has bravely soldiered on and today is a leader in not only our region’s farming community but in the small cadre of women farmers in our country who account for only 14% of principal farm operators nationwide. Katherine is active in a number of political causes, and since 2011 she has served as a representative to the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s board as well as the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation board. Katherine operates Harrison Farm entirely on her own. She is single and, as the seasons of life have changed, all of those whom she has called family and shared the vast farmhouse with, including her grandparents and mother, have passed on. “Most of the people I know who farm, they farm with their spouse, their parents, their children. I am here solo. But you make it work. If something is important to you, you figure it out,” she says while gazing at her pastures bursting with livestock. On the day that I met Katherine, a bandana covered her head, concealing a gash that she had acquired the night before while in the barn tending to an immediate need of one of her goats. After hitting her head in the dark she phoned a friend to ask them to check on her in the morning. Despite the trials, Katherine is determined for the farm to succeed for another generation. “It’s exhausting, it’s overwhelming, but it’s the life I know,” she says.
Small Farms Bring Opportunity Katherine tends to 60 goats, 30 sheep, 15 roosters and 80 chickens in pastures purchased by her great-grandfather. Ten cats, a donkey and a dog also call the farm home. Through direct marketing, she sells livestock meat and the eggs from her chickens to varied consumers in the region. Additional income is raised through her work as an independent event planner; on-farm events,
such as an open farm series, yoga and an upcoming painting series; and through an etching business that she is working on getting off the ground. “I truly believe communities need small farms. I believe in all kinds of agriculture. We need diversity, different opportunities and different markets. Small farms in a community provide green space and jobs. They provide a connection for people to understand that farming is not something that happens far away, it is part of our everyday life,” Katherine reflects. Educated at the University of Richmond in Virginia, Katherine studied history and world religions. This training proved useful when she returned to the farm after college and helped her mother and her mother’s husband open and run an on-farm slaughterhouse, which catered to the growing Muslim community in Central Ohio searching for halal meat. Katherine’s family sold directly to consumers and to several ethnic markets in the region. After several years in operation, however, her mother fell sick with cancer and with her passing, so too did Katherine’s involvement in the business.
2015: A Year of Challenges After the closing of the slaughterhouse, Katherine stayed on the farm to take care of her ailing grandmother, whom she described as a “spitfire.” Her grandmother died in 2015 at the age of 98. That year also brought a number of other personal challenges, including the death of a beloved mentor from brain cancer, a broken engagement to a man she loved and dreamed of building a life with, career challenges, as well as her own personal health scare. As she spent that winter in the old farmhouse listening to the walls echo with her ancestors’ dreams, she faced one decision: throw in the towel or fight her hardest to succeed. “In a six-month period of time it felt like everything that could go wrong did. The tough part of going through a situation like that, especially being alone, is that you feel like the world is really against you,” Katherine says. “I decided that in moving forward I needed to do something that mattered to me and that made the world better. That gave me the courage to say, ‘I am throwing myself into this farm and if it fails, it’s going to fail spectacularly, but I am going to do everything in my power to make this farm work.’” And working it is. With Katherine’s optimism and dedication the farm is growing in reach and her days are filled with not only daily farm life but with a number of civic engagements through her commitments with the farm bureau and her connections in the community.
Opposite: Farmer Katherine Harrison of Harrison Farm in Canal Winchester.
Empowering Female Agriculturalists Katherine is committed to serving as a mentor to up-and-coming agriculturalists. Each semester, she invites a number of students to intern with her, including high school student assistants, as well as college interns from The Ohio State University. Overwhelmingly, these youth have predominantly been women. “Each semester, I give a lecture at Ohio State and I always mention that I offer on-farm internships. Generally, after the lecture, women approach me to learn more. I think because when you are a young woman and you’re in agriculture, though there are many women at Ohio State studying agriculture, it’s still a male-dominated industry. If you want to gain hands-on livestock skills and you are a young woman, it is very attractive to have a female to provide that mentorship,” Katherine explains. Katherine’s interns help her with every aspect of farm life, from birthing and taking care of the livestock to assisting with marketing and outreach. Katherine also invites her interns to accompany her to events, enabling them to learn firsthand about farm policy and meet leaders in the agricultural community. “As I reflect on my career, I understand what I want to leave for those who will come after me,” she says. “I want those young ladies to have the opportunity to sit on boards, lead policy initiatives, be invested in the farm com“Those animals, I work for them and they work for me,” she says. “I tell them, we’re in this together.”
munity. I want them to be able to do it without facing some of the challenges that I have. They will have their own challenges, but being a woman in a male-dominated industry is a unique position and I want to leave a legacy that will enable more women to step up and take on leadership roles in agriculture.” Throughout her career, Katherine has observed that many of the women that she encounters in the agricultural community have taken on supporting roles to their husbands. It’s natural for women to want to nurture and be caretakers, she says. Her unique position of forging ahead on her own, however, has given her a fresh perspective on empowered women in agriculture. And, she reflects, she has had the fortune of learning from several fantastic role models along the way. “When I was first elected to the Ohio Farm Bureau board there were women on that board that impressed me and I wanted to be as capable as them. They were farmers themselves, they were educated, that was something that I wanted to obtain for myself,” Katherine explains. “Now, I want the women that come after me to have those same opportunities and to think of themselves as the next generation of strong female farmers.”
Forging a Brave New Future Katherine’s greatest role model was her grandfather, whom she spent time with daily accompanying on chores around the farm. Her grandfather taught her that she could do anything, she says. She was not raised with the concept that there are separate realms of achievement for each gender. Her grandfather always told her that she could do whatever she set her mind to as long as she was persistent and persevered. Katherine also learned from several resilient female figures in her family, including her mother and grandmother. One favorite family anecdote is of her great-grandmother saving a piano from a house fire. The piano, only one of two objects to make it out of the fire, sits in Katherine’s living room today. “I don’t know how she got that piano out of that house but it’s a reminder for me that each of us has huge reserves of strength inside of us that we do not even know about until called upon,” Katherine says. Gazing at her pastures, with roosters crowing in the foreground and cats rubbing against her legs, Katherine recognizes her role as not only an agricultural leader in the female farming community but as a steward of the land that her ancestors cherished. In fearlessly operating Harrison Farm, she recognizes that through all of the challenges she is fortunate to have some of the best partners anyone could dream of. “Those animals, I work for them and they work for me,” she says. “I tell them, we’re in this together.” Harrison Farm is located at 5218 Berger Rd. in Groveport. Katherine blogs about the farm’s adventures at harrisonfarm13.blogspot.com.
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 nicolerasul.journoportfolio.com.
Our Athens area local food movement is more than three decades old, so trying to list even half of the current players is unreasonable. Perhaps just mentioning Shagbark Seed and Mill and its founders, Michelle Ajamian and Brandon Jaeger, is a good example. Michelle has, for decades, been an active participant and leader in the community on a range of social and environmental issues. She and her partner, Brandon, have envisioned, planned and executed a multi-year strategy that has their products now sold across a multi-state region. Shagbark’s strategy is unique and audacious recognition of the need for stable, traditional food basics. Neither of our businesses could have succeeded without the foundation of the three-decades-old commitment to local, sustainable food procurement, birthed by the visionary hippie founders of the Casa Nueva restaurant, and the community support of one of the largest and most successful farm markets in the nation. Athens has a century-old tradition of intentional communities based on fundamental human ethics, including treating other people as you would wish to be treated yourself, taking responsibility to help others in need, accepting that bounty is for the purpose of sharing and having confidence that attending to everyone’s needs is the best way to attend to one’s own. These ethics are consistent with those of America’s founding fathers.
A Shared Food Ethic Snowville Creamery’s Warren Taylor and his call to organize the local, sustainable food movement in Ohio for the future By Warren Taylor • Illustration by Sharon Teuscher
fter a decade in the Ohio local, sustainable food movement, my greatest satisfaction and pleasure comes from the wonderful friendships and working relationships that have developed over the years. Reflecting on the many events and interactions pulls on the deepest, strongest and sweetest emotions. All of us drink from this well when we find ourselves parched by the realities of what my wife and business partner, Victoria, refers to as our “unintentional nonprofit.” When local food entrepreneurs get together and let our hair down, we all laugh about the regular congratulations on our perceived success, the importance of faking it until you maybe can make it and the need to never quit, no matter how difficult, no matter how narrow or nonexistent the profit margin may be, nor how little time we do have to share with our family and friends.
Today, we find ourselves in a nation now based on every man for himself, take care of number one first, greed is good, dog-eat-dog competition, profit before people and the plunder of nature’s bounty for individual private gain. We see capitalism and supposed free-market ideals leading to predatory monopolies, which prevent local sustainable food enterprises from being economically viable. In September, the ninth annual Slow Food “Shake the Hand That Feeds You” dinner was held at the Produce Terminal at 4561 E. Fifth Ave. The terminal was built by the City of Columbus in 1963 as infrastructure to support the produce purveyors and the farmers that supplied it. It is ironic that half a century ago government was depended upon to provide publicowned infrastructure in a time when capitalism was broadly embraced as a benevolent economic and social system. Yet today, Snowville Creamery must deliver to grocery stores ourselves, with the resultant cost to consumers of nearly a dollar per half-gallon. Kroger and Walmart, with their privately owned and controlled distribution networks, can put a gallon jug of milk in hundreds of stores in Ohio for closer to a dime. When these retail groceries embrace working with the local, sustainable food movement at a price point that is equitable and fair, Shagbark and Snowville can be successful. I propose a next step for local food entrepreneurs in Ohio. For the evolution of our sustainable food system, we need an assembly of a diverse and widespread group of entrepreneurs who have already created the building blocks of this future integrated food system. We need to commit to meet as long as it takes to create this vision and ultimately develop a strategic implementation plan that helps us all meet our goals. A first attempt at this opportunity occurred about five years ago, when a handful of Columbus food system movers and shakers, including representatives of the farm community, convened to discuss how we could encourage and grow our food system in Central Ohio and beyond. We met monthly for more than a year and a half, and eventually disbanded as we were unable
The Ohio local, sustainable food community needs to become more closeknit, more politically and economically empowered and better organized if we are to progress past our current level of accomplishment.
to find funding and support for the necessary distribution infrastructure that we identified as essential to growing our individual food businesses. The Ohio local, sustainable food community needs to become more closeknit, more politically and economically empowered and better organized if we are to progress past our current level of accomplishment. The wonderful news is that we have a mature, strong, committed food community—scores of entrepreneurs who have proven mettle—spread all over Ohio. What we have not had is the time, focus or relentless commitment to morphing all of us into an interconnected, interdependent, efficient, effective, resilient and flexible functioning food system. The industrial food system succeeded in accomplishing that decades ago and continues to invest great time and resources in strengthening, growing and refining their systems. They do this purely in the pursuit of profit, and their cohesive and consistent pursuit of that goal, as a common purpose, unites them as much as any group of religious fanatics. It justifies the bullyism of monopoly, the cruelty of lower-than-living wages and the acceptance, even promotion, of food that makes us sick—children and adults alike. Shagbark Seed and Mill and Snowville Creamery have been working together on distribution for nearly two years. Since we both sell our products to many of the same stores, and Snowville Creamery was already delivering to those stores, Snowville now delivers Shagbark Seed and Mill products along with our milk. Snowville trucks also pick-up Shagbark’s products in Athens, and transfer them up to Snowville’s Columbus distribution center. This provides additional warehousing, and an inventory of Shagbark for the Columbus market. There is even another step in this distribution chain as Snowville delivers Shagbark products to the Green BEAN/Tiny Footprint warehouse in Columbus for their distribution to other retail stores. Let’s begin the discussion together of how we are going to express our values and create a food system here in Ohio that reflects these values. In the spring issue we will consider in more detail the short-term actions that the food entrepreneurial community can take in 2017, so we are farther along by this time next year.
Warren and Victoria’s Snowville Creamery strives for continuous improvement producing outstanding grass-grazed dairy products in an integrated local food system with dairy farmers, feed producers, distributors and retailers. Farmers are paid stable premium prices, and linked to consumers for the benefit and pleasure of both.
PHOTO COURTESY OF JENNIFER WILLIAMS
Weiland’s Market A Clintonville Institution By Nancy McKibben
t’s 10am at Weiland’s. A vibrant produce aisle beckons, meat cases gleam and red-shirted employees are poised to help. A middle-aged gentleman stirs a cup of coffee provided by the store, then waves at the store manager, Steve Hunt.
“Hey, Baldy,” he says affably. “Hey, More Baldy,” Steve returns, smiling. As we adjourn to Steve’s neat and tiny office, he offers me a thumbnail sketch of the customer. “Raising his grandkids. A greeter at school. Handyman.” And that is the heart of Weiland’s. Beautiful food and legendary customer service, manifested not just as a store slogan, but through a deeply ingrained store culture that stretches both ways across the grocery aisle. “Sometimes it’s like the customers think that Weiland’s is their store, too,” says Jennifer Williams, who with her husband Scott owns Weiland’s. “I was surprised at the depth of loyalty.” It was John Williams, Jennifer’s father, who created this legacy. John passed away on June 1, at age 78; 600 customers paid tribute to him in the store’s condolence book. Their words, italicized throughout this article, help tell his story.
after John’s partner, George Weiland, to avoid confusion with Williams Market, owned by John’s parents. In 1962, the store moved to Indianola Avenue and Garden Street (now Savor Pint), where it eventually expanded to three storefronts. But the original Weiland’s was small and specialized. Sawdust covered the floor, and full front and hindquarters of beef were delivered and hung in the cooler, later broken down by George and John on a long, butcher block table (see page 59). Today that table sits behind the Weiland’s cheese counter, where cheese specialist Kent Rand runs his hands over the dips in the wood, worn down by years of cleaver whacking bone. “Now I teach my cheese-making classes on this table,” he says. “It’s an honor.” Jennifer remembers coming to the closed store on Sundays to play while her dad worked on the books. “I couldn’t work in the store until I was in high school,” she says, “Dad didn’t want me to hear the language the meat cutters used. Of course, he talked that way himself.” When Jennifer met Scott Bowman, an Ohio State student working part-time as a meat cutter, romance blossomed among the deli salads. “The first time Scott asked me out, he called me on a pay phone,” Jennifer says, laughing. “He didn’t want to call me from the store where my dad might overhear.”
Three Generations of Grocers “We always appreciated John’s friendly attitude towards everyone! The whole staff reflects John’s outlook.”—Terry and family “John is a role model for business with joy and generosity. He was a special guy.”—Lisa John Williams was born in Columbus in 1938, the third generation of grocers in an era when nobody worried about observing child labor laws or achieving a work/life balance. Weiland’s Fine Meats opened at the present site of Rite Rugs on Beaumont and High Streets on June 16, 1961, named
A Neighborhood Destination “We have been customers of Weiland’s for almost 40 years. John was a character in the best sense of the word. Cheerful, helpful and a great neighbor for Clintonville.”—Don and Diane “John instantly made me feel welcome when I first moved to the area. He was a bright light on a dark day.”—Pam Some 60-year-olds anticipate retirement. John celebrated by moving Weiland’s in 1999 to its present location at 3600 Indianola, once an IGA
Opposite: From the old days at Weiland’s Market
OPPOSITE, LEFT: PHOTO BY © MARIA KHOROSHILOVA; RIGHT: PHOTO BY © GEORGE ANDERSON
Left: Scott Bowman and Jennifer Williams; Right: John Williams of Weiland’s.
and Super-Duper. Business manager Sheila Freeman started that year as a bookkeeper. “John was a father figure,” Sheila says. “He wasn’t a direct manger, but he walked around the store and got to know everyone. He cared about you.” Also in 1999, catering manager Steve Panico came to Weiland’s from Schmidt’s in German Village. “John was extremely supportive and encouraging about the growth of the catering business,” Steve says. “He was always up for a challenge, always the first to jump in whenever needed. And he always treated us very fairly,” providing health insurance, 401k and other benefits. Weiland’s now caters 30–50 events per month, not only preparing and cooking all food at the store—or at the event, if you prefer—but also providing amenities from cutlery to tents, at events ranging from corporate galas to hog roasts. “Weiland’s is a unique kind of store that just doesn’t exist anymore,” Steve says, then glances outside. “John has been gone since June, but I still expect him to walk through the door.”
The Fourth Generation “What a wonderful, engaging man he was—that smile!”—Katy “I loved John’s spunk. My favorite memory of him is the day he flew past me wielding a baseball bat! He was chasing a much younger man who had stolen meat from the butcher. He got the meat back. I think he was in his 70s then.”—Elise After much angst and soul-searching, Jennifer and Scott offered to buy the store in 2011 when John was diagnosed with heart problems. He agreed. Twenty years in corporate America had made them eager for change, but “I cannot overemphasize how little we knew about retail,” Jennifer says. They learned fast, first hiring Steve Hunt, a former employee, as store manager. “This place has always been close to my heart,” he says. “John was one of the best folks I’ve ever worked with.” With new owners and management, Weiland’s changed. Linoleum replaced carpet. Refrigeration cases and equipment were updated. Store layout improved. Product selection increased. Organic and non-GMO offerings joined old-school staples like ham salad.
PHOTO BY © MARIA KHOROSHILOVA
“Weiland’s is a unique kind of store that just doesn’t exist anymore…”
The long butcher block that sits behind the Weiland’s cheese counter.
The closure of the neighboring Laundromat had added 2,000 square feet for a beer and liquor department in 2006. Now an on-premise liquor license allows for beer pours and wine tastings. Employee count rose above 80, including four full time in the spirits department; three in the wine department; 14 in the kitchen doing retail, hot case, prepared and catered foods; and eight managing departments.
“I am a physician at Riverside and I’ve had the honor of taking care of John. I mentioned to him that one of my friends in college worked at Weiland’s. Not only did he recognize my friend’s name, he knew his whole life story! It amazed me that he knew so much about a kid that worked for him for a couple years, many years ago. He truly cared about my friend, just like he clearly cared about his business, his employees and this community.” Weiland’s Market; 3600 Indianola Ave, Columbus, OH 43214;
Kent studied for and passed the certified cheese professional exam. “I wanted to better myself, to live up to John’s high expectations of me,” he says. John graciously stepped back from running the store, supporting Jennifer and Scott’s business decisions. Although hampered by illness, he continued to bag groceries, cut and wrap cheese and chat with employees and customers, keeping his fingers on the pulse of the store. Only in the last months of his life did illness keep him away. I never knew John Williams, but I met him in the words of his customers, his employees and his family, all of whom he counted as friends.
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 nancymckibben.com; contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The store he built still stands and serves. This comment from his condolence book best expresses his intangible legacy:
¡Ohio Olé! 20 years of creating authentic Spanish cuisine in German Village
By Stephanie Wapner • Photography by Stephen Takacs
howcasing Ohio-grown foods while staying true to Spanish flavors takes commitment, one the German Village favorite—Barcelona Restaurant and Bar—knows all about. Owner Scott Heimlich, executive chef Jacob Hough and Barcelona’s staff rely on a diverse network of local suppliers for traditional Spanish ingredients, capturing the best of Ohio and deftly using it to transport diners into an authentic Spanish culinary experience. It’s a strategy that has been working for two decades, as they celebrate 20 years of service in 2016.
“We are honored to continue to be a destination both for Columbus locals and visitors to the city,” says Scott, as he points out that the space has housed a restaurant for more than 100 years. “We feel a sense of pride in that heritage. What we do and how we do it adds value to the German Village community.” Jacob creates new lunch, dinner and tasting menus every two to three weeks as the seasons evolve or new ingredients become available. On the day I visited this marriage was evident in the ensalata de tomate with classic summer flavors of tomatoes and peaches with lemon basil ricotta. With no formal training in Spanish cooking, Jacob completed his education at the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute and worked at two other restaurants before coming to Barcelona as a line cook. First as an apprentice then sous
chef to his predecessor, he studied flavors and techniques for seven years before taking over as executive chef in 2013. He has continued the restaurant’s signature traditions, like their bread that is made daily from a 20-year sourdough starter affectionately known as “Wanda.” Served warm, it accompanies a house-made tomato relish that is addictive yet simple. Tasting as if it had been simmering for hours in a cramped kitchen overlooking the Balearic Sea, this house favorite is actually a basic combination of tomatoes, olive oil, basil, garlic and chili. Everything except the olive oil can be sourced from Ohio farmers. Jacob credits Scott with building a culture of teamwork throughout the business. Scott gives the chef team total autonomy in sourcing and menu planning, even allowing for last minute adaptability. For example, if a local farmer or producer shows up at the back door with something unexpected, the chefs can look, taste and quickly incorporate it to fit the day’s specials and menu.
build invaluable expertise. These tastings are “price-blind”—the servers taste and rate their favorites without knowing the cost of each bottle. The manager then uses their feedback to build one of the most diverse wine lists in the city with more than 260 different selections. These partnerships in building the food and wine menus are palpable when standing in the kitchen in the midst of a busy lunch rush. There is a notable sense of calm camaraderie and partnership. I ask sous chef Patrick Marker about the lower-than-average turnover among the staff. “This is a different atmosphere than other places I’ve worked,” he says. “As a team, Chef Hough and Chef [Todd] Elder and I work hard to lead by example. We disagree privately and present a united front. Since it’s a nice place to work, the staff stay longer than average and over time we become a family.” The sense of partnership extends to the restaurant’s many local suppliers. The chefs have longstanding relationships with the farmers and have a deep understanding of the challenges unique to small local businesses.
Scott’s interest in using local produce comes naturally—his parents are the owners of Heimlich Family Farm in Caledonia, Ohio, and supply much of the restaurant’s produce. “When you use local sources,” he says, “you get to know the people behind the products. You have confidence in the quality and freshness of the product and you channel money back into the local economy.”
Becky Rondy is president and co-owner of Green Edge Organic Gardens in Athens, Ohio, and has been supplying Barcelona with a variety of organic vegetables since 2006. She says that the chefs “understand that produce is seasonal, availability comes and goes and we are dependent on unpredictable factors like the weather. But, nonetheless, they are always interested in what we have and will adapt the menu accordingly.”
A culture of fostering positive, trusting working relationships and educating the staff permeates throughout the restaurant. Many of the kitchen staff are involved in apprenticeship programs. The wait staff tastes all the new dishes together with the chefs and they discuss the techniques and flavors as a team. Servers are required to participate in frequent tastings with wine vendors where they learn about grapes and growing methods and over time
Becky can be confident she can call on Barcelona every week. “They are part of the backbone of our supply route—local people buying local products and building long-term relationships that can survive fluctuations in availability.” The list of local partners is diverse. Microgreens are sourced from Watersong Provisions, fruit comes from Lynd Family Farms and Catanese Classic
Above: Executive Chef Jacob Hough of Barcelona Restaurant and Bar in German Village.
Seafood in Cleveland supplies perch and walleye from Lake Erie. Daisyfield Brand Products supplies pork from Sandusky, Ohio, and the chefs speak with particular pride about sourcing meat from Blue Ribbon Meats, Inc. in Cleveland. They visited several local slaughterhouses and chose Blue Ribbon, which is part of the Ohio Proud program. Manager Dominic D’Andrea points out that Jacob and his team chose a local meat supplier that is not only known for quality, but also shares the same values. “Our meat is still traditionally hand cut to order, and we supply only independent, local businesses that serve their local community. A longstanding relationship with local restaurants is the core of our business,” says Dominic. With this partnership, Blue Ribbon has been able to continue to keep its operations small and centralized to the state of Ohio and thus maintain quality. Matt Borth is the Columbus sales representative for Catanese Classic Seafood. “Chef Hough and his staff are pleasant and easy to work with,” he says. “They take the time to talk with me about the products and understand my business and my values.” Long-term relationships between restaurants and small businesses are critical for places like Catanese. The Barcelona chefs have helped Matt connect with other local accounts and served as an invaluable reference. “Referrals like that open doors for small businesses that would otherwise go to nationally known suppliers,” he explains. While Barcelona is locally focused as a restaurant, certain key ingredients, like the Serrano ham, Basque peppers and some olives, are imported from Spain. Yet even this decision is made with a local focus in mind. “We import our Spanish ingredients from a small, Ohio-centered importer, Agora International Foods in Cleveland,” says Jacob. “We have cultivated a great relationship with the owner, and he understands our menu and the value of
sourcing directly from the areas of Spain we feature. Having a partner here in Ohio is critical for helping us find rare and interesting meats and cheeses.” Signature dishes such as the Vieiras seared scallops, a customer favorite that popular demand has kept on the menu, are all unquestionably Spanish. Yet look closely at the menu and you will find that even the paella, for which they are justifiably famous, has local elements. “Paellas are hard to find elsewhere,” says Jacob. “Ours are authentic and the core of our menu.” The sofrito base takes more than an hour to make. It simmers on a traditional open flame. During any lunch or dinner service, there are up to six or eight pans of paella going simultaneously. Local peppers, onions and tomatoes come together with imported calasparra rice. From their small, intimate family of chefs and staff to their status as a beloved Columbus fixture to the Ohio growers, farmers and producers that make up their supply chain, Barcelona and its people are an example of the power of a local food community. “The team at Barcelona,” says Matt, “is helping keep Ohio’s food economy inside Ohio.” Barcelona Restaurant and Bar; 263 East Whittier St., Columbus, Ohio 43206; 614-443-3699; barcelonacolumbus.com. Visit ediblescolumbus.com for Chef Jacob’s recipes for Red Wine Braised Beef Cheeks with Wild Mushroom Jus and Butternut Squash Soup.
Stephanie Wapner is a PhD candidate and writer who investigates the intersection of food, business and community in Central Ohio. She lives and cooks in Bexley with her husband and two children.