Monday, January 20, 2014

Urban Beekeeping 101

For anyone who attended the Urban Beekeeping Class at River's Edge or is interested in keeping bees, here's a list of resources to help you get started.

Ohio State Beekeeper’s Association
Have training program on DVD
Tri-County Beekeepers Association
Excellent Spring
workshop and training program
OSU Bee Lab (Wooster)
Webinars, workshops ans lots of resources
Spikenard Farm and Honeybee Sanctuary
Emphasis on biodynamic beekeeping and strengthening the honeybee
Long Lane Honeybee Farms
Equipment and education (including online)
Susan Brackney’s Bee Garden plan
Books: Keeping Bees by Ashley English, First Lessons in Beekeeping by Keith Delaplane and Plan Bee by Susan Brackney

Where to Order Bees

Eli Troyer (supplies and bees)
13922 Arnold Road
Dalton, OH 44618
Closed Sundays, mornings are good

Lamb Apiaries (queens, nucs and packages)
175 Tallman St.
North Lewisburg, OH 43060
Phone: 937-594-5885

Ohio Honey Farms
David Heilman
4346 Lattasburg Rd.
Wooster, OH  44691
Phone: 330-466-7162

Parson’s Gold Apiaries
Robert B. Parsons
2092 Twp. Rd. 195
Forest, OH 45843
Phone: 419-235-7037

Paul’s Honey and Bees
Paul Warstler
2363 Battlesburg St.
East Sparta, OH 44626
Phone: 330-484-6184

Queen Right Colonies, Ltd. (California Queens)
43655 State Route 162
Spencer, OH 44275
Phone: 440-647-2602

Ohio Buckeye Belle Queens
Dana Stahlman

Waldo Ohio Apiaries
George Taylor
PO Box 122
Kilbourne, OH 43032
Phone: 740-815-7792

* These are just the ones I know of right now and does not constitute an endorsement. Check with your local beekeeping club for advice.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Husk Restaurant: A Celebration of Southern Ingredients

During a recent visit to Charleston we had the pleasure of dining at Husk. The atmosphere and the food are welcoming and delicious - well worth a visit since the menu changes daily and reflects what's in season. The salad bowls alone are worth the trip! Some of the ingredients even come from Thornhill Farm, a working organic farm in McClellanville, SC where chef, Sean Brock and his staff plant heirloom seeds and cultivate new crops.

At Husk there are some rules about what can go on the plate. “If it doesn’t come from the South, it’s not coming through the door,” says Brock. As he explains, the resulting cuisine “is not about rediscovering Southern cooking, but exploring the reality of Southern food.”(from Website)

If Charleston is not in your travel plans, fear not, you can bring a little bit of Husk home to your own kitchen. Chef Sean Brock is working on a cookbook, scheduled for release some time in 2013.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Interest in Heirloom Crops Grows

The flavor and nutrient dense traits of heirloom varieties are being rediscovered. How grain enthusiast Glenn Roberts and chef Dan Barber of the Blue Hill restaurant teamed up to bring back flavorful, 8 row Flint corn (a New England variety originally grown by the Native Americans) makes for a very interesting story. Not to mention outstanding polenta. Listen to or read the whole story on NPR: Reviving An Heirloom Corn That Packs More Flavor and Nutrition The article also mentions a number of sources for Flint corn such as "Seed Savers Exchange and High Mowing Seeds".

Closer to home, local farmer Monroe Stutzman has been growing an old fashioned wheat called Turkey Red and it will be available to Fresh Fork members.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Get the Scoop on Local Fare and Farms

Vivian Goodman of WKSU's Quick Bites series introduces us to the vibrant local food and artisan movement in Ohio. Join her to find out what's cooking around the state thanks to a wide variety of small family farmers who satisfy our hunger for wholesome food.
Image Source: WKSU News: Quick Bites

This week features a visit to the Lucky Penny Creamery and Farm in Garrettsville. Find out about Abbe Turner's "lucky penny" philosophy and life on the farm at Quick Bites.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dress Up Your Greens with Good Oils

One of the wonderful things about giving workshops is how much all of us learn from each other. I had some great audience questions recently about the best oils to use. We talked about olive oil for salads and nut oils plus safflower oil for baking.

Right after that Matthew Kadey wrote an informative article in Yoga Journal (May 2013 issue) about different oils and how to use them. I'm summarizing his recommendations below along with some of the brands that the 2013 Westin A Price Foundation Shopping Guide lists as "best"choices. Check their guide for a full listing.

It's important to select oils that are stable enough for the level of cooking heat required so that the oils resist chemical changes at high temperatures and do not create heat-induced damage. That happens when oxidation occurs and good cholesterol is converted to bad cholesterol.
  • Avocado Oil: light, buttery flavor, versatile for sauteing, frying, grilling, very high smoke point.
  • Canola Oil:  neutral flavor, used for all-purpose cooking and baking (not my 1st choice because of the refining required in its production).
  • Extra Virgin Oilve Oil: look for the cold pressed extra virgin variety. Use for dressings or medium heat cooking. Olive oil contains vitamin K, antioxidants and is low in monounsaturated fat - an excellent choice.
  • Hemp Oil: nutty and earthy flavor, best for dips, dressings, vinaigrettes. not recommended for heat.
  • Grapeseed Oil: neutral, all-purpose oil.
  • Rice Bran Oil: delicate flavor, suitable for high-heat cooking.
  • Safflower Oil: neutral taste and versatile.  High in Omega 6. Look for an organic, expeller pressed variety such as Hollywood (I use sparingly in baking when I don't want the flavor of coconut oil).
  • Sesame Oil: raw variety is mild and nutritious, very versatile. Toasted sesame oil is darker in color with an nutty flavor, best used in dressings, dips and low or no heat cooking.
  • Virgin Coconut Oil: does have a coconut flavor, good for sauteing and baking. Can substitute for butter-reduce amount by 25%. 
Brands to try: Bariani organic, Napa Valley Naturals, Nunez de Prado (available from DHC), DeLallo, Essential Living Foods, Miller's Organic Farm, Mountain Rose Herbs, Radiant Life, Spectrum, Barlean's, Trader Joe's organic virgin coconut oil, Dr. Bronners, Mercola, Nature's Way, Pure Planet, Raw Food World, Starwest Botanicals.  

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Cereal Crimes

A number of the brands we have come to trust as organics have switched their labeling to "natural" and are using conventional ingredients but charging the same high prices. I call that "bait and switch" and it's just plain wrong.

The Cornucopia Institute publishes a wonderful resource called the Organic Cereal Scorecard that shows companies are trustworthy and truly committed to organics. See how your favorite cereal measures up. You may be surprised!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Hopeful Seeds

Image Source:

By now you may have heard about the "Monsanto Protection Act" that was recently anonymously added as a rider to a US budget bill and passed. Basically it would grant US biotech firms legal immunity if their GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) seeds turn out to be dangerous. The legal name of the bill is Section 735 of the "Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013," or H.R. 933. However, all is not lost, since the provision is set to expire on September 30, 2013 unless it is renewed. If you feel strongly about this let your representatives know how you feel before the deadline. There's a March Against Monsanto taking place in Akron on May 25th at 2pm. That might be one way to start. Read more about the bill in Russell McLendon's article "What is the Monsanto Protection Act?"

All of this underscores the importance of the humble seed, which often gets overshadowed by other topics when we talk about local food, so I was really happy to see Yes Magazine's article "Why the Most Powerful Thing in the World is a Seed." They've got it right and so does Janisse Ray in her new book The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food, which the article reviews. It's informative, powerful and most of all - hopeful!

Here's another little kernel of hope - seed libraries! Public libraries are starting great little heirloom seed saving and sharing programs. What could be better than using your library card to try out some new additions to your garden? There are none in Ohio, so if anyone would like to partner, I'm in!