• Local and In Season

    Local & In Season         What to Eat AsparagusBroccoliBreadsCabbageCheesesCilantroCollardsEggsHoneyKaleMaple syrupMeatsMilkMicrogreensMustard greensRadishesRhubarbSpinachStrawberriesSwiss chardTurnip greens What to Plant MarchStarting plants from seed
  • Good Water Stewards

    How Ohio's sustainable farmers are innovating clean water solutions On a 1,250 acre farm in Carroll, Ohio, lives David Brandt, one of the nation's leading experts on soil health. David is producing an abundant supply of healthy food through his innovative farming practices while serving as a
  • The Thymes of Inniswood

    A local garden where thyme thrives in abundance As you walk through the herb garden at Inniswood Metro Gardens, you will notice that thymes are planted throughout the different rooms of the garden. Thyme has a very long recorded history of culinary and medicinal use, dating back to biblical times.
  • Fox Hollow Farm

    How one farm became the center of a growing local food community Fox Hollow Farm is a pretty good place to be a blade of grass. Standard practice on the 280-acre farm near Fredericktown is to move the flock of sheep and herd of cattle, referred to collectively as "the flerd," to a new pasture
  • First Fruit

    Planting, growing and picking Ohio's springtime strawberries For Ohio strawberry fans, nothing beats a bite of the season's first fruit. The taste of the long-anticipated juicy, sweet, red-ripe berries spurs visions of a June-filled bounty of these delicious treats. Sliced over cereal. Spooned
  • The Chickens Come Home to Roost

    Urban chickens strut their stuff around town Dorothy, Mabel, Pearl and Hilda. Buffy and Ginger. Peggy and Betty and Joan. In the winter, the girls put their heads together to cluck over the latest neighborhood gossip. Come spring, they fly the coop and linger outside, having hen parties. Chickens
  • From the Kitchen

    Cheddar Chive PopoversAdapted from BLT Steak, New York, NYMakes 6 in a popover pan and 12 in a muffin pan Like soufflés, popovers sound scary. That is, until you find a recipe that works and realize how simple popovers are to make. During my private chef days, our clients requested popovers every
  • The Budros Way

    From barbecue to macarons, Jim Budros and family share their love of cooking with Columbus Jim Budros's passion for cooking began as a Boy Scout. While other scouts were scratching their heads over charred franks and beans, Jim meticulously constructed perfect fires, the key to edible campfire
  • Community Plates

    One organization's social media solution to end hunger In Africa, doctors are using mobile apps to stop malaria. In Silicon Valley, scientists are using Google's glucose-measuring contact lenses to beat diabetes. And here in Columbus, everyday people are helping to pioneer another 21st century
  • Riding to Eat

    When biking leads to good eats, and good eats lead to more biking My family's love of bicycling started in the mid 1980s, when my grandmother's restless spirit drove her to find freedom on a bicycle, after her knees were no longer strong enough to support her love of tennis. My dad started

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We wanted to share our article about foraging for wild edibles in Central Ohio from last year's spring issue. For those of you looking to forage this season, it offers some wise tips and a list of wild edibles that grow in the area, including ramps, violets and dandelions. Colleen Leonardi

As spring rolls out her fresh, tender young leaves of green, local forager Julie Huff can't wait to get outside and start harvesting some hardy purslane or delicate rose petals. Early in the season, claims Julie, wild edibles "just taste a little bit better. To get the young leaves that are so good, like dandelion greens. The young ones are just so tender and fresh. As the season goes on they get more bitter, but nothing beats the first springtime."

Julie has been foraging all of her life—while she was growing up at her family's home and now in her backyard in Clintonville. "I remember being a little kid and finding violets and eating those," she says. "And chives."

Julie's community of friends trade foraging secrets and forage in each other's backyards. "It's definitely a community thing," she says. Backyards are best, she claims, because foraging in Columbus' Metro Parks, Ohio State Parks and on private property is illegal. And it's important to be aware of additional toxins in the soil and on the plants where you choose to forage.

When it comes to healthy eating, Green BEAN Delivery has been an innovator since 2007, using their online platform to deliver mostly local and organic produce and goods to homes across the Midwest. They've expanded that mission with a new wellness program that partners with Columbus businesses to improve the health and wellness of employees. Green BEAN Delivery now drops off employees' orders at participating businesses, sets up opportunities to talk to employees about healthy food options and provides recipes to help employees use the healthy produce they've purchased. Green BEAN Delivery also offers Break Room Bins, in which they provide healthy alternatives to vending machines in the office. Find out more in the following Q&A interview between our student writer Rita Skaff and Green BEAN Delivery's Vice President, John Freeland. —Leah Wolf

Rita Skaff: Why was Green BEAN Delivery started?

John Freeland: Our goal is to make healthy and sustainably grown foods affordable, accessible and convenient to the Midwest communities we serve. By working with a network of local farmers and artisans that have both urban and rural roots, Green BEAN Delivery builds food systems and businesses that address communities' greatest food challenges.

Sarah Fairchild's paintings capture the detail and allure of vegetables in an uncommon way. An Ohio native, Sarah came by painting vegetables honestly—she spent her childhood in the garden, growing and canning food with her mother and grandmother. Yet her technique brings common staples like corn and cauliflower to life with one of the most joyful and unexpected colors—fluorescent pink. Standing in front of one Sarah's works, I'm swallowed up by the brightness of cabbages and how they call to me from the wall like sunlight through an open door. And that made me want to interview her to find out why vegetables, farming and art are so meaningful to her. —CL

Q: What inspired you to start painting vegetables?

A: I grew up following my mother and grandmother through vegetable and flower gardens. It was a true "farm to table" experience. I helped them pull weeds, plant seeds, harvest as well as can and freeze vegetables for the winter. As an adult, I rediscovered my love for plants by noticing the amazing produce at farmers market, walking through my neighborhood alleys and visiting community gardens. I found the vegetables beautiful, alluring and more interesting than the flowers. I knew I wanted to explore these forms in my painting.

Beans are an essential part of the delicious Indian, Provençal and Middle Eastern cuisines, but many home cooks in the United States are hesitant to use them. Eliza Sproat of HnL Enterprises wants to change that. Eliza and her husband developed the Quick-Cook Bean Pot that allows cooks to quickly and easily cook nutritious dried black beans, chickpeas, fava beans and more over the stovetop without overnight soaking. A native of Columbus, Eliza came across the inspiration for the pot in her husband's hometown of Cairo, where bean pots are an essential kitchen item.—Leah Wolf

Leah Wolf: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Eliza Sproat: I gravitate toward good food. In high school, an Indian restaurant opened nearby; as soon as I saw the sign go up, I was determined to work there. I ate Saag Paneer every night. Some time later I ate in a Slavic restaurant. The food was so good that I secured a job there that night. Then, before college, I worked in a Chinese restaurant both to enjoy the cuisine and to practice Chinese. Since 1993 I have pined for the tofu that tasted exactly like the smoked Gouda I learned about in a noodle shop while studying Chinese in Beijing.

When my husband and I were dating while students at OSU, he made a concoction I'd never tried before. It consisted of chopped lettuce and parsley, chopped veggies (the beautiful thing is most any raw vegetable works), oil, lemon, cumin, salt, pepper and fava beans. I was hooked. That was more than twenty years ago. When my husband was invited to share a bit about his culture at a local Boys & Girls Club here in Columbus, he took the same dish and the crowd there was as enthusiastic about it as I was.

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