Thursday, July 16, 2009

Amanda...Light of My Life

Amanda is one of my favorite people. We share many of the same ideas regarding environmentalism and sustainabilty. She is the founder of The Tuscarawas County Sustainability Network.
We met at a local rally to protest BIG COAL a few years ago. Seems our local leaders didn't see things our way and are now locked into a 50 year contract with a company that doesn't care about poisoning the water or the air. This fight isn't over and Amanda and I are very passionate about it.
Amanda sells books and zines and also has a lending library. You can borrow a book for $5 and when you bring the book back she gives you your money back.
Amanda went to school in Montreal. She earned a degree in International Studies.She speaks fluent French and is now attending massage therapy school.
Amanda organized an art show called Art Pals. School children from one of our local districts made art and then sent it to countries like Senegal and Japan where the children there responded with their own art. All this art eventually ended up back in the states and was hung as a show at the local art center. I learned a lot from this project. And sadly, American children are quite shallow and superficial.
Amanda chooses her bike more than her car. She also helps people in need. I am proud to be her friend.

Chocolate Mint Tea

Ruth is our only certified organic grower at the market. She owns a local greenhouse and grows herbs and produce. I appreciate the heirloom varieties she brings to the market. She often brings tea for customers to sample. This week she brought chocolate mint tea sweetened with Stevia. I can't say I have ever had a finer iced tea in all my life.

Chef Cameron

I invited Chef Cameron Krahel of The Inn at Honey Run to be a guest at the farmers market. We scheduled a meeting to discuss ideas. He invited me to his home just outside of the neighboring town. I made my way down a long gravel driveway and quickly noticed a large garden and chicken coop. When I knocked on the door of the red-metal roofed house a delightful Dalmatian appeared. It seemed Cameron was not yet home so I waited.
Cameron arrived a few minutes later. He let Gracie, the Dalmatian out and then we walked to the chicken coop where he opened the door for an assortment of outgoing heritage breeds. He showed me his garden and we strolled about the property while he gave me some history. Gracie insisted I throw the tennis ball over and over and over again and I was happy to comply.
At one time a previous owner was so paranoid his neighbors were going to cut down his trees, he cut them down himself and buried them. Cameron is still dealing with this as he digs in preparation of an orchard.
Cameron's home is new but has much character. The kitchen, as you might imagine, is the heart of the home and looks like Mario Batali's set kitchen.
Cameron agreed to come to the market every other week to do cooking demonstrations using products provided by the market vendors.
Week one was a huge success. Cameron prepared a delicious cheese soup, a vegetable fritata and a zucchini pasta with tomatoes. Samples were given away for free and most took a recipe print-out home.
In addition to his culinary skills, Cameron has also been know to win small town versions of American Idol type contests. Who knew?

Thursday, July 9, 2009


My house is over run with toys, toys of every variety, toys that I must admit, I bought. How did it come to this? I trip over them. I step over them. I kick them. I sit on them. I sleep with them. I even play with them. Simply put, Francesca has too many toys.
Don't get me wrong. Play is good and she does play...constantly. Legos, dolls, castles, fairies, barbies, stuffed animals, cars, guitars, hats, boas, houses, trucks, costumes, puzzles, wizards, James Brown rubber ducky, drums, kitchens, play doh, buses, scooters, games, nesting boxes, James Brown dancing doll, mega blocks, keyboards, xylophone, James Dean with a cigarette doll, Frank Sinatra with a fedora doll, Dr. Doolittle doll from the seventies, markers, crayons, paper, paper, paper, paper, magnetic paper dolls, paper paper dolls, and Gib.
Gib is Francesca's favorite bear. He goes everywhere with us.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Soap, Cotton Candy & Body Piercing?

My friend Tricia makes soap. You can buy her products at the market. Most of her soaps are vegetable based with added herbs and essential oils. They make your bathroom smell delicious. Tricia also makes cotton candy and does body piercing.


Mom nearly sold out of her hand drawn gourds at the market this week. It is nice to know people want to have beautiful things.