We want to congratulate Carson and Dawn Combs of Mockingbird Meadows, who have been named a 2013 Homesteader of the Year by Mother Earth News. One of six award winners from across the country, the Combs have been recognized for their progressive approach to health and healing practices as well as the intense focus they have on improving the wellbeing of our community.
For the Combs, homesteading is about health and medicine in addition to food. "Homesteading for us is intimately tied up with the practice of biodynamics," says Dawn. "A closed-loop farm that is self-sufficient and entirely sustainable meets the needs of all who live there from the soil to the animals to the pollinators and the humans as well."
Sustainable beekeeping is the foundation of the Combs' work—they take care to keep their bees happy and healthy in an attempt to produce the best honey products possible. They then combine the honey with various herbs in spreads and infusions designed to alleviate allergies and many other health ailments.
The Combs work toward a new system where everyone has the knowledge and resources to take care of their family's health through workshops, consulting, farm dinners, medicinal products and a unique Medicinal Herb CSA.
Most of us have heard of or been a part of traditional community supported agriculture (CSA), but the Combs took it one step further as another way to reconnect the community to their medicine and raise awareness that in addition to food, health aides should be local and fresh.
Todd Mills speaks of the American food system with sophistication, knowledge and passion, a passion which led him to co-found pop-up restaurant Granary Grill with friend and business partner Dan Kurth. A strong interest in social justice led him to a series of non-profits, including Columbus's Local Matters. There he learned about some of the problems in the American food system that make it far too difficult for people to get their hands on good food. Eventually, he realized that the problems he perceived might be best adressed through a business. He is currently working towards an MBA at the Ohio State University to take some of his solutions further. In the meantime, Granary Grill, his and Kurth's pop-up restaurant at the Hills Market in Worthington, is his way of providing good delicious food to the people of Columbus. Every Tuesday this summer, he and Kurth serve lunch 11:00-2:00pm outside the store. Bowls are filled with grains and vegetables and optional meat, marrying the concept of delicious and healthy.
Claire Paniccia: What exactly is a pop-up restaurant?
Todd Mills: At the Hills, you present them with concept, and if they think the food is a good fit and that you are going to be reliable provider, then they'll give you a shot to test it out. It's basically a competitive process.
So I did this rather than doing a food truck, which is a low upfront investment, but different from what I want to do. Hills shoppers were not my original target audience, but it's a chance to test my cooking chops and also dive into running a business.
Apple Hill Orchards
1175 Lex-Ontario Road
Mansfield, Ohio 44903
U-pick peaches start late July/early August
U-pick apples and pumpkins in the fall (roughly September-November)
30 varieties of apple, most available to pick
Hours of operation: Monday-Saturday 9am-6pm, Sunday Noon-6pm
Circle S Farms
9015 London Groveport Rd. (St. Rt. 665)
Grove City, Ohio 43123
U-pick pumpkins ready October 1 for all of fall
Hours: 8am-7pm every day
Entrance fee TBA
Market open year round 7 days/week 9am-5pm featuring local produce, baked goods
A relative newcomer to Ohio, Kit Yoon brings her perspective as a licensed acupuncturist and reflexologist trained in traditional Chinese medicine. Kit has had articles featured in Edible Columbus and Edible Boston, as well as blog post contributions to our website (natural Easter egg dyes, anyone?). Read below to learn about how Kit started writing, how Thai food culture has impacted her lifestyle and what food writing she recommends. —Leah Wolf
Leah Wolf: Can you tell us a little about what you do?
Kit Yoon: I am an acupuncturist by profession. For the last two years, since we moved to Columbus, I have been practicing at Urban Acupuncture Center, a community acupuncture clinic in Clintonville. Besides acupuncture, I have also done some freelance writing and photography. But mostly, I am a mother to two lovely children, and a wife to a wonderful man.
LW: What led you to start writing?
KY: Since high school, I have always kept a journal. I found it a good way to end the day; reflect back on what happened that day and also to be in touch with myself during those few moments.
As for freelance writing, it started in 2007 when I spent a year back in the Boston area with my family (where I went to high school and college). At that point, I reconnected with my high school friend who owns an organic vegetable farm. The kids and I spent a great deal on this farm that year. One thing led to another, and I found myself writing about the farm for Edible Boston. More freelance writing and photography followed after that.