On Friday and Saturday May 10-11, Ohio State University's Chadwick Arboretum will host their annual Mother's Day Plant Sale, an opportunity to take home annuals, perennials and herbs from Ohio nurseries and support the gardens, which span 60 acres on the south side of Lane Avenue, just west of the Olentangy River. The two-day plant sale is Chadwick Arboretum's largest source of revenue for the year, and will host 19 visiting vendors, including native plants from Scioto Gardens and flower baskets, ideal for Mother's Day gifts. Look for compost bins, garden art, soaps, crafts and other artisanal items. Garden tool sharpening will be offered on site.
If you've ever wondered what southern Ohio tastes like, you might be able to find what you're looking for in the cheese from Laurel Valley Creamery. Celeste Nolan and her husband, Nick, turn milk from their grass-fed cows that wander the hills of the family farm into quality cheese that they sell in markets across central and southern Ohio. In 2001, the Nolans took over the farm that had been in Nick's family since 1947 and, with a little help from their children, they have been growing in the dairy business ever since. Below, Celeste Nolan, Laurel Valley Creamery's head cheesemaker, talks about her relationship with cheesemaking. —Leah Wolf
Leah Wolf: How did you get started in cheesemaking?
Celeste Nolan: I never thought about how cheese was made until I became a dairy farmer. We bought our first cow when we were still renovating our milking parlor, and I began then to experiment with making cheese. After years of struggle selling milk, we decided to harness our collective talents and add value to the milk we produced while ensuring we could control at least our economic destiny.
LW: What is your favorite part of being a cheesemaker?
CN: It's the craft—taking milk, a delicate and perishable liquid, and turning it into preserved nutrition. It's edible art, something able to sustain us both nutritionally and creatively.
Shawnie Kelley Foy, travel writer and owner of Wanderlust Tours, has a talent for finding unique adventures and combining them into exciting, flawless travel tours. She shares her love of the cultural and culinary landscapes of Europe and the U.S. with her guests through small, organized tours and custom travel consulting. From the Scottish Highlands to the shores of Italy, Shawnie's extensive travel experience provides her guests with everything they're looking for. Wanderlust Tours currently has two French tours planned for 2013, as well as trips to Britain and Italy for 2014. The next trip is the Tour de Provence & the Cote d'Azur, which runs June 16 – 25 and features coastal breezes and culinary adventure.—Leah Wolf
Leah Wolf: What led you to start Wanderlust Tours?
Shawnie Kelley Foy: I lived in Europe for years and had the opportunity to travel extensively for research while studying at the University of Edinburgh and while working for Historic Scotland and English Heritage. While conducting architectural research on medieval castles, abbeys and sculpture, I often found myself trekking about remote parts of Great Britain and France. This perpetual travel led me to begin seeking out unique restaurants, markets and cultural experiences at my next destination. I wanted to discover something special, something local, something artisanal about each. I would often lead tour groups through sites, both by instinct and after research, guiding them from castle to market to pub. This was 13 years ago. Little did I know that I'd return to Columbus, start writing travel guides and teaching, and begin a "heritage"-based tour company inspired by all this research. My extensive travel experience, years of architectural and historical research, and passion for niche, cultural and culinary tourism culminated into Wanderlust Tours.
As editor of Edible Columbus, I recently had the pleasure of talking with local hosts of "Chai Chat" Victoria Vetere, PhD, HC, and Lori Moffett, RYT, about food, consciousness, community and being a quiet activist with the food choices you make. We share it here with you and hope you'll take some time to listen to our inspiring conversation.