posted on by Jennifer Abelson

Fresh and Local, Year round

Chances are, you’re sitting inside right now, curled up as you wait for another Cleveland winter to pass…dreaming of fresh fruits and veggies and waiting for spring. We can’t make the winter go by any faster (we do live in Cleveland, after all!). And unfortunately, kiwis and pineapples don’t grow in below-freezing temps. But there is a way to eat fresh, local, fantastic food during the winter: Enter Countryside Conservancy. Countryside Conservancy is a year-round farmers market that offers seasonal produce and local foods, even in the winter! In partnership with Cuyahoga National Park, the Conservancy’s overarching mission is to “connect people, food, and land by increasing public awareness of how food and farming impact personal, community, and environmental health, and by inspiring personal commitment to building a resilient, sustainable food culture.” In layman’s terms, Countryside Conservancy encourages good food, local farming, and sustainable practices. Chef Ben is a fan … READ MORE

Posted in: Spice Acres, Spice Kitchen+Bar, Spice of Life Catering Co.
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posted on by Jackie Bebenroth

Save the apples!

In our work with the Countryside Conservancy, we came across this 2010 Apple Manifesto compiled by the Renewing America’s Food Traditions (RAFT) Alliance. The organization claims that our nation’s great “apple culture” is in big, big trouble thanks, in part, to the mind-boggling loss of apple diversity in the last century. Before we continue with the stunning facts associated with this issue, consider the beauty and tradition of this heartfelt fruit. A quick on-the-go snack, an easy side dish for the kids, a pie-filler, a cider maker, a sauce. Apples are an active and affordable part of our lifestyle and our traditions, even in the off season. Now, consider this:* 1. Of some 15,000 to 16,000 apple varieties that have been named, grown and eaten on the North American continent, only about 3,000 remain accessible to American orchard keepers, gardeners, chefs and home cooks. 2.  Not even one-forth of the … READ MORE

Posted in: Spice Acres, Spice Kitchen+Bar, Spice of Life Catering Co.
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posted on by Jackie Bebenroth

Don’t buy food from strangers.

We are unsettled by the fact that we live in a country where the handful of corporations that control our food supply have a 3-P sustainability equation of profit, profit, profit. People and planet are rarely invited to the table unless, of course, they add to the profit. This is clearly problematic as you parallel the rise in factory-farmed, GMO-laden foods to pollution (surrounding factory-farmed areas) and obesity rates (across the nation). Is it our job at Spice change this system? No. We feed people for a living. But you can expect us to step on our soapbox to criticize it every so often. And take focused steps to circumvent it whenever we can. Many of us (particularly those reading this blog) are hip to the local food scene nowadays. It’s become part of our everyday vernacular, and our way of life.  It’s just something we do, a choice that … READ MORE

Posted in: Spice Acres