Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Wendell Berry, Kentucky farmer, poet & author
I hope everyone reading this has heard of Wendell Berry, but, if not, just know that he is one of the most prophetic voices on the planet when it comes to sustainability.
And just what is sustainability? In short, it is what will be needed to endure. For the earth, for communities, families, and for human beings. Springfield and Washington County are now directly connected to Wendell Berry and to sustainability because his agrarian farming program is coming to St. Catharine College.
When I started the Little Red Hen Cafe, I really wasn't sure what it would become, and whether it would be sustainable for me as a human being. But I knew that it would only be acceptable for me if it were based on a local economy: sourcing food locally, respecting and honoring local people, traditions, and economies. As Berry says in this wonderful list, sustainability is never about "making a killing." It's about honoring people, the community, and building something for the future.
If you took the time to read the link above, I ask you to take time to consider how you can make these statements true for our community. Do we agree with them, and do we want to bring them to our shared place, Springfield and Washington County? It would be great to talk about that! Of course, we have come a long way toward doing so, thanks to Sister Claire McGowan and theNew Pioneers organization. A sustainable restaurant is one more stage we can all look forward to along the path.
I feel very proud that The Hen Cafe has stayed close to those values. But right now, it is not sustainable for me, as one person, to continue to operate the cafe daily alone, nor do I have the resources or the wherewithal to do so otherwise at present and maintain my own health and intergrity as well as the integrity of my family.
I have several irons in the fire which may bring the Hen back for lunch soon! But they will take some time and some careful planning if they are to be done sustainably (see Berry's list)
Meanwhile, what I CAN and WILL do is offer wonderful, locally sourced meals, every Friday night all summer... Saturday mornings at the Farmers' Market... and for any catering needs you have! Please stop by when I am at the Cinnamon House or call 859 336 7367 anytime, or send an email:

Innisfree Farm
Mackville, KY
I have been able to spend two entire days on my own farm this week, the first in ten months. Heaven!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

NoHo Food is SOOOOO good!


I had a wonderful opportunity last week to  sample an entirely different way of eating: college campus cuisine! It was completely unexpected, because I was supposed to be hiking on the Appalachian Trail eating gorp and some dehydrated meals and maybe some tuna or peanut butter!

At the very last minute, my daughter got sick, and I made a same-day decision to scrap the backpacking trip (my friends still went, and it was great!) and to fly up to Northampton, MA (aka NoHo) where she is a student at Smith College, to help her get well, get through finals, and get off to Israel, where, I am happy to report, she is right now!
Smith College is a woman's college, and a wonderful, small, liberal arts school, BUT it is also the alma mater of JULIA CHILD and every year they celebrate Julia Child Day with super special meals in the dining halls. I can NOT imagine what this is like, because every meal I had was super special and super delicious.
What a difference from my college eating and the mystery meat breaded in who-knows-what, iceberg lettuce, and white bread smeared with margarine thinned out with crisco.
Pecan-crusted tofu Mushroom sauce
For each meal, we could go online and check out which of the many dining halls (small & intimate, like classy restaurants) we preferred: everything from vegan fare (vegan chocolate cake is delicious!) to Asian to Mediterranean to wonderful salad bars to comfort food like pot pies and homemade mac n cheese. Lots of fresh vegetables, cooked properly, GOOD coffee, juices and even soy milk!
Truly, it was a bit like being on a cruise for healthy eaters.
When my daughter got well, I took a LOOONG bike ride on the NoHo Bike Trail & discovered this adorable authentic diner.

The people were extremely friendly, but I didn't eat; after all the good food all week, I couldn't handle cheese poppers, fried onion rings, french fries, and all of the other fried foods on the menu. I had a beer, which was great!
There are tons of little cafes and trendy places to eat in and around No Ho. I peeked into several, just making notes for ideas for the Hen. But the food at Smith dining halls was so fabulous, I didn't need to eat out! And.. don't worry. We won't be going vegan! But as a devoted foodie, I loved the new flavors and the respect and care for food I experienced. I didn't see a MacDonald's anywhere.