Press & Event Update for SMALL BATCH!

Exciting things are happening for SMALL BATCH: Pickles, Cheese, Chocolate, Spirits and the Return of Artisanal Food.  Check out last week’s press round up and details for the Pittsburgh, New York City, and Boston events!


Author’s Corner reading – check your local NPR listings and listen here:

Eat Your Words interview on Heritage Radio – recorded on Sunday and archived here:

Upcoming events:

Pittsburgh: THURSDAY, Acquired Taste Reading Series 10/23 at Wigle Whiskey in Pittsburgh – readings, food, music & more!


NYC: WEDNESDAY 11/5 at Jimmy’s No. 43 from 6 – 8pm – Baked, Bottled, & Brined: A Pop Up Food Market – food, drinks, meet the artisans and chat with the author!


Cambridge, MA: Saturday 11/15 at Atwood’s Tavern from 3 – 5pm – Food, drinks, reading – details to come!


Recent print & online press:

Pittsburgh City Paper:

Pittsburgh Post Gazette:

Wandering Educators:


SMALL BATCH is almost here!

I’ve been quiet here as I have been pushing my upcoming book SMALL BATCH: Pickles, Cheese, Chocolate, Spirits and the Return of Artisanal Food which is publishing next week! SMALL BATCH looks at the cultural history of artisanal food and details the … Continue reading

Urban Artisanal: Sophia’s Greek Yogurt

In my upcoming book Small Batch: Pickles, Cheese, Chocolate, Spirits and the Return of Artisanal Food, I interviewed more than fifty pickle, cheese, chocolate, and spirit artisans from around the country – many in person, some on the phone, and … Continue reading

The Changing Meaning of Locavorism

The term locavore was coined in 2005 by Jessica Prentice, who, along with Sage Van Wing and Dede Sampson, made a commitment to eat only food sourced within a one-hundred-mile radius of their homes in Northern California. This effort was … Continue reading

“Coopetition” and the Spirit of Artisanal Food

I shouldn’t have been surprised in the least when Michaela Hayes, owner of Crock and Jar, a Brooklyn-based company that specializes in making pickles and the teaching the art of pickling and canning, said that a main tenet of her … Continue reading

Local + Global = Glocal – Guest Post by Steve Mayone


What Vermont Blueberries Helped Me Remember

Maybe a dozen miles as the crow flies, it took us nearly forty minutes to get there. We went up a dirt road and crested a mountain, down the other side until deep ruts turned to asphalt. And then we … Continue reading

Budin Azteca

I recently met a cousin for the first time – a second cousin, actually, once removed, and by marriage. A status remote enough that it would not have resulted in cooking an elaborate meal together had we not just really … Continue reading

Compost for Brooklyn

I didn’t think I would find my community amid a once abandoned lot filled with rotting food scraps. I merely had gotten used to composting in my apartment in Somerville, composting my produce scraps in the city-sized anaerobic composter in my ample back stairwell in the winter months or walking a bucket full of scraps to the large compost pile at the community garden a few blocks away from spring to fall. It was an step or two than just tossing the extra cucumber peels or carrot tops into the trash, but it had become a part of my routine. One more thing to do, like bringing reusable bags to the supermarket or picking up my monthly meat CSA. In fact I had my locavore diet so perfectly calibrated that I had at least met the farmer who was directly responsible for about 90% of the food in my home. It was easy, I’d say to friends. I wrote a book about how, with a little planning, anyone could do it.

But then my husband and I began spending more time at a sublet in Brooklyn. Our vegetable scraps filled numerous plastic containers that we stacked waist-high; the farmer’s markets were a three hour endeavor, requiring two trains and six flights of stairs. The local meat CSA dropped off on a day we were often in Somerville for work. The sun coverage on my new front porch (which I had realized that I was lucky enough to have in the first place) was not quite enough to encourage a harvest of a late planting of lettuce and broccoli rabe. In the first few weeks in Brooklyn, I followed all of my best advice. It was true, I knew I would eventually find the same balance that we had in Somerville. Finding our go-to local farmers could happen slowly, I realized – we weren’t going to starve. But the compost situation began to get dire. I just could not imagine throwing out those apple cores and wilted lettuce leaves that I had been committed about returning to the earth for years, now. I could not even fathom the days of a stinky, liquid garbage, of two full baskets a week, of sending so many nutrients to the landfill instead of the soil.

My efforts at finding a community garden were coming up short, especially so late into the growing season, but finally I put the two simple words “compost” and “brooklyn” into my search engine. Lo and behold I saw that the spirit of composting was alive and well in Brooklyn; I found a once-neglected lot not more than a fifteen minute walk from our apartment that had been turned into one of the most dedicated compost gardens in the city. I visited during their next drop off hours the following say and offered to volunteer on the spot.

Now, five months later, I can easily say that I have found my community of people passionate about composting and dedicated to consuming a more local-centric and sustainable diet. We have shared food and wine, have gossiped and brainstormed. I have helped write a successful grant for the garden and met people from the neighborhood whom I never would have known if not for the act of compost. And, once a month, rain or shine or freezing cold, I now volunteer to help collect and chop the scraps we collect during open hours, which helps to divert hundreds of pounds of food waste from the garbage and back into the ground. It’s the least I could do to repay this dedicated group for the work they have done bringing a little more green space to my new crowded city.

I have since joined the local food coop and found a sunnier spot for my lettuce sprouts, come spring. And my new friends at Compost for Brooklyn have begun talks to make the garden a drop off point for a CSA in the coming season. I was one of the first on the list. The best thing is that I realized that it wasn’t hard to find a way to live a the sustainable life that I want to – even in a new city. I just had to find my community in Brooklyn. And to do that I had to follow my passion – even if that passion is decaying food.

The Brooklyn Cure

The Brooklyn Cure

In the past few months, this locavore has been splitting her time between two cities. My husband and I travel between Somerville, Massachusetts and Brooklyn, New York on a weekly basis. This was precipitated, in part, by my songwriter-husband’s need … Continue reading