Each month, CATALYST brings our readers tales of fascinating local endeavors—entrepreneurs launching new restaurants or retail businesses, gardeners digging, composting and planting their way to greener communities, or locals organizing to improve the vitality of the city we share—but this month, we're going to take you on a tour of a local business bringing all of these ideas together in the vision of one mover and shaker who understands that, if you want the fruit, sometimes you just have to climb out on a limb. For Kathie Chadbourne, proprietor of the Avenues Bistro on 3rd, out on a limb is par for the course.
Beyond Boston baked beans or California-style pizza are foods through which we can actually reach a deeper communion with place. Cheese is one of these foods, its alchemy dependent on the subtle unseen of a place, as the microorganisms that permeate the environment work away to alter the raw material into the final product.
Spring’s arrival has brought big changes and weighty revelations to our backyard poultry ranch, not least of which is the snow melting. Bigger yet, though is this news: our goose is laying! I say “goose,” because, contrary to what our previous beliefs of the gender distribution of our American buff goose flock – that is, two geese, one gander – it’s recently been revealed to us that we in fact have two ganders and one goose. That’s been a tough pill to swallow.
Perhaps you've seen them: Lone, bundled-up figures, miniature fishing rods in hand, they stand out on the stark white fields of lakes frozen over and glazed with snow. Those hearty people know that beneath a cold layer of ice swim hungry fish, lots of them, ripe for the picking.
...if you have an interesting food-related project in need of some seed dollars.
—by Adele Flail
Pigs are people too!
—by Carol Koleman
You could say Appenzell Farm started in 2008, when Jesse Corbridge and his mother Barbara read Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma and decided to dedicate their 10 acres to the sustainable farm movement. You could say that the Appenzell Farm really got it's start a year later, when Jesse's grandmother leased her fallow 70-acre lot to the farm.
For Julie and Rich Clifford of Clifford Family Farm, getting back to agrarian roots was a matter of necessity. Both grew up in Utah with links to the rural way of life—Julie's grandparents were farmers and Rich's family kept horses—so it was natural for the couple to keep a garden and a small flock of chickens when they married 30 years ago. But home-grown food became a way of life for the couple as they began raising a big family, not only for sustenance, but to foster the spirit of self-sufficiency.
When you first step through the gate, the rectangle of dead weeds and road base looks like any other leftover space in the city, a place where the tabs and slots of city planning never quite aligned during the tetrising of gas station and stockyard, store and coffee house—another blind-eye/eye-sore, an unintentional gap in the productive spaces of the city.