Kitchen Table Talks

Farmstead Chef is a guide -- not a rule book -- to better eating and living.

Throughout the book are slice-of-life profiles of farming friends or urban gardeners, kitchen canners and a vegan chef — Kitchen Table Talks – most containing a recipe to try.

Below is a sneak preview of these inspiring cooks, farmers, kitchen canners, homesteaders, urban farmers, chefs and food activists.

Jai and Joel Kellum, King’s Hill Farm, Mineral Point, Wisconsin

Jai and Joel know how to deliver the diverse tastes of the seasons to their more than 140 CSA shareholders of King's Hill Farm.

Employing permaculture design on their certified organic farm, they produce a dizzying array of fruits, vegetables and fruits in addition to honey, eggs and shiitake mushrooms. They're just as proud of the learning experiences they provide to a flock of interns who pass through their farm, and kitchen, each year.

Todd and Jordan Champagne, Happy Girl Kitchen, Pacific Grove, California

These ecopreneurs are fermenting a revolution in kettles, crocks and jars, transforming organic fruits and vegetables into such live culture foods as sour dill pickles, kimchee and sauerkraut. With Todd and Jordan's Happy Girl Kitchen Cafe -- part kitchen, part retail store and part cafe -- they invite customers into the lively 2,700 square foot space to sample more than forty products made in their kitchen, including pickles, jams, marmalades, tomato goods and kombucha. Their products are also available in various locations in the San Francisco Bay area.

Roger Doiron, Kitchen Gardeners International, Scarborough, Maine
Roger Doiron

The Pied Piper of the gardening revolution, Roger knows how to get people planting seeds -- both in home gardens and ideas to champion big picture change in our food system.

Savvy both in soil and social media, Roger creatively blends various forms of communication to help folks remember the core message that everything about food -- from growing, savoring and advocating for access to it -- should always be fun.

Chef Bryant Terry, author of Vegan Soul, Oakland, California
Bryant Terry

Bryant weaves together the mind, heart and soul of sustainable cuisine in his writing, advocacy work and culinary inspiration via his original recipes that showcase his soul food roots. As author of the acclaimed Vegan Soul cookbook and Grub, he looking to create a new soundtrack for what we eat and how we feed our families and community.

Phil and Judy Welty, Welty’s Sugar Bush, Browntown, Wisconsin

Seems like there's nothing these two back-to-the-landers haven't done in their more than 50 years together. They built their own log cabin, heated their hot water with the sun, grew their vegetables and fruits when not out foraging for wildfoods along the roadsides or in the timber, and launched maple syrup and renewable energy businesses over the years. As retirees, now they help others get their all-electric CitiCars going (and help keep John and Lisa's farm running smoothly).

The Carus Family, Monroe, Wisconsin

Brenda and Luis Carus are proof positive that food brings a community together. With their "soup nights," they clean house, get some pots simmering with whatever is ripe and invite over friends and family to share the feast.

They also prove that you don't need a lot of money (or land) to feed a family of six if you grow most of what you eat in your back and front yard.

Nancy Vail and Jered Lawson, Pie Ranch, Pescadero, California

Nancy and Jered serve up educational programs about farming and food by the slice at their Pie Ranch. Located on a pie-shaped property on California's San Mateo coast, this working farm is home to farm-based programs and activities for regional high schools and other community collaborators in diverse urban, suburban and rural settings. Of course, it's all based on baking a great pie; they share their Meyer Lemon pie recipe in Farmstead Chef.

Beth and Jody Osmund, Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm, Ottawa, Illinois

Dedicated to the land, the Osmund Family do more than farm and raise their livestock sustainably. They serve as educational ambassadors for the great food movement with every meat delivery they make.

Sharing cow stories to recipes (like their Italian Sausage Risotto), Beth Osmund and her clan passionately help others understand where their food comes from, growing both their business and the movement.

Severine von Tscharner Fleming, The Greenhorns, Hudson Valley, New York

Severine is busy sowing seeds at the non-profit organization she co-founded, The Greenhorns, serving farmers of the under-40 set who are passionate about growing healthy food. To spread the news about the future of food in America, Severine has directed a documentary film, The Greenhorns, exploring our nation’s young farmers as well as hosting Greenhorn Radio on the Heritage Radio Network, a blog, even farmer mixers. She and the rest of the greenhorns are looking to turn back the clock on the average age of American farmers.