May 31, 2014
More and more restaurants are finding that the way to insure the ingredients in their food are fresh and healthy is to grow their own, or to connect with local farmers and greenhouses to insure consistent quality. This week, we’ll speak with a restaurant doing just that, and in doing so continues to be rated one of the best regional restaurants by patrons and critics alike.
Sebastian’s, in rural Caledonia, Wisconsin, sits on a five acre parcel of green space that allows them to have a large organic garden, with 20 4×10 raised beds. They also compost kitchen scraps and use them in the garden to enrich the soil. Their rural location has given them easy access to local farm products and to partner with an organic farm a mile away from the restaurant.
Our guest, Scott Sebastian, is the Chef and Co-owner of Sebastian’s Restaurant located 30 minutes south of Milwaukee. Scott and his business partner and former wife Patrice Sebastian have operated Sebastian’s for over 14 years. Prior to that they owned Cafe Sebastian and Catering By Sebastian in Milwaukee Wisconsin. Scott also spent 10 years on the Milwaukee Fire Department at which time he also worked in some of Milwaukee’s finest restaurants. Scott left the Fire Department in 1998 and together opened Sebastian’s in January of 2000.
Scott has no formal Chef training but has been cooking professionally and managing kitchens for 35 years in fine dining establishments.
Patrice Sebastian has a background in business that includes 30 years in the restaurant business, as well as a degree in Horticulture. She oversees the chemical free garden. She is a registered yoga instructor and is currently studying and incorporating permaculture design strategies working toward sustainable use of the 5 acre property.
Sebastian’s consistently appears on lists of the best regional restaurants, including the 2013 list of the Top 30 Milwaukee Area Restaurants by The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
For more information about Scott and Sebastian’s, go to www.sebastiansracine.com.
May 21, 2014
Milaeger’s is a family-owned garden center and lifestyle store known for miles of greenhouses, diverse gifts, and the best Christmas product displays in the Midwest. But new things are growing for this business, taking them in a whole new direction, with their own line of gourmet lettuces and sprouts. This new venture continues to grow as they provide these fresh goods to local grocery stores and restaurants.
The passion behind this new venture for Milaeger’s is Kara Kading, and we are excited to have her as a guest on our show. Kara is a 3rd generation family member at Milaeger’s, and has spent her whole life dedicated to growing the business. Kara first came to Milaeger’s when she was three weeks old and started asking customers if she could help them at age three. Kara loved growing up at the store and having the opportunity to expand and develop several areas of the business.
Kara’s latest project at Milaeger’s is the development of a lettuce and microgreen program. Milaeger’s has 92 greenhouses, chiefly used for bedding plants, specialty annuals, hanging baskets, perennials, and seasonal pot crops. Kara wanted to do something good, something big, something that would connect the store more with the community, and something that would benefit everyone on all levels. She felt that it was a crucial time to be able to offer not only local food, but also educate the community on how to eat healthy, buy local, and even be able to grow their own lettuce and microgreens. The store currently delivers to nine different fine restaurants and cafes, two local grocery stores, and a home delivery produce business called Brewers Organics. Kara enjoys continuing to build and develop relationships with more restaurants, farmers, and people who are simply passionate about food!
For more on Kara and Milaeger’s, go to www.milaegers.com.
May 13, 2014
Gardening can happen anywhere, and there is no better example of that than the work of Growing Power. With a mission to inspire communities to build sustainable food systems that are equitable and ecologically sound, one food-secure community at a time, they are making sure that gardening thrives in urban settings in the Midwest. Their goal is a simple one: to grow food, to grow minds, and to grow community.
Growing Power is celebrating its 20th anniversary of providing safe, affordable and healthy foods to communities. Since 1993, they have worked at building community relationships, offered training and hands-on experiences that have made them a national leader of the Good Food Movement. Growing Power transforms communities by supporting people from diverse backgrounds and the environments in which they live through the development of Community Food Systems. These systems provide high-quality, safe, healthy, affordable food for all residents in the community.
Over 3,500 individuals receive tours of the Community Food Center each year; and Will Allen, Growing Power’s Chief Executive Officer, has been the keynote speaker at several national conferences and the recipient of numerous local, state, and national awards and recognitions.
Our Guest this week is Will Allen, Chief Executive Officer of Growing Power believes, “If people can grow safe, healthy, affordable food, if they have access to land and clean water, this is transformative on every level in a community. I believe we cannot have healthy communities without a healthy food system.”
Will Allen is the son of a sharecropper, former professional basketball player, ex-corporate sales leader and now farmer. He has become recognized as one of the preeminent thinkers of our time on agriculture and food policy. The founder and CEO of Growing Power Inc., a farm and community food center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Will is widely considered the leading authority in the expanding field of urban agriculture. At Growing Power and in community food projects across the nation and around the world, Will promotes the belief that all people, regardless of their economic circumstances, should have access to fresh, safe, affordable and nutritious foods at all times. Using methods he has developed over a lifetime, Will trains community members to become community farmers, assuring them a secure source of good food without regard to political or economic forces. In 2008,
Will was named a John D. and Katherine T. McArthur Foundation Fellow and was awarded a prestigious foundation “genius grant” for his work – only the second farmer ever to be so honored. He is also a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, and in February 2010, he was invited to the White House to join First Lady Michelle Obama in launching “Let’s Move!” her signature leadership program to reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity in America. In May 2010, Time magazine named Will to the Time 100 World’s Most Influential People.
On May 10th, 2012, Will Allen became a published autobiographer of the book, THE GOOD FOOD REVOLUTION: Growing Healthy Food, People, and Communities (Penguin/Gotham Books).
We are honored to have Will as our Guest this week. You can learn more about Will and Growing Power Inc. at www.growingpower.org.
May 7, 2014
This week, as we head into spring, we begin an exploration of the very big topic of gardening. We’re going to look at many aspects and perspectives on gardening for the next few weeks, but we’ll begin this week with the basics. What are some of the key fundamentals and concepts of gardening that can help us all discover the JOY that can come from communing with the Earth in this intimate way.
Our guest this week is passionate and well versed on the topic, and will share her thoughts on how to get grounded in the pure love for connecting with the earth through gardening.
Cynthia Rabe has always had a deep connection with nature and a long held belief that healing occurs from and with all things natural. Gardening all her life, using herbs personally, and being a Reiki Master made it a natural transition from a landscape business to opening an herbal apothecary.
Two of her passions, herbalism and energy work (reiki) were partnered together to form Alchemy Reiki. Blending the two healing modalities allows the best of both to facilitate the body’s own natural healing ability.
Cynthia is a member of the American Herbalist’s Guild, The American Horticulture Society, and the Northeast Women’s herbal Association. She has lived in Lake Geneva for 17 years and owned her own business for nine years. Cynthia follows Native American Spiritual Path and facilitates a variety of ceremonies.
We are grateful to have Cindy join us for this opening discussion in our exploration of gardening.
You can find out more about Cindy at http://www.moonflowerapothecary.com/.
May 6, 2014
We were fortunate to have Sister Janet Weyker on our show to speak about her role as Director of the Eco-Justice Center, but she is also a wealth of knowledge about the kinds of things we can build into our daily routine the make sustainable living easy and……..well, sustainable! Sister Janet lives it and teaches it and so we are fortunate to have her back our show to share more of her wisdom.
Our guest, Sister Janet Weyker is Director of the Racine Dominican Eco-Justice Center. Janet grew up on a farm in Belgium, WI, where she became rooted in the values of caring for Earth, tending vegetable and flower gardens and caring for farm animals. Having had Racine Dominicans as teachers at St. Mary’s School, Janet was inspired to leave home after 8th grade to start her journey of becoming a Racine Dominican Sister and educator.
Sister Janet graduated from Dominican College with a degree in education, and later earned a Masters Degree in Art Education from UW-Madison, and a Master of Science in Counselor Education from UW-Platteville. She has served as teachter and Princpal at various schools in Racine, and as an exchange teacher in Watford, England through the Fulbright program.
Her volunteer efforts in the community are extensive, working with, for example, the River Bend Nature Cener, and the Sierra Club, and in recognition of this, was awarded the Woman of Distinction Award by the YWCA in 2010.
We are inspired by the efforts of the Eco-Justice Center to provide a living example of hope in the area of Eco Justice and we are honored to have Sister Janet at our guest.
To learn more about the efforts of the Eco-Justice Center, and to see photos of their unique property and videos detailing their work, go to http://www.racinedominicans.org/eco-j.cfm.