Archive | 2014

DeAjia Philmon’s outlook on farming and getting her hands dirty changed drastically after becoming a part of the school’s aquaponics project that provided hands-on learning opportunities.

Edible Inspiration

Aquaponics in the Classroom

What’s in Your Water?

By Cheril Lee | Photography by Ariel Fried

DeAjia Philmon is one of many students in Kris Denton’s class at King Science and Technology Magnet Center who help maintain their classroom aquaponics system.


The students choose what plants to grow and donate surplus food to places such as the Open Door Mission.

“Fish poop has given us so many cool opportunities,” says Kris Denton, teacher and magnet facilitator at King Science and Technology Magnet Center. Fish poop is an integral part of her classroom’s aquaponics lab, which uses fish waste to help grow nutritious vegetables and herbs. There is a large drum filled with fish—her class has used tilapia, goldfish and perch, but she says any type of fish will work—and their waste is piped in a soilless grow bag where the plants thrive. After receiving the nutrients they need from the fertilized water, the plants act as a filter, cleaning the water before the water is sent back to the fish.

Kris learned about aquaponics just three short years ago when she attended a service learning seminar at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Her plan in attending the seminar … Read More

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Slow Money in action. Woody Tasch with Taber Ward of Mountain Flower Goat Dairy (Boulder, Colorado), which is exploring a loan from Colorado Food Investments. The local Slow Money investment club has made loans totaling $81,000 to six small food enterprises: Urban Farm Company, De La Chiva Goat Dairy, Ozuke Pickled Things, Aero Farms, Loco Foods and Fresh Thymes Eatery.

a conversation with Woody Tasch

Building the Soil of a Restorative Economy

A conversation with Slow Money visionary Woody Tasch

By Bill Giebler | Photography by Kirsten Boyer


Slow Money in action. Woody Tasch with Taber Ward of Boulder’s Mountain Flower Goat Dairy—a soon-to-be recipient of Slow Money investment in Boulder, Colorado.

W oody Tasch has been working with food and finance for decades. As an economist in the late 1970s he worked on a project at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in El Batan, Mexico, home of the initiatives that increased global food production, somewhat inaptly referred to as the “Green Revolution.” He then spent the 1980s in the venture capital world in New York City. In the 1990s, Tasch was treasurer of the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation and in 1998 became chairman of Investors’ Circle, a nonprofit network of angel investors dedicated to sustainability. In 2007 he wrote Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money, which early on was heralded as the beginning of a “movement” and a “revolution” by many observers.

The first Slow Money principle, “We must bring money down to earth,” hints at Tasch’s love of wordplay and his insistence on bringing poetry and humor into the … Read More

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Watermelon is one of many fruits and vegetables that grow in abundance outside of the greenhouse.

Edible Education

Learning Cultivation and Cultivating Learning

Creighton University’s Greenhouse

By Matt Low | Photography by Laura Low


ndy Waltke, a member of Creighton University’s biology department, stands among the diverse array of plants he cultivates inside the greenhouse.

Mais il faut cultiver notre jardin.”

Knowing French or not, these words will be familiar to most who have taken a high school or college course in world literature, as they bring Voltaire’s satirical Enlightenment novel Candide to a close. Spoken by the novel’s eponymous hero, and typically rendered in English as something akin to “but we must cultivate our garden,” these ambiguous words have been troubling students and scholars alike for going on two-and-a-half centuries now. The phrase is undoubtedly an imperative, but what exactly is Voltaire imploring us to do? On the one hand, since the words are spoken directly to Pangloss, the novel’s resident philosopher and target of Voltaire’s most scathing satire, there’s a clear sentiment of “let’s stop talking for a minute and do some actual work.” On the other hand, modern-day readers might be more inclined to take this imperative at face value, and see Voltaire giving some very practical advice about the good that can come … Read More

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Eat Local Guide


Sage Student Bistro

Indulge your curiosity and palate. Experience food prepared by accomplished culinary students with oversight from renowned chef-instructors. Local food used when available. Bistro is open when classes are in session.
Dining Hours: Lunch M–Th 11am–1:30pm; Dinner M–Th 6–8pm.

5730 N 30th St., Metropolitan Community College,
Fort Omaha Campus., 402.457.2328,



The Dining Room at Union Pacific

At the Dining Room at Union Pacific, Guckenheimer delivers tasty, healthy eating options. The menu changes daily, featuring local, seasonal ingredients and cuisines of the world—Asian to Latin, Indian to American. The Health Bar features fresh vegetables, creative salads, tasty soups and fresh baked breads. Catering available.
Dining Hours: Breakfast M–F 6:30–9:30am; Lunch M–F 11am–1:30pm.

Union Pacific Headquarters, 1400 Douglas St.,


The Flatiron Cafe

Open Table Diner’s Choice. Rated Top 100 American Fare Restaurants in the U.S. The Flatiron Cafe is a Downtown Omaha favorite. Available for private parties.
Dining Hours: Tu–Sa 5pm–close.

17th & Howard St., 402.344.3040


V. Mertz

V. Mertz—long an Omaha tradition—is a small locally owned restaurant offering a unique dining experience, weaving classic and contemporary flavors and texture into an extraordinary, progressive cuisine. Whether the occasion is business, … Read More

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edible omaha gift guide 2014


Fresh-from-the-farm produce

Give the gift of local food from one of the area’s community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs. Buy a share in a local farm and reap the bounty all harvest season. Receive weekly produce at convenient locations. Details vary from program to program, so access the listing of local CSAs on the magazine’s website,



You may find Mallory Finch and Chelsea Taxman of Black Iris Botanicals foraging in Omaha fields and forests for herbs. Calendula, for example, is infused into oils to make their Kiss Stick shades extra nourishing. Locally sourced beeswax and pork tallow make excellent ingredients for beauty products. Subtle perfumes and salves are blended with essential oils. Find selections in Omaha at Paradigm Gardens, Omaha Bicycle Company in Benson, Provisions by Grey Plume and V. Mertz.


Squeaky clean

Combine tallow from an Elk Creek hog farm, sunflower oil from Ord, Nebraska, recycled grocery bags for labeling and two enterprising guys—that’s Benson Soap Mill. Ryan Cook and Tim Maides turn unwanted kitchen fat from high-end restaurants into fragrant soaps. Their most popular product is the Citrus-Ginger bar, made with blood orange and ginger-grass essential oils. A 4-ounce bar is $5. Buy on … Read More

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Photo by Carole Topalian

Food for Thought

Once again, I am amazed by our local farmers. Yes, you know them as the cheerful people you meet when picking up your weekly community-supported agriculture program share and when you make your purchases at the many farmers’ markets. You smile when you see a local farm name next to the deliciousness listed on local restaurant menus. Each time, you quietly acknowledge their efforts and give a silent thank you that you know your farmer, know where your food comes from and how it is grown. After the severe and devastating storm that hit our community on June 3rd, I imagine that you, like me, feel the need to support them even more.

Many things about the life of a farmer inspire us, but when a storm rages through and wipes out months of work in the blink of an eye, one has to pause and admit the deep inspiration is one of awe. News reports, Facebook posts and Twitter tweets told us quickly about the widespread damage—from Missouri Valley and Crescent, Iowa, across to Omaha and Lincoln and onto York and Spaulding, Nebraska—which impacted so many of our farmers; those whom we depend upon to provide fresh, local produce … Read More

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Photo courtesy of the Doughnut Hole

Lincoln Brothers Bake Model Doughnuts

The Doughnut Hole

Photo courtesy of the Doughnut Hole

Comedian John Belushi once famously proclaimed, “I owe it all to chocolate donuts.” Lincoln brothers Lucas and Nate Gingery may soon be saying the same. They’re the brains and brawn behind the Doughnut Hole in Lincoln Haymarket’s Public Market at 350 Canopy Street.

The Doughnut Hole’s offerings are inspired, with fresh farmers’ market fruit glazes and fillings, and a few head-scratching combinations—like the widely popular maple bacon long john. On a Friday morning visit in May, a few of the available flavors included strawberry, blackberry, blueberry, Oreo, coconut cream pie, French toast sticks, salted caramel, vanilla bean and chocolate. Many flavors are available in both raised and cake doughnut variations.

Lucas and Nate know that the perfect doughnut needs the perfect coffee to accompany it. They’re the only place in Nebraska to offer fair trade and organic Stumptown coffee and espresso drinks.

Lucas and Nate began to rethink the humble doughnut while modeling in New York and trying the fresh flavors and creative glazes at the Doughnut Plant in Manhattan. After moving back to Lincoln in 2011, the brothers decided it was time to give the doughnut business a go.

They … Read More

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Omaha’s Whiskey Distilling Reborn

Borgata Brewery & Distillery

Omaha whiskey lovers, unite! You can now drink locally made craft whiskey for the first time since pre-Prohibition days. At Borgata Brewery & Distillery, Zac Triemert and Holly Mulkins offer a relaxing tasting room to enjoy a cocktail or beer, thanks to an in-house full-production brewery and distillery. “Whether you come in after work or just left the golf course, Borgata’s comfortable space, craft beers and whiskey have something for everyone,” says Holly.

Borgata’s whiskey is a single-malt, white, American whiskey. The in-house distilled, un-aged whiskey “delivers a surprising sweetness along with a light and smooth texture. I like to call it, ‘fancy moonshine,’” Zac quips. The whiskey is distilled in two copper pot stills that adorn Borgata’s tasting room, adding to the vintage ambience. The two-pot stills also happen to be Nebraska’s biggest and tallest of their kind.

In addition to whiskey, Borgata offers two series of house-brewed craft beers. Their Session Series offers lighter, lower alcohol content beers including a flagship pilsner, oatmeal cream stout, IPA, hefeweizen and a seasonal pale ale. Borgata’s Bison Series serves up imperial stout, imperial IPA and barley wine beers with deeper, robust and flavorful notes.

Owning Omaha’s first … Read More

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The Grey Plume Experience at Home

Provisions, by the Grey Plume

Photo courtesy of the Grey Plume

Clayton Chapman, head chef and owner of the Grey Plume has received critical acclaim from around the country for his restaurant’s green practices and outstanding farm-to-table approach to cuisine. The good news is that fans can now enjoy the award-winning food in their own home. Clayton has opened Provisions, by the Grey Plume, across the street from his restaurant. “Going out to eat is a big commitment. Provisions gives us the opportunity to provide guests with the Grey Plume experience at home,” says Clayton.

Shoppers can purchase a wide-variety of Plume favorites at Provisions. The store stocks the restaurant’s house-cured meat, pickled vegetables, house-churned butter, handcrafted chocolates and roasted coffee beans, just to name a few. You can even buy the handcrafted service pieces used at the Grey Plume, such as the recycled wine glass plates. With the wide variety of products available, you can re-create the charcuterie board, or many of your favorites, at your next dinner party or night in.

Provisions isn’t just a store, though. “It’s really an extension of the restaurant,” Clayton says. The store features a full commercial kitchen and a dining room that … Read More

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