The Food Issue: Dairy Queens

Amazing Acres Dairy produces local, artisanal chevre  
by Tenaya Darlington

Last May, Debbie Mikulak embarked on a lifelong dream—she became an artisanal goat cheese maker. With 19 goats and a little over five acres in Elverson, PA, she and her husband, Fred Bloom, now produce more than a dozen cheeses, including a French-style Banon wrapped in grape leaves and soaked in brandy.

Read More

The Food Issue: Nature Preserve

Supper’s Mitch Prensky brings pickling into the modern era 
by Lee Stabert

Carrots with passion fruit, saffron and garlic with cauliflower, barigoule and artichokes, turnips with Herbes de Provence, spicy pickled vegetables for báhn mi, kosher dill pickles, okra with sage, preserved lemons and oranges, mushrooms, apples, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, green beans and okra.

Read More

The Food Issue: The Challahman Cometh

Michael Dolich sets out to revive the neighborhood bakery 
by Lee Stabert

On an unseasonably warm day in April, Four Worlds Bakery’s Michael Dolich is overseeing the installation of a serious oven. Three men (one of them an expert on this expensive and unwieldy piece of equipment) are straining their backs and sweating up a storm, moving a series of heavy racks made up of slender metal tubes into a box-like shape. In the middle of the floor is a massive pile of insulation. The bakery’s new crown jewel is a high-tech piece of machinery—a $30,000 oven that uses hot water to reach temperatures over 400 degrees—but it will be used to craft something simple, artisanal and perfect.

Read More

Recycling Challenge: Pots, Pans & Pyrex

The Challenge: Those cheap Walmart pots and pans you bought just out of college are reaching the end of their usefulness, but there’s a good chance they’re made out of aluminum or stainless steel, which are both recyclable. You can’t put them in the blue bin at the curb, but, according to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, recycling aluminum instead of mining virgin ore for new products results in up to a 95 percent reduction in energy use.
Read More

Energy: Cooler Heads

For energy savings, cool roofs are a no-brainer 
by Samantha Wittchen

The roof is no longer on fire. First there was the Mayor’s “Coolest Block” Contest, offering Philadelphians the chance to win an energy-saving cool roof and other energy efficiency upgrades from the city for every house on their block. Then there was City Council’s Earth Day passage of Councilman Jim Kenney’s legislation requiring reflective (cool) roofs on all new commercial and residential low-slope roofs.
Read More

Shoots & Ladders: Be the Bee

A guide to helping cucumbers and melons get their groove on
by Char Vandermeer

If summer were a taste, it would surely be cucumber—or maybe muskmelon. They’re both little bursts of sunshine on the vine. While your planting space may be limited to a few pots or a tiny patch in a community garden, that doesn’t mean your taste buds should go unfulfilled. Philly may prove to be a tough habitat for these fussy vines, but that just means they’ll require some extra attention.

Read More

Profile: King of Compost

Urban farmer and MacArthur Grant recipient Will Allen on the importance of greens, worms and more
by Lee Stabert

Everything about Will Allen is big. The pro basketball player turned urban agriculture iconoclast has hands like baseball mitts, and arms like tree trunks. His normal uniform—jeans, baseball hat, hooded sweatshirt with the sleeves removed—only serves to emphasize the power of his gentle, hulking presence.

Read More

Dispatch: Greatest Hits

Some people geek out over wine. Others, old vinyl. For me, it’s cheese. The stinky stuff. Stilton. Fontina. Époisses. When I meet a strong cheese, it stops me cold, the way hearing a new song on the radio can make you pull over the car, motivated by a desire to really listen. You don’t forget those moments: the first time you heard Led Zeppelin or the night a neighbor let you borrow the Kinks.
Read More

Along for the Ride: Via Bicycles' Curtis Anthony

Julie Lorch pedals along with notable members of Philly’s bicycle community on a route of their choice. They ride, they chat, she reports back.

Nice ride!” shouts a dude on a bike. “Awesome!” yells another. In 2010, a high wheel bicycle is a strange sight in Center City. But in 1886, the year that Curtis Anthony’s prized Victor was built, the high wheel represented state-of-the-art bicycle engineering.

Read More

Local Business: Black Gold

A local company helps Philly businesses jump on the composting bandwagon 
by Lee Stabert

There is one word showing up left and right on the lips of top urban sustainability and food access experts: compost. To hear them speak of it, the stuff is magic—now it’s just a matter of getting the rest of society on board. Philly Compost, a year-old company based in Northwest Philadelphia, is doing their part to bring the city’s businesses into the fold.
Read More

From the Editor: Home Made

Alex passed his Publisher’s Notes duties along to me this month because I am, simply put, obsessed with food. I’ve been looking forward to this issue for months.

Last June, I moved back to Philadelphia—my hometown—after a few years in the wilderness (read: Nashville, TN).
Read More