2014 Crave Civic Agriculture Awards Go To Kentucky's Brighest and Best Food and Ag Leaders

At least I got to see this picture, taken by the Best Man.

Super chef, restaurateur and community-builder Ouita Michel celebrates her outstanding chef award from Crave Lexington. Photo by Steve Kay

Creeping something-or-other kept me at home during the biggest tasting party ever thrown in Lexington (thank you, Robbie Morgan [far right in the photo] and Smiley Pete and several thousand others), but wonderful friends and inspirations won all over the place at the extraordinary Crave Lexington event this past weekend. And ongoing treasure Good Foods Co-op sponsored the awards. Here's the press release:

The Groundbreakers: Nathan and Michelle Johnson Howell, and Martin and Jolene Stone (Michelle is second from left in the photo)

-- Co-founders, with others, of the Community Farmers Market in Bowling Green.

They started "with six vendors and now have more than 60. Invented a year-round multi-producer CSA model that feeds 35 families and supports this family with its four children. Michelle is editor and organizer for the fantastic publication, EAT. The commitments she and Nathan make are to feeding everyone good food. Michelle and a group of dedicated volunteers have created a Double Dollars program that encourages SNAP participants to buy and eat local produce. There is much more. The family just used the new Kiva Zip loan system to arrange for a loan (from more than 300 lenders) to create a a certified small food production space at a farm they have just purchased. They are inventors of a new, sustainable, regional food system."

The Chef: Chef Ouita Michel (celebrating her win in the center of the photo)

-- Holly Hill Restaurant, Midway School Bakery, Smithtown Seafood, Wallace Station and Windy Corner Market [and Executive Chef at Woodford Reserve]

"a dynamo in the local restaurant scene for sheer number of enterprises showcasing local products."

The Advocate: Jamie Aramini (far left in the photo)

-- Host of Sustainable Kentucky/Founder of the Kentucky Green Living Fair/Founder of the Market on Main [plus WILD]

The Kentucky Green Living Fair "has changed south-central Kentucky's notions of itself forever. The Market on Main is doing the same for Somerset and for regional growers and eaters. Funny, irreverent, self-deprecating, and an amazing leader of others, in her own completely individual way"

The Artisan: Toa and Mike Green

-- Crank & Boom Craft Ice Cream [plus Thai & Mighty Noodle Bowls]

"their ice cream is amazing and they are aggressive in seeking local products for it."

The Farmers: John Bell, Mac & Ann Bell Stone

-- Elmwood Stock Farm

"They lead in quiet and important ways in many sustainability settings. They produce food year-round for hundreds of families. They farm inter-generationally, following good farming practices their ancestors used (crop rotation, composting, pasture improvement) going back six generations. They steadily and patiently educate their customers. They make themselves available at 5 markets a week in the growing season and come to the Saturday Lexington Farmers Market year-round."

Sponsors included in this post: Elmwood Stock Farm, Good Foods Co-op, Holly Hill Inn, Midway School Bakery, Wallace Station and Windy Corner Market. See more sponsors here and in the site footer.

Rona RobertsComment