Art Loop Toledo Glass City Goodness Simply Jess Blog Toledo Ohio Third Thursday

Art Loop Toledo & Glass City Goodness

Your Thursdays Just Got Way More Fun with Art Loop Toledo!

Oh me, oh my: the Glass City is good! If you don’t believe me, believe Patty she even named her new blog after it – Glass City Goodness. This past Thursday was a cheers to new friends and new experiences in Toledo. Every third Thursday of the month you will find hundreds of people exploring the streets of downtown Toledo, supporting local businesses, enjoying local food, and most of all supporting the local art community; it’s called Art Loop Toledo.

Art Loop Toledo Glass City Goodness Simply Jess Blog Toledo Ohio Third Thursday
Glass City Goodness & Simply Jess

While events occur every third Thursday year-round, a beautiful 70 degree spring evening was a perfect reason for Patty and I to check out the Loop. By 5:30p the streets were set up with vendors and musicians, and the busses were rolling. For a $1.25 you can ride the Tarta “Loop” that includes unlimited rides between Art Loop stops. Whether you are looking for a new way to enjoy cocktail hour/thirsty Thursday/happy hour, you are looking for family fun, or you are looking for a night out in downtown there is certainly something for everyone.

Art Loop Toledo Glass City Goodness Simply Jess Blog Toledo Ohio Third Thursday

For your evening, Patty and I were going more for the on-foot experience. We met up at Gathered Glassblowing Studios as the artists were just getting warmed up and the band was playing its first song on the sidewalk outside. I love seeing the practical use work and fun, whimsical pieces at Gathered. Next we strolled over to Hensville to check out Nine and the open rooftop, perfect for this lovely spring evening. First, we took time to experience the paintings on the first floor by Richard Reed and sculptures by Jan Thomas. The Nine rooftop has a great view of the MudHens Stadium and the modern jazz being played by Talking Ear made you want to sit up there and sip a glass of wine all evening.

Art Loop Toledo Glass City Goodness Simply Jess Blog Toledo Ohio Third Thursday
Paintings by Richard Reed

With more to see, we left Hensville and made our way uptown a few blocks to the Paula Brown Shop Pub, featuring the Rhythm and Blues stylings of John T. Adams as well as a timeless photo gallery by the same. Paula Brown appeared to be the place of the evening, with a packed house inside and a full patio, guests were enjoying the drinks, the music, and the Nogdog food cart. As more people poured in, we decided to make our way over to Boochy Mamas’ new home around the corner on 10th. The new location had greatly evolved since the last time I was in before the grand opening! The hopeful shop-dog-to-be and her owner set us up with some Kombucha and we made our way through the rest of the building to view the local art.

Art Loop Toledo Glass City Goodness Simply Jess Blog Toledo Ohio Third Thursday
Nine Resturant at Hensville | Sculptures by Jan Thomas

Our evening flew by! We only made it to a fraction of the event stops such as Bleak House Coffee, the Toledo Museum of Art, the Glass City Cafe, or Ye Olde Durty Bird to name a few (for full events click here). I say this is all the more reason to go again! It was lovely to walk around downtown, but I also look forward to stopping at just a place or two and lingering for the evening. With so much food and entertainment there is so much to see and do. The artist’s love having the traffic to show their hard work and talents, talk about their pieces, and share their passion. On my way back to my car I took a few minutes to appreciate the lovely glass work by Strancar Studios.

Art Loop Toledo Glass City Goodness Simply Jess Blog Toledo Ohio Third Thursday
Glass work by Strancar Studios

If you haven’t yet, or you go every month I encourage you to check out Art Loop Toledo happening the third Thursday of every month in Downtown Toledo. Also, check out Glass City Goodness, there is so much to love in Toledo and her blog shares the multifaceted life Patty is making through her life in Toledo. Enjoy food. Enjoy music. Enjoy art, friends, family, and fun. Enjoy Toledo.

Be Local.
Simply Jess

 

Riehm Farms Simply Jess Blog Local Ohio Farming Organic Farm CSA

Riehm Produce Farm – Sustaining Generations

Multigeneratonal Family Owned Organic Farm

You know your doctor [by name], you know your dentist, why don’t you know your farmer?” Even as a locavore, this statement by John Riehm struck me. This is true! We build relationships with the people we entrust with our health needs: our doctor, dentist, pharmacist; so then why do we not know who is behind one of the most vital elements of your health? Our food and its nutritional value has one of the greatest impacts on our overall health. At the Riehm Family Produce Farm, nutrition and integrity are the reasons behind why they want you to know who grows what you feed your family.

Riehm Farms Simply Jess Blog Local Ohio Farming Organic Farm CSA

I was first introduced to Riehm Farms last year while trying to pick a CSA to invest in. I was having lunch at one of my favorite stops and they had two pamphlets on the counter near the register about local CSA options. The restaurant owner had such wonderful things to say about both farms, it made the decision tough, but in the end the story of Riehm Farms is what really resonated with me. The Riehm family has more than just a produce farm, they have created a multigenerational legacy in Tiffin, Ohio, sharing quality organic food and continually growing towards the future.

Riehm Farms Simply Jess Blog Local Ohio Farming Organic Farm CSA
A little up-close-and-personal introduction to my future tomatoes

Growing food for fine 419 restaurants and loyal CSA members is nothing new for this century old farm. The Riehm family welcomed 5th generation farmer, Phil Riehm, back in 2014 to continue to agriculturally develop the land. His father John has been farming the land since 1978 when he graduated high school, continuing on the legacy of his father who passed away many years prior when John was very young. Through this time the sales center has progressed from a roadside cart, to a lean-to, to a tent and now the farm proudly welcomes guests into its lovely market.

Riehm Farms Simply Jess Blog Local Ohio Farming Organic Farm CSA

The Riehm’s farm focus is on the nutritional value, which is why they choose to undertake the risks and challenges of organic farming practices. At one time, Diane Riehm was a health instructor, and was able to spark John’s interest in changing the conventionally farmed land to less harmful methods. Nutritional tests were later done comparing the nutritional value of their tomatoes vs a neighboring farms’ and hydroponic tomatoes. The results were much higher with the Riehm farms variety. This became their motivation and their focus: Healthy Soils = Healthy Crops = Healthy People

Riehm Farms Simply Jess Blog Local Ohio Farming Organic Farm CSA
Fresh cucumbers? Sure!
Phil Riehm tells me about organic fertilization.

Phil’s return to the family farm brought extended knowledge from his crop science and agricultural business education from The Ohio State University. Together, Phil and John lead the team into their 14th CSA season! In 2002, as CSAs were just beginning to gain popularity in the midwest, Riehm Farms started offering CSA shares to a small community of people in Sandusky Ohio. The first season started with just 12 shares, and has continued to double ever since. Currently, they offer close to 400 shares delivered to 12 different pick-up sites across NW Ohio.

Riehm Farms Simply Jess Blog Local Ohio Farming Organic Farm CSA
Strawberries

So many pick-up sites for their CSA members is just one example of how the Riehm Family serve the people they feed. They don’t just want to grow a mass amount food, hand it over and be done with it. For one, they greatly care about what each CSA member gets in their bag; how you like it, how it lasts, how to cook or preserve it, they even give recipes in their weekly newsletters. It could almost be looked at like they are your seasonally selected, picked at the peak of ripeness, nutritionally balanced food coaches. This past year I included my parents in the Farm-to-Fork dinner event held on the farm. At this dinner, all of the food served was picked directly from the field, cleaned, cooked and served over four courses by professional chefs. At the dinner, they gave us the whole story of how our food was prepared: from Farm to Fork. Guests enjoyed foods that they had maybe never tried before, my parents were quite impressed. I know personally, I am a self proclaimed beet-hater, but the roasted beet, kale, bleu cheese salad was fantastic! Not that I now LOVE beets, but I do enjoy them roasted, and mixed with other ingredients. This also gave me confidence to experiment and create a recipe that included beets (recipe coming your way this root vegetable season). They truly taught me how to use my CSA.

The influence a farm can bring to its community is huge. This job is not cheap, it’s not going to make you rich, it’s hard, and requires tremendous amounts of time and discipline. So I as the Riehms: “Why do you keep farming?”

Phil: “It’s in our blood, it’s built into our family”
Diane: “It’s helping the next generation to make them successful.”
John: “You know your doctor, you know your dentist, why don’t you know your farmer?”

Riehm Farms Simply Jess Blog Local Ohio Farming Organic Farm CSA
Early May Onions

It takes passion to seed, then transplant 40,000 onions by hand. Building the relationship with your CSA customers, and restaurant owners, to tell them your story, and learn about theirs; this is where it’s at. It’s more than feeding people. It’s being local.

A half CSA share of organic, locally grown food was more than adequate for our family of two, and could have easily fed a small child as well. It greatly impacted our weekly grocery budget and the value of what we picked up from week to week was worth every penny. Please take a moment to check out Riehm Produce Farm at funacres.net or on Facebook. They have full and half share spots open for the 2016 season that will start in about 3 weeks! That’s not much time, so sign up soon!! Please feel free to contact me or riehmfarms@gmail.com for more information as well.

Be Local.
Simply,
Jess