Origins: A Speaker Series



ORIGINS: A Speaker Series aims to elevate the conversation about food, its origins and what we are doing with food and food systems on this planet. The focus for this series is the food of the mid-Atlantic region, centered around Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The series is held within the intimate confines of Artifact Coffee, one of the restaurants owned by Spike and Amy Gjerde and their partner, Corey Polyoka. Spike Gjerde recently received the 2015 James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic, becoming the first chef from Baltimore to ever win an award from the Foundation. Artifact is located at 1500 Union Avenue in Baltimore ( . Their restaurants also include Woodberry Kitchen ( and Parts and Labor (, all of which are deeply and unwaveringly committed to the relationships they have with the growers, watermen, and producers of the Chesapeake region. We are here to create a community dialogue about local and responsible food systems, the economic impact of doing so, and how we grow, fish, cultivate and work with local ingredients in our day to day lives. The panels feature growers and producers from the Chesapeake region.


  • Mind of a Chocolate Maker

    Mind of a Chocolate Maker

    16/04/2020 Duración: 01h06min

    This evening’s conversation is with Jinji Fraser, the founder and owner of Pure Chocolate by Jinji.  Pure Chocolate by Jinji was started by Jinji and her father, Guy, in 2012 with the mission of helping people navigate their own wellness and nutrition. From there, the business took a shape of its own, becoming a vessel for Jinji and her team to create a brand known for pushing the boundaries of chocolate through storied flavors and direct and responsible trading. Today, with a new shop on the horizon, the Jinji chocolate crew is reinventing themselves again with drinking chocolate, and the arts of native women from around the world.  Jinji will be opening her second location soon in the Baltimore neighborhood known as Lauraville.Origins is powered by Simplecast.

  • Bernie Herman

    Bernie Herman

    29/03/2020 Duración: 01h17min

    Our featured panelist tonight, Bernie Herman, is one of the co-founders of the Eastern Shore of Virginia Foodways.  Bernie is the author of the recently published book, A South You Never Ate:  Savoring Flavors and Stories from the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  The book brings together over 100 recorded interviews on the foodways of Virginia's Eastern Shore as part of a larger endeavor undertaken around sustainable economic development through heritage foodways. He is currently working on a second volume along with a book of edited essays on the art of an African-American South.Bernie Herman, George B. Tindall Distinguished Professor of Southern Studies and Folklore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, works on the material cultures of everyday life and the ways in which people furnish, inhabit, communicate, and understand the worlds of things. His interests extend to a larger universe of material culture including vernacular architecture, contemporary quilts and quilt making, food histories, and

  • Episode 31: Citrus...Local??? Yes!

    Episode 31: Citrus...Local??? Yes!

    19/01/2020 Duración: 01h13min

    This episode of ORIGINS features New Jersey citrus growers Vivek and Seema Malik along with their daughter and baker Simran Malik.The Maliks are self-taught, part-time citrus growers. Citrus is a passion stemming from their love of Japanese cuisine. A chance encounter with yuzu soy sauce at Nobu in NYC, started a journey of discovery and adventure which has led to a greenhouse filled with 16 citrus varieties in Bordentown, New Jersey. In Hindi, “Bhumi” refers to Mother Earth. “Bhumi Growers” is a labor of love to honor Vivek’s mom who passed away just before this venture was born. Vivek and Seema focus on growing and sourcing specialty citrus for their customers and are constantly learning and educating themselves to help improve the quality of their citrus. They are pleased to call some of the top names in food as their clients. Their growth so far is based on the philosophy of establishing a direct connection with chefs, bartenders, brewers and consumers through Instagram, Twitter and referrals from existin

  • Episode 30: Is It Now Or Never For Local Farms?

    Episode 30: Is It Now Or Never For Local Farms?

    15/10/2019 Duración: 01h28min

    Thanks for joining us tonight for a very important topic –our local farms.  Today we learned that a local institution, Trickling Springs Creamery is closing.  Two of our farmers from prior ORIGINS events have ceased operations. While it’s all not doom and gloom, I think this highlights the urgency of this conversation about our local farms.  What can we do to keep our farms healthy and economically viable?  We’re thrilled to welcome our all-star female panelist tonight.Our first panelist is Shelby Kalm, the Campaign Coordinator for Fair Farms, a program convened by Waterkeepers Chesapeake. She is a graduate of St. Mary’s College where she received her undergraduate degree in Public Policy, and Art and Art History. Before Fair Farms, Shelby worked for the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission and served as the Sustainability Coordinator at her alma mater.The Fair Farms Campaign brings together consumers, farmers, public health professionals, and conservationists to advocate for a food system th

  • Episode 29: Building a Healthy Food Retail Environment: Strategies to Improve Food Insecurity

    Episode 29: Building a Healthy Food Retail Environment: Strategies to Improve Food Insecurity

    28/03/2019 Duración: 01h13min

    Food insecurity refers to USDA’s measure of lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members and limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods. Food-insecure households are not necessarily food insecure all the time. Food insecurity may reflect a household’s need to make trade-offs between important basic needs, such as housing or medical bills, and purchasing nutritionally adequate foods. According to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Map, 22.2% of Baltimore City residents and 12. 4% of Washington DC residents are food insecure. There are programmatic/retail and policy food insecurity solutions. Both programs and policies are needed to address food insecurity but for our ORIGINS discussion tonight, we will focus on a few of the innovative programmatic/retail solutions happening in both DC and Baltimore. Our panelists are: Holly Freishtat, the Baltimore City Food Policy Director, Casey Dunajick-DeKnight, the Chief Operating Officer for Good Food M

  • Episode 28: Medical Marijuana

    Episode 28: Medical Marijuana

    10/01/2019 Duración: 01h19min

    This episode of ORIGINS features three representatives from the Evermore Cannabis Company located in Baltimore, Maryland. Medical marijuana was legalized in Maryland in 2014 and has been available to the public since December of 2017. This is a discussion of the nascent industry in the state. Our panelists are: Gary Nusinov. Gary is an accomplished horticulturalist and expert with the hands on knowledge required to successfully cultivate cannabis for consistent quality and results in a well-regulated atmosphere. He has been consistently growing and consulting for 23 years and wants to contribute to updated standards and practices in this well regulated industry. Currently Gary is using these skills to help Evermore Cannabis Company as the Vice President of Cultivation and Processing. Jason Marshall is the VP of Sales & Marketing at Evermore Cannabis Company. As one of the company’s first hires, he works with other growers, processors, and dispensary groups across the state of Maryland to provide medic

  • Episode 27: The Economics of Sourcing and Buying Locally, Part 2

    Episode 27: The Economics of Sourcing and Buying Locally, Part 2

    27/09/2018 Duración: 01h19min

    This episode of ORIGINS continues the conversation we started on Thursday, September 20th about the economic impact of buying and sourcing food locally. Last week we heard from Scott Nash, the CEO and Founder of Mom’s Organic Market and Tracy Ward, the Director of a new food hub in Easton called Chesapeake Harvest. We’re continuing our look at the economics of buying and selling locally with two farmers and business owners with different but successful models. Mark Toigo is the farmer/owner of Toigo Orchards in Shippensburg, PA. Mark began his career in agriculture at an early age moving with this family from Washington DC to his family’s newly acquired orchard in Shippensburg. After a brief stint in the aeronautics industry, Mark returned to the family farm. With expansion in mind, Mark was at the forefront of developing the farm to table model which allowed rural farms to collaborate and partner together to bring their products to the urban marketplace. This program is now an extensive network of Farmer’s M

  • Episode 26: The Economics of Sourcing and Buying Locally, Part I

    Episode 26: The Economics of Sourcing and Buying Locally, Part I

    20/09/2018 Duración: 01h19min

    The intent behind ORIGINS, a speaker series, was to highlight the farmers, fisherman, producers, and makers behind the local food movement in the Mid-Atlantic region. Spike Gjerde started his first restaurant, Woodberry Kitchen, with a commitment to local growers and producers. He and his team have returned more than $2.1 million annually to the local economy during the last several years. This episode will take a closer look at the economics of the local food system from both a retailer’s perspective and an Eastern Shore aggregator called Chesapeake Harvest, based in Easton, Maryland. In Episode #27, we continue the conversation with two local farmers, Dave Liker from Gorman Farms and Mark Toigo from Toigo Orchards. This episode’s panelists are Scott Nash and Tracy Ward. Scott Nash started MOM’s Organic Market at the age of 22 with an initial investment of $100 as a home delivery business out of his mom’s garage. On July 2nd 1987, MOM’s made its first sale delivering to a customer who lived in Rockville,

  • Episode 25: Foraging

    Episode 25: Foraging

    21/06/2018 Duración: 01h17min

    This episode will be on foraging in the mid-Atlantic area and features two longtime foragers, Jeff Long and Tom Mueller. Jeff has been an amateur mycologist for 30 years. He has been foraging mushrooms for 30 years and truffle hunting for almost 8 years now.  He is past president of the Mycological Association of Washington, DC and is currently the only living lifetime honorary member of that organization.  Jeff also lectures and speaks about mushrooms and truffles at least a couple of times a year.  Tom Mueller, Wild Edible Forager is a CIA trained chef and co-owner of a catering company for 25 years focusing on local and organic ingredients before it was in vogue.  A lifetime of enjoying nature, Tom started foraging for mushrooms in the late 1980’s and began providing to restaurants in 2012.  Tom has been foraging full time since 2017 focusing on wild mushrooms (about 65 varieties) and wild edibles including ramps, wild asparagus and spice bush berries. ORIGINS is powered by Simplecast.

  • Episode 24: Aquaculture: Farming our Fish for the Future

    Episode 24: Aquaculture: Farming our Fish for the Future

    17/05/2018 Duración: 01h13min

    This ORIGINS episode will be about the future of fish farming as well as its current status. Our panel consists of Jillian Fry, TJ Tate, Mark Ely and Jesse Blom. Jillian Fry directs the Seafood, Public Health & Food Systems Project at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. The project aims to increase awareness, expand the relevant evidence base, and advance policy goals in support of a healthy, equitable, and sustainable supply of farmed and wild seafood products. Jillian is a researcher and educator who believes in the importance of effective science communication. She received her Master’s of Public Health degree from the University of New Mexico and doctorate from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Jesse Blom is an educator with a great interest in agriculture and the environment. He uses aquaponics, the symbiotic production of fish and plants, and other forms of urban agriculture, as teaching tools for people of all ages at the Food System Lab @ Cylburn. Jesse received an M

  • Episode 23: Natural Sweeteners

    Episode 23: Natural Sweeteners

    15/02/2018 Duración: 01h16min

    Our discussion tonight will be on natural sweeteners. We are delighted to welcome Joseph and Margaret-Ann Burkholder, who are the owner/farmers of Compass Winds Sorghum, based in Dayton, Virginia, outside of Harrisonberg. Sorghum can be grown either for grain or for crushing into molasses. “Sorghum moved west over the Blue Ridge with the pioneers,” says Joseph. “It was more adaptable to our climate than sugar cane, and it became the first sustainable sweetener of the frontier.”   Our other panelist is Chris Krantz who is the owner of the HT Krantz Honey Company in Frederick, Maryland.  Chris started his company with 2 hives and now has close to 400. His focus is mainly on bulk honey, package bees and honeybee queens. Their queen bee mating program is at the heart of their success. You’ll also hear from Alex Weiss from Caledonia Spirits who provided us with our punch this evening. Alex started his journey into distilled spirits via a degree in Botany and a fierce love and respect for agriculture and the relati

  • Episode 22: Michael Twitty

    Episode 22: Michael Twitty

    18/01/2018 Duración: 01h13min

    Michael is a noted culinary and cultural historian and the creator of AFROCULINARIA, the first blog devoted to African American historic foodways and their legacies. He has been honored by as one of the twenty greatest food bloggers of all time and named one of the “Fifty People Who Are Changing the South”, by Southern Living magazine and one of the “Five Chetavists to Watch” by Michael’s work has appeared in EBONY, the GUARDIAN and on NPR. He is also a Smith fellow with the Southern Foodways Alliance, a TED fellow and speaker and the first Revolutionary in Residence at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. His recently published book won the 2018 James Beard Foundation’s Book of the Year award. The book explores the history of southern cuisine and is entitled: The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African-American Culinary History in the Old South. ORIGINS is powered by Simplecast.

  • Episode 21: Coffee: A View from Two Continents

    Episode 21: Coffee: A View from Two Continents

    19/10/2017 Duración: 01h08min

    Tonight’s episode will take a look at coffee, the drink that fuels most us every day. Our panelists are Miguel Mateo, Getu Bekele and Lenore Yerkes. Miguel is the sales and export manager for Manos Campesinas, an umbrella organization that works with 8 grassroots organizations of four different geographic departments: San Marcos, Quetzaltenango, Retalhuleu and Sololá. Overall, Manos Campesinas represents 1,073 individual members, all of them small coffee producers. Many, but not all, these small farmers are producing organic coffees. Getu is the Ethiopia and East Africa Supply Chain Manager for Counter Culture Coffee. An agronomist based in Addis Ababa, he is an expert in Ethiopian coffee varieties. Lenora Yerkes is Counter Culture Coffee’s wholesale support representative. She will provide stateside context for how Counter Culture Coffee continues their sustainability efforts and quality control. ORIGINS is powered by Simplecast.

  • Episode 20: Lets Have That GMO Conversation! with McKay Jenkins

    Episode 20: Let's Have That GMO Conversation! with McKay Jenkins

    19/09/2017 Duración: 01h08min

    McKay Jenkins has been writing about people and the natural world for 30 years. His new book is Food Fight: GMOs and the Future of the American Diet (Avery, an imprint of Penguin Random House, 2017). He is also the author of ContamiNation (Avery, 2016, previously published in hardcover by Random House as What’s Gotten Into Us), which chronicles his investigation into the myriad synthetic chemicals we encounter in our daily lives, and the growing body of evidence about the harm these chemicals do to our bodies and the environment. Jenkins holds degrees from Amherst, Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, and Princeton, where he received a PhD in English. A former staff writer for the Atlanta Constitution, he has also written for Outside, Orion, The New Republic, and many other publications. Jenkins is currently the Cornelius Tilghman Professor of English, Journalism and Environmental Humanities at the University of Delaware, where he has won the Excellence in Teaching Award. He lives in Baltimore with his f

  • Episode 18: Too Many Cucumbers – Preserving, Pickling and Fermenting

    Episode 18: Too Many Cucumbers – Preserving, Pickling and Fermenting

    25/05/2017 Duración: 01h15min

    Our panelists include Sarah Gordon and Sheila Fain, owners and founders of Gordy’s Pickle Jar; Meaghan and Shane Carpenter, the owners and founders of Hex Ferments; and Lauren Sandler, the Director of Preservation for Foodshed, Inc. Sarah Gordon and Sheila Fain are the founders of Gordy’s Pickle Jar, the much-loved, small batch pickle company from Washington DC. Founded in 2011, Gordy’s quickly become a DC favorite not only for its delicious product line but also for its commitment to craftsmanship, community, and sustainability. The brand has received numerous accolades from the press, including the Washington Post, Food & Wine, Bloomberg, and The Food Network, among others ( HEX Ferments are Maryland-based food alchemists, dedicated to sourcing from local and organic farms. They believe in creating partnerships from these providers of sustenance to create unique ferments that support our individual health as well as the health of our local foodshed. HEX ferments employs a

  • Episode 17: Reading, Writing and Arugula: A Look At Local School Farms

    Episode 17: Reading, Writing and Arugula: A Look At Local School Farms

    23/03/2017 Duración: 01h17min

    Panelists: Beth Mathie, Farm Educator, Great Kids Farm Sharon Hood, Director of Roots Farm at McDonogh School Dan Schocor, Executive Director of Green Street Academy Eric Oberlechner, Farm Director, Green Street Academy Eric Oberlechner ran his own Landscaping company for 9 years and managed and worked at a nursery for 7 years He has been at Green Street Academy for 4 years managing the farm and supporting the agriculture class as well as generally filling in wherever needed to support the functioning of the school and facilities management.  Born and raised in Baltimore City, with a dream of teaching and living on a farm and owning a cow, Sharon Hood became Director of McDonogh School Roots Farm in July 2016.  Sharon works, manages, directs and teaches students PreK-12th grade farming, with a mission of connecting them to the land and the food we eat and getting their hands in the dirt while always instilling John McDonogh’s rule for living “to do the greatest possible amount of good.” Beth has been the educ

  • Episode 16: Distilling it Down: Spirits in the Mid-Atlantic

    Episode 16: Distilling it Down: Spirits in the Mid-Atlantic

    24/02/2017 Duración: 01h13min

    Our four panelists are Janna Howley, Director of Operations, Grow and Fortify: Alex Weiss, Sales Director, Caledonia Spirits; Monica Pearce and Kyle Pfalzer, co-owners and founders of Tenth Ward Distillery. Food, farms and economic development have been Janna Howley’s passions since the early 2000s. Janna is currently the Director of Operations for Grow & Fortify, which manages the Maryland brewers, distillers and wineries associations. In her previous position she worked for the USDA National Organic Program’s Accreditation and International Activities Division, where she conducted auditing and accreditation activities related to organic certifiers and international partners. Alex Weiss started his journey into distilled spirits via a degree in Botany and a fierce love and respect for agriculture and the relationships humans forge with their environment. After a two year stint studying this subject in China, Alex moved to New York City and began managing sales for a grass-fed beef producer in Central NY.

  • Episode 15: 2nd Anniversary of ORIGINS

    Episode 15: 2nd Anniversary of ORIGINS

    19/01/2017 Duración: 46min

    ORIGINS is celebrating its 2nd anniversary with a one on one conversation between Chef Spike Gjerde of Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore and Rona Kobell, an environmental reporter. Rona Kobell is a reporter for the Chesapeake Bay Journal. She also was co-producer and co-host with Dan Rodricks of Midday on the Bay, a monthly public affairs show on WYPR in Baltimore that ran for more than five years. She blogs daily and breaks news at and maintains an active Bay Journal presence on Facebook. A former Baltimore Sun reporter, she has also contributed to Grist, Slate, Modern Farmer, Columbia Journalism Review, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Undark, and Chesapeake Bay magazine. She was recently the main writer for an agriculture pollution report produced by the Abell Foundation, the solo writer on a second report about hemp. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and was a 2008-2009 Knight-Wallace Fellow at the university. She dreams of writing a book about oyster aquaculture in the

  • Episode 14: A Look at Local Orchards  Fruit Trees

    Episode 14: A Look at Local Orchards & Fruit Trees

    18/11/2016 Duración: 01h01min

    In this episode of ORIGINS, we take a look at local orchards, orchardists and a cider distillery. Our first panelist is Ben Wenk , the seventh generation partner/manager at Three Springs Fruit Farm based in Aspers, Pennsylvania. Three Springs attends local farmers markets, sells wholesale, and makes Ploughman brand hard cider. The Wenk family's diversified farm grows a little bit of everything but specializes in apples and peaches. Our next panelist is Rob Miller, who together with his wife Patricia Power own Distillery Lane Ciderworks. They planted their first apple trees 16 years ago with a planting of 1000 trees. They've been adding trees ever since then and now have over 4000 trees of specialty American and European cider apples. They sell their hard ciders in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, D.C., and West Virginia. They operate a tasting room at their farm that is open every weekend. Our third panelist is Gwen Kokes, the Stewardship Coordinator at the BALTIMORE ORCHARD PROJECT which is a program of

  • Episode 13: Women Who Farm

    Episode 13: Women Who Farm

    20/10/2016 Duración: 01h10min

    In this episode of ORIGINS, we’ll take a closer look at women who have chosen farming as a career and as a way of life. According to the Maryland state census in 2012, there were 2,296 women farm operators in our state – a 20% increase from the 2002 census. We know women have always played important roles on the family farm but increasingly women are turning to farming on their own. Our first farmer is Lisa Wheeler Duff, owner of Oak Spring Farm is a small, diversified farm in Freeland, MD in northern Baltimore County. The mission of Oak Spring Farm is to provide families and the community with organic, wholesome fruits, vegetables and humanely raised eggs. Our second panelist is Alison Worman, who grew up gardening in the city of Milwaukee, and came to Baltimore to attend the Maryland Institute College of Art. She stumbled upon Whitelock Community Farm through MICA’s Urban Farming class and has been working there ever since. The farm began in 2010 when Reservoir Hill residents converted a vacant lot int

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