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Skills: Videographer & Editor

Skills: Food Photographer

Skills

Carpenter
From house siting to building layout and foundation work all the way up to finish work and the final clean-up before handing the clients the key, the skills I have learned in the building trades continue to serve me well. I don't build many houses these days, but I still could if I had a crew of young bucks to manage.   Yet, regularly I find myself building sheds, outbuildings, crates, racks and furniture for the farm, clients, or myself. Being able to think of or see a design, interpret it and transfer that through your hands and transform raw materials is something that is under-appreciated quite often.   The management tools I learned as Foreman handling my own crew and those of plumbers, electricians, painters, et cetera and the reasoning skills learned from day one on the job are always with me still whether I am out working the cattle or cooking for 200 guests at the county park.  
Bokashi Composting Expert
I have been an ardent advocate of Bokashi composting since I learned of it in early 2005. My sites and information regulary come up in Google searches on the first page & weekly I field at least one or two questions on how to use the technology or where it can be found.   In a world of Google searches and mass-information, people still seem to seek out known experts and engage with them on valuable topics such as Bokashi Composting. It has been my great pleasure to explore this topic, gain proficiency and knowledge of it and to be able to share it with anyone interested in learning more and improving their agriculture and the environment through it. It never ceases to amaze me that people from all over the world will contact me to learn more about this technique and how they can use it themselves.
Podcaster
I have been podcasting since the very early days. I was one of the early adopters of Podcasting as a serious media outlet. At first I posted readings and audio essays, which later grew into a full blown weekly show--The Gastrocast. I have also taken part in Librivox audio book recordings. Gradually my cooking show--one of the first--has developed a cult following.  
Public Speaker
I have given numerous talks, PowerPoint presentations and demonstrations on agriculture and food over the years. I love sharing information with people whether it is about new composting methods, how to cook foods better, kitchen economy, land preservation or better farming practices. My end goal is to empower people to learn and become more self-sufficient through knowledge and experience.
Workshop Presenter
At The Kitchen Garden Company I host many workshops throughout the year. Some of these are on the farm, and some are off-site. I like my workshops to be hands-on, informal and informational. I also like to make sure the guests are well fed.   I have held workshops on:     Rabbit slaughter & breakdown Chicken Processing Traditional on-farm slaughter methods Pork Processing Charcuterie Wild Game Cooking  
Culinary Instructor
I have been teaching cooking to large and small groups for many years. I enjoy tailoring the instruction to the situation and to the season. Taking a lesson from me might begin at the compost pile or in the garden and end up serving samples of what we've made to the public.   I have taught about food and cooking at:   Kitchenware Stores County Fair Private Parties  
Slaughter & Carcass Breakdown
I am experienced in all manners of slaughter and carcass breakdown for sheep, cattle, hogs, rabbits and poultry. I regularly process rabbits and poultry on the farm and have regular experience with cattle, hogs and sheep. As a chef I am familiar with whole-animal cooking and can break down most carcasses into primal and commercial cuts.
Farming
I have been farming off and on for over the last 20 years. We raise mainly chickens for eggs, beef for our own consumption, sheep for wool and meat, pigs, ducks and rabbits. We also keep a milk cow, which I milk twice daily. We drink the milk and make cheese and feed the surplus to the hogs. In addition we grow many of our own crops and vegetables. I am knowledgeable in soft fruits and orchard pruning, composting and raw milk dairying. I favor small-scale, diverse, organic agriculture along local, sustainable lines/ best practices.

Videos

Work experience

Mar 2005Present

Host of The Gastrocast Cooking Show

The Kitchen Garden Network

As host of The Gastrocast I front the mission of The Kitchen Garden Network--to provided a wide range of quality information on food, farming, and the politics of what we eat. At The Kitchen Garden Network, we believe that escalating interference by government, including increasing levels of legislation and regulation present a major roadblock to achieving a safe, healthy, locally supported and sustainable food supply system.

Current policies favor large-scale industrial agri-businesses. Chemical and drug use in the production of crops and the raising of livestock are at startling high levels. At the same time, labeling issues, supply concerns and many other vital food-supply issues are being controlled or influenced by powerful and wealthy lobbies. In each episode of The Gastrocast--either audio or video--you can learn how to more effectively grow, shop, source and cook what you eat. Along the way we touch on the intersection of food, farming and politics. 

For the past almost 5 years I have singlehandedly recorded, hosted and produced this popular Internet show. You can listen to an episode of the show here.

Apr 2003Present

President/Chef/Owner/Farmer

The Kitchen Garden Company

I oversee the daily operations of my small company, which is dedicated to providing quality food and service in private dinning and public catering situations.  I work both as head chef and sole operator, at times, overseeing staff, as necessary, for functions. I am solely responsible for promoting and securing all sales, and handling all copy, advertising and web-design.

In addition, the headquarters of The Kitchen Garden Company are set on a small farm. We raise much of the produce we use, as well as chickens for eggs and meat, rabbits for meat, ducks, beef cattle, dairy cattle, and hogs, which we sell.

I have also provided consulting work to companies in the US and UK on gardening, cooking & kitchen design. As well, The Kitchen Garden Company promotes and provides information about agriculture, composting, and food production.

Mar 2004Present

Blogger & Podcaster

Various

See my posts at:

The Kitchen Garden Company -- My work site including experiments in composting, gardening & cooking

The Kitchen Garden Network -- My main site for all things Food, Farming & the Politics of what we eat.

The Accidental Agrarian -- A little about my agrarian pursuits

The Gastrocast -- The episodes of The Gastrocast, The cooking show about food, farming and the politics of what we eat.

Mar 2001Apr 2003

Private Chef

Self-Employed

As Private Chef I helped to create private dining experiences in clients homes for 2 to 20 guests per dinner. I was in charge of all marketing, sales, purchasing and execution of events and dinners. I also prepared and executed several public dinners for charity on behalf of my clients.

Feb 1993Mar 2001

Carpentry Foreman

Shillelagh Construction Company

I worked my way up in the ranks of this company from laborer to Foreman and eventually Supervisor in a matter of years. It became my responsibility to coordinate construction projects and oversee crew and subcontractors while providing a daily presence on job sites. I helped maintain corporate quality standards and lead by example. I was also my remit to provide communication between client, architect and contractors in the high-end custom home market.

Jan 1991Mar 1992

Intern

Our Lady of the Rock Dairy

As an intern at this Grade A raw milk dairy I had to milk the cows twice a day, clean and maintain the barns and dairy room and look after the livestock. In addition I used the tractors and equipment to bring in hay, and work in other areas of the farm.

Education

Jan 2003Mar 2003

Certificate

Ballymaloe Cookery School

The Ballymaloe Cookery School is an intensive culinary training program set on the grounds of an organic farm. Training includes restaurant internships, working at the school's farmers' market stall and work in the glasshouses. During my time at the school I also held down a job at a local restaurant as Sous Chef.

Sep 1986May 1990

BA

University of Connecticut

I initially attended UCONN to take a pre-veterinary course of studies. Along the way I learned the job prospects in Veterinary Science were not good for my graduating class. As I was both working and attending classes I decided I should switch majors and get a broader degree, which would serve me better in the long run. I successfully completed two degrees--a full BA in Literature and a full BA in Philosophy. I began masters work in UCONN's Mediaeval Studies program before I moved on.

Jan 1988May 1988

School of Irish Studies

I spent a semester's study abroad learning about Irish culture, literature & arts.

Sep 1985May 1986

6th Form Exchange Student

Eltham College

I was a day student at this private school during my final year in high school. I lived with British family for an expansive, culturally rich eight months. This was my second time outside the US and it allowed me to travel to Europe and the rest of the UK and expand my horizons.

Connect with Me

My Cookbook

Farmland Preservation Keynote

In Action

Objective

My goal is to empower others to understand food and agriculture as fully as possible, by sharing my passion and experience in both fields. To create an even more enriching experience for my students, I envision an on-farm education center where people can come to spend time learning how to cook (from the basics to more proficient skills) better, seasonally and with local ingredients sourced right from the farm itself. In addition, the center would provide background in farming practices, animal husbandry and diverse means of food-production.

I love seeing the look in people's eyes when they "get it"--whether it is seeing chickens grazing an orchard while they collect still warm eggs, or by helping me move pigs through the woods to a new paddock, or through learning a new way to prepare their favorite dish using ingredients they've helped harvest themselves for the first time. When we take part in something so essential as feeding ourselves, our family, or our friends from the very beginning--from planting the seeds that will become the salad greens we harvest to make a salad to share--we become more fully realized individuals.

Food, tradition, life and health are intricately tied together, despite modern life's desperate attempts to compartmentalize each aspect. It is my desire to encourage people to seek bringing these things back into a totality, integrating these concepts, by giving them the necessary skills to carry on living a more wholesome, interconnected life.

Recent Interviews

Interest

I am interested in:

Photography

Podcasting

Cooking

Gardening

Agriculture

Writing

Archery

Travel

Summary

  • Author: Numerous articles, a cookbook full of recipes and my own photographs of culinary preparations, and several blogs
  • Builder: Background in custom residential construction and management
  • Chef: Experience in private households, catering and restaurants
  • Entrepreneur: Owner of The Kitchen Garden Company devoted to promoting local, organic and seasonal cuisine through education, events and services
  • Farmer: 20 years experience raising diverse livestock & market garden crops
  • Media Host: Currently host of the long running Gastrocast podcast & video series
  • Photographer: Many of my culinary images have been published around the world
  • Teacher: Yearly presents series of agricultural and culinary workshops and demonstrations
  • Web Designer: Have built, maintained numerous websites and blogs