Food & Drink

Sharon Thompson: Business's garden offers food for all

Scott Hiner, orchestra teacher at Russell Cave Elementary School in Lexington, and his daughters Megan, 2, and Grace, 5, watched fish swimming in a pond at the University of Kentucky Arboretum on Thursday June 16, 2011. Photo by Hannah Potes | StaffDebra Hesnley's State Farm Insurance office at 1513 Nicholasville Rd on Thursday June 16, 2011. Photo by Hannah Potes | Staff
Scott Hiner, orchestra teacher at Russell Cave Elementary School in Lexington, and his daughters Megan, 2, and Grace, 5, watched fish swimming in a pond at the University of Kentucky Arboretum on Thursday June 16, 2011. Photo by Hannah Potes | StaffDebra Hesnley's State Farm Insurance office at 1513 Nicholasville Rd on Thursday June 16, 2011. Photo by Hannah Potes | Staff

It's eye-catching right now, but like any vegetable garden, its beauty will soon fade. Until then, the tomatoes, kale and beans are attracting people who walk and drive along Nicholasville Road, near Commonwealth Stadium.

A garden planted in the front yard of Debra Hensley's State Farm Insurance office has a sign that reads: "Food Grown Here."

"I wanted to have a micro-community garden," Hensley said. "I support Seedleaf and the many wonderful things they are doing. So, having it in the front where there is lots of sun and visibility was a no-brainer for me."

She will eat some of the vegetables and herbs, but it's primarily for others, and there will be no waste.

Last year, the Lexington Council of Garden Clubs awarded Hensley's small plot the best small garden in the south quadrant of Lexington in the business category of the clubs' landscape contest.

"There are not many professional offices that have a small community garden right smack in the middle of the front yard," she said.

People who walk up and down the street can clip off what they want, and sometimes they leave "sweet little notes," Hensley said.Even though Kentucky is a land-locked state, it produces great seafood.

Jeremy Ashby, executive chef at Azur Restaurant, will bring attention to Kentucky's aquaculture when he represents the state at the Great American Seafood Cook-Off on Aug. 7 in New Orleans.

Ashby will compete with his stuffed bourbon-smoked trout that took top honors at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture's Great Kentucky Seafood Cook-Off, held June 7. Last year's Kentucky winner, John Varanese of Louisville, was runner-up.

Ashby filleted a Kentucky-raised trout and stuffed it with a mixture of pan-roasted shiitake mushrooms, goat cheese, bourbon and a little puréed shrimp with fresh thyme, parsley and dill. He put some stuffing in the small side of the fillet, rolled it up like a spiral and seasoned the outside with lemon juice and salt and pepper.

The next step was to place the stuffed trout on a metal grate and hot-smoke the fish — over wood chips that had been soaked in bourbon — until it was cooked medium and the stuffing was hot.

As a side, Ashby made corn shooters and garnished the dish with cherry tomatoes that had been poached in olive oil, along with pea shoots and popcorn shoots.

"I am very excited to be a Kentucky ambassador and have the chance to go to New Orleans in August to compete for the title of King of American Seafood," he said.

"At the competition in New Orleans, it is difficult to compete as a land-locked state against other products like sea bass, lobster, coastal shrimp and scallops, but our agenda of making sustainable aquaculture more well-known across the country might grant us a win," Ashby said.

The blueberries are in

Blueberries are ripe at Evans Orchard in Georgetown. You can pick your own at the orchard at 180 Stone Road. Or you can stop by the orchard's gift shop for fresh-picked berries. Call (502) 863-2255 or go to Evansorchard.com.

Film looks at overfishing

Good Foods' board of directors will present a film, The End of the Line, about the devastating effect of overfishing in oceans at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the downtown Lexington Public Library, 140 East Main Street.

Jim Tidwell, professor at Kentucky State University's Aquaculture Research Center, and Angela Caporelli, aquaculture coordinator at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, will discuss the film. Go to Endoftheline.com or Goodfoods.coop.

All-good Saul Good deal

On the Fourth of July, Saul Good Restaurant will host its annual fund-raiser to benefit Military Missions Inc., a Lexington-based non-profit organization dedicated to providing care packages for every Kentucky soldier deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

To encourage participation and donations, the restaurant is offering a half-price discount on all food items from noon to 8 p.m. that day. The money raised will go toward the creation of care packages filled with non-essentials (CDs, snack food, video games) and essential items (eye drops, foot powder, socks) for Kentucky soldiers. The care packages will be sent to 1,300 troops from the 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade and to several hundred soldiers on the Military Missions' support list.

Saul Good locations are 3801 Mall Road, in the Plaza at Fayette Mall, and at 1808 Alysheba Way, in Hamburg. Call (859) 321-5600 or go to Saulgoodpub.com.

'Wines for Equines'

Wines on Vine's second annual fund-raising event on Monday will benefit three organizations.

Proceeds from "Wines for Equines" will go to Old Friends Farm, which is dedicated to retired Thoroughbreds, and to the Don McBeth Fund and the Disabled Jockeys Fund, which provide financial assistance to injured jockeys and exercise riders. Hours are 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10. Wines on Vine is at 400 Old Vine Street. Call (859) 243-0017.

Mmmm ... peanuts

While the steaks and burgers are grilling, let your cookout guests snack on handfuls of Hickory SmokeHouse flavored in-shell peanuts. The new snack is from Hampton Farms, and smoke-flavored peanuts go great with summer foods and drinks. A 10-ounce package is $1.99. Go to Hamptonfarms.com.

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