ORIGINS: A Speaker Series-logo

ORIGINS: A Speaker Series

Food & Cooking Podcasts >

More Information


Episode 28: Medical Marijuana

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.


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

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.


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

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.


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

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...


Episode 25: Foraging

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...


Episode 24: Aquaculture: Farming our Fish for the Future

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...


Episode 23: Natural Sweeteners

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...


Episode 22: Michael Twitty

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...


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

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...


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

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...


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

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...


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

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...


Episode 21: Coffee: A View from Two Continents

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...


Episode 15: 2nd Anniversary of ORIGINS

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...


Episode 14: A Look at Local Orchards & Fruit Trees

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...


Episode 13: Women Who Farm

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...


Episode 12: So...Was It the Chicken or the Egg?

The 12th program in the ORIGINS speaker series features a conversation with 3 local chicken farmers from Maryland and southern Pennsylvania. Andrew McClean is the owner of Relief Farms, based in Queen Anne County, Maryland and recently converted his 350 acre chicken operation from conventional to organic and now sells over 900,000 birds to Coleman Organic, a division of Perdue. Beau Ramsburg is the founder and co-owner with his wife, Cat, of Rettland Farms. Beau founded Rettland Farm in...


Episode 11: The Local Pantry: Oil, Vinegar, and Salt

The 11th program in the ORIGINS series is about locally made items for your pantry – salt, vinegar and cooking oil. All three makers are working in the Chesapeake watershed area. We are pleased to welcome Paige Payne from JQ Dickinson Salt Works. Paige, along with her husband Lewis and sister-in-law Nancy Bruns are 7th generation salt makers. Their brine source is the 400-600 million year old ancient sea, the Iapetus ocean. Sarah Conezio and Isaiah Billington, former pastry chef and chef de...


Episode 10: The South You Never Ate: Virginia's Eastern Shore

The 10th program in the ORIGINS series features a conversation with Bernie Herman, the department chair and George B. Tindall Professor of Southern Studies at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. The discussion will focus on the food, foodways and culture of the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Herman, along with Tom Gallivan, Mills Wehner and Heather Terry Lusk, founded the ESVA Foodways, LLC. Their collective goal is to create one job for one person so one family doesn’t have to...


Episode 9: Sustainable Seafood in the Chesapeake Watershed

The 9th program in the ORIGINS series is about sustainable seafood. With the Chesapeake Bay at our doorstep, it is important to note that the Chesapeake Bay provides 50 percent of the total blue crab harvest in the United States. Each year, the Maryland seafood industry contributes some $600 million to the State's economy. Besides blue crabs, the Chesapeake Bay is a source for striped bass, oysters,soft clams, flounder, perch, spot, croaker, catfish, sea trout, and bluefish. Our...