Just In From Tricycle Gardens

We just got in a ton of locally-grown, organic starter veggies from Richmond’s own Tricycle Gardens! Tricycle Gardens is a grassroots, environmental nonprofit organization focused on bringing agriculture, nutrition education and healthy food access to the urban core of Richmond, Virginia.  Founded in 2002 by three architects living in Church Hill who believed community gardens, and the simple act of growing food, were the fastest ways to transform the overall health of their community – both for the residents and the environment.

These starter herbs are available now for just $3.99 for a 6-pack. They’re a great way to start your summer harvest off right! Nothing’s better than a fresh, summer salad with locally grown greens! Come get ‘em!

Hardywood x Midnight Brewery

MIDNIGHT BREWERY and the HARDYWOOD crew! from RVABUZZ on Vimeo.

We’re looking forward to this!

Community Partnership: All Fired Up

Spend $20.00 at Ellwood Thompson’s and receive 20% off at All Fired Up!

Don’t go through countless paper cups, sleeves, and lids each time you visit your favorite local coffee shop.  In honor of Earth Day 2012, go green and make your own personalized travel mug at All Fired Up!

When you spend $20 at Ellwood Thompson’s Local Market, you’ll get 20% off all mugs at Richmond’s original paint-your-own-pottery studio, All Fired Up! Bring in your Ellwood Thompson’s receipt, indicating a total purchase price of $20 or more, to All Fired Up and they will give you 20% off of their entire selection of mugs, now through Earth Day, April 22nd! The best part is your paint, studio time, and firing fee are included in the price of the piece!

Offer ends April 22, 2012. Limit one per customer.

An Interview with Victory Farms

Late this past fall, our team went over to Victory Farms in Hanover County to say hello and check in on things. Victory Farms is now under the new ownership of a wonderful man that goes by Alistar Harris. Alistar grew up in a farming region in South Africa where his family relied on their backyard garden for food. He continues the solid mission of healthy, natural food and sustainability that Charlie and Gina Collins started. We sat down with Alistar for a few questions:

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Midnight is Coming to Richmond!

Richmonder’s will soon have another way to quench their thirst! In just a couple of weeks, Midnight Brewery out of Goochland County, will be available in and around Richmond!

Caromont Farm Local Cheeses!

We’re super excited to get in two new local goat cheeses from Caromont Farm in Esmont, Virginia! Caromont is located just 23 miles south of Charlottesville where their core values of sustainable farming start with a commitment to their animals and a strong connection to place.

Gail Hobbs Page is the owner and  cheese maker at Caromont Farm. Her cheeses enjoy a  local as well as a regional following, and are sold at Specialty Cheese Shops, Farmers Markets, and Fine Restaurants  throughout the Southeast. Caromont  holds true to  the  basic farmstead principles of cheese making– they source no outside milk, use no frozen curd, and all cheeses are hand ladled. They continually strive to develop the  terroir of Esmont  in their  cheeses through improving their soil fertility while practicing  holistic herd  practices.

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Ellwood’s House Blend

Last week we headed over to Blanchard’s Coffee Co. on Forest Hill Ave. during their last few weeks at that location to test and taste some blends, single origins, and recommendations from Stephen for our upcoming house espresso blend. We even threw some milk in there to see how it held up.

In a few weeks, you’ll have the chance to try this delicious new house coffee, locally roasted right in Manchester at our new coffee, tea and juice bar. We’d love to know what you think!

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Blanchard’s is Moving

If you live anywhere near 5047 Forest Hill Ave., soon you won’t be smelling that delicious aroma of fresh roasted coffee in the morning as you drive by Blanchard’s Coffee Co. Richmond’s original roasting company will soon be packing up their gear and heading to greener pastures. Or in this case, just more room. Their operation has been steadily growing and it is now time for a long needed expansion.

Read the full article and interview from Hills and Heights.

Ellwood’s Local Love Valentines Day Giveaway!

This Valentines Day, we’ve gotten together with some of our favorite local vendors from our Nourish Department to give you the chance to win a truly unique and locally-made prize bag, filled with all things local that we love.

To be eligible for the prize you must answer the following question and email your answer to lpinckney@ellwoodthompsons.com before Tuesday, February 7,2012. The question is: Where did the phrase “Virginia is for Lovers” come from?

A winner will be selected via a random drawing on Wednesday, February 8, 2012 and be announced via email and on our Facebook page.

This unique, local prize pack includes the following:

An iPod/iPhone pouch from The Revolution. Bath fizzles from BCakes, Valentines Soap from Richmond Soap Studio. An 8oz tin candle from Naked Soy, and some Frankenrose love refresher oil from House of Lukaya!

Love Your Roots

If you’re truly planning on eating locally year round, when it comes down to winter time, you have to face it – you’re going to be eating root vegetables. Whether you live in California or Virginia, the winter puts root vegetables in abundance and it’s up to us to eat them.

And we’re not just talking carrots and potatoes here (yes, we know potatoes are tubers), we’re talking parsnips, daikon radish, beets, fennel, turnips, rutabaga, etc. Mark Bittman, the NYTimes food columnist says, “Most contain starchy sugars, so they brown beautifully and become sweet after cooking. (Only carrots and beets are sweet raw.) All of this can be disclosed simply by substituting just about any root vegetable you like in your favorite potato recipe. The treatment won’t be identical (the more sugar, the quicker the browning), but it will be similar, and the results will almost always be startling and good.

So if you’re looking for some easier ways to truly enjoy the flavors of winter, click here for 6 delicious root hosting recipes from the New York Times.

Saving Money on Organics…

Last week we had a little visit from WRIC TV8 where they asked us a simple question, “How do you save money on organics?” Here’s what we had to say:

1. Buy foods that are local and in season: When you purchase local and in season foods, you’re getting these items at their peak freshness and seasonal availability. Prices on foods that are in season tend to be much cheaper than buying foods out of season. When you add in the local factor, you end up not having to pay extra for transportation costs and you’re keeping money in your local economy.

2. Buy in bulk: Buying in bulk saves you money because you have the ability to get the exact amount you need. You’re also not paying the extra costs of packaging which saves much more than money. Buying in bulk creates far less waste than packaged foods, keeping plastics and materials out of the landfill. We also give a 10-cent container credit when you bring in your own empty container for bulk purchases.

3. Shop sale prices and use coupons: Our buyers work hard to provide you with competitive prices throughout our store. Look for the big yellow sale tags that indicate specials on delicious, organic items. We also offer money-saving coupons available at our registers. Most companies also offer printable coupons online on their websites.

Hardywood Park is Here!

We’re so excited that these guys are making beer! Say hello to Richmond’s newest craft brewery, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery. Located just 2.6 miles away from our front door, we can almost smell the hopps in the air.

There mission is to become one of the most respected brewers in the United States through integrity in their ingredients and in their business practices, through respect for brewing heritage, and through the inspired creation of extraordinary beers.

The story of how Hardywood Park Craft Brewery came to be is about as old as it’s co-founders, Eric McKay and Patrick Murtaugh. Lifelong friends, Eric and Patrick first discovered hand crafted beer in 2001 at a sheep station in Australia called Hardywood Park, and have been brewing and introducing people to great beer ever since.

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Just In: Locally Grown Terrariums

If you’re looking for that little extra “something” to add to your room or the perfect gift that will keep giving, we’v got the perfect idea for you. One of our long time employees, we’ll call him Rich, has been creating terrariums and miniature succulent gardens for a while now.

These beautiful, miniature gardens and succulents don’t require much attention at all. Just some sunlight and water about once ever two weeks. Terrariums are available now in the produce department throughout the holidays. For more information on Rich’s terrariums, visit his website.

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Crop Swaps

Heads up, green thumbs struggling to offload excess edibles: Aid is out there. A growing movement, designed to help people eat well, save money, and get to know their neighbors, is planting seeds in communities around the country. Crop swaps–meet ups where people exchange their surplus backyard bounty–are thriving from the San Francisco Bay Area to Boston in city and suburban enclaves and online, too.

Read the rest of the story here.

Our favorite local snack

Let us introduce you to one of our new favorite local fall snacks – and how easy it is to create. Step 1: Go get the biggest, juiciest local apple you can find (hint: look in our produce department). Step 2: Go grab some locally-made creamy cinnamon-molasses cashew butter from Reginald’s Homemade in Manakin Sabot, Virginia. Step 3: Take a bite of your apple, then take a bite of the cashew butter – enjoy.