Athens' Own

Feb 152013

Ohio EPA Seeks Athens County Vermiculture Expertise

Columbus, Ohio (February 12, 2013) – The Ohio EPA Food Scraps and Organics Recovery Initiative is part of a national movement to divert such items from landfills but numerous barriers are slowing the success of their efforts. They are investigating Vermiculture as a solution; it is an earthworm livestock operation that transforms huge amounts of food scraps and other organics into an extremely valuable soil amendment called vermicompost. The process also manifests numerous other social, economic and environmental benefits and has proven highly effective in homes, businesses, institutions and other commercial enterprises around the country.

This week’s 2013 Ohio EPA Food Scraps and Organics Recovery Stakeholders Summit in Columbus featured Vermiculture as a legitimate waste management alternative with Rhonda Sherman, a global vermiculture expert, and Kathy Jacobson, an Athens County earthworm farmer for 33 years, among the presenters.

Kathy Jacobson is the owner/operator of the Broadwell Hill Learning Center and Sustainable Tree Farm near Stewart, Ohio. She is also a member of the Athens’ Own Collaborative Business Network. Athens’ Own, established in 2001, is a community service enterprise manifesting systems of greater sustainability and resilience; distributing products and helping to weave local resources to meet community needs. In this case, the Athens’ Own Public Information Officer was dispatched to the event to help with documentation and produce video footage for Kathy and all stakeholders.

But, the collaborative efforts go further than that as many within the Athens’ Own Business Network also participate as food scraps and organic recovery team members. Jackie O’s, 9 Tables, Stewart MacDonald’s, Silverbridge Coffee, The Red Bird Ranch and others work together toward solutions; transforming 2,750 pounds per week into valuable resources instead of throwing these products into the landfill where they will add to the greenhouse gases building up in our atmosphere.

The attendees were smiling and laughing during Kathy’s entertaining presentation about her successful, off-grid vermiculture operation. Some expressed interest in pursuing vermiculture and others said that the way people in the Hills of Appalachia work together toward solutions inspired them with a sense of hope!

The Broadwell Hill Learning Center sells Ohio bred Eisenia fetida vermicomposting earthworms, hosts workshops, sustainable living tours, and wilderness retreats. Visit for more info.

Feb 112013

Members of local food scraps recovery team to attend and speak at EPA Food Scraps Initiative Stakeholders Summit

Kathy Jacobson, a local vermiculture expert and steward of the Broadwell Hill Learning Center in Amesville, Ohio, will be one of many presenters in the “Ohio Projects Lightning Round” session of the 6th annual Food Scraps Recovery Stakeholders Summit at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium next Tuesday, February 12th.

Ms. Jacobson is one of several partners involved in a network of local businesses who facilitate food scraps recovery and promote earthworm composting education and practice in Athens’ County.

Athens’ Own, a local business responsible for the organizing and hauling of food scraps from restaurants such as Jackie O’s and 9 Tables, will also be in attendance to record and report on the event to these businesses and the Athens community.


What: Ohio Food Scraps Recovery Initiative Stakeholders Summit

When: February 12, 2013

Where: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Powell, OH

Sponsors: Athens’ Own, The Broadwell Hill Learning Center

For more information please contact Athens’ Own Liaison/ Public Information Officer, Alyse Carter at 740-651-1222


Dec 192012

Athens’ Own Winter Newsletter

December 2012

In this issue:

  1. Wellworks holiday gathering
  2. Website and Web store
  3. New Products
  4. Other updates
  5. Intern news

 WellWorks Holiday Gathering

Athens’ Own attended the annual WellWorks Holiday Gathering on December 18, 2012. This was Athens’ Own’s 5th year attending this event. Constantine and Alyse were present to hand out samples of Cheese, Beef, Cashews, Coffee, and Jalapenos. The cheese was a crowd favorite!

As usual, Athens’ Own did not provide disposable cups for coffee samples. When we are asked why not, we explain that our company aims to reduce our carbon footprint, reduce waste production, and prioritize reusable resources. Constantine helped rally others to the cause by explaining that we are in the middle of the zombie apocalypse, and there are no disposable cups left. So if you want coffee, you should carry a cup with you! Nearly everyone who we discussed this idea with was interested and proud of our efforts to be more environmentally-friendly with our business practices. This also opens up a future opportunity for educational materials and/or signs, explaining this idea for anyone interested.

Athens’ Own at the WellWorks Holiday Gathering

An eye-catching display of products and Alyse’s efforts at artistic design made our table “the best it has ever looked”, according to Constantine, a sentiment echoed by many of the evening’s guests. We handed out nearly all of our flyers and brochures, and engaged many guests in discussion about the company, our products, and our practices. With a two-person staff this year, we were able to take turns visiting the other tables, saying hello to our friends and colleagues, and sampling other business’s goodies.

Athens’ Own will be evaluating the ongoing success of this event by monitoring our website traffic, online store orders, and public dialogue throughout the next few weeks and onward. We hope to continue our involvement with the holiday gathering in future years. We’d like to extend our sincere gratitude to WellWorks for inviting us to participate and for putting on such a great event!


Website and Web Store!

Athens’ Own Products for sale online now!

Athens’ Own officially launched our re-vamped website this month, including an all-new online shop. Using WordPress software, our new site includes information pages, community forums, blogs, polls, and newsletters. More updates to come include profile pages for our team members, multimedia pieces, interactive presentations, and videos.

The online store, powered by the Woocommerce plugin, currently has all Athens’ Own products available for sale. Customers can pay via paypal, credit/debit cards, or check, and we can ship to all 50 states, with the possibility of international shipping in the future. We have already received a few online orders, and we hope with added advertising, that volume will increase quickly. This new venture also opens up many possible future opportunities for interns, employees, and volunteers.

Visit the store here:

New Products:

– Now for sale at Seaman’s in Athens, and through Athens’ Own at the Broadwell Hill Learning Center.

– Bulk quantities available, contact for more information.

– Tasting notes coming soon!

Ohio Honey – Now available from Athens’ Own!

Other updates-

  • Dancing Tree distillery (Visit their site Here) has recently released their Coffee Liquor, made with our own Dawn Chorus Coffee! This local business is focused on the community food network, and we are pleased to be a part of this new product and their business family!
  • Miles McFadden has recently returned to the Athens’ Own booth at the Farmer’s Market, and has been sharing his cooking skills with our patrons. Along with our usual Dawn Chorus Coffee, Cheesy Grits, and Steel Cut Oatmeal, we have been serving Miles’ hamburgers with Ohio potato chips (from Shearers), and Frog Ranch pickles. Our friend Patricia at Adam’s Rib has been working with us to make cooked greens, which are a delicious addition to our famous grits. Thanks to Patricia and Miles for their cooking expertise and great additions to Athens’ Own!
  • Kaitlyn Bernaur, a long-time friend and contributer to Athens’ Own and the Broadwell Hill Community, recently gave our products their first ever professional photo shoot. Kaitlyn’s photos will be appearing soon as our featured product photos on the new website and store. Thanks again to Kaitlyn for her passion, talent, and outstanding dedication to Athens’ Own!

Intern news:

Mathew Learns about packaging Athens’ Own products

Athens’ Own intern Mathew Roberts returned this semester to continue his work with us. Mathew has been spending his time both doing hands-on learning and at-distance writing for various audiences. Some hands-on learning this semsester included packaging coffee and cashews, picking up grain from Jackie O’s, and making deliveries to various Athens’ Own Partners. Mathew’s writing this semester included a published profile piece in Ohio University’s College Green magazine about Constantine and Athens’ Own, as well as several strategic communications documents and team reports for Athens’ Own internal use. We are glad to have Mathew as a member of our team, and are looking forward to continuing to supplement and enhance his education through internship learning opportunities.

In other intern news, we are hoping to increase intern involvement with Athens’ Own throughout spring semester. We have been advertising via flyers and online postings, and welcome all interested applicants. Please check out our intern site ( or send an email to for more information.


 Thanks for reading! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Athens’ Own Team!



This newsletter was written and published on December 19.2012, by Alyse Carter, Athens’ Own Liaison/Public Information Officer.