State Farm teams up with Scarborough Fire Department to serve up kitchen safety

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and State Farm agent Michelle Raber are teaming up with the Scarborough Fire Department to support Fire Prevention Week, an annual public awareness campaign promoting home fire safety.

State Farm agents are delivering Fire Prevention Week toolkits to more than 2,500 fire departments across the country, including Scarborough. Each toolkit includes resources for Fire Prevention Week, taking place Oct. 4-10, including brochures, magnets, posters and more. The Fire Department will be sharing these resources with schools and communities this fall in support of the campaign.

This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen” focuses on cooking fire safety. Home cooking fires represent the leading cause of all fires with nearly half – 49 percent – happening in the kitchen. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of these fires.

“The good news is that the majority of kitchen fires are highly preventable,” said State Farm agent Michelle Raber. “These great kits will help our fire departments spread the news to always stay focused when you’re in the kitchen and never leave the kitchen unattended.”

Key messages around this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign will include the following:

• Keep a close eye on what you’re cooking; never leave cooking unattended

• Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — at least three feet away from your stovetop.

• Be on alert. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.

For more information about Fire Prevention Week and this year’s theme, “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen,” visit fpw.org.


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State Farm teams up with Saco Fire Department to serve up kitchen safety

SACO — The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and State Farm Agent Peg Poulin are teaming up with the Saco Fire Department to support Fire Prevention Week, an annual public awareness campaign promoting home fire safety.

State Farm Agents are delivering Fire Prevention Week toolkits to more than 2500 fire departments across the country, including Saco. Each toolkit includes resources for Fire Prevention Week — which takes place Oct. 4-10 — including brochures, magnets, posters and more. The Fire Department will be sharing these resources with schools and communities this fall in support of the campaign.

This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen” focuses on cooking fire safety. Home cooking fires represent the leading cause of all fires with nearly half — 49 percent — happening in the kitchen. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of these fires.

“The good news is that the majority of kitchen fires are highly preventable,” said State Farm Agent Peg Poulin. “These great kits will help our fire departments spread the news to always stay focused when you’re in the kitchen and never leave the kitchen unattended.”

Key messages around this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign will include the following:

• Keep a close eye on what you’re cooking; never leave cooking unattended

• Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — at least three feet away from your stovetop.

• Be on alert. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.

For more information about Fire Prevention Week and this year’s theme, “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen,” visit fpw.org.

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Early’s Farm and Garden issues apology after post about Orange Shirt Day draws ire

A Saskatoon business is apologizing and will be providing its employees with sensitivity training after remarks made by its owner and his daughter criticizing Orange Shirt Day online were deemed insensitive and offensive. 

Andi Early, whose father Spencer Early is president of Early’s Farm and Garden in Saskatoon, criticized Orange Shirt Day in a Facebook post earlier this week. In the post, Early wrote about “Identity politics” entering into the classrooms of young children, citing Orange Shirt Day as an example.

“Children should not be political instruments and we completely disagree that orange shirt day has unanimously imposed on everyone,” she said in the post, which included a picture of an orange shirt, with the phrase “not for kids” written on top.  “The more we focus on the historical inequalities the more it will foster current inequalities. We don’t participate.”

Orange Shirt Day is an annual event designed to honour residential school survivors and their families, and to raise awareness about the the injustices and mistreatment Indigenous people suffered while they attended.

The day itself was inspired by the story of Phyllis (Jack) Webstad, who had a new orange shirt taken from her by residential school staff as a six-year-old girl, according to the Orange Shirt Day website.

Andi does not hold any position at Early’s Farm and Garden. However, in a response to the post, Spencer wrote, “What about the Jews, Irish, Ukrainian, Japanese, Chinese…etc,etc. Don’t ‘cherry pick’ the list. Discuss it all collectively as the human experience or not at all.”

Reaction was swift, with hundreds of comments expressing frustration and anger, and many people saying they’ll take their business elsewhere.

The business apologized for the post following the outcry, then later issued a second apology from Spencer Early from its Facebook page.

In an interview Wednesday afternoon, Spencer said he’s sorry for any pain the post and his response caused. 

He said upon reflection, he understands why it spurred such a strong reaction. 

“At the time, it was meant to be inclusive,” he said. “It was saying I’d like the education to be inclusive of all of these things that have happened to individuals and groups, and that was the intention of it, but it certainly didn’t work that way.” 

Early said the store will be closing early on Wednesday and that Cort Dogniez, a First Nation and Métis education consultant, will be speaking to staff about Canada’s residential school system. 

He said the opinion shared by her daughter and the remark he had made do not reflect the overall beliefs of Early’s Farm and Garden.

“Today is a day to listen,” he said in the apology.

He says the store has a good relationship with Indigenous people, including those who frequent the store from the Dakota Whitecap First Nation.

“We value them in the community. We value them as customers and if there was an interpretation of remarks that wasn’t what it was intended to be, we apologize for that, and we’ll be reaching out into

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In 35th Farm Aid Preview, Brandi Carlile Tours Her Garden & Chris Vos Gets Emotional About His Farming Family: Exclusive

The festival’s online format will highlight Farm Aid’s real superstars—the family farmers who grow the nation’s food.

When Willie Nelson’s Farm Aid stages its 35th anniversary festival on Sept. 26, the all-star event will be unlike any virtual concert yet seen during the pandemic.

Farm Aid 2020 On The Road will stream can’t-miss performances from its most expansive and diverse artist lineup in years.

The organization’s guiding foursome of Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews will be joined by Norah Jones, Black Pumas, Bonnie Raitt and Boz Scaggs, Brandi Carlile, Chris Stapleton, Edie Brickell with Charlie Sexton, Jack Johnson, Jamey Johnson, Jon Batiste, Kelsey Waldon, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Margo Price, Nathaniel Rateliff, Particle Kid, The Record Company, Valerie June and The War And Treaty.

But the festival’s online format also will highlight Farm Aid’s real superstars—the family farmers who grow the nation’s food, the men and women whom Nelson sought to help when he launched Farm Aid with its first concert in Champaign, Ill., on Sept. 22, 1985. Since then, Farm Aid—the longest-running concert for a cause— has raised nearly $60 million to support family farmers and a sustainable agriculture system.

And for Farm Aid’s performers, this is personal. In videos provided exclusively to Billboard in advance of the festival, Brandi Carlile offers a tour of her garden as she harvests late-season vegetables—and Chris Vos, lead singer of The Record Company, offers an emotional tribute to his dairy-farming father and his grandfather, who worked the land before him.

Against the backdrop of the pandemic, which has disproportionately affected communities of color, and amid another season of severe weather, driven by climate change, Farm Aid warns that thousands of family farmers may be driven out of business. The sustainable agricultural methods of family farmers, meanwhile, are viewed as essential to addressing climate change.

“This pandemic and so many other challenges have revealed how essential family farmers and ranchers are to the future of our planet,” says Nelson. “Farm Aid 2020 is going to give the whole country a chance to learn about the important work of farmers and how they’re contributing to our well-being, beyond bringing us good food.”

Farm Aid’s videos of family farmers help illustrate the organization’s intersecting causes of sustainable food, economic recovery from the pandemic, and the call for racial justice.

“This year has been challenging for us all,” says Black farmer Angie Provost, speaking beside her husband June, in front of a tractor at the Provost Farm, which raises sugarcane in Louisiana. In its videos, Farm Aid challenges the image most may still have of the independent American farmer. In the three-plus-decades since Farm Aid helped launch the Good Food movement, a new generation—young, diverse, committed to sustainability—has turned to farming.

The farmers get an emotional boost from Farm Aid and the personal perspective of artists like Brandi Carlile. “This is my garden,” says Carlile in a Farm Aid video, climbing down from an off-road vehicle beside the plot she

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‘Murders at White House Farm’ actor captures many sides of killer

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 23 (UPI) — On Aug. 8, 1985, five members of the Bamber family were killed in Nevill and June Bambers’ home in Essex, England. The new HBO Max series, The Murders at White House Farm, explores how son Jeremy Bamber kept the community debating his guilt, even after his conviction for the murders.

Freddie Fox plays Jeremy, who is serving a life sentence for the murders. When the series begins, Jeremy calls police to the scene at White House Farm, claiming his sister Sheila (Cressida Bonas) sounded erratic on the phone.

“Director Paul Whittington and I decided that we wanted to create as plausible an appearance of somebody suffering in grief for as long as possible,” Fox said on a recent Television Critics Association panel. “There’s a certain elliptical quality, an enigmatic nature to the character, which I really wanted to play up.”

Series creator and executive producer Kris Mrksa said Jeremy’s behavior in the aftermath of the murders led to a lot of the disagreements about the case. It was important to Mrksa that Fox’s performance capture how much Jeremy fluctuated.

“[Jeremy goes] from enormously demonstrative grief to almost a flippancy,” Mrksa said. “He is so unpredictable and mercurial, moving from charming to cold and disengaged.”

Controversy still surrounds the case. A Jeremy Bamber Innocence Campaign is fighting for his release.

“Jeremy Bamber recently had his third appeal and has a huge support group suggesting that he didn’t do it,” Fox said.

The series bases its depiction of events on two sources. Carol Ann Lee researched the case and wrote the book, The Murders At White House Farm. Colin Caffell, Sheila’s husband, wrote the book, In Search of Rainbow’s End, which the series also credits.

“I was then very fortunate to spend quite a lot of time with Colin,” Fox said. “He was incredibly open and giving with his memories.”

Fox also visited locations relating to the Bamber family. He said he went to the church graveyard where the Bambers are buried, Jeremy’s house and even pubs that Jeremy frequented.

“I would meet people,” Fox said. “They would all be giving me their different views on what the case or the outcome of the case.”

In addition to the Bamber family and people in the Essex community, Fox said he also spoke with criminologists, criminal psychologists and officers who worked the case. One person Fox did not consult was Jeremy. Fox says he avoided Jeremy for the actor’s own well-being.

“Were I to have met the real Jeremy Bamber, there would have been a certain amount of baggage that I wouldn’t have been able to escape,” Fox said.

Fox said no video of Jeremy speaking exists, but he had a wealth of audio recordings to which he listened. Tapes of Jeremy guided Fox’s performance, though the actor said he did not mimic Jeremy’s voice.

“I created my own Bamber as opposed to a facsimile of the Bamber,” Fox said.

As much attention as Mrksa

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Afternoon drive: Cherry Bank Farm Cider Mill is like your grandma’s kitchen | Entertainment

Fran Kelsch’s pies and tarts – as well as cookies, muffins and other treats like apple butter – originate from recipes she developed and perfected over the years. She answers the phone for the mill in the bakery kitchen and takes pie orders, as she wants her retail staff in the store to be focused on the customers.

“It’s just like grandma’s kitchen because it is grandma’s kitchen,” Dale Kelsch joked.

Barney and Fran Kelsch remain committed to their craft after nearly a half-century of running the mill. They took over from Barney’s parents, who purchased the farm in the 1940s and added the cider mill in the space underneath the barn that used to be for cow stalls in the early 1950s.



Cherry Bank Farm Cider Mill bottling cider

Co-owner Dale Kelsch bottles apple cider at the Cherry Bank Farm Cider Mill.



Mark Mulville



Barney grew up here and started helping his father press apples into cider when he was 11 years old. Back then, the Kelsch family used wooden tanks to store the cider and glass jugs to sell it. He married Fran six decades ago, and they raised seven kids who helped them with the business.

“We got married and said, ‘Bring it on,’ ” Fran said. “We do what we do, whatever comes down the pike.”

Just as Fran works to pick the perfect selection of fruit for Cherry Bank’s pies, Barney makes sure the cider is an ideal blend of apples from what’s available across the county and prides himself on a clean, consistent product. Customers often compare the experience of drinking Cherry Bank’s cider to biting into an apple, Dale Kelsch said. Any cider pressed and bottled at Cherry Bank is sold at the store within three days – and often sooner.

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House Republican introduces amendment to include farm aid in stopgap funding bill



Mike Conaway wearing a suit and tie: House Republican introduces amendment to include farm aid in stopgap funding bill


© Greg Nash
House Republican introduces amendment to include farm aid in stopgap funding bill

Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), the top Republican on the House Agriculture Committee, on Monday introduced an amendment to a stopgap government funding measure that would provide farm aid and extend child nutritional assistance during the coronavirus pandemic.

House Democrats earlier Monday introduced a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government funding through Dec. 11.

Negotiators aimed to release a bipartisan stopgap bill on Friday, but talks collapsed after the parties were unable to reach an agreement on whether a provision to provide additional payments to farmers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic through the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), which is capped at a borrowing limit of $30 billion, should be included.

House Democrats ultimately opted to omit the language to provide more funding to CCC on Monday, a move that sparked strong backlash from Republicans in both chambers and leaving just over a week to come to an agreement and avoid a damaging government shutdown.

Conaway’s amendment would change the bill to include language to “reimburse the Commodity Credit Corporation for net realized losses sustained” and extend the increase in child food benefits through 2021.

“This amendment is simple and straightforward. It reflects the bipartisan agreement that was reached last week, and then reneged on by the Democratic leadership on Friday. My amendment replenishes the CCC, the Commodity Credit Corporation, and provides pandemic funding increases for SNAP,” Conaway said during a House Rules Committee mark up following the bill’s release.

“Up until recently, the CCC has been replenished on a bipartisan basis, without controversy. But once again, Democrat leadership has upended this long-standing practice, and I have no real idea why. Democrat leaders are mad at the Trump administration, because they’ve used the CCC dollars to provide trade aid to farmers or ranchers and dairy producers hurt by China, and apparently now the Democrats are mad that the administration is providing CCC dollars to help farmers or ranchers and dairy producers hurt by COVID-19.”

Democrats, however, argue a sweeping Democrat-led relief package that passed the House in May provided relief for farmers that have taken a financial hit as a result of the pandemic and allege the administration is using the funding for political gain.

“What the Trump Administration wanted added to the clean CR wasn’t help for farmers – it was more than $20 billion more taxpayer dollars that the Trump Administration views as a bottomless, unaccountable political slush fund,” one senior Democratic aide said.

Republicans have indicated that the Democrat-led bill faces an uphill battle without the CCC language. Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline to avert a government shutdown, and the showdown over the bill comes just weeks ahead of election day.

“House Democrats’ rough draft of a government funding bill shamefully leaves out key relief and support that American farmers need. This is no time to add insult to injury and defund help for farmers and rural America,” Senate Majority Leader

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Gardening: Two former farm kids embark on new life in Clarkston after helping grow church garden

When I’m 86 years old, I hope I still have the spunk and the ability to garden like Jeanie Baker and Leon Alboucq do.

These two intrepid former farm kids have inspired – and put to shame – the rest of the gardeners at the Resurrection Episcopal Church Community Garden.

Between 2013 and 2019, they grew more than 18,000 pounds of produce and donated it to Spokane Valley Partners Food Bank. Earlier this summer they decided to hang up their hoses in Spokane and head back to Clarkston, to be closer to old friends, family and a milder climate.

The Resurrection Community Garden was started in 2013 when members of the church converted about a half-acre of the field behind the church into raised beds. There weren’t enough resources to build beds in the entire space, which left a quarter-acre empty. Jeanie and Leon saw an opportunity and asked to have the space to plant.

The two dusted off the farming skills they learned as children during the Depression era and began planting.

“We were a couple of old farm kids who knew how to grow stuff,” Jeanie said, so taking on a large garden was no big deal. “We remember the Depression and how people went hungry.”

They grew up in the Lewiston area and met as high school students at the 1951 Junior Livestock Show in Spokane.

“Leon was on the FFA judging team, and I was a cute blonde who was showing an Angus steer,” Jeanie said. Life took them on different paths for the next 60 years: Leon as a stock car racer, cattle rancher, grocer, fire chief and Snake River mailboat operator and Jeanie as a nurse in Henderson, Nevada, and Spokane.

Their paths crossed again in the early 2000s. Leon’s wife died, and Jeanie sent him a sympathy card and then two Christmas cards before he responded.

“It was like all those years just disappeared,” Jeanie said. “We’ve been together ever since.”

Leon moved to Spokane to be with Jeanie, saying what else was he going to do, “that’s where the cook went.”

Jeanie and Leon raised cabbage, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, radishes, several kinds of squash and collected produce from the other members of the garden to take to the food bank.

“It’s the right thing to do,” Jeanie said.

She also grew a long row of colorful zinnias to draw in pollinators and taught other members of the garden how to gather the seed for the next season.

Jeanie and Leon have been a priceless inspiration to all the members of the garden. Their knowledge of gardening has given confidence to many new gardeners. Their words of wisdom have made us better people. Their stories have grounded us in local history and the value of living a practical life. Lastly, their homemade wine kept us laughing. We will miss you, Jeanie and Leon.

And yes, they are already planning their new garden beds in Clarkston.

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Farm Rich Expands ‘Garden Inspirations’ Line With Restaurant-Style Zucchini, Cauliflower Snacks

According to the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI), 7 in 10 frozen food shoppers have been buying more frozen items since the beginning of the pandemic, including frozen vegetables and snacks. And frozen food sales at U.S. retail stores increased by 38.2 percent in May.  

Introduced this past spring, Garden Inspirations is a new line of frozen, plant-based foods expanding options for flexitarians, vegetarians and anyone looking to reduce meat consumption in their daily diet and add more plant-based alternatives. This line includes appetizers, snacks and meal solutions made with plant-based meats and other wholesome plant-based ingredients.

In stores exclusively at Kroger (and online at Kroger.com and Instacart), the new Zucchini Sticks and Cauliflower Bites are a healthy and easy snack alternative, giving consumers more veggie options to include in their diets:

  • Breaded Cauliflower Bites: Whole cauliflower florets rolled in a wheat flour and crispy rice coating, with a quarter cup of cauliflower per serving. Comes with a Sweet Sesame Dipping Sauce. A great meatless alternative for snacking and meals.
  • Breaded Zucchini Sticks: Tender zucchini slices breaded in a savory coating. Comes with tangy marinara sauce for dipping. An easy way to eat more vegetables as a snack, appetizer or side to any meal.

These new items are priced around $7.99 and can be found in Kroger’s Frozen Vegetable section in the freezer aisle and on Instacart.

“The response to our first Garden Inspirations products [Meatless Meatballs, Plant-Based BBQ Sliders] was so positive, and we’re excited to expand the line with these new vegetable products,” said Ciera Womack, Farm Rich Senior Marketing Manager. “No matter what diet you follow – vegetarian, flexitarian or, as we like to say, ‘snackitarian’ – this innovative new line gives shoppers more plant-based options to enjoy at ease from the comfort of home.”

In April, Farm Rich introduced its first Garden Inspirations products at Kroger: Meatless Meatballs and Plant-Based BBQ Sliders. For more details and nutrition information, visit FarmRich.com.

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HOLY APOSTLES SOUP KITCHEN Hosts 8th Annual Farm to Tray Event 9/24

HOLY APOSTLES SOUP KITCHEN Hosts 8th Annual Farm to Tray Event 9/24

On September 24, 2020, Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, the largest soup kitchen in New York state, will host the 8th annual Farm to Tray, a virtual celebration of food and community, presented by Whole Foods Market. The event — traditionally held in-person — is a culmination of the soup kitchen’s year-round campaign against hunger and food waste, two issues that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the event will be streamed virtually via YouTube.

Over the past eight years, Farm to Tray has raised vital funds that strengthen Holy Apostles’ ability to improve the lives of New Yorkers through meal outreach and dynamic social service programs. This year, the event will also celebrate the myriad partners and volunteers who have made it possible for the soup kitchen to step up and meet the unprecedented increase in demand as a result of the global pandemic, including those who helped to raise $1MM for Holy Apostles’ fundraising campaign, Operation HopeFULL, earlier this year. Since January, Holy Apostles has served over half a million meals, surpassing its projections for the entirety of 2020 and setting a new record for annual meals served throughout its 38-year history.

At previous Farm to Tray events, well-respected culinary figures have come together from across the city to create sustainably-driven, nutritious menus that mirror the soup kitchen’s vision for nourishing struggling New Yorkers. This year, the event will feature virtual programming from prominent partner chefs and corporate partners, including a mixology demo presented by Whole Foods Market, a performance from the band at Avenues: The World School, and culinary tips from pastry chef Caroline Schiff (Gage & Tollner) and chef Robert Austin Cho (Kimchi Smoke), as well as a cooking demo featuring Chef Russell Jackson of Reverence in collaboration with Verlasso Salmon and Ocean Hill Apple Brandy. The program will also offer a collection of videos that demonstrate how the soup kitchen is dealing with adversity amidst the pandemic via heartwarming volunteer and guest stories. All attendees will also receive a virtual gift bag featuring recipes from the event demos, as well as a student-written cookbook from Avenues: The World School.

“The success of Farm to Tray can be directly attributed to our dedicated volunteers as well as the culinary figures and corporate partners who generously lend their time, talent, and resources to the soup kitchen,” shared the Reverend Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Executive Director of Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen. “New Yorkers stick together during challenging times. We’ve seen our community unite over the past few months with profound dedication to the work that happens at Holy Apostles, and we’re confident that the support from this year’s Farm to Tray event will help us to sustain those who will feel the impacts of this crisis long after the pandemic is over.”

Since 2013, Farm to Tray has raised nearly $2.3 million in cash and in-kind support and introduced over 100 new partnerships to

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