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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Homegrown Revival Launches Yard-to-Table Movement in Fort Thomas

Sable Bender. Facebook. 
They say that everything old becomes new again. Styles come back into fashion all the time. Retro becomes modern. And then the cycle starts over again.

Fort Thomas native Sable Bender has started a food-focused revival of her own. Bender was inspired to bring the farm-to-table movement to Fort Thomas, but since Fort Thomas lacks abundant farmland, she worked to launch a business creating yard-to-table gardens for residents. “Having a garden, growing your own food, that is traditional. That's where the name Homegrown Revival comes from – we're looking to revive the idea that you can grow your own food at home,” said Bender. She firmly believes that it's important to know where and how your food is grown, which is difficult to to do when purchasing herbs and vegetables from grocery stores.

A conversation between Bender and Oakley Wines owner Zach Edison was the spark that ignited Bender's horticulture revolution. “What really got things moving was a conversation I had with Zach Eidson, owner of Oakley Wines,” said Bender. “He was asking me how he could get his family more involved in the food that they’re consuming, and I made a comment about how he should start a garden. He looked at me and said, 'You should do it for me. You know what you’re doing.' So here we are.”

Sable Bender

Homegrown Revival is dedicated to encouraging at-home gardening, which will provide healthy, fresh, and organic food for residents. Bender's passion for gardening and farming came from spending time on her family's farm in North Carolina. She was also able to learn the fine art of gardening first-hand while working on a farm. Bender quickly realized that the organic farm-to-table movement shouldn't be restricted to those lacking ample farmland. With Homegrown Revival, clients can create gardens using any available amount of outdoor space – everything from backyard gardens to container gardens on porches can be made with the help of Homegrown Revival.

According to Bender, there's really no space too small to make a garden for producing your own herbs and vegetables. As long as there's access to sunlight, you can have a garden of your own. “The most important thing is sunlight exposure, but you can grow food in the ground, or in a raised bed, or in containers. So, we’ll come out to do a consultation, help you figure out what works best, and move on there from there,” said Bender.

If you want all the benefits of a yard-to-table lifestyle, but aren't able to do the dirty work yourself, then Bender is here to help. “For those who don't have much of a green thumb or are afraid they don't have enough time to tend to their garden, Homegrown Revival offers maintenance options as well. We can come back and check up throughout the season, and even keep an eye on things if you'll be out of town on vacation,” said Bender.

The key to Bender's gardening success is accessibility. She doesn't want to create another chore for customers to have to take on each day, but instead to create a simple, effective way to improve their lives overall. “Our goal is make gardening accessible for anyone who wants to do it. You don’t have to have a lot of space to grow food, and you don’t have to grow all of your food. Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky are home to so many great farmers markets – get to know your farmers, too,” said Bender.

Bender believes that Homegrown Revival is a perfect addition to the Fort Thomas community since many residents are interested in pursuing healthy lifestyles. “I think Fort Thomas is already a fairly active and health conscious community. If you're looking to be an active participant in the food you consume, growing a garden is a great place to start. We’re also looking to get kids excited about vegetables and eating healthy, whether that’s at home or through schools,” said Bender.

Bender's Fort Thomas roots were instrumental is preparing her for launching her own business. Her years in the Forth Thomas school system left a lasting impression on her. “What really sticks out is having teachers who not only instilled in me a passion for learning, but also have supported me long after I've left their classroom,” said Bender. “Having people like that who believe in you, that gives you confidence in yourself and the choices you're making. So, if they happen to be reading this, a big thanks to Mrs. Kinsella, Mrs. Redlinger, and Mr. Long.”

Bender already has plans to invest her time and horticulture skills into the next generation of Fort Thomas residents. Her mother, a Woodfill Elementary School teacher, will be starting a garden at the school. “I know it’s in the early stages, but I’m going to be helping with that. And that’s exciting, because I went to Woodfill and when I was there, there was a greenhouse and a small garden right outside my classroom. I’d love to be able to get to a point where we’re able to donate raised beds and gardens to schools in the area,” said Bender.

Launching a new business is never an easy task for anyone. So is all this hard work worth it to Bender? Of course it is. Being on the forefront of her hometown's yard-to-table revolution is incredibly rewarding for her. “My favorite part is sharing the experience of growing something,” said Bender. “It really is magical to plant these tiny seeds and watch them grow into something edible, something delicious.”

You can find out more about Homegrown Revival by visiting their website. They will also be at the American Heart Association's Health and Fitness Expo at the Duke Energy Center on March 12, and at Cincy Chic's “Haute Hyde Park” event at Miller Gallery on April 22.

1 comment:

  1. If you don't have a lot of garden space, you might want to look into either hydroponics or aquaponics. Both systems can be made into a self sustaining system that requires very little labor and can be year round if built properly.