Summer Supper with Amy’s Organic Garden benefiting Birdhouse Farmers Market



Wednesday, August 31st / Cocktail Hour, 5:30 / Dinner, 6:30


The Beet at Ellwood Thompson’s


With produce fresh from Amy’s Organic Garden, our chefs will create a locally-sourced, seasonal three-course meal meant to nourish our community and support the mission and vendors of Birdhouse Farmer’s Market.  All items used in the dinner will come from either long time local vendor and friend of Ellwood’s, Amy’s Organic Garden, or a local vendor of the Birdhouse Farmers Market.

Amy’s Garden is a USDA Certified Organic family farm growing 10 acres of organic produce and cut flowers in Charles City County, Va.  What began in 1995 as an ambitious backyard hobby garden quickly blossomed into a full time farming career for husband and wife team Amy Hicks & George Ferguson.  We are proud to have them as one of our longest standing produce vendors.

Birdhouse Farmer’s Market has served the Randolph, Oregon Hill, Carver, Downtown, Jackson Ward, VUU, VCU & Fan neighborhoods since 2007 and boasts many wonderful array of local vendors, from  kombucha to chicken, pork, eggs, vegetables, and much more.  The farms, people & communities they support are near & dear to our hearts.

Help us help Birdhouse Farmer’s Market continue to grow & thrive by supporting by  attending this Summer Supper.  Proceeds go directly to the farmers market & will help ensure they’re around for many growing seasons to come!


True to our roots, we will have options for both vegans and non-vegan, and every dish will be gluten-free.



$65.00 per individual or $120 per couple*

*Tickets includes a specialty cocktail during the cocktail hour, your 3-course meal, and a beer or wine pairing with each course. All additional beverages may be purchased through our cash bar.




This Summer Supper is fully booked, but thank you for your interest!

Questions? Want on the wait list?

Email Taylor at

The Intestinal Microbiome, Top to Bottom!



Tuesday, August 30th / 6:00 to 7:00PM


The Beet at Ellwood’s


Michael P. Jones, MD,  Ann Leggett, ACNP  and Lynn Farmer, MA, RDN with The Well Being.  Read the teams’ bios here.

The Well Being was formed over 25 years of practice, research and education in the study of digestive disorders.  Their belief is that feeling better starts by understanding the whole person, and this is particularly true when it comes to digestive problems.  The brain and the gut aren’t just “connected,” they are part of the same system.  What happens in your gut effects how you feel and how your body works.  This is known as the biopsychosocial model of digestive illness and it’s a model of care that Dr. Jones has spent his career studying and putting into practice.  Why?  Because, compared with standard medical care, it does a much better job getting people better.

Discover more about The Well Being’s practice and Dr. Jones’ path to wellness here.


Dr. Michael P. Jones & his team of experts will discuss the intestinal microbiome from top to bottom, including:

  • Changing Intestinal Flora with Probiotics and Fecal Transplants
  • Can Foods Cause a Leaky Gut? What’s the Evidence?
  • Hypnotherapy Maintains Remissions in Ulcerative Colitis: An Update
  • Question and Answer on All Digestive Topics!

Come ready to learn with your questions & $5 for admission. Leave better prepared to conquer your gut health challenges!



Register for this class

Seating is limited for this class so register in advance to reserve you & your party’s seats. Pay below, at Customer Service, or by calling 359-7525.

Wellness Event w/ Dr. Michael P. Jones & The Well Being team


Email Taylor at

Late Summer Protein Smoothie + links

This is the time of year (and basically the only month) I really enjoy morning smoothies. So much is available, and there are so many smoothie variations with veggies and fruits and proteins and bases that it’s definitely feasible to have something different every single day. I’ve been experimenting a lot with what’s in my backyard or available at the farmers market or generally in season at the grocery store. What I look for in a good smoothie is fresh produce, a protein kick, and delicious flavor combinations. When I make smoothies, I often put them into a bowl, top with fresh fruits, hemp seeds, nuts, chia seeds or granola and eat them like a bowl of cereal. This tricks your brain into feeling fuller longer, and of course adding in extra protein sources helps to substantiate your smoothie. This can include protein powders of your choice, nut butters, hemp seeds, yogurts, chia seeds and tahini (ground sesame seeds). Experiment with your flavors, and try to get in at least 7-10g of protein in a morning smoothie. Personally, I have a smoothie in addition other foods (as breakfast is often the biggest meal of my day). As always, I encourage you to actually sit down, take some to eat the smoothie (even if it’s only 5 minutes), and avoid taking it on the run with you.

The recipe below has been my go-to for several weeks, and the links included are often places I frequent for fresh, late summer smoothie inspiration. If you’ve stocked up on late summer produce and need some ideas of how to incorporate it all into your daily routine, explore some new recipes, and tweak them to your liking!

Strawberry Banana Basil Smoothie

  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 banana (frozen optional)
  • 1 handful fresh spinach
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 handful fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or more for a lighter consistency)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 4-5 ice cups (optional)

Blend together in a high speed blender until well mixed a creamy, adding the ice last. Divide into 2 servings and enjoy as a snack or as an addition to breakfasts.

  1. Starry Night Mango Smoothie Bowl
  2. Stripped Green Smoothie
  3. Vanilla Acai Smoothie Bowl
  4. Mood Boosting Cocoa Smoothie
  5. Blueberry Maca Milk


Lindsay Kluge M.Sc, CNS, LDN |

What Does The World Know That America Doesn’t Know When It Comes to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) in our Food Supply?

BY NICK LASKY (Ellwood Thompson’s Food Advocate, Jr.)

What Does The World Know That America Doesn’t Know When It Comes to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) in our Food Supply?

Since President Obama signed legislation dubbed the Deny Americans the Right to Know, or the “DARK Act” (U.S. Senate Bill 764), our right as Americans to know what is in our food — especially when it comes to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) — has become a lot less secure.  On the other hand, this misguided law has brought an increased awareness of how dire a situation we, as Americans, are in when it comes to knowing what’s in our food. To put things into perspective, the DARK Act provides for:

  • No Penalties For Food Manufacturers Who Break the Law.
  • No Recall of Mislabeled Food.
  • Exemptions for refined sugars, oils, starches, refined oil and milled corn (all big sources of GMO).
  • Exemptions for genetic engineering by synthetic biology, CRISPR/cas9, gene editing and gene cassettes.
  • Loopholes that could exclude herbicide tolerant crops and many Bt toxin insecticide producing crops.
  • Allows QR codes, toll free phone numbers or an undetermined symbol to replace simple words on the package.
  • An Undefined Tolerance Threshold for allowable level of GMO contamination.
  • Immediately prevents states from implementing their own state GMO labeling laws.

For those who are unsure of the scientific basis for legitimate public concern about GMO in our food supply, GMO Free USA has a good and well-cited summary of the evidence for such concerns. However, just to be clear,  the Food Advocates at Ellwood Thompson’s believe this issue is also about American’s Right To Know what they are eating and that Americans should be able to make conscious food choices for themselves.

As a result of federal preemption, the DARK Act now prevents states like Vermont, Maine, Alaska, and Connecticut from implementing their own GMO food labeling laws.  As  such, the right of American citizens to know what they are eating has taken several steps backward. That is not the case in other countries.

According to the Center for Food Safety (CFS), currently 64 countries around the world require labeling of genetically modified foods. The CFS has an interactive map indicating those countries.  As such, more countries in the world ban the growth of GMOs than actually allow GMOs to be cultivated in their country.

As you can see from the interactive map, in Europe, many countries have take strong action regarding GMO in the food supply over the past few years.  


Just last year Greece and Latvia jumped on the bandwagon and joined many other European countries by banning the growing of GMO crops.  Now 19 out of the 28 nations in the European Union have officially opted out of allowing the cultivation of genetically modified maize, or MON810, which is the only GMO variety grown in Europe. 

The current list of countries that ban the cultivation of GMOs includes: Algeria, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belize, Bhutan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malta, Moldova, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Serbia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, Venezuela, Wales, Wallonian Region (Belgium)

Even Russia has also recently banned the cultivation and breeding of GMO crops.  Ironically, the Russian government also banned all GMO corn and soy imports from the USA in February of this year.

So as many other countries move forward, why do we appear to be going in the opposite direction?

The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association’s (OSGATA) recently withdrew its membership in the Organic Trade Association (OTA) citing the OTA’s “betrayal over Monsanto-backed GMO labeling bill.”  The “betrayal” refers to a  few members of the OTA board decided to act unilaterally, endorsed the bill, and pushed for it to be passed in the Senate.

“It’s important for the world to understand that it was the Organic Trade Association that killed our state GMO labeling laws by backing Monsanto’s Stabenow-Roberts bill” (aka the DARK ACT), said Maine organic seed farmer and longtime OSGATA President, Jim Gerritsen.  “It’s clear that Organic Trade Association has come under the control of a small group of lobbyists controlled by giant-food corporations that also own organic brands.  In an effort to protect their own bottom lines and those of their parent companies, the reckless actions of these large parent-owned organic companies threaten the survival of organic farmers and the organic community we have all worked so hard for decades to build.  The Organic Trade Association can no longer be trusted and it’s clear that organic farmers can no longer condone this dubious trade association’s troubling behavior.” 

As such, the OTA and several other groups and companies backing the bill have left many of the other organic organization and coalitions confused about the integrity of their supposed allies.

This is a small glimpse into the lobbying and industry-based power that Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont, and others have at controlling the outcome of these bills, which ultimately become our reality. It appears that they have infiltrated into the OTA and other organic organizations.  Here is a list of the major financial supporters of the DARK Act.

If we do not have the unity of those supposedly working together to promote GMO labeling and organic foods, how can we as a nation defeat those who are compromising our food supply?

I hope this blog can help create a conversation and ultimately lead to greater awareness of the reality and the importance of what we as a collective in this country decide to allow moving forward. Our decisions, actions, and non-actions will affect not only us, but our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and on down the line…

August’s Third Thursday Pairings with Foggy Ridge Cider


With special pairings by Foggy Ridge Cider!


Every 3rd Thursday, Monthly | August 18th | 5 to 7PM


This staple event has become a community favorite & great way to experience Happy Hour!  On the Third Thursday monthly, our chefs prepare three small plates based on what’s local, seasonal, & fresh!  Executive Chef, Todd Johnson, and our Senior Bakery Manager, Ingrid Schatz, get to flex their culinary creativity, bringing you a little something different & more exciting each month.  From those small plates, our Indulge Manager, Craig “Murph” Murphy, uses his expertise to chose just the right wine & beer pairings to highlight each dish’s flavors and really bring it to life.  Add live music to the mix, an evening on the patio, and you have the makings of a new Thursday tradition!

*Please note, the courses + pairings are self-paced, so we recommend arriving between 5 and 6pm to start your tastings, that way you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the courses, and we will have enough small plates to go around!*


The Beet Cafe at Ellwood Thompson’s

This Month’s Menu + Pairings

August’s beverage pairing partner is Foggy Ridge Cider, a local maker of craft cider since 1997.  Learn more about their apples, methods, and cider here, and try them for yourself at this month’s Third Thursday Pairings.



$10 / person or $15/couple in advance.  Pay as an individual or couple below.  Advanced registration strongly encouraged!

Third Thursday Pairings Ticket


Call the customer service desk at 804-359-7525 or email

Mandalas & Mimosas


Every Saturday, enlighten your playful side and bring a friend or two to share in the mindfulness with Mandalas & Mimosas in The Beet!

There are many studies on the effectiveness of art therapy – and no one can deny the calming sense of nostalgia adult color books evoke.   As one recent article states, “There’s something satisfying about seeing your thought and effort create a tangible, pretty thing at a reasonable, predictable pace. This rarely happens in life.”

That’s why, every Saturday, we’ll provide the mandalas and coloring supplies, and you provide the creativity.  Choose to enjoy a mimosa from our bar in The Beet while you color, then post your finished work to Instagram using the hashtag #mandalasandmimosas.

The most-liked post each week will receive a gift card to the store! 

Pups and Pints on the Patio

Pups-&-Pints-NPBanner Every Month Version
Happy Hour becomes Yappy Hour for a good cause!
Our monthly pup and people social is back & the forecast couldn’t look better! Round up your fur-babies & friends and enjoy a drink on our patio with live music and treat samples for your dogs. This month, your donations will benefit local partner & animal lovers, the Richmond ASPCA.
We’ll have treat samples for each pup,  happy hour prices at our bar in The Beet, plus live music on the patio from 5 to 7pm. That’s something you & your dog can both wag your tails about.

Beginning the Birth Journey



Wednesday, August 3rd | 6:30 to 7:30PM


Corina Hossle | Founder, Clinical Director & Midwife | Embrace Midwifery Care & Birth Center

Embrace encourages, educates & empowers women to embrace a healthy pregnancy, a safe & gentle birth, & a peaceful transition to confident mothering.


Join us as we Begin the Birth Journey…

From Conscious Conception through the First Trimester, the emotional, physical and spiritual well-being of both Mothers and Fathers impact their baby’s development and future…the cells that will create your baby are being nourished now!   Corina Hossle, Midwife and Birth Center Founder, will lead you through an informative and inspiring evening, giving you the tools you need to create an optimal pregnancy and birth.

While discussing the importance of preconception nutrition, we’ll cover simple and effective ways to increase your health.  Learn natural tricks to help you thrive— and not just survive, the physical changes and challenges of the first trimester.  Take away accurate and up-to-date information on the safety of herbs, homeopathics and essential oils during these critical first weeks of fetal development.

Partners are welcome!

About The Instructor

CorinaCorina Hossle | Founder, Clinical Director & Midwife

Corina ordered her first “How to Become a Midwife” book in 1992, but raising three children, homeschooling, and running several businesses got in the way of her dream.  At 42, with her kids leaving home and her life shifting, she decided to make the leap!

Corina doula’d her way through midwifery school, serving high risk mothers who were provided doulas for support.  She attended National Midwifery Institute, which is accredited by the Midwifery Education Accreditation Counsel.  She passed her North American Registry of Midwives test in 2012, and became a Certified Professional Midwife.

Since beginning her journey, she has worked with 13 different midwives at over 300 birth center or home births.   She spent months assisting Hispanic women on the border of Mexico who spoke no English, has witnessed Amish women give birth by lamplight, has attended doctor’s wives who chose home birth and placenta encapsulation, and has sat with hippy mamas singing to their babies under full moons.  Corina even spent 18 months as a staff midwife at the only freestanding birth center in the Caribbean, working with island families in Trinidad and Tobago.

After teaching at an accredited midwifery school in Florida for several months, Corina decided that Richmond VA was the place to open her birth center, and she came to RVA on a mission!  Embrace Midwifery Care & Birth Center (and Embrace Wellness Collective!) is her dream come true.

​ “The truth is, all women birth in similar ways and they all know how to do it. It’s Intuitive.  My vision is to create space and support so that women can access that intuition and birth with joy.”



Register for this class

Planning to come? Let us know how many we can expect by RSVPing here!


Email Taylor at

How Legislation That Is Opposed By 9 out of 10 Americans Becomes the Law in our Country.

How can legislation that is opposed by 9 out of 10 Americans become the law in our system of representative government?

Here’s how it works.

Here is presidential candidate Barrack Obama promising, in 2007, that he would implement labeling on genetically modified (GMO) food products “because”, as he said, “Americans should know what they are buying.”

Now for American public opinion on this subject.

According to the Center for Food Safety, a poll of likely 2016 voters, conducted by The Mellman Group in November, 2015, found that 89% said they favor mandatory labels on “foods which have been genetically engineered or containing genetically engineered ingredients be labeled to indicate that.”  A mere 6% oppose such a requirement and another 6% don’t know. A 77% supermajority not only favored mandatory labeling but “strongly” favored the proposal. These views are widespread across demographic lines, with nearly all Democrats (92% favor, 2% oppose), independents (89% favor, 7% oppose) and Republicans (84% favor, 7% oppose) supporting a required label.

GMO Label

Despite his promise, President Obama signed Senate Bill 764 this past Friday under quiet news coverage that, with the support of food manufacturers like Monsanto, creates a weak and meaningless federal standard for GMO labeling.

S.B. 764 is referred to by opponents as the DARK Act, short for “Denying Americans the Right to Know. The DARK Act takes away the rights of states to implement GMO labeling laws, most notably in the State of Vermont, which now can no longer enforce its GMO labeling state law. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., issued a statement this past Saturday, the day after Obama signed the DARK Act into law, saying “powerful corporate interests” now are able to “get by with doing as little as possible” as a result of the law.

“I remain concerned that this is a very bad deal for consumers,” Leahy said.

Here are examples of what little “GMO labeling” existed in Vermont before the DARK Act was signed into law last week.

Worst of all, the DARK Act permits food manufacturers to use a phone number, a website address, text, symbols or a QR code that consumers must scan with a smartphone to relay information about any GMO ingredients. That many consumers don’t have such technology, are not likely to make phone calls or track something on a corporate website and such “labeling” is onerous rather than transparent did not seem to concern lawmakers.

Of course, President Obama did not act alone. GOP and Democrat Congressional leaders, many who receive financial contributions from food manufacturers “fast-tracked” the DARK Act in the Senate without letting it go through committee where many opponents could be heard on the bill.

The Senate vote on the DARK Act was 63 in favor, 30 opposed and 7 not voting. The roll call vote for each Senator on passage  of the DARK Act is here.  NOTE: Don’t be confused by the title of the bill on the Senate website, despite the hold-over title, this bill had nothing
to do with defunding Planned Parenthood or the National Sea Grant College. Instead, the original bill was amended to address only the DARK Act. Thus, despite the misleading title of SB 764,  the Senate vote reported for that bill concerns the DARK Act.

Since the Senate bill was significantly different that the U.S. House version, the House, conveniently before the summer recess, decided not to take up the Senate version for deliberation and instead, just quickly voted to pass the Senate’s version of the DARK Act and to send it to President Obama for his signature. The House roll call vote on the DARK Act is here.

Nonetheless, supporters of GMO labeling vow to fight on.

And so will Ellwood Thompson’s.