This group of backyard farmers is one of ten finalists in our One-Block Party contest. The winner will be announced on September 20, 2011.


Campbell, CA 


Front, left to right:  Ella Mae held by Thomas Keller, Tina Keller with Ethel Mae Potter We Never Forgot Her, Herta Hoggatt. Back: Lizanne Oliver, Fred Oliver, Stacey Smith, Trisha Cartmell, Nate Cartmell. Not shown: David and Katie Arken.  We first got to know Tina Keller, captain of the Knees, when she stepped in and rescued our doomed rooster, Nugget, a few years ago. A seasoned beekeeper, she’s been a champion advice-giver to Team Bee, too. She and her group, including her mushroom-hunting husband, Thomas, are the kind of people who say what they mean and mean what they say. So when their entry arrived, we knew it represented much thought and care and that its intentions would soon be actions.

In Tina’s words, here are the Bees’ Knees:

“Our team is comprised of food hobbyists and home cooking enthusiasts and fromagers [cheesemakers] with interests in gardening, poultry raising, bee keeping, mushroom hunting, brewing, and exploring the making of cheeses. The team's objective is to dedicate the time to share expertise and create local, homegrown, homemade, thoughtful, crafted food.”

Their crop list looks well-rounded and abundant, with all the fruits and vegetables you want in summer: corn, tomatoes, potatoes, beans, berries, plums, plenty of edible flowers. Their menu bursts with homemade goodnesses like cheeses and Belgian-style beer, pâté, lemon curd, and crème brûlée. A certain European sensibility shines through—but there’s also kimchi and a South Asian-style chili paste. It all sounds delectable.

In naming themselves, the Bees’ Knees set the bar high, but they have energy and experience—and we’re looking forward to seeing them take off.

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