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Program 1419

1. Kentucky cooking with Bob Perry
2. bluebird lovers Bob and Judy Peak
3. furniture maker Eric Scholtens
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Fayette County

For more information:
• The Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Kentucky Proud program helps Kentucky food producers and consumers find each other.

Producer, videographer: Brandon Wickey

Down-Home Dinners

Kentucky cooking with Bob Perry

We’ve all had home-cooked meals, but they weren’t necessarily made from home-grown foods. The chicken might come from Arkansas, and the strawberries on the shortcake might come from California. It doesn’t have to be that way, and Bob Perry can tell you how to make a meal out of foods grown right here in Kentucky.

Bob, who works as chef and director of the Food Systems Initiative at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, shows us how to make a delicious four-course dinner with more than 20 Kentucky products—from ubatuba peppers grown on UK’s South Farm to Kentucky bourbon balls made by Valentine’s Gourmet Ice Cream.

Bob knows a lot about bringing the bounty of Kentucky harvests to the table. He is the former director of food service for the Kentucky Department of Parks, known for the Kentucky fare at its resort restaurants. Bob has more than 25 years of experience in the hotel, restaurant, and tourism industry, including a period spent living and working in France, where the people also have a keen appreciation for locally grown foods.

Bob is passionate about bringing Kentucky farmers and consumers together. At UK, his efforts have inspired the Kentucky Hamburger Alliance Project, which helps beef producers find local markets for their product.

Kentucky Life previously visited with Perry at UK’s Lemon Tree restaurant in Program 1412.

Trigg County

For more information:
Land Between the Lakes, 6100 Van Morgan Drive Golden Pond, KY 42211 (270) 924-2000

Producer, videographer, editor: Brandon Wickey

Audio: Noel Depp

Where the Bluebirds Fly

volunteers Bob and Judy Peak

Few birds inspire the simple joy that the small, bright bluebird does. As Henry David Thoreau once observed, “The bluebird carries the sky on its back.” Although habitat loss has decreased their population, bluebirds have been making a comeback in recent years, thanks to volunteers like Bob and Judy Peak.

Bob and Judy are volunteers with the Land Between the Lakes Association, and over the years they have fledged thousands of bluebirds there. With more than 200 bluebird boxes in the Land Between the Lakes area, it’s a great place to see these beautiful birds nesting and caring for their young.

Bob is a schoolteacher who started a bluebird trail at his school in Evansville, IN before being asked to take over the volunteer effort at LBL. His wife, Judy, has been a birdwatcher since her youth, and both of them take one weekend a month from March through September to monitor all the bluebird boxes and record the data they find, such as number of eggs and number of chicks. The U.S. Forest Service cooperates with them, taking over monitoring duties during the winter and providing a vehicle and gas for the couple to use on their monitoring weekends.

The effort at Land Between the Lakes is part of the Transcontinental Bluebird Trail developed by the North American Bluebird Society to re-establish bluebird populations. Kathryn Harper, communications manager at LBL, says volunteers like the Peaks help make the area more beautiful for the bird lover in all of us.

Daviess County

For more information:
• Natural Forms Furniture, 6901 Karns Grove Rd., Philpot, KY 42366, (270) 993-5983

Producer, editor: Cheryl Beckley
Videographer: David Brinkley

Rustic Chairs

furniture maker Eric Scholtens

When some people think of making furniture, they imagine themselves in a woodworking shop with its electric saws and buffers, creating polished pieces worthy of a furniture showroom. Eric Scholtens has something different in mind.

In his Daviess County workshop, Eric uses tree limbs in their natural state to craft chairs, benches, tables, fences, and trellises. Viewing an Eric Scholtens chair, you might be reminded of the form of a traditional ladderback or Windsor chair, but the look is decidedly rustic, featuring the crooked and curved lines of nature.

Like the pioneers who used forked tree limbs and logs to make simple bed frames, Eric uses what nature gives him to create his furniture. He sees potential in even the smallest twigs, which he uses to make miniatures.

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