Chair’s November Letter

November 2nd, 2014 by Linda Elbert

Historically, Slow Food Orange County has organized educational events for members and the community; hosted potlucks, mixers, and dinners; and been involved with school and community gardens. For the past year or so, Slow Food Orange County has been interested in finding relevant ways to bring leaders of the Orange County food community together to network and collaborate on projects of mutual interest. These leaders include chefs, farmers, educators, members of our sister organization Slow Money, and advocates for healthy food access.

Recently, Slow Food Orange County hosted a dinner at Bluebird Canyon Farms in Laguna Beach for about 25 food community leaders and their guests. This event was called the Stakeholders’ Dinner, as all our guests have an interest or concern in creating a “good food” community in Orange County consistent with Slow Food’s values of good, clean and fair food for all.

The event was held at Bluebird Canyon Farms, an urban farm in Laguna Beach that offers interns opportunities in various components of farming – crop management, soil and compost management, beekeeping, an aquaponic farm of the future, seed saving, greenhouse work with seedlings, and work with chickens. The event began with a farm tour by Scott Tenney, the farmer and owner. Local chefs Kerry Annick Cacciata from the Downtown Santa Ana Farmers’ Market and Local Tastes Better, Paul Chamberlin from Boldo Bol, Nate Overstreet from Wheat and Sons Butcher, and Taylor Wright from Just Wright Desserts and Avocado Cafe Irvine worked together to provide a fabulous dinner using local, sustainably-produced ingredients.  (Boldo Bol and Wheat and Sons are recipients of the Snail of Appreciation. The DTSA Farmers’ Market has been nominated and approved to receive a Snail of Appreciation. Avocado Cafe owner Taylor Wright and her sister Haywood are working with Slow Money contacts on local financing for their restaurant.) All who attended the dinner enjoyed the meal prepared by these talented chefs. We appreciate the time they offered to our Slow Food Chapter to make this event possible.

The evening sparked an important initial conversation among these diverse members of our Orange County food community. Guests discussed common goals and ways to support each other and collaborate in farmer-chef networks, school garden/Slow Food and chef connections, and research opportunities for university students. Guests expressed interest in taking turns hosting similar future gatherings in a  potluck  format. Slow Food OC is looking forward to continuing to facilitate interaction between the food community members who attended this event as well as reaching out to others. Information in feedback cards completed by guests indicated that all were pleased with the evening and interested in developing the new relationships initiated around the table, and Slow Food OC is interested in facilitating these networks in our good food community. Look for upcoming projects that will be an outgrowth of this network. We hope you will want to get involved!

Be Slow,

Linda Elbert

Slow Food OC, Chair

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Native Edible Plants in your Garden – Fullerton Arboretum

October 31st, 2014 by Linda Elbert

http://www.fullertonarboretum.com/Native-Edible-Plants-in-your-Garden/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Native%20Edibles&utm_campaign=10/9/14http://

Native Edible Plants in your Garden

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Inviting California to Dinner: A look at old and new ways to use native plants in your garden and your meals

With all the talk of local food and saving water during the drought, why not turn to native plants to do both!? Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden’s Production manager, Antonio Sanchez leads this unique and informative talk on edible natives. This lecture covers many of the more common edible natives like Miner’s Lettuce (salad green) and Wild Grape (edible grapes), but also goes into some of the more obscure but equally as useful native plant foods like Saltbush (edible and tasty roasted seeds), Cleveland Sage and local onions (combined to make a California pesto!).

Samples of California pesto and other unique dishes will be available, along with recipe cards and a list of the easiest native edibles to grow in your garden.

Time: 9:00-10:30am

Instructor: Antonio Sanchez, Production manager at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

Tickets $30 ea.    50 available

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The Future of Food: A Series of 4 Talks Hosted by the Aquarium of the Pacific

October 29th, 2014 by Ted Wright

AoPThe Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California will host a series of talks titled The Future of Food hosted by Los Angeles Times Food Editor Russ Parsons. At the first event, Monday, Nov. 10, from 6:30 – 9:00 PM, Paul Greenberg will discuss and sign copies of his books, Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food and American Catch: The Fight for Our Local Seafood.

Why is an aquarium hosting a series of events about food? Because agriculture is one of the two main activities impacting the environment (along with the kinds and amounts of energy we use), and what humans do on land affects the ocean.

For more information and to purchase tickets ($8/member; $10/non-member), please go to http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/events/info/the_future_of_food_paul_greenberg/

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