Microgrant Program Is Launched!

March 12th, 2014 by Nina Macdonald

Slow Food Orange
County is pleased to announce that our microgrant program has officially
launched. Twice annually, we will be awarding cash microgrants to local
community groups, organizations, and businesses whose programs and
products promote the core values of Slow Food. For detailed information
about the program, deadlines, and forms, visit our newly-created
Microgrant Program website (http://www.slowfoodoc.org/microgrant.php).
Our next application period will be July 1st – 31st so spread the word
and forward this to anyone you know who has a project we might like to
support.

We’ve already awarded our first microgrant of 2014 and
we couldn’t have found a more worthy recipient. The Irvine Ranch Outdoor
Education Center was awarded $1,500 which will be used to create
additional growing space within their Living Classroom, a teaching
garden based on sustainability and permaculture. This additional space
will be allocated to restaurant growing and market selling, creating a
new stream of revenue for the program and leading the way to financial
sustainability.

To learn more about the Irvine Ranch Outdoor
Education Center and the work they are doing to advance the mission of
Slow Food, visit their blog (http://www.oecranch.blogspot.com/) or their
website (http://www.outdooreducationcenter.org).

Congratulations,
OEC, on the amazing work you are doing to promote food that is good,
clean, and fair in Orange County. We look forward to seeing your produce
on local restaurant menus soon!

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Outreach Update: Volunteers Needed

March 11th, 2014 by Nina Macdonald

It’s time for Green Scene at the Fullerton Arboretum!  The Outreach Committee is looking for volunteers to assist with this wonderful event for 1-2 hours on April 12th and 13th.  Our booth will provide Green Scene-goers information on joining the Slow Food effort and getting involved in the specific projects of our Orange County chapter.  Come join us!   Email Gillian Poe to volunteer

Also, if you would like to become a Slow Food Ambassador, please join us for an overview and training on Tuesday, April 1st from 6-8pm at Greenleaf in Costa Mesa.  This is a great opportunity to learn about Slow Food and how you can spread the word (and the love!).  Please RSVP to Gillian Poe at

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Pat Welsh Talk Recap

March 10th, 2014 by Nina Macdonald

Pat Welsh with plant starting chartA group of avid Slow Food gardeners heard Southern California gardening expert Pat Welsh give a  fascinating and informative talk on “Growing Great Veggies, the Organic Way” this last Saturday, March 8th, In Laguna Beach.  Masterfully mixing information with personal anecdotes, Ms. Welsh quickly covered the basics of gardening before discussing, in-depth the importance of the proper timing for the growing of warm and cool season vegetables in our Mediterranean climate – important because it differs from that of much of the rest of the country.

Ms. Welsh also emphasized topics Consistent with the “good” and “clean” parts of the Slow Food philosophy. She provided a wealth of useful suggestions about favorite varieties. For example, Della Cascine is an Italian variety of fava beans that, when picked young are delicious pod and all, because the pod is tender and free from strings – unfortunately, because they are a cool season plant, those of us eager to try these will have to wait to plant them until next fall.  The entire presentation also emphasized how to achieve garden fertility using organic soil amendments and how to deal with pests without pesticides using natural controls. Ms. Welsh also shared many useful gardening hints – for example, after planting carrot, celery, parsnip, and parsley seeds you can speed germination by pouring boiling water on the rows of seed.

Fortunately, for those of you that missed hearing Pat Welsh, you can find much of what she had to say in her encyclopedic volume, Pat Welsh’s Southern California Organic Gardening.

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