November 14th, 2013 by Nina Macdonald
Terra Madre Day, Slow Food’s annual worldwide celebration of local food held on December 10, will take place in communities across the globe. We invite everybody, whether you are a member or not, to join this international day of celebration.
For one day, whoever and wherever you are, Slow Food invites you to put local food in the spotlight through a myriad of different activities: From community picnics and food festivals, to film evenings, rallies and farmers’ markets, or even a simple dinner with friends. This year Slow Food Orange County will honor one of our local food traditions, with our tamale-making class.
The theme of Terra Madre Day 2013 is saving endangered foods. All around the world traditional foods are disappearing, including fruit and vegetable varieties, animal breeds, and cheeses, as a result of an increasingly industrialized food system and fast modern life. Slow Food is working to list and protect these at-risk products on the Ark of Taste online catalog. This Terra Madre Day we want to use December 10 to raise awareness of these products, along with the knowledge, techniques, cultures and landscapes behind their production, and let everyone know that they are at risk of disappearing. Take a look at the newly updated online Ark of Taste catalogue, http://www.slowfoodusa.org/ark-of-taste. The products can be viewed alphabetically, by region and type. A story explains the cultural significance and unique characteristics of each product. Honor these products by choosing one for a meal on December 10.
November 14th, 2013 by Nina Macdonald
Hello Slow Food OC,
November is off to an enthusiastic start! Several members of our steering committee attended a Slow Food California Leadership meeting hosted by Slow Food Urban San Diego. These meetings always inspire enthusiasm and new ideas. Members from established chapters throughout the state, our newest California Region chapter from the Gold Country, and a chapter in formation from Fresno/Tulare attended the meeting. Several SFUSA staff members as well as Slow Food Mexico International Counselor Alphonso Rocha Robles attended the conference and offered presentations.
On Saturday, workshops were offered on Food Policy Advocacy, Ark of Taste committee training, Best Practices for Chapter development and Fund Raising. On Saturday night, we had the choice of attending a Dios De Los Muertos festival at a local farm or a locally grown supper hosted by Chef and Urban San Diego Chair Chelsey Coleman.
Sunday provided an opportunity to hear about developments at Slow Food USA, as well as indigenous food projects from Slow Food Mexico. The staff from the national office including Executive Director, Richard McCarthy, and Jovan Sage, Leadership Program Manager, are eagerly awaiting the return and release of the paper Slow Food magazine now offered as part of Slow Food membership. SFUSA is diligently working on creating a new computer system that will help chapters to connect more easily with local members. The current focus of Slow Food USA for 2013 and 2014 is on supporting membership, biodiversity through the Ark of Taste, and supporting chapters in work with school gardens. Board Chair Matt Jones from Denver and Richard McCarthy are also working on a new initiative called Slow Meat, which SFOC Co-Chair Ted will discuss in another article.
What was unique about this gathering was the ample time allowed for lengthy conversation between members. It was fun to share chapter stories, compare restaurant recommendations, and have time to get to know one another in a relaxed atmosphere. We formed several new California working groups including Snail of Appreciation/Approval, an international committee working with Mexico and Baja California, and a group interested in offering Master Food courses similar to those offered at Terra Madre. The So Cal chapters kept us well fed with locally prepared and grown goodies, and we finished with a luncheon hosted by Urban San Diego at Tender Greens. Our plans are to meet in March in Sacramento to check in and help one another in our regionalization efforts.
Linda Elbert, Chair
Slow Food OC
October 25th, 2013 by Stacey Blaschke
If you looking to buy local pumpkins this year here are some suggestions from a recent OC Weekly story.
1) Westminster High School’s Future Farmers of America program, which sells the harvest of pumpkins and fruit every Wednesday afternoon at the farmer’s market at the Westminster Mall. One day every year, the farm is open to the public during it’s annual Fall Festival. This year, it’s Saturday, Oct. 30 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. They grow six varieties of jack o’ lantern pumpkins, including Fairytales and White Ghosts.
Westminster High School, 14325 Goldenwest St., Westminster. (714) 893-1381.
To get to the farm: enter from Goldenwest Street, turn onto Main Street into campus, and follow it past the football fields until you reach the farm.
2) Tanaka Farms in Irvine welcomes the public daily to pick pumpkins from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. with no admission fee. A 6-to-8-pound pumpkin runs $3.25, and there’s a sliding scale from there, up to a 30-pound pumpkin. Tanaka Farms, 5380 3/4 University Dr., Irvine (949) 653-2100; www.tanakafarms.com.
3) South Coast Farms in San Juan Capistrano on the last three weekends in October for a pumpkin “choosing,” and craft activities for the youngsters. They do not grow jack o’ lantern pumpkins, so you can’t take the kids for a pick-from-the-field experience. They truck those in from elsewhere, and you choose from the pumpkins set up in their farm stand parking lot. Pumpkins cost 49 cents per pound. They do grow organic pie pumpkins though which you can use for your holiday baking.
South Coast Farms, 32701 Alipaz St., San Juan Capistrano (949) 661-9381;www.southcoastfarms.com.
For more info and detail see the original OC Weekly story here.