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Chairs July Message

Orange County California rep for JulyWhat attracted you to become interested in Slow Food OC? For me, it was my Community Garden. Over 5 years ago, after longing for a space to try my hand at growing my own healthy, organic produce, my wish came true. My church had a good-sized plot of land at the end of the parking lot that was overgrown with weeds and obviously not being put to use. It was a gardeners dreamalmost! There were endless possibilities, provided someone had the time and money to make it happen. I didnt have much of either, but I had a strong desire. I guess that was enough.

I have always loved cooking fresh, but had only known fresh from the Farmers Market or my CSA. In fact, I would have to say my CSA in North San Diego County was a big part of my inspiration. They offered work days once per month, and I had attended several and loved it. The fact that I knew little or nothing about gardening didnt stop me from charging forward on my little project on the corner of Fair and Fairview in Costa Mesa. Getting the space even remotely ready for planting was challenging. I was fortunate to find several people from my church who were willing to donate time to do the really backbreaking work of removing the weeds, tilling the soil, removing the rocks, etc. Readying the soil took the better part of three months. Spring arrived, and it was time to start planting. The long hours and hard work paid off, and we had nine 4 X 4 raised beds and one large area that was going to be left at ground level to plant our first hopeful bounty.

Fast forward 5 1/2 years later, our little community garden flourishes. We have added many new raised beds, added folks to our community, donated hundreds of pounds of fresh, organic produce to our local soup kitchen (Someone Cares) and given at least as much to folks who might otherwise not get to eat good, clean, and fair (our SFOC motto) produce. Im still loving this experience, and each day I spend at the garden pulling weeds or planting, enriching soil, and picking the bounty are adding years to my lifeat least that is what I tell myself when I come home with a sore back!

How does this relate to Slow Food OC? Well, this is one thing that led me to this amazing organization. The like-minded folks who also love their gardens are wonderful to mingle with at our fun events. The cooking classes that help me learn new ways to prepare my bounty are great, too. And, just yesterday, I attended the UCCE Master Preservers info day on how to preserve my abundance for eating when those tomatoes and green beans are not in season! All this because I joined and became involved in Slow Food OC. Is it time for you to get more involved?

Check out our new website! It has a new look and feel and is easier to use. Of course you can also reach out to us on Facebook at Slow Food Orange County. And you can always reach out to me via email at chairone@slowfoodoc.org.

I hope to meet you at our Giracci Wine Tasting event on 7/30/15! Sign up at Eventbrite. Theres a link on our website calendar and also on Facebook.
Pam Kamps
Chair, SFOC