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March News & Events

 February 2012

In This Issue
Tour of the 5 Bar Beef Ranch
Volunteer for the Steering Committee
Future of Food Film and GMO Labeling Discussion
Aquaponic and Vermiculture Workshop
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We invite you to join the Slow Food movement! Slow Food Orange County is working hard to preserve and protect local foods and food traditions. Our convivium plans events and programs in places across Orange County-anywhere from community gardens, taste education dinners, and farm tours-join the network and become active in planning and participating in these diverse initiatives.  Click here for Benefits of Membership or send us an email if you have questions.

Tour of the 5 Bar Beef Ranch

Date: Saturday, March 10th
Time: 2:30 PM and 3:30, if required
Location: Trabuco Canyon

Beef cow

Frank Fitzpatrick, owner of the 5 Bar Beef Ranch, says "I won't sell anything that I won't eat." He has owned his herd of Barzona (a composite breed of beef cattle developed in the high desert, inter-mountain region of Arizona in the 1920s and 1930s) cattle for over 31 years. The yearlings are brought to the Trabuco Ranch and run for over one year. They are raised on natural grasses and browse. Their supplemental feeding consists of crop residue and/or non-irrigated hay -- no hard grain is fed.


SFOC will offer 40-minute tours of the ranch, where you will learn about sustainable beef production and get information about how to purchase this incredible product. 


Tours are limited to 8 people and are free but a reservation is necessary. When the first tour fills up, a second tour will be added at 3:30 p.m. To reserve your place, email Wayan Kaufman at with the number of people in your party.


Slow Food Wants You!

Volunteers welcome for 2012 Steering Committee


The Slow Food Orange County Steering Committee is perhaps the most congenial group of foodies in OC. We shape and organize the fabulous Slow Food OC events, and we're preparing for 2012 Steering Committee Board elections while gearing up for some of our largest events of the year. Our events, communications and outreach subcommittees need your input and ideas. If you are interested in joining the steering committee, please plan to attend our next steering committee meeting on February 29th.


For details or for more information, email current SFOC Chair Heather Westenhofer at

Past Event Roundup

Future of Food Film and GMO Labeling Discussion  



On February 5th, 60 people -- some already part of the Slow Food movement but many not -- met at the University Hills Community Center on the UCI campus to view "The Future of Food." Against the backdrop of the recent approval of genetically modified alfalfa for widespread production and the ongoing review of genetically modified salmon, this documentary film, which documents the dramatic explosion of genetically modified crops in the food system and the many problems this has created, seemed as topical today as it was when it was made in 2004. Sound and video equipment was provided by Colin Tanji from Abracadabra in Santa Ana.


The film showing was co-sponsored by Slow Food Orange County and The Committee for the Right to Know (, which is a grassroots coalition of consumer, public health, environmental organizations, and food companies in California that is sponsoring a ballot initiative that would simply require genetically engineered foods sold in California to be labeled. After the film, Kerne Erickson the Orange County organizer for LabelGMOs spoke about this effort and how we can all help gather signatures (starting February 18th) in support of the initiative.



Aquaponic and Vermiculture Workshop



A small group of members had an opportunity to view an indoor Aquaponic system for raising tilapia and growing vegetables. This system was designed and built by a Slow Food member, Teryl Chapel and the homeowner who gave the workshop, Larry Elbert. 
Larry explained the process of building this system along with his trial and error learning. In an Aquaponic system, plants  grown in boxes clean and filter the water for fish and are simultaneously fertilized by the same water.


Participants also built a vermiculture composting system. Vermiculture is an ideal composting method for homes with little or no garden space.   Laura Kemp, one of the participants, won a raffle for the system built during the workshop. She generously donated her "worm condo" complete with worms to two other participants, Mary and Amanda.  Mary and Amanda plan to use the vermiculture composting system with their preschool classes at Santa Ana College. 



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