New Slow Food Header

June 2012 Newsletter


In This Issue
President's Message
Sexlinger Orchard News
The Harvest Club
Roberto Pérez Rivero Speaking
Kombucha Brewing Class
Food for Thought
Label GMOs
Slow Food at the Orange County Fair
4th Annual Barbecue Date Set
Past Events
Join the Slow Food Movement!
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,  here to join or send us an email if you have questions. Join now and you will be invited to our July potluck without having to bring a dish.

President's Message


New Slow Food HeaderSince taking on the position of chair of our Slow Food OC Steering Committee, I have become increasingly aware of our individual chapters' connection to Slow Food USA and Slow Food International.  There are two reasons behind this. One, now I am taking the time to actually read all the Slow Food mail that I previously saved but pretty rarely got around to reading. Secondly, after becoming chair, Slow Food OC sponsored my attendance at the national congress in Lousiville, Kentucky. Now there are faces behind the email and real people concerned about Slow Food issues that I want to support.  Additionally,  I will also be a delegate to the sixth Slow Food International Congress to be held this coming October in Turin, Italy in conjunction with Terra Madre and Salone Del Gusto
During the up-coming congress an important new document titled "The Central Role of Food" will be presented.  This document will be translated into all 50 languages where Slow Food has a presence and sent out to all chapters, members, and affiliated groups for discussion prior to the congress. This document takes a firm stand for the belief that food is a primary right of all people and that a healthy food system ensures the survival of humankind and the planet. The document asserts that  acknowledging the "centrality of food" creates an opportunity to ensure soil fertility, clean air and water,  safeguard biodiversity, protect our health and traditions and our gathering as a community. This is a 
somewhat lengthy document (20 pages) but I encourage members to read the document, to understand the future direction of Slow Food at both the international and national level and to consider how our local chapter will play its part. I hope you will be inspired!
Linda Elbert

Santa Ana City Council Approves Historic Designation for Sexlinger Orchard


SANTA ANA, CA (June 7, 2012) - The Santa Ana City Council voted 4-1 in favor of placing the Sexlinger orange orchard and farmhouse, a century-old farm, on the Santa Ana Register of Historical Properties at its meeting on June 4, 2012.  The designation provides Santa Ana-based Save Our Orchard Coalition with an opportunity to raise the funding needed to acquire the property and preserve it. For more information visit 

Harvest Club logoShare the Bounty - Join The Harvest Club!   

Drive through any community in Orange County and you'll find fruit trees spilling over fences, bursting with fruit and begging to be picked.  This fruit, which often goes to waste, can now be used to nourish our neighbors in need, thanks to The Harvest Club!   


The Harvest Club provides fresh, healthy food to the hungry in Orange County by harvesting excess backyard produce and donating it to local food pantries, churches and soup kitchens.  Not only does The Harvest Club minimize food waste and feed the hungry, it also promotes sustainable use of urban resources and strengthens the community by bringing together growers, neighbors and those in need.  Not to mention, harvesting is really fun!

The Harvest Club is seeking Harvest Captains to lead harvests either on weekdays or weekends, as well as volunteer harvesters to pick fruit.  This is an excellent way to be of service, get some exercise and sample some delicious backyard produce. 

Harvest Club photo

If you are backyard grower with an overabundance of fruit, you can register your trees at and we'll be in touch to coordinate a harvest. 
For more information on how you can get involved, visit them at or email us at

Gilian Poe, Executive Director of  OC Food Access Coalition, the parent organization of The Harvest Club, has joined the Slow Food OC Steering Committee. 

International Speaker Series: Cuban Permaculturist - Roberto Pérez Rivero

Date:  Wednesday, June 20th

Time: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Location:  Muth Interpretive Center, 2301 University DriveNewport Beach, CA92660

Roberto will talk about Cuba's progress and struggles in sustainable agriculture and sustainable development, especially in the last 20 years since the dissolution of the Soviet bloc. If you have not yet seen the film, The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil, we highly recommend that you view it, prior to attending a presentation. The film is less than an hour in length and is available, in its entirety, at the website below. The first ten minutes focuses on the issue of peak oil in general, followed by 50 minutes of interviews with the Cuban environmental policy makers and practitioners, including Roberto, who have brought about this dramatic evolution toward sustainability in Cuba.


Read more at 

Kombucha Brewing Class and Tour of The Growing HomeKombucha photo

Date: Saturday, June 23, 2012

Time: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Location: The Growing Home in Diamond Bar, CA

Our friends at The Growing Home have organized this special opportunity for Slow Food Orange County members to come visit their farm/garden and learn how to brew kombucha at home. The Growing Home is an urban farm, educational center, and edible landscape company located in Diamond Bar, CA. Since 2008, they have grown thousands of pounds of fruits, vegetables, and herbs on their 5000 square feet of land, feeding their family and their local community. They were instrumental in the creation of Slow Food San Gabriel Valley, which was founded in January 2012. Learn more about The Growing Home here.

Kombucha has been consumed for over 2000 years the world over. It has been extensively studied and applied for several medical uses in Russia, Germany, China and many other places. It is naturally carbonated and is purported to have a host of healing properties that may include

*Probiotics - healthy bacteria
*Alkalize the body - balance internal pH
*Detoxify the liver - happy liver = happy mood
*Increase metabolism - rev your internal engine
*Improve digestion - keep your system moving
*Rebuild connective tissue - help with arthritis, gout, asthma, rheumatism
*Cancer prevention
*Alleviate constipation

In this workshop, you will learn how to make this "Wonder Drink," and receive all the tools to do it at home too. Tickets are $49.99 per person and can be purchased here.

Love Propagation logo
Food for Thought

Date: Saturday, June 23, 2012

Time: 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Location: Orange

Erin Sladek is opening her garden in Orange to food lovers who like growing and knowing where their food comes from and sharing it with others. 


She is hoping to have an abundance of tomatoes (20+ heirloom varieties) to taste along with fresh lemonade and a variety of goodies canned from the garden last year. 


There will also be a live Jazz Combo.  To request an evite or for more information, email

Label GMO's Beach Potluck and MusicNew Slow Food Header

Date: July 1

Time: All day at the Beach, 3pm Potluck, 7pm Music 

Location: Huntington Beach State Park (look for the big red balloon at one of the fire rings)

Come help our friends at get the word out about the ballot measure requiring genetically modified food to be labelled.  To attend, RSVP at this site.

Slow Food at the Orange County Fair - August 11OC Fair logo

Date: Saturday, August 11

Time: 3:00PM & 5:30PM

Location: OC Fairgrounds

Slow Food with have a booth in the Culinary Exhibit Building on August 11. The culinary theme that day will be a Taste of Home and feature presentations to inspire cooking at home. One of our Slow Food members will be presenting a cooking demonstration at 3 pm (detail coming soon!) and at 5:30 Linda Elbert our Slow Food OC chair and chef/owner of The Basement Table www.thebasementtable .com will demonstrate "Salad Dressing Design." We need volunteers to work our Slow Food booth so if you are interested please contact Linda at Spend a couple of hours sharing your passion about Slow Food with booth visitors, then enjoy the day at the fair.

Food at barbecue
4th Annual Barbecue

Date: Sunday, September 23rd

Time: 5 P.M.

Location: Bommer Canyon Cattle Camp, Irvine


Save the date for our 4th Annual Barbecue!

It will feature live music and a locally-sourced seasonal feast prepared by Chef Ryan Adams of 370 Common in Laguna Beach. 


 We are currently soliciting donations for the raffle at the barbecue. We are particularly interested in items that reflect the Slow Food philosophy of growing food, cooking it, and eating it. These include restaurant gift certificates, artisan food products, cookbooks, plants, and gardening tools. If you have an idea for a donation, please fill out the form at
2011 Barbecue 



Artisan Food Fair at the Great ParkArtisan Food Fair


Slow Food OC provided financial support for the Artisan Food Festival at the Great Park on April 28, 2012.  This was a  terrifically successful pilot event.  There were about 4600 visitors making it the largest attendance at any program in the Agriculture and Food Division.  The intent of this event was to provide education about growing and eating good, clean food and completing the food cycle with composting. Cooking and gardening demonstrations were presented throughout the day. There were presentations on beekeeping and backyard chickens. The theme of sustainability was woven in with interactive displays on aquaponics and a solar oven.
Restaurants, artisans, food vendors and farmers were partners for the day's events.  At the Slow Food booth, many of our members participated in talking with visitors about our local OC chapter.  At the booth we had our new "vegetable box" made by the Wright family. This is a great wooden box covered with "retro" pictures of vegetables. Kids put their hands inside to guess the hidden vegetable. We were happy to see that most of the kids were quite good at this and enjoyed the activity. We hope to see many of the people we spoke to at our upcoming events!

Park Ave #1
Sunday in the Garden at Park Ave


This was a sold-out event and the lucky forty participants all had both an educational tour and  a wonderful meal paired by specially selected wines.


Park Ave gardenPark Ave Chef David Slay
Guests were greeted with champagne and passed hors d'oeuvres before being led through the gardens by Culinary Gardener Kathryn Agresto who designed and maintains the 4000 square feet  working garden (which contains 14 raised beds and 2000 feet of in-ground garden). She coordinates with Executive Chef  and managing partner David Slay to ensure that  everything produced there both meets the Chef's requirements and is totally consumed by the restaurant.   One of the staff was collecting produce as we were touring.  Kathryn indicated that she works with the staff to ensure that the staff properly selects how much and what can be used.  There are even special ways  that she uses to warn the staff away from plants that should not be used at that particular time.  One of the hints we took away from the education tour was to plant a grouping such as fennel in the center area of a plot of garden, next plant beets near them (for sun protection) and then edge the area with radishes.  

TMA garden work
Work Day at Tustin Memorial


Families, students, and teachers all gathered in the TMA garden to weed, prune, and prepare the garden for summer. According to national law, the garden has met strict requirements that now allow it to be considered a farm. Flowers were in bloom everywhere, and it was just magical to see such a transformation since the last work day.  

Grapes, onions, and various herbs were just some of the edible items growing in the garden. 


TMA has formed groups now to assure that the legacy will live on once current parents retire from their position on the garden board. Students serve as ambassadors towards their peers and others in the community. Recently, a few 5th graders teamed up to give tours of the garden to visitors.  

Marci, the head of the garden, has asked if more Slow Food members would like to volunteer in September. We will provide more details as it approaches closer to the date.


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Kallari Chocolate Tasting


Seventeen people joined Rebecca Roebber, a representative of the Kallari Chocolate cooperative, for a sumptuous pot-luck with a South American theme followed by a talk and chocolate tasting presented by Ms. Roebber. The group learned how by joining together in a cooperative that processes their chocolate into finished bars, the families in the cooperative not only earn more for their labor but they ensure a higher quality, organic product. We experienced the result directly through the blind taste test that included 3 Kallari chocolates, varying in their percentage of cocoa mass, and 9 other high-end chocolate bars. Kallari chocolates are available at . 


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