June 2014 

 Issue 45

Ojai Valley Green Coalition


Meet new friends who love good food: Growing it, Cooking it, Eating it


FOOD NEWS goes quarterly... 

As you may have noticed, I haven't been publishing for several months. The whirlwind pace of film distribution took over. But I missed you and thought a quarterly approach might work.

The purpose of the FOOD NEWS is to celebrate, strengthen and grow the food culture and food security of the Ojai Valley.

There are wonderful farms, food products and efforts underway here.  But to remain a resilient community, able to respond as climate, water & economical systems change, we need to share more growing, preparing and eating together. Delicious goal, eh?

I firmly believe that if we don't take an active role in protecting our right to eat healthy food, we will lose it. Bizarre as it may sound, the courts and FDA are not on our side and the food police have shut down preschool bake sales and kids' lemonade stands. (Unbelievable but true) They've arrested Amish from selling their milk and our own Ventura county farmer, Sharon Palmer, for the same thing ... providing product to private food clubs.

But there's good news as well.  Two Oregon counties voted to ban GMO crops from being planted. The state of Vermont did what California and Oregon could not do; they became the first to pass a law demanding the labeling of GMOs in food. Monsanto is going to sue the state. We need to pay attention to what happens, and support Vermont. At the very least, buy your food carefully and vote with your fork.

There is a full-on revolution going on in backyards, rooftops, schools, rural landscapes and revitalized urban environments. It's a revolution about food sovereignty, the right to eat culturally appropriate food, to buy directly from farmers and eat food that hasn't been poisoned.

Grab your rake and join the revolution! 



Check out the zippy new website for the Ojai Food Co-Op.  This is a really exciting venture for our valley, being carefully built. Share your time and talent with them if you can, financial support if you're able.

Rumor has it that Michelle will be teaching a fermentation (SALSA!!!) workshop in July but the details aren't in place yet. Check the website.

Bees Please!

One in every three bites of food we eat depends on a crop pollinated by honey bees. 
Please call Rep. Julia Brownley
(202-225-5811 ) and urge her support of H.R. 2692.  


The Saving America's Pollinators Act (H.R. 2692) calls for the suspension of several neonics until a full review of scientific evidence indicates they are safe and a field study demonstrates no harmful impacts to pollinators.
Neonics are the most widely used insecticides in the world, and exposure to neonics has become a key culprit in bee population losses. Commercial beekeepers in the U.S. have been reporting annual colony losses of 40-100%.  In June 50,000 bumblebees were killed in a parking lot in Oregon by these very chemicals. We need to take swift action to protect our critical pollinators. The Saving America's Pollinators Act seeks to do precisely that.
                               *                    *                    *
Thanks Diane Squire for this recent Ted Talk on our bees:

Thanks for your continuing interest in making the Ojai Valley a more delicious place to live.  Our food system is a vital part of our resilience and strength.


Growing food, growing community!
Dulanie Ellis, Food News

Ojai Valley Green Coalition   




Upcoming Events
(Mark your calendar now, so you remember)



Sunday 6/22 

$20 ahead/$25 door 

The Future of Water

 A panel of experts on water - representing agriculture, public policy, technology, and conservation - will appear together at The Future of Water - Challenges, and Solutions, the second in a series of  panel discussions presented by the Ojai Chautauqua

231-5974 or buy tickets: Barbara Bowman's shop
(next to library) 
Ojai Valley Inn 
4:30 - 6:30


Sunday, 6/22 

$20/$15/kids free 

Solstice Herb Walk
Potrero John  Creek
Identify useful herbs and their uses
Sespee Wilderness, carpool from Maricopa Plaza





Sat. July 19

$20 & up

Fermentation Festival

Booths, DIY, kimchi, kefir, leveaned bread, pickled foods, and farm-to-bar 

Fairview Gardens







Sat. Sept. 27
Sol Food Festival 

Local = SOL
Vera Cruz Park,
Santa Barbara

pink chard

Chard & Ricotta Pie

This is a crowd pleaser.  It will be scarfed down at a potluck. Kids even like it.

2 tsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. black pepper
10-12 C. packed Swiss       Chard (1 lg. bunch)
1 Large egg- separate the yolk and egg white.
1 C. skim ricotta cheese
1/2 C. grated Parmesan
2 9" pie crusts
(I buy Pillsbury ready-made)

Preheat oven to 375

1. Heat oil in large skillet.

2. Add onion, saute until lightly browned, 6-7 min.

3. Stir in garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl

4. Remove stems and steam chard til fully wilted. 5-8min

5. Drain any water. Use layers of paper towels to squeeze all excess water from chard leaves.

6. Chop chard

7. In bowl, stir the egg yolk, add ricotta and parmesan.  

8. Add cooked onion and chard to egg & cheese mix.

9. Lightly oil pie pan and lay out bottom layer & sides.

10. Spread the chard and cheese mixture into the pie crust, evenly distributing.

11. Cover with top pie crust. Cut off excess. Pinch edges.

12. Whisk egg white to a froth. Brush over pie crust.

13. Bake tart 35-40 min. until crust is golden.

14. Cool on rack to set, about 10 minutes.