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November Newsletter


In This Issue
Chair's Message
Tour of Alegría Hydroponic Farm
Next Book Club Meetings
Wine Pairing and 5 Course Tasting Menu
Online Potluck System
SFOC Directory
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-anything 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.


Terra Madre

Chair Linda Elbert


I am writing from Italy still "basking in the glow" of my Terra Madre experience. I feel so fortunate that since becoming Chair of Slow Food OC, I have had the opportunity to attend the Slow Food National Congress in Louisville and was then selected as a delegate to the International Congress at Terra Madre in Turin.  These experiences have broadened my perspective on the Slow Food organization by allowing me to hear the stories and in some cases speak personally with people whose lives have truly been changed by Slow Food. During the Congress, three projects or areas were identified for growth in the Slow Food organization over the next four years before the Congress will reconvene.


The Slow Food Biodiversity Foundation has a project titled 1000 Gardens in Africa. Delegates from counties such as Kenya, Uganda, Ivory Coast, Mali and others spoke to the International Congress at Terra Madre about the impact of these gardens on their communities. The objective of this program is to create food sovereignty and to support local farmers in recreating their farming traditions. Farmers are supported in recovering seeds from indigenous crops that thrive locally without a high need for external fertilizers or pesticides. The gardens are planted on community land with many at schools. The stories delegates told were of collaboration between generations and people with different backgrounds, restoration of culinary traditions, and restoration of prestige to small farmers. Slow Food president and founder Carlo Petrini proposed that this project be revised as 10,000 Gardens in Africa. He charged his new International Vice President, Alice Waters, to request support from Michelle Obama assuming she would have a second term in her position as First Lady.


The Slow Food Youth Movement is extremely active in Europe. A group from Belgium shared a fun project that translates as "Chopping Dance." The students collected unused, perfectly good food from restaurants and markets, held a large party where everyone alternately danced, chopped vegetables and worked to make soup for the homeless. The idea behind the project was to create an awareness of food waste. The number of vats of soups created was astounding. A representative of the Slow Food Youth Movement was added to the newly elected International Executive Committee. Greater involvement with college students and high schools students is an area for growth targeted by the International Congress.  We have included two high school students on our board this past year, which is apparently quite unusual. Local chapters are encouraged to reach out to young people by encouraging participation in the chapter itself, supporting formation of independent youth chapters and collaborating with like-minded organizations on colleges or in communities. It would be great if our chapter could expand in this area.


The boarding of more products on the Ark of Taste and in the Presidia program was a third area targeted for growth. I learned that there are only about 1000 products on the ark and 400 of them are from Italy.  Chapters were strongly urged to identify their own locally endangered edible products and culinary traditions.  The Slow Food USA  Biodiversity Committee has been working on a procedure to streamline the boarding of products on the ark, which is near completion.  So, if any of you know of products that might be appropriate, please let someone on the steering committee know.  If you have  grandparents and great grandparents who might know of products talk with them. To better understand this project you can read the information at


I am still in Italy visiting an organic farm where I coincidentally met up with 2 farmers from Washington State who had also been Terra Madre delegates. It has been fun to further share in the Slow Food community with them. I will be home next week and look  forward to our Slow Food OC future events and projects!


Linda Lewis Elbert

Slow Food OC, Chair

Upcoming Events 

Tour of Alegrķa Hydroponic Farm in Laguna Beach

Date: Saturday, December 1st

Time: 4:00 PM

Location: Alegrķa Farm, 2495 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, CA

Alegrķa Farm, located in Laguna Beach, CA., is a new commercial hydroponic vertical farm employing over 170 towers growing over 10,000 plants in less than 1/4 acre.

The Verti-Gro hydroponic system uses no soil, 90 percent less water, 70 percent less land and 50 percent less fertilizer than traditional organic farming. Verti-Gro hydroponic commercial and home garden systems produce clean, natural food much faster than traditional farming and allow plants to grow faster, bigger and stronger, thus the plants are naturally more pest resistant.

Hydroponic vertical production systems are especially effective in small urban spaces and can be set up to recirculate and automatically water the plants for even greater resource efficiency.

Join us for a 1-hour tour of Alegrķa Farm which will include salad made from freshly harvested greens, and beer & wine. Tickets are $15 per person and can be paid under Farm Tours towards the middle of this page: Please also RSVP to

Those who wish to purchase greens may bring a salad bowl that will hold water. No pets please.
To learn more about Alegrķa Farm visit

Book Club Meetings

Date: Friday, January 18th & February 22nd

Time: 7:00 PM

Location: To be sent upon RSVP

The Slow Food Book Club is off to a great start. If you are interested in joining us, there is still room for more. Our next meeting will be January 18th at 7pm. We'll be reading "The Kitchen Daughter" by Jael McHenry. It will be followed by "Cheese and Culture" by Paul Kindstedt for our meeting on February 22nd (we are taking off the month of December to enjoy the holidays). Email to RSVP.


Italian wine and food
Bringing Home Terra Madre - Wine Pairing and 5 Course Tasting Menu

Date: Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013

Time: 4 pm - 7 pm

Location: private home

Terra Madre is a bi-annual conference coordinated by Slow Food and held in Turin, Italy. At Terra Madre, food communities around the world meet to display the extraordinary diversity throughout the globe and to unite small-scale farmers and artisans who are committed to good, clean & fair food. This year's focus is on how our daily choices and the food on our plate determine the future of our environment, economy and society. The conference will address how to raise a collective voice and become active in solving problems affecting the the earth and the global community. 


Our Slow Food OC chair, Linda Elbert has been selected as a delegate to attend this conference. Since she is a chef, she will be attending the Master Chef series at the conference as well as studying additional regional cooking on an organic farm following the conference. This event will be an opportunity to share the Terra Madre experience with our OC chapter.


Slow Food and the Organic Cellar are teaming up for an evening of delicious slow food and slow wine. Sommelier Dawn Brese and Chef Linda Elbert of the Basement Table will be pairing a tasting menu with Italian wines and Italian dishes for 25 guests at a private home in Laguna Beach. Learn about organic wine making in Italy. Enjoy tasting varietals from different regions of Italy as they pair with the foods of the region. Experience how a perfect pairing enhances both the food and the wine. Come gather around the table and enjoy this convivial evening and the 5 course tasting menu with wine pairing. 


SAVE THE DATE - Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 4 pm -7 pm. Tickets are available on Brown Paper Tickets at a cost of $55. Proceeds will benefit Orange County programs and projects that promote good, clean, fair food.

Potluck Organizing System

potluck general
Online Potluck System for Members


We asked the membership what they wanted and one of the requests was, "More Potlucks!" So here it is: the "Small Potlucks." Now anyone can host a potluck anytime and even for a small group. The idea is be able to get to know your Slow Food neighbors. Maybe have a themed event, food and wine paring, or just deserts but the group can be small or large depending on the size of your house. Go to the Slow Food Orange County web site and select Potlucks under Join Us to begin the process, or visit It's easy to list your event and and the system will keep track of RSVPs. Also while you are there check to see who else may be hosting a potluck and sign up to attend.

Slow Foods Orange County Membership List


We would like to create a Slow Foods Orange County Membership List.  This is for those members who would like to have a means of contacting their fellow members.  The information on this list may not be used for marketing or sales purposes or to establish independent data files or information.  This list will only be sent to other members on the list.  If you would like to receive a membership list, please send Ginger Fitzpatrick at the following information:

Subject:  Slow Foods Membership List
Message:  Name, Home Address, Phone Number, Email Address

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