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May 2013 Newsletter


In This Issue
Chair's Message
Volunteers Welcome
May Book Club Meeting
Annual Mtg with Master Gardener
Tender Greens Member Mixer
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-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.


Dear Slow Foodies,


This spring had been a great time for Slow Food OC with our Chicken Coop Tour, The Green Scene, Book Club meetings and Carlsbad Aquafarms tour. I think everyone had a great time, whether volunteering time to organize and work at an event or as an attendee. Next up for this spring is the Slow Food USA National Leadership Conference in New Orleans, May 17-19 . We have a team attending the conference - Gillian Poe, Outreach Chair, Stacey Blaschke, Events Chair, and me.


We will have an opportunity to meet and interact with Richard McCarthy, the new executive director of Slow Food USA. We will be attending  workshops on a variety of topics - school gardens, Ark of Taste, Snail of Approval, food policy as well as workshops that provide tips on building our local Slow Food Chapter. With our team we should be able to "divide and conquer" and get the most out of the available training. Following a day and a half of workshops, we will get out of the conference room and explore the New Orleans food community on tours led by local leaders. Slow Food never forgets the conviviality around the table. Evenings will be full of good food, music and the opportunity to enjoy the company of "slow foodies" from around the country at a Crawfish & Shrimp Boil and the Bayou Boogaloo Festival. I am sure we will all return with enthusiasm and a wealth of ideas for moving forward with Slow Food OC!


Linda Elbert

Slow Food Needs Help
We are looking for active participants for our Events and Outreach Committees. Now is a great time to get involved as we will be setting the calendar for the coming year. No experience necessary, just a desire to effect positive change in our community and, of course, a hearty appetite for good food!

EVENTS COMMITEEBring your ideas to promote good, clean and fair food such as tours of farms, tastings of artisan food, chef dinners, slow food workshops, and/or edible related classes. Take the lead on one specific event or volunteer for the day to help on any one event. Our next meeting where you can here more about upcoming events, enjoy a potluck and volunteer to help with future events, if you like, is June 9thPlease RSVP at for the potluck meeting or email Stacey at if you would like to be included in future events subcommittee meetings.

OUTREACH COMMITTEE: School gardens, community gardens, food security, food policy - if you are passionate about taking action in these areas, we need you on this committee. Interested, email Gillian at

Upcoming Events 

May Book Club Meeting

Date: Friday, May 24th

Time: 7PM not 6PM

Location: Duck Club, 15 Riparian View, Irvine, CA 92612

Members and non-members welcome

We will be reading The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister for May. Instead of at someone's house, the meeting will be held at the Duck Club in Irvine. RSVP to

Slow Food OC Annual Meeting and Potluck with Master Gardener Presentation on Edible Gardening in Small Spaces

Date: Sunday, June 9th

Time: 4 p.m - 6 p.m.

Location: The Duck Club, 15 Riparian View, Irvine, CA 92612

Members and non-members welcome

Join us for an annual update on Slow Food Orange County, a talk by one of our Orange County Master Gardeners. Rebecca Chadwick, on Edible Gardening in Small Spaces, followed by a shared meal featuring a potluck of dishes prepared by all of us. Come meet members of the SFOC Steering Committee, ask questions, and find out how you can become more involved.


All guests are encouraged to bring a savory or sweet potluck dish to share. Beverages of ice tea and water will be provided. To encourage sustainability please bring your own plate and cutlery.


About Orange County Master Gardeners: their number one priority is to provide residents of Orange County with up-to-date, practical and sound gardening advice that they can use. Each master gardener has graduated from a UC Cooperative Extension master gardening program.


About the Duck Club: the Audubon House previously served as the old bunk house for the two hunting clubs, the Duck Club was used as a gathering place for the hunters. They would build a roaring fire in the fireplace and share stories over dinner. The next day they would head out early in the morning to hunt. It is now provided as a meeting facility for non-profit organizations.


Event is free, but please pre-register.

Eventbrite - Slow Food OC Annual Meeting with Talk on Edible Gardening in Small Spaces

Member Mixer

Date: Wednesday, June 19th

Time: 6PM

Location: Tender Greens, Irvine Spectrum

Members and non-members welcome

Join Slow Food for our first ever member mixer; you will be able to join SFUSA while there. We will be joining with Tender Greens located at the Irvine Spectrum 6pm, June 19th. The chef at Tender Greens will be preparing a wonderful selection of appetizers for us free of charge (full entrées and alcoholic beverages will be available for a charge). Space is limited, RSVP is free but a must at

Past Events

Carlsbad Aquafarm Tour and Tasting

A big thank you to our our gracious hosts, Norm Abel and Rebecca Richards, of Carlsbad Aquafarm for providing us with a tour of their facility and generously donating shellfish for our enjoyment.


On Saturday May 4th, Slow Food OC went on an excursion south, for an informative tour of the Carlsbad Aquafarm, a shellfish farm sustainably raising seafood. Our tour guide was Norm Abel, one of the co-owners, who walked us around showing us some of the many types of shellfish that are grown and harvested on the farm including abalone, oysters, mussels, red kelp and brine. Our group had the opportunity to learn about shellfish aquaculture in our own back yard while also becoming more educated about ocean acidification, one of the many consequences of global warming that is affecting the shellfish industry.


Chefs Linda Elbert and Michael Millar, with the help of Larry Elbert and Holly Poe Durbin, cooked a wonderful feast of farm delicacies of both smoked oysters, raw oysters with a variety of mignonettes, and steamed mussels, which the entire group enjoyed. You can read Michael Millar's smoked oyster recipe on our blog at .


For those interested in buying locally grown shellfish the Carlsbad Aquafarm primarily sells wholesale and in Orange County can be found at the Old Towne Farmers and Artisans Market and at Whole Foods and Sprouts markets.

Chicken Coop Tour by Leslie Cox

I would have to say that our Chicken Coop Tour was a huge success! Seven coop owners opened up their gardens on a beautiful April afternoon to allow a glimpse into different options for raising chickens in an urban environment. Slow Food members provided refreshments that showcased unique ways to cook with eggs. The food was every bit as scrumptious as you would expect from our members. From quiche, to frittata, to gourmet deviled eggs, to flan.... all were amazing. But in our opinion, Michael Millar and Holly Poe Durbin took the prize by offering homemade ice cream on an incredibly warm afternoon. They topped it off with Michael's melt-in-your-mouth raspberry macaroons.


My husband and I managed to make it to all 7 homes on the tour, 6 in Orange and 1 in Santa Ana. The coops we saw were as varied as their owners, all of whom were there to answer questions about raising chickens. Chickens roamed the gardens as we learned about everything from feeding, the benefits of different breeds, to building coops from scratch or utilizing found reclaimed items. Stop number 7, lovingly called Ruffled Feather Farms, had converted an old repurposed playhouse into a whimsical coop, with a solar powered chandelier to light the coop at night!! Another home had just added a new hen to the brood, and they demonstrated how to introduce a new bird into the existing flock. This home also handed out blueprints for building your own coop from scratch. Another home showcased not only their 6 foot tall coop, but also the aqua farm where they are raising tilapia side by side with their chickens.


It was a very fun afternoon that ended way too soon for us! We enjoyed learning a lot, and came away with many ideas ... not just for chicken coops, but for garden trellises, tomato varieties, companion planting, waist high raised veggie gardens, and other varied topics. Thank you to everyone involved, whether in the planning, or by opening up your hearts and your homes. We feel like this event exemplifies everything that is great about the members of Slow Foods OC and Orange Home Grown. We hope this will become an annual event!!

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