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July 2013 Newsletter


In This Issue
Chair's Message
Slow Food Outreach Committee Report
Volunteers Welcome
Walking Tour of the Farm + Food Lab
Central Orange County Food Swap
Craft Cocktail Class
August Book Club Meeting
Organic Gardening Author Pat Welsh On Winter Gardening
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.


 Hello again,  

I hope you are all enjoying our lovely Southern California summer. I know I am! Meeting so many new people interested in Slow Food at our June events has made it even better! It was such fun to get acquainted with so many of you around the potluck table following the edible gardening talk at the Duck Club. Those potluck dishes were pretty amazing! Some of you were also at the Tender Greens mixer as well as other new people. Next was the first Central OC Food Swap! Keep reading to get more details on these past events and to see what you can look forward to throughout the summer. I hope you love our Slow Food events, our mission of "good, clean and fair for all" and that you will be back!


The steering committee has been working to identify specific goals for our chapter. There are so many great events, projects, and like-minded organizations. How do we choose who or what to support? Earlier in the year we met with Maya Dunne (Maya Dunne & Associates who volunteered her years of expertise supporting nonprofit organizations to actualize their vision and mission. We have also conducted two member surveys in the past 2 years. As a result of the conversation with Maya and the surveys we have chosen to focus on two areas: increasing the strength and visibility of our Slow Food OC chapter and providing education about food choices. It is clear that we must create awareness of the Slow Food mission and the opportunity to be involved in a local chapter if we are to have an influence in our community. In order to do this we are looking to form relationships with local farmers, restaurants and food artisans & partnering with like-minded groups. We intend to have events that allow for the sharing of good food and fellowship to energize our efforts. We are looking for members interested in becoming actively engaged in our events and outreach committees. We plan to provide interesting education about food choices. Look for a variety of cooking classes and check out the upcoming food swaps as well as coming opportunities to learn about growing some of your own food.


Linda Elbert 

Slow Food OC, Chair

Slow Food Outreach Committee Report

The Outreach Committee had a very productive meeting on June 20th and set some priorities for our three outreach areas. Please contact Gillian Poe for more information

Patchwork - The Edible Edition!

The Outreach Committee will help organize Slow Food OC's presence at the upcoming Edible Patchwork food festival, October 5-6th, curated by Patchwork Show organizers, Delilah Snell and Nicole Stevenson. Festival attendees will enjoy an extensive outdoor food artisan marketplace as well as DIY workshops, lectures and panels by visionaries in the Southern California food scene. Contact Gillian to volunteer!

School Gardens

With Linda Elbert's direction, we will establish a replicable Ark Garden concept for OC that can be scaled up or down depending on the growing space. These gardens can be installed on their own or as part of a new or existing garden space.

Sophie Loeb is looking into other school garden programs, especially the model from Slow Food Temecula, to help us determine our garden program requirements. This subcommittee will meet in July, date TBD.

Slow Food OC Ambassador Program

"We need schwag!" was a theme in this conversation! Ambassadors are meant to be helpful, knowledgeable and engaging members of our local Slow Food chapter. We discussed the importance of having Ambassadors play a role in welcoming and engaging new guests and members at all Slow Food and community events and possibly sharing some small give away that symbolizes Good, Clean and Fair for All.


Gillian Poe is heading up this project and the priorities are to create 1) materials that will help Ambassadors feel comfortable talking about Slow Food in a local, national and international context, 2) talking points to help Ambassadors engage the community about getting involved in Slow Food, and 3) a list of local speakers who can address aspects of Slow Food that they are most interested in.

Snail of Appreciation

Larry Elbert is heading up this project that will recognize establishments in Orange County that in some significant way uphold the principles of Good, Clean, Fair Food for All. This can be restaurants, farmer's market vendors, garden supply centers, etc. The next step is for this subcommittee to begin drafting the criteria for the program, nomination and review process, recognition models, and overall timing for the project.

Slow Food Orange County Needs You
We are looking for active participants for our Events and Outreach Committees.  No experience necessary, just a desire to effect positive change in our community and, of course, a hearty appetite for good food!

EVENTS COMMITTEEBring your ideas to promote good, clean and fair food. Take the lead on one specific event or volunteer for the day to help on any one event. The next subcommittee meeting is June 20th. Please email the Events Chair, at, if you are interested in being on the committee.

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 

Walking Tour of the Farm + Food Lab

Date: Wednesday, July 10th

Time: 10:00 AM

Location: Great Park, Irvine

Members and non-members welcome

Please join us on Wednesday July 10th at 10 a.m. as UCCE Master Gardner Teena Spindler takes us for a guided walking tour of the Farm + Food Lab Garden at the Great Park.


In 2009, the Park opened its Farm + Food Lab, as the beginning of a larger agricultural program planned for the Great Park. The farm gardens now include a Pizza Garden, Square Foot Garden, Herb Garden, Edible Garden and Butterfly Garden, Hay Bale Garden and a worm bin for composting. The garden beds are designed, planted and maintained by UCCE Master Gardeners.


Adults and children are welcome on the tour.

Eventbrite - Tour of the Farm + Food Lab Tour at the Great Park 

Kids free and donation of $10.00 for adults suggested and RSVP is required.


About the Farm + Food Lab

The Farm + Food Lab is a two-acre demonstration garden created to educate and inspire visitors of all ages on how they can grow organic, fresh produce in their own backyard. Open seven days a week and staffed by University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Master Gardeners of Orange County, the Farm + Food Lab is home to spring and fall gardening workshops for adults as well as monthly workshops for children, developed in partnership with the UCCE Master Gardeners.

July Book Club Meeting

Date: Friday, July 26th

Time: TBA


Members and non-members welcome

We will be reading Farm City: The Education of An Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter. To RSVP, contact Diana Tierney at

Central Orange County Food Swap

Date: Saturday, August 3rd

Time: 2pm - 4pm

Location: The Village, 1505 E. 17th St., Santa Ana 92705

Members and non-members welcome

A Food Swap is part silent auction/part village marketplace/part fun-loving open house where your homemade creations (breads, preserves, special concoctions, canned goods, etc.) become your own personal currency for use in swapping with other participants. What better way to diversify your pantry and network with like-minded friends and neighbors?

We welcome everyone, as long as you bring something you made, grew, or foraged yourself. We will also consider other homemade non-comestibles (soaps, beauty products, etc) on a case-by-case basis.

Bring an assortment of your homemade edible specialties (think pickles, preserves, baked goods, honey, granola, pasta, fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices... you name it!) to exchange for other handcrafted delights.
No money exchanges hands. Even your entrance to the event is FREE!


Eventbrite - Central Orange County Food Swap (sponsored by Slow Food OC)


You will also find additional details about the event, including downloadable forms, on the Eventbrite site.

For more information about the Food Swap Network, check out For questions regarding this event, feel free to contact Sarah Whittenberg at or 714-329-7521 cell/text on the day of the event.

Craft Cocktail Class

Date: Sunday, August 4th

Time: 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Location: Five Crowns Restaurant, Corona Del Mar

Members and non-members welcome

Want to expand your cocktail-making repertoire and are you interested in what craft cocktail really means? Then join us on for a summer afternoon at the lovely outdoor garden at Five Crowns Restaurant where mixologist Benjamin Webb will teach us how. We will be sipping and learning how to make delicious craft cocktails made from freshly squeezed citrus, bitters, herbs and various spirits.


You will have a chance to imbibe a traditional punch libation, precursor to the modern cocktail. You will be introduced to a brief history of spirits, enjoy a primer on the tools of the trade, and instruction on the best way to taste. The two-hour class will also include a tasting and sampling of various gins and instruction on how to make some classic cocktails along with recipe cards you can take home to recreate the cocktails.


Kyle Castanon, the distiller from Greenbar Collective Distillery in Los Angeles, will be joining us as one of the gins we will taste is Greenbar's TRU Organic Gin.


Appetizers will be  served.


Cost: $40.00 for Slow Food members
         $50.00 for Yet-to-be Slow Food members


To purchase a ticket go to

Eventbrite - Slow Food OC Craft Cocktail Class

August Book Club Meeting

Date: Sunday, August 25, 2013

Time: TBA

Location: TBA

Members and non-members welcome

We will be reading An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace by Tamar Adar and Alice Waters.

Growing Organic Winter Vegetables with Pat Welsh

Date: Saturday, September 28th

Time: 1 pm - 4 pm

Location: Laguna Presbyterian Church

Members and non-members welcome

Save the date. On Saturday September 28th, we will be hosting a lecture followed by a question and answer session on Growing Organic Winter Vegetables by noted organic gardener and author Pat Welsh. The lecture will be followed by a book signing.

Pat Welsh is an Emmy-award winning garden-writer, author of books including Pat Welsh's Southern California Organic Gardening (3rd Edition): Month by Month, TV performer, and professional artist.

Pat Welsh was born in England, took up gardening at the age of three, and has had her hands in the soil ever since. Welsh's professional horticultural career began in the mid-1970's teaching courses in home gardening at UCSD Extension and Miracosta College. She's written countless articles and columns and hosted over 500 television segments and videos. Her current writing project is a book on Southwest Gardening for DK Publishers (New York/London), and the American Horticultural Society.

Tickets will go on sale July 15th and the event will be held at Tankersley Hall at Laguna Presbyterian Church in Laguna Beach.

Past Events

Tender Greens Mixer


Slow Food OC held its first mixer at Tender Greens in the Irvine Spectrum last month.  We selected Tender Greens because the restaurant has a philosophy of partnering with local ranchers, farms, artisans, boutique wineries, breweries and coffee roasters to provide ingredients for seasonal dishes. Pete Balistreri, the Irvine regional chef, served a menu of beautifully prepared summer appetizers: chilled vegan corn chowder with chervil, oven-dried cherry tomatoes with burrata cheese, a slow-braised short rib, mashed potato and crispy onions, house cured salmon on a potato chip with creme fraiche and lemon, and finally a berry reduction with cream. We had the opportunity to enjoy these delicious appetizer bites and the company of many Slow Food members as well as many people attending a Slow Food event for the first time. We plan to offer more of this type of mixer at various locations throughout Orange County. Mixers are great opportunity to talk one-on-one with active Slow Food members and learn about our organization. 




First Central OC Food Swap


Let the swapping begin and conviviality grow!  The first Central OC Food Swap held on June 23rd was a big success.  There were 17 homegrown food artisans eager to swap everything from fresh yogurt to perfectly packed pickles to freshly picked backyard produce to the most delicate and moist blueberry scones you've ever had (just to name a delights!).  Remember, sampling is half the fun!


The Central OC Food Swap will be held every 6-8 weeks in the beautiful courtyard at The Village in Santa Ana.  You must register through Eventbrite to save your spot.


Next swap: Saturday, Aug 3rd 2-4pm 



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