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August 2013 Newsletter


In This Issue
Chair's Message
Ark of Taste
Volunteers Welcome
Slow Money SoCal Gathering in OC
Future Foods Farms & Orange Home Grown's Farm-to-Table Dinner
September Book Club Meeting
Organic Gardening Author Pat Welsh Speaking On Winter Gardening
Central Orange County Food Swap
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.




Summer is flying by as usual. If you are a gardener, I hope your harvest is bountiful. I also hope everyone is enjoying the bountiful harvest available at the local farmers markets! In Southern California, late summer and early fall is the time when the local farmers markets are at their best. Customers are likely to find the flavor of seasonal produce to be at its peak, plus you have the opportunity to choose from the widest variety of produce. August 4th through 10th was designed National Farmers Market Week by the USDA. Slow Food USA encouraged chapters to support their local markets during that week. There are now 8,144 farmers markets listed in the National Farmers Market Directory, which is an increase of 5,000 since 2008. California has the most registered farmers markets in the nation, with 759. The Slow Food Orange County website now has a listing of Orange County farmers markets. Farmers markets are one of the fastest growing segments of agriculture and provide a tremendous opportunity to "vote with your dollars" in support of local food. Locally grown food benefits your health and taste buds. It benefits the environment by reducing the number of miles food has to travel to reach your table. Local food strengthens the local economy. National Farmers Market week is important because it is one week out of the year when the USDA draws the attention of government officials to the our farmers markets.


You may have missed National Farmers Market week, but you haven't missed the opportunity to make a weekly stop at a farmers market a part of your routine. When shopping in the market, think about finding a farmer to express appreciation to for his/her efforts. Another way to support local food and farmers markets is to use the Grow Method in planning meals for your family and guests. The Grow Method uses five principles in planning meals: 1) reduce waste, 2) cook and buy food efficiently, 3) buy only what is in season, 4) reduce meat consumption, and 5) buy products that benefit small scale producers. By connecting with these environmental issues in our everyday choices, we can be more effective in creating healthy, secure access to food in our country. You can learn more and find recipes at If you are interested in knowing exactly what is in season in Southern California you might like this new product that Slow Food members in San Diego helped to develop: Southern California Food Wheel: What's in Season! $12.95 retail. 


Linda Elbert
Slow Food Orange County, Chair 



The Ark of Taste

"The Ark of Taste is an online catalogue of foods at risk of disappearing that are a part of the cultures and traditions of the entire world. Plant and animal species board the Ark, but also processed products, because, together with plant and animal biodiversity, cheeses, cured meats, breads and sweets are also disappearing: expressions of farmers' and artisans' knowledge that exists not in written recipes, but as complex and rich skills and practices passed down through generations." (Ark of Taste brochure, Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity


The purpose of the Ark of Taste is to point out the existence of these products, draw attention to their risk of extinction and invite everyone to take action. One way of taking action is to protect ark items is by seeking them out to buy and consume, telling their stories, supporting their producers and in some cases promoting their conservation and reproduction. Here are some facts to stress the importance of this which, given that bounty of food we see available in the market place, may not be obvious. We are in fact losing thousands of distinct varieties worldwide much in the same way as wild animal species are being lost. Ancient breeds and varietals are especially threatened. Industrial agriculture raises only a few animal breeds and grows a few crop varietals. Small farms are disappearing from the landscape. In The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food, the author Janisse Ray, cites a University of Georgia study of of seed varieties. Researchers found that 94% of the 7,262 seed varieties available in seed catalogues from 1903 were no longer available in in 2004 seed catalogues. The 2004 catalogues listed a total of 430 varieties. Within the varieties many new seeds were developed over the century, however, the heirloom, open pollinated varieties have disappeared.
Why does this matter? Well it is a sad loss to our plates. It also represents loss to sovereignty over our seeds and ability to control our food. However, probably most significant is the loss of biodiversity. A shrinking gene pool strips crops and animals of the ability to adapt to change (i.e. climate change, new disease).

How can you help? Slow Food is working diligently to identify more products to nominate for boarding the Ark of Taste. We have a California Ark of Taste committee along with several other regional committees across the country. Our members are working with farmers, ranchers, garden groups, chefs, historical societies, and anyone who has knowledge of these disappearing edibles. Our committee needs members to work on this research. If you are interested in working on this project please contact me as I am the chair of this California committee Also if you have knowledge of a product you believe should be nominated to board the Ark of Taste please contact me. Finally, we are working to develop Ark of Taste gardens and an Ark of Taste Trunk (exhibit of products). If you would like to volunteer your time on these projects let me know as well!

Linda Elbert

These Bodega Red Potatoes are an item added to the Ark of Taste this year from Northern California  


Karakul Sheep - currently being reviewed by California Ark of Taste committee

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 COMMITTEE: Want to share ideas on how to promote good, clean and fair food? Then take the lead on one specific event or volunteer for the day and help out. To get involved email Stacey Blaschke, Events Chair, at


OUTREACH COMMITTEE: The Outreach Committee is back in action!  We will be meeting next month to get busy on our initiatives.  Our Food Swaps are off and running and now it's time to get organized around community and school gardens, Slow Food OC Ambassadors and preparing for Patchwork Edible coming Oct 5th & 6th to OC.  If you're on the Outreach Committee or want to join us for our next meeting, please note your meeting preference via Doodle. We will meet the second week of September to get busy!  Contact Gillian Poe for more information  

Upcoming Events 

Slow Money SoCal Gathering in OC

Date: Thursday, August 15th

Time: 6:00pm to 8:30pm

Location: Santa Ana Public Market, 305 East 4th Street, 2nd Level, Santa Ana 92701

Members and non-members welcome

Please join us in downtown Santa Ana, the heart of Orange County, for an evening of local entrepreneur presentations, appetizers, networking, and a peek at the upcoming Santa Ana Public Market, Orange County's version of Seattle's Pike Place Market in the making.


We are excited to feature Erik Oberholtzer, co-founder and owner of Tender Greens, as our keynote speaker. Erik will share his experience starting up and heading one of the most successful sustainable food enterprises born in SoCal.



6:00 pm Structured networking and nibble
7:00 pm Santa Ana Public Market
7:10 pm Erik Oberholtzer, Tender Greens
7:30 pm Entrepreneur Showcase
8:10 pm Entrepreneur follow-up

Entrepreneurs contributing to building a healthy local food system will present a brief overview of their business and growth opportunity. Opportunities for connection, funding, investment, barter, alliance, etc. can be made at the end of the evening.



  • Santa Ana Public Market
  • Devil's Advocate Foods
  • Whale Tale Chips
  • Backyard Bees
  • Urban Agricultural Enterprises
  • Sola Jams
  • Bite Market
  • Sprouts of Promise Foundation (certified farmers markets)

This gathering is FREE, but we are a non-profit, volunteer-powered organization so a minimum $10 suggested donation can be made when you RSVP online, or at the door. This helps cover related expenses and keeps us local community powered!


Please click here to RSVP


Why Invest Locally? Local businesses need money to start up and grow, but the Wall Street model for raising funds is prohibitively expensive for small businesses and virtually excludes most community members from investing locally.

All investments have risk, but investing locally gives you line of sight visibility to your investment at work in your community. Ability to understand investment risk and opportunity comes from personal interaction with company management and with patience can lead to returns and benefits that go far beyond ROI offered by Wall Street.

Investing directly with a small growing business contributes to community diversity, helps build your economy by keeping profits local, and builds the local tax base which in turn enables a range of community services like education, healthcare and development programs.


So if you want to consider new alternatives to achieve ROI, better diversify your risk and support your community, take a few hours to come join like-minded entrepreneurs, investors and community members interested in sustaining and enhancing Southern California's own food system -- organized for you by Slow Money SoCal.

Future Foods Farms & Orange Home Grown's Farm-to-Table Dinner

Date: Saturday, August 17th

Time: 6 PM

Location: Brea, CA

Members and non-members welcome

Orange Home Grown is offering a dinner and tour, which we thought some of our Slow Food members might be interested in.


Tour the state-of-the-art aquaponic farm and learn how the lettuce and microgreens sold at Orange Home Grown Farmers' and Artisans' Markets are grown.


Enjoy tantalizing entrees prepared by Owner/Chef Adam Navidi amongst the organic, living produce.


$75/person includes tour, dinner, non-alcoholic drinks and corkage.


Spots are limited and filling up fast

Please RSVP to reserve your spot by emailing either:

Once you RSVP, additional information and details will be sent regarding the event

Some quick hit items:

  • Feel free to bring beer or wine to pair with your tasting, there are no corkage fees
  • Attire: casual dinner (wear low, comfortable shoes and bring a light jacket as we will be on a farm)

Orange Home Grown is a 501c4 non-profit
Proceeds from OHG fundraisers go towards:

  • OHG scholarship program
  • Educational events
  • Other local non-profits that share our mission/goals
  • Helping fund the weekly Old Towne Orange Farmers & Artisans Market

September Book Club Meeting

Date: Friday, September 6, 2013

Time: 6:30 PM

Location: Irvine, address sent upon RSVP

Members and non-members welcome

We will be reading An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace by Tamar Adar and Alice Waters. RSVP to Diana Tierney at

Author/ Expert Gardner Pat Welsh speaking on Growing Great Cool-Season Veggies, the Organic Way

Date: Saturday, September 28th

Time: 1 PM - 4 PM

Location: Tankersley Hall, Laguna Presbyterian Church, 415 Forest Avenue, Laguna Beach

Members and non-members welcome

On Saturday September 28th, we will be hosting a lecture on organic winter gardening by noted author and organic gardener Pat Welsh, followed by a Q & A session and book signing by the author.


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, which is one the top 10 gardening books on Amazon for the Garden and Landscape Design - Western Region. Pat Welsh was born in England, took up gardening at the age of three, and has had her hands in the soil ever since. She's written countless articles and columns and hosted over 500 television segments and videos. Pat resides and gardens in Southern California.


For more information and to purchase tickets go to


Eventbrite - Author Pat Welsh Speaking on Growing Great Cool-Season Veggies, the Organic Way

Central Orange County Food Swap

Date: Sunday, October 13th

Time: 11pm - 1pm

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? It will be a perfect time to start exploring -- and enjoying -- the first fruits of the fall harvest. Apples, pears, grapes and PUMPKINS! It's time to start planning for those spooky Halloween delights.

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!

***PLEASE NOTE!!!*** TO HOLD YOUR SPACE FOR THIS EVENT, YOU ***MUST*** REGISTER ON EVENTBRITE. Check the web site for the Sign UP link closer to the event. 


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.

Past Events

Crafting Cocktails on a Sunny Afternoon in Corona del Mar
On a warm, sunny afternoon on Sunday August 4th twenty-nine people attended our Craft Cocktail class taught by Benjamin Webb and Kyle Castanon.

Benjamin recently flexed his mixology muscles and won first place in The Bungalow's Muddled Cocktail Contest with his The Mifflin cocktail concoction. If you want to taste it, the Mifflin is currently the featured on the menu at The Bungalow all summer long.  Kyle is the distiller from Greenbar Collective Distillery in Los Angeles, a distillery specializing in organic spirits and the maker of one of the gins, TRU Organic Gin, we tasted.


Benjamin created and served traditional punch libation, a precursor to the modern cocktail. The class participated in tastings and comparisons of three gins and three whiskeys and watched demonstrations on how to whip up four classic cocktails, including the Aviation and the Manhattan.


We would to extend a big round of thanks to Five Crowns Restaurant for supporting our organization and for generously donating their lovely outdoor space, the spirits and ingredients, along with the appetizers, and in addition, we would like to thank Ben and Kyle for a really fun and entertaining afternoon of craft cocktail instruction. 
OC Central Food Swap

The second OC Central Food Swap on August 3rd was a big success. Twenty-two swappers and their little helpers turned out to share in the conviviality of good food and good company. This swap location in Santa Ana is growing nicely, with the event registration filing up in record time. Don't miss the next swap, schedule for October 13th! 

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