Edible East Bay News

A Face/Place Story: Urban Farming in Richmond, California

Read about Rebecca Newburn’s work with the Richmond Seed Library in The Seed Saving Controversy.

Sugar and Spice -

We have an especially flavorful array of opportunities on this week’s menu. Scroll down to explore all the spices and sweets.


Oaktown Spice Shop owners Erica Perez and John Beaver (with daughter Luisa) recently moved their popular shop to a larger space on Grand Avenue. Photo: Erin Scott.

In this newsletter:

●  Oaktown Spice Shop thrives in its new home
●  Get the dirt on hops at Ploughshares Nursery – July 4
●  Peek behind the scenes at Three Stone Hearth – July 12
●  Book Review: Cool cakes for hot days
●  Recipe: Persian Lime Curry Chicken



The new shop features separate sections for a spice market and a bazaar.  Photos courtesy of Oaktown Spice Shop.

The new shop features separate sections for a spice market and a bazaar.
Photos courtesy of Oaktown Spice Shop.

A Sweet New Space for Spice Lovers

Oaktown Spice Shop is a favored haunt for curious foodies and adventurous home cooks as well as famed chefs and chocolatiers. In fact, demand for the shop’s high-quality culinary herbs and spices has been so great since John Beaver and Erica Perez opened in December 2011 that they have had to expand. With the help of local businesses Arcsine Architecture, White Owl Woodworks, and JBM Construction, they created a new space just a few doors down on Oakland’s Grand Avenue and made the move about two months ago.… Read More

Summer Salad -

Step into the season with a gourmet dinner on the farm and a spectacular arts fair.


 Paradise Community Garden leader Shanale (left) and workshop instructor Kiyoko (right) tend their raised beds. Photo courtesy of Audrey Lieberworth.

Paradise Community Garden leader Shanale (left) and workshop instructor Kiyoko (right) tend their raised beds. Photo courtesy of Audrey Lieberworth.

In this newsletter:

●  Shop, taste, and support KPFA – June 20 & 21
●  Join the fun in Paradise – June 21
●  Celebrate Dad’s Day with a pig roast – June 21
●  Mix a drink with the Cocktail Whisperer – June 21
●  Savor a divine dinner at Knoll Farm – June 30
●  Kudos to two local James Beard Award winners
●  Recipe: Fig Chutney made with Knoll Farm figs



Work by featured artists pictured above (left to right): Karen Brown (jewelry), Eileen Goldenberg (ceramics), Susan Eastman (wearables), Theresa Kwong (jewelry), Katharina Ernst (wearables), Karl Schroen (mixed media), and Fritzie Seidler (mixed media). Photos courtesy of Karin Conn.

Work by featured artists pictured above (left to right): Karen Brown (jewelry), Eileen Goldenberg (ceramics), Susan Eastman (wearables), Theresa Kwong (jewelry), Katharina Ernst (wearables), Karl Schroen (mixed media), and Fritzie Seidler (mixed media). Photos courtesy of Karin Conn.

Arts & Eats

The historic Craneway Pavilion is the new home for the KPFA Summer Arts Fair, formerly the Live Oak Park Fair. A benefit for KPFA 94.1 FM, the fair features original, handmade work by 200 exhibitors in all media—painting, sculpture, ceramics, woodwork, jewelry, glasswork, and photography.

KPFA-SAF_InsertFrontPlenty of tempting treats made by local food crafters are also available to taste and purchase.… Read More

Turn Up the Heat! -

Whether you favor burgers, salmon, or tofu on the barbie, it’s time to clean your grill and get cooking.

One of the many fire-burning vessels pictured in Franklin Barbecue. Reprinted with permission from Franklin Barbecue by Aaron Franklin & Jordan Mackay, copyright © 2015. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photo: Wyatt McSpadden © 2015

In this newsletter:

●  The Local Butcher pops up at the farmers’ market – Tuesdays through October
●  Contemplate food ethics at Mrs. Dalloway’s – June 11
●  Dine with a chef and a revolutionary – June 14
●  Book Reviews: On Fire!
●  Recipe: The Local Butcher’s Grilled Lamb Chops with Chimichurri




Sandos, Soups, and Pastured Meat at the Farmers’ Market

Meat-lovers favorite The Local Butcher Shop now hosts a summer stand at the Tuesday farmers’ market in South Berkeley. Stop by to enjoy a sandwich, hot soup, stew, or some beef jerky. A selection of frozen bone broth, stocks, and soups as well as tallow soap are available to take home. The market stand is open through October, with the weekly menu posted here.

At their Berkeley store, The Local Butcher Shop offers pastured meat sourced from within 150 miles of the shop.… Read More

Spring Medley -

From sampling ice cream to mixing cocktails, we’ve got events to suit every palate.


Gelato-tasting stop at Powell’s Sweet Shoppe.
Photo courtesy of Rockridge Food Tour.


In this newsletter:

●  Scrumptious samples at Mark Bittman’s book signing – May 30
●  Help your garden thrive with less water – May 30
●  Book extravaganza in Oakland – May 31
●  New Rockridge ice cream tour starts up May 31
●  A food tour review
●  Cocktails get wild with foraged plants – May 31 or June 14
●  Book reviews: Mark Bittman’s latest hits!
    A Bone to Pick: The Good and Bad News About Food and How to Cook Everything Fast



Books and Bites with Mark Bittman

Meet Mark Bittman at this Market Hall book-signing event.
Photo by Fred Conrad/The New York Times

Don’t miss New York Times columnist and author Mark Bittman as he signs books and offers cookbook-recipe tastes at Rockridge Market Hall in Oakland. Tastings from A Bone to Pick feature Roasted Nuts with Ginger, Soy Sauce, and Honey. Info: here or 510.250.6001. Read more about Bittman’s books in Kristina Sepetys’s reviews below.

Saturday May 30, 2–3pm
Mark Bittman: Book Signings & Tastings
A Bone to Pick: The Good and Bad News About Food
How to Cook Everything Fast
How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

Rockridge Market Hall
5655 College Ave, Oakland



Happy Gardens with Less Water

Jeremy Watts of Food Forest Design Works joins Ploughshare Nursery’s staff for a discussion about how to reduce water use in the garden.… Read More

Saving Seeds -

Seed-saving advocate Rebecca Newburn in her thriving Richmond garden. Photo by Scott Peterson.

Our summer issue is out! And we have something special this time: A new online video by Scott Peterson accompanies our story about Rebecca Newburn and the seed-saving movement. Enjoy!

In this newsletter:

●  Video Release: A Face-Place Story features
seed-saving dynamo Rebecca Newburn
●  Meet the hogs, turkeys, and fainting goat
at Grabishfarm – May 23
●  Lentil Underground author Liz Carlisle talks seeds – May 23
●  Kick back with Jamaican jerk to benefit My Yute Soccer – May 25


Rebecca Newburn at the Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library. Photo by Scott Peterson.

Seeds on Screen

Meet Rebecca Newburn, middle-school teacher, urban farmer, and a leader of the national seed-saving movement. Videographer Scott Peterson brings you to Rebecca’s extraordinary Richmond garden, where she talks about her community, the face and place behind seeds, and the world’s best tomato plant. Watch the video here, and read Jillian Steinberger’s story about Rebecca and the seed-saving movement in the brand new summer issue of Edible East Bay.

Copies of the magazine arrive at local farmers markets and stores over the coming days. Pick-up spots are listed here.

Read More
Ready, Set, Cook! -


Food incubator Kitchen@812 hosts an action-packed evening featuring the Culinary Clash on Wednesday May 20. This food competition supports the Pinole-based food incubator, which helps local food entrepreneurs launch new businesses. The event is in the style of Food Network favorite Chopped, with ingredient baskets that chefs see just before the clock starts ticking. Contestants include professional chefs, sponsor representatives, community members, and junior chefs from Hercules High School Culinary Academy. Along with the competition, the evening features live music and plenty of goodies to taste.

Kitchen@812 provides commercial kitchen space plus assistance with business planning, strategy, marketing, and financing. Most participants are low-income, minority, and women entrepreneurs, and support services are free of charge. Businesses including Nirvana Kitchen (providing delivery of fresh vegan cuisine) and Salsa for All Seasons are among the many local businesses to flourish in this thriving kitchen space.

Culinary Clash
Wednesday May 20, 6–9pm
812 San Pablo Ave, Suite 2, Pinole


Urban Adventures -

It’s time to venture about in our East Bay cities among the urban farms, wineries, and edible weeds.

Berkeley artist Rigel Stuhmiller favors images connected to farm life.

Berkeley artist Rigel Stuhmiller favors images connected to farm life.

In this newsletter:

●  Celebrate spring at the station: May 2
●  Stamp your passport for an urban wine tour: May 2 & 3
●  Local artist offers a Mothers Day fundraiser: through May 6
●  Walk among the weeds: May 9
●  Flour wisdom with dessert maven Alice Medrich: May 9
●  Book reviews: Ancient Grains
●  Recipe: Alice Medrich’s Brown Rice Sponge Cake with Three Milks



New Growth

Celebrate spring with plants and flowers at Oakland’s former central train station. The historic site is now home to tomato specialists Kassenhoff Growers and West Oakland Woods (WOW) Flower Farm, a business run by at-risk youth mentored by entrepreneurs, educators, and farmers. Purchase plants (both edibles and ornamentals) from Kassenhoff Growers and fresh flowers from WOW Farm, and enjoy a farm tour led by local youth.
Saturday May 2, 10am–2pm
16th & Wood St, Oakland



ebvasmWine in the City

Join the urban winemakers of the East Bay Vintners Alliance for a weekend of wine tasting, food pairings, entertainment, and exclusive barrel tastings.… Read More

Garden Parties -

Students at Jefferson Elementary learn to be careful observers in their school garden.  Photo courtesy of the BUSD Cooking and Gardening Program.

Local celebrations honor Berkeley’s public-school gardens and a thriving community farm.

In this newsletter:

●   Permaculture in action at the Gill Tract Farm: April 25 & 26
●   Water smarts for gardeners: April 28
●   School garden gala: May 1



Plant and Plan at the Gill Tract

Honor the 45th anniversary of Earth Day with farming, workshops, panels, music, and dance. Join in the conversation about the past and future of the Gill Tract farm and its role in food system transformation. Plant summer crops along with intentions for the year ahead. Info: here

Permaculture Action Day & Community Farm Birthday Party
Saturday & Sunday, April 25–26, 10am–5pm
Gill Tract Community Farm
San Pablo & Marin Ave, Albany

Use Every Drop

Drought-tolerant plants are among the topics covered in this workshop at the Oakland Public Library.

In this free workshop led by permaculturist Carmen Cortez, learn about drought-tolerant plants, methods for collecting rain water and greywater, and watering techniques and irrigation systems. For more info call Rebekah Eppley at 510.482.7844.

Water-Wise Gardening
Tuesday, April 28, 6–7:30pm
Dimond Branch Library
3565 Fruitvale Ave, Oakland



Kids get down in the dirt at the Thousand Oaks Elementary School garden. Photo courtesy of the BUSD Cooking and Gardening Program.

Kids get down in the dirt at the Thousand Oaks Elementary School garden.

Read More
Embrace the Earth -

Find joyful, creative, and useful ways to care for our planet at a local Earth Day event.

Illustration by Lila Volkas

In this newsletter:

●   Earth Day fun and learning at the Brower Center: April 18
●   Volunteer at earth-friendly projects in Oakland: April 18
●   Reflect on soul and soil in Lafayette: April 19
●   Guide to Earth Day events around the Bay
●   Explore new tastes at Oakland Veg Week: April 19–26
●   Book reviews: Eating Plant-Strong!
●   Recipe: Mint chocolate chip milkshake from Café Gratitude


Celebrate Earth Day at the David Brower Center with activities about protecting and honoring our planet. Enjoy family art projects, bike tuning, fix-it workshops, children’s storytelling, organic food, a panel on carbon farming, and more. Cost: Free; $10 suggested donation. Info: here

Saturday April 18, noon–6pm
David Brower Center
2150 Allston Way, Berkeley

Oakland Earth Day: Clean It, Green It, Mean It

Lend a hand by weeding, pruning, planting, painting, and more at the city’s largest community volunteer event, sponsored by Oakland Public Works. Info: here

Saturday April 18
Various locations


Illustration by Lila Volkas

The Blessing of Common Ground

All are invited to an Earth Day Festival hosted by Our Savior’s Lutheran Church at the Lafayette Reservoir.… Read More
Rediscover Your Garden -

It’s spring, so go play in the dirt! 

Pollinate Farm co-founders Yolanda Burrell (pictured with Georgette the hen) and Birgitt Evans.
Photos courtesy of Pollinate Farm and Garden

In this newsletter:

●   Celebrate spring at local plant sales: various dates
●   Study compost with soil maven Dr. Elaine Ingham: April 13–17
●   DIY supplies and a hands-on fermentation class at Pollinate Farm & Garden: April 19
●   Grant funding for innovative farmers: application due April 30
●   Recipes: Fermented Carolina-Style Slaw and Lacto-Fermented Vegetables



Garden Goodies

It’s spring plant sale season. You’ll find California natives, drought-resistant plants, tomatoes of all stripes, and much more at these sales, which are sure to tempt novice and master gardeners alike.

Click here for more details  



 Digging Deep

GreenFriends Farm hosts Dr. Elaine Ingham’s annual Soil Food Web Intensive. The renowned soil biologist shares her extensive knowledge of soil ecology in a workshop for farmers, landscapers, ranchers, creators and distributors of agricultural products, waste management professionals, and soil and garden enthusiasts.

Dr. Ingham has helped farmers worldwide to grow more resilient crops by understanding and improving their soil. She is the inspiration behind the impressive composting program at Frog Hollow Farm, the subject of a story in our current issue.… Read More