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.

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

Eating on the Wild Side  -

Open your mind and excite your taste buds with wild foods and other local delights.  

The wild tasting table at Chez Panisse
Photo by Kristen Rasmussen

In this newsletter:

●   Wild Food Week: April 4–10
●   Open house at Standard Fare: April 4
●   Savvy advice for grant seekers: April 8
●   Uncorked wine competition gala in Livermore Valley: April 9
●   Book reviews: Wild local flavor


Wild Food Week

A display table at Mission: Heirloom shows a
“Bay Area baker’s dozen of wild edibles.”
Photo by Kristen Rasmussen

Get familiar with some of the wild local bounty during Wild Food Week, a project of Berkeley Open Source Food (BOSF). Among its research projects, BOSF is mapping the abundance of wild edible plants in urban areas, especially food deserts, and testing wild edibles for toxicity and nutrition. The group is also working to develop a supply chain and a market for wild and feral edible plants as a way to reduce food waste, improve farm yields and nutrition, and provide new ingredients for chefs.Events of the week include a wild food identification walk with the Berkeley Path Wanderers Association, the debut of the new BOSF field guide, The Bay Area Baker’s Dozen Wild Greens, and opportunities to taste some of those wild greens as prepared by top chefs. … Read More
DIY Dreamin’ -

Longing to create your own food forest, food biz, or farmhouse cheddar? Upcoming events offer the chance to get savvy and learn plenty of new skills… Oh, and to taste some incredible cheese!

Handcrafted cheeses top the menu at the Artisan Cheese Festival. (Photo by Derrick Story)

Handcrafted cheeses top the menu at the Artisan Cheese Festival.(Photo by Derrick Story)

In this newsletter:

●   Taste, learn, and explore at the Artisan Cheese Festival  March 20–22
●   Create your own food forest – March 21
●   Make sure your food business is legal – March 24
●   Book Review: The Nourishing Homestead
●   Recipe: Bellwether Farms Fromage Blanc Gelato

Say Cheese!


The Fantasy Cheese Table is a cheese-lovers dream come true. (Photo by Lindsay Katz)

Visitors to the festival's Grand Marketplace can purchase exquisite cheeses, wines, meats, and more. (Photo by Rick Roellke)

Visitors to the festival’s Grand Marketplace can purchase exquisite cheeses, wines, meats, and more. (Photo by Rick Roellke)

There’s plenty to smile about at California’s 9th annual Artisan Cheese Festival, held in spectacular Sonoma Wine Country. Artisan cheese is made following ancient traditions: always in small batches, and using as little mechanization as possible. Over the three-day festival, attendees can meet some of the most celebrated artisan cheesemakers, along with chefs, farmers, and industry experts. They’ll discover new cheeses and pairings with wine, beer, and cider. Executive Chef Erik Johnson from J Vineyards & Winery hosts Bubbles and Brunch, a cheese-centric cooking demo and seasonal meal accompanied by J’s sparkling wine.… Read More

Pi to Die For -

This Shaker Lemon Pie from the Niles Pie Company proudly announces Pi Day.

We’re sending this extra Appetizer your way with tempting events for pie lovers and gardeners too.

In this newsletter:

●   Infinite Fun on Pi Day
●   Get Your Hands Dirty

Infinite Fun on Pi Day


Niles Pie Co. offers a special Pi Day t-shirt designed by Dave Longey and modeled here by Ron Warnecke. Right: The Niles Pie Co. stand at the Niles Farmers' Market in Fremont. Photos courtesy of Niles Pie Co.

Niles Pie Co. offers a special Pi Day t-shirt designed by Dave Longey and modeled here by Ron Warnecke. Right: The Niles Pie Co. stand at the Niles Farmers’ Market in Fremont. Photos courtesy of Niles Pie Co.

Still scared of math? Well, no significant math skills are needed when you join Niles Pie Company for Pi Day. But just in case you’re interested, here’s a refresher: pi = 3.14159… More importantly, for the moment, is the fact that Pi Day is always on 3/14. This year, however, we have a High Pi Day, since it’s 3/14/15. Visit the Niles Pie shop in Union City or the new Niles Farmers’ Market in Fremont on March 14 for pi-related fun including prizes for reciting pi to the furthest digit. Niles Pie Company also hosts a Jazz & Pi Dinner featuring live music plus savory pot pies, empanadas, Shaker Lemon Pie, Double Chocolate Pie, and more.… Read More