Author Archive | Edible East Bay

May in the Garden: The Three Sisters of Summer Adopt a Fourth

It’s not too late to plant your four sisters garden bed. Follow these easy steps.


 Here Come the Stone Fruits!

Three stone fruit recipes are among the deliciousness in our new Summer issue.

 The Soiled Dove Offers
Naughty Dinner TheaterRelish a decadent circus-inspired evening in Alameda, June 9 to July 1. Read more.
 Explore a Vegan Paradise

Third annual Veg Fest comes to Lake Merritt, May 20. Read more.
 Making the Case for a
Plant-Based DietMeet author Kristie Middleton at the Veg Fest, and read our review here.


What’s it like to run a worker cooperative?

Get an insider’s view from Jessica Prentice, co-founder of Three Stone Hearth.   
Read her story in our new summer issue.

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Kristina’s Bookshelf

Meat-Less: Transform the Way You Eat and Live –
One Meal at a Time

by Kristie Middleton
(Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2017) 

Oakland resident Kristie Middleton, senior food policy director for The Humane Society of the United States, is a passionate advocate for animal welfare. Part of her passion is a commitment to eating a meat-free diet. Her new book shares scientific and nutritional research regarding the negative effects on people and the environment caused by meat consumption. To give a human dimension to the facts she provides, Middleton presents stories of individuals who have changed their diets to eat lower on the food chain and shares her own advice for more plant-based eating.
Although it includes more than 60 recipes (no photographs or drawings), Meat-Less is less a cookbook than a book about the benefits—in terms of health, the environment, and sustainability—of eating less meat and fewer animal products. The small steps Middleton advocates for changing eating habits and behaviors, together with advice, tips, and recipes, will be helpful to anyone looking to make the transition to a diet with less meat.
Edible East Bay’s book editor Kristina Sepetys is eager to share her ideas and book recommendations with
our readers. 


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Gardener’s Notebook

May in the Garden: The Three Sisters of Summer Adopt a Fourth

By Joshua Burman Thayer
One of the great delights of walking the hills above the bohemian enclave of Berkeley is the chance to follow the system of footpaths that provide secret routes from one street to another. Oak tree branches frame enchanting views of the Golden Gate and the San Francisco Bay on nearly any such hillside walk, and evening fog flows up hillsides lined with custom craftsman bungalows, touching both garlands of morning glory vines twining through untended lots and front yard victory gardens surrounded by deer fencing. Tall cornstalks shoot up their tassels beside mini vineyards, while cucumbers and squash poke out through fence gaps below. It’s no surprise at all to encounter a “three sisters” planting of edible companions: corns, beans, and squash. But I’m here to spread and encourage the love of a fourth but less-famous sister, the sunflower (Helianthus giganteus). 

As May marches on toward June in the 2017 growing season, there’s still time to plant your summer garden. If you have never tried the three sisters planting scheme, why not right now? An ancient plant guild employed throughout many parts of the indigenous Americas, the three sisters have become quite popular in modern organic farming. Each plant assists the others in doing its job of growing and producing food.… Read More

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The Soiled Dove Offers Naughty Dinner Theater

An evening of fun, food, decadence, and inspired acrobatics awaits at The Soiled Dove dinner theater.

Spend a memorable evening with the Vau de Vire Society as they present The Soiled Dove, a circus-infused dinner theater spectacular. You’ll find yourself in San Francisco’s Barbary Coast red light district living an evening of delicious decadence and danger. Indulge in a four-course experiential culinary event created by green catering company Work of Art. Join in the spirit of the evening with your own attire. Try Victorian, Edwardian, 49er, Harlots, or Crimps, or whatever stylish period couture suits your fancy. With music by Jazz Mafia/Realistic Orchestra and breathtaking dance and acrobatic performances, this evening under Italy’s Tortorna Big Top is sure to titillate and delight. Ages 21 and over. Cost: $50–$130.
Info and tickets: here or Facebook.

The Soiled Dove
Fridays and Saturdays, June 9 to July 1. 
Dinner at 7:30pm; general admission at 9:30pm
Tortona Big Top
2001 Ferry Point, Alameda


Photos: Misha Kutuzov
Teaser photo: Art Koch
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Explore a Vegan Paradise

Learn more about veganism and its many benefits at the Oakland Veg Fest held at Lake Merritt.

The Oakland Veg Fest celebrates the health and sustainability boosts of a plant-based diet. Sample a variety of vegan foods, and hear speakers and educators talk about different aspects of veganism. This animal-friendly event also features a cute dog contest. Come enjoy this free, open-air gathering beside Lake Merritt. Speakers include Kristie Middleton, author of Meat Less.

Oakland Veg Fest
Saturday May 20, 11am–5pm
Lake Merritt Amphitheater
Between 12th St & 1st Ave at
Lake Merritt Blvd, Oakland


Photo: Michelle Cehn
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Source Guide Summer 2017

Arts, Education & Entertainment

BOLD FOOD  Courses in the science of cooking for adventurous home cooks and curated culinary trips all over the planet.
EAST BAY WALDORF SCHOOL  Where Children Thrive. Located 20 minutes from Berkeley at 3800 Clark Rd, El Sobrante.
FLAX ART & DESIGN  After 80 years in SF, the flagship store is now at 1501 M.L.K. Jr Way, Oakland.
INSTITUTE OF URBAN HOMESTEADING  Offering the best in Bay Area sustainablility since 2008.
THE LOCAL FOODS WHEEL  Interactive tools and beautiful prints of the foods that are farmed and foraged where you live.
MRS DALLOWAY’S Full-service, indie neighborhood bookstore. Wide variety of garden books, cookbooks, and author events. 2904 College Ave, Berkeley. 510.704.8222.
MYRTLE’S LODGE  Gifts for the ice cream enthusiast, retro toys, Fentons logo apparel, and handcrafted toppings and candies. 4211 Piedmont Ave, Oakland. 510.655.2600. and
THE RUTH BANCROFT GARDEN  Sculpture in the Garden Opening Night, June 17, 5-8pm. Meet the artists and discover the wonderful pieces in the show while you wander the garden.
THE SOILED DOVE The Vau de Vire Society presents an immersive, circus-infused, dinner theater experience. June 8–July 1. Ferry Point, Alameda.

Farmers’ Markets

CALIFORNIA FARMERS’ MARKETS ASSOCIATION  Year-round markets in Walnut Creek, San Leandro, and Moraga.… Read More

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A Plant-Based Burger to Cool the Planet

The Impossible Burger: No cow involved

Leave it to a bunch of smart young Silicon Valley food-tech pros to come up with a deliciously hot, innovative product aimed directly at addressing climate change. At Redwood City–based Impossible Foods, where the researchers are developing plant-based meat and dairy products, one “mission impossible” is to find a road forward on mitigating the high carbon footprint of beef in a culture where people love that meaty, juicy grilled patty-on-a-bun and lots of it. How about a really tasty burger that removes the cow from the equation?

Yes, yes… hippies started slapping veggie burgers on the grill way back in the middle of the last century, but how many of those items ever looked like beef, tasted like beef, or, heaven forbid, bled like the real thing? Molecular gastronomy has shown us that you can make anything look and taste like anything, but most of that food is served in gourmet pleasure palaces at high sticker prices. The Impossible Burger, which is made from wheat, coconut oil, potatoes, and heme (a fermented plant product that yields meat-like characteristics), is aimed squarely at your everyday pub or burger joint. The Public House at AT&T Park and KronnerBurger on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland already have it on their menus, but if you want to eat it at a place where they’ll set it down on a white tablecloth, try acclaimed San Francisco restaurants Jardinière and Cockscomb or Chef David Chang’s Momofuku Nishi in NYC.… Read More

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Editor’s Mixing Bowl

As spring unfolds into summer, the world suddenly pulses with startling energy.

In California, the season came on as a howling green wave, thanks to the record-breaking winter rains.
But here, as all over the country, nature’s extravagance was nearly outshouted by the eruption of activism brought on by political disruption. What started with the Women’s March in January, an occasion many hold as a peak event, crested again on April 22.

I remember clearly the same day back in 1970 when I went with my high school friends to be counted among the masses bearing witness as the modern environmental movement and Earth Day were born hand-in-hand on the National Mall in Washington, DC. It was a call to action, and a call not heeded nearly enough. Now, with climate change denialists holding power in Washington, Earth Day is recharged and grows more vital.

It might have been the plum gorgeous weather here that brought everyone out on Earth Day 2017, although I would like to think it was the March for Science. It was hard to turn a corner in the East Bay without running into one or another grassroots gathering complete with workshops, demos, and activists organizing around far more than planting trees.… Read More

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Food Collectives

 Commodity or Community Asset?

The benefits of running a business as a worker cooperative

By Jessica Prentice

What defines a business as a community asset versus a commodity?

This question came to me recently from Janelle Orsi, cofounder of Oakland’s Sustainable Economies Law Center and lawyer for Three Stone Hearth, the cooperative business I cofounded here in Berkeley. Janelle was preparing a presentation for some food system movers and shakers and wanted to discuss Three Stone Hearth as an example of a business that functions as a community asset.

Coming from one of the most inspiring and astute people I know, this request highlighted an ongoing challenge: How do I talk in succinct and accessible ways about what we are doing at Three Stone Hearth? What makes us so different from other food businesses? Our products—nutrient-dense prepared foods—are one distinction, but it’s our operating process that puts us into a rather small (but notable) group of Bay Area food businesses. I realized this would be a valuable opportunity to get Janelle’s insight toward crafting a more effective description of our work and what we value in our approach.

Squeezed Out of Business

Like many people around the country, both Janelle and I feel disturbed by the growing wealth disparity and corporate consolidation going on in the food industry and many other parts of the economy.… Read More

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