Archive | Summer 2018

Kitchen Note

At the table, from left to right: Sophia Rose (assistant), Laura Miller (teacher), Naomi Michalson, Kailamae Sands, Merry Kalila Griffith-Stout, Matilde Aranda, and Capri Hall. Photos by Melissa Casado

Cooking is an Act of Kindness

A Teacher’s Story

By Laura E. Miller

The best cookbooks and recipes are messy: food-stained, dog-eared, drawn-on, and annotated. Cooks write all sorts of things on their recipes, like what substitutes they used when they didn’t have an ingredient, who they fed and when, what other dishes they served on the menu, and how everyone liked the meal. Cooks will even draw ideas for how to arrange the food on the plate.

Food brings people together and sets the stage for sharing thoughts and making or deepening friendships. Cooking for people is an act of kindness, and when you cook with others, you are a crew of kindness. It’s an event and a story. I hope you write about it sometimes.

This Kitchen Note was written for a group of eight young homeschoolers, all connected to Alameda’s Hickman Charter School, who recently came together for a cooking and social studies class called Global Eats. The eight two-hour sessions, held at the Berkeley Society of Friends meetinghouse, were occasions to cook together, eat together, and talk about food and family.… Read More

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SolidariTEA Partners with Local Nonprofits

SolidariTEA cofounders Caroline Sandifer and Trey Jalbert on the hunt for sweet summer peaches. Photo by Blair Beyda.

A Potent Brew

At SolidariTEA, social justice is part of the business plan

By Rachel Trachten

For iced-tea entrepreneurs Caroline Sandifer and Trey Jalbert, business success goes hand-in-hand with generosity. As they manage the day-to-day tasks for their company, SolidariTEA, the duo have been steadily donating a portion of their time and earnings to two local organizations, one focused on food justice, the other on expanding access to the arts.

In 2011, the two were working as community organizers for the Oakland chapter of the national climate campaign 350.org when Sandifer suggested to Jalbert—her life partner—that they get to know some of their fellow organizers by inviting them over for cookies and “solidaritea.”

The idea evolved from a gathering to a business plan. Jalbert saw an opening to provide Bay Area bottled iced tea lovers a high-end, small-farm option, while Sandifer pondered how to structure the company in a way that could include giving back to the community while avoiding burdensome rules and paperwork. “We wanted to tie in a piece of our margin to go back to local groups,” says Jalbert. “We thought our customers would get behind this.”

Two years later, Jalbert and Sandifer launched SolidariTEA, offering locally made teas along with a commitment to support and partner with local nonprofits.… Read More

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About Our Cover Artist

Once again we have the privilege of showcasing the breathtaking work of Oakland watercolor artist Wendy Yoshimura on the cover of Edible East Bay. At left are her past covers.

Read more details about Wendy’s life and development as an artist in our Winter 2013 issue: She was born in the World War II Manzanar internment camp and then lived with her family on the island of Etajima near Hiroshima, Japan, where she first became fascinated with the intricacies of form and light and began depicting it in line and color.

“Watercolor’s transparency and fluidity are uniquely suited to capture color, light, and shadow. Its quiet, wild flow constantly pushes the limits of an artist’s precision and control,” she wrote in 2010.

Wendy shares her knowledge each Sunday in two class sessions at her home studio. As she describes it, “[The] artists arrive with different skill levels, from beginner to expert, and varying interests, styles, and tastes. As we paint we talk, not only discussing the artistic and creative challenges in our projects, but more importantly, sharing the adventures, joys, puzzlements, and sorrows in our lives. I believe this intermingling flows into and vivifies the art we create.”

wendyyoshimura.com, wendy(at)wendyyoshimura.com

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Gardeners’ Resources

Summer 2018 Gardener’s Notebook

Crop-Swaps

Share your garden’s bounty and come home with someone else’s at these free weekly crop swaps. Some swaps encourage trading gardening tools and materials, recipes, baked goods, and tips on getting more involved in your community. Arrive on time for the best selection. Meet your neighbors and be part of the sharing economy!

Mondays 6:30pm, June through September
North Berkeley
Ohlone Greenway
Sacramento & Delaware St, across from North Berkeley BART

Info: transitionberkeley.org or on Facebook

Saturdays 10:30am, June through September
South Berkeley
Malcolm X School, picnic tables
Ellis St entrance near Ashby Ave

Info: transitionberkeley.org or on Facebook

Sundays 1–4pm, starting May 20
Oakland
Pollinate Farm & Garden
2727 Fruitvale Ave

 

Urban Farm Volunteering

A great way to tune into gardening success in your area is to learn directly from the experts as you volunteer at a local urban farm. Pay a visit to one of these locations near your home and ask if they have openings for volunteers.

Alameda: Alameda Point Collaborative 

Albany: U.C. Gill Tract Farm 

Berkeley: Urban Adamah , Spiral Gardens, Edible Schoolyard 

Clayton: Buttercup Farms 

El Sobrante: Cloverfield Farm 

Martinez: CoCo San Sustainable Farm 

Oakland: City Slicker, WOW Farm, Acta Non Verba 

Richmond: Urban Tilth 

Sunol: Sunol Ag Park 

If you’re in Solano County, there’s lots to check out at Sustainable Solano.… Read More

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A Community of Peach Pickers

Masumoto Elberta peach. (Photo by Cheryl Angelina Koehler)

The Peachy Time of Year

 

Philip Gelb prepares one of his Masumoto Peach dinners. (Photo by Hannah Kaminsky)

Philip Gelb never really stops thinking about the Masumoto Family Farm peaches, even in the dead of winter. The only difference at the peachy time of year is that he has boxes full of these exquisite fruits stacked up in his West Oakland catering kitchen, where he devises recipes for peach sauces, salads, entrées, and desserts to serve at his Sound and Savor Masumoto Peach Dinners.

In March, Gelb and Millennium Restaurant Chef Eric Tucker were hoping for the chance to “adopt” a Masumoto tree so they could go harvest the peaches together at the farm in Del Rey, California, near Fresno.

“If we can’t, I can still get them at Berkeley Bowl,” Gelb said at an early spring Sound and Savor dinner.

A Masumoto Spring Lady, June Crest, Gold Dust, Flavor Crest, Sun Crest, or Elberta is not just any peach. The Sun Crest, in particular, has been an icon of the good food movement ever since farmer David “Mas” Masumoto’s essay and book titled Epitaph for a Peach were published in 1987 and 1996 (respectively), bringing attention to the value of older produce varieties no longer embraced by the mainstream market.… Read More

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Gardener’s Notebook

Grow Your Garden
into a Local Food Network

By Joshua Burman Thayer | Illustrations by Cheryl Angelina Koehler

Small is beautiful. Henry David Thoreau’s most famous foray into agricultural writing arose out of observing a patch of beans he had seeded outside his cabin at Walden Pond. That simple act in the 19th century is still inspiring people today, and beans are an accommodating crop to try if you are just starting out with gardening.

Delving into growing your own crops can at first be a personal, quiet, and inward journey, but it easily leads to collaboration and sharing. Start small. Imagine yourself, right there, eating a few things that grew under your own attention and efforts. Then imagine the start of something more, perhaps a project to bring people together around creating a neighborhood food network.

Take a Walk

Become a thoughtful observer like Thoreau. Amble around your neighborhood to see what’s growing well on your block. Is there a community garden thriving nearby? Is there an abandoned lot where plants are doing well in spite of neglect? Observing the conditions of flora growing around you can help you assemble a list of plants that are likely to succeed as you plan your garden.… Read More

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Allison ArEvalo’s Pasta Friday

Allison announces each Pasta Friday menu from a barstool. Then the children eat immediately so they can go off to play while their parents relax and enjoy the meal. Follow all the meals at pastafriday.com. 

 

‘It’s Pasta Friday, it’s Pasta Friday!’

 

By Allison Arevalo | Photos by Denise Woodward

It’s also 7am

But my boys don’t look at the clock. They jump on the bed, rousing me and Alejandro in the not-so-gentle way of three- and five-year-old boys. Friday is their favorite day of the week. They know tonight our house will be buzzing with a bunch of their friends, lots of pasta, and an endless supply of purple Popsicles.

It’s my favorite day, too. I also get to see my friends, eat lots of pasta, and indulge in the adult version of purple Popsicles—glasses of red wine.

Every Friday night our house is packed with around 50 people: friends, family, neighbors, and children. I cook a giant pot of pasta and assemble a seasonal salad. Guests bring the wine. It’s casual—you’ll catch people stealing small pieces of my just-made mozzarella off the counter. Kids run around with thick, buttered slices of my friend Ara’s homemade bread.… Read More

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Source Guide Summer 2018

Arts, Education & Entertainment

BAUMAN COLLEGE  Nutrition Consultant and Natural Chef training programs encompass the revolutionary ideas and scientific approach to nutrition. baumancollege.org
EAST BAY WALDORF SCHOOL  Where Children Thrive. Located 20 minutes from Berkeley at 3800 Clark Rd, El Sobrante. eastbaywaldorf.org
KOSA ARTS  Artisinal fashion supporting high-level craftsmanship, creative process, sustainable material, and meaningful livelihood. 386 19th St, Oakland. kosaarts.com
MRS DALLOWAY’S Full-service, indie neighborhood bookstore. Wide variety of garden books, cookbooks, and author events. 2904 College Ave, Berkeley. 510.704.8222. mrsdalloways.com
STOPWASTE  Helping to prevent food waste through smart planning, storage tips, and easy-to-follow recipes to eat the food you have in your kitchen. stopfoodwaste.org

Farmers’ Markets


CALIFORNIA FARMERS’ MARKETS ASSOCIATION  Year-round markets in Walnut Creek, San Leandro, and Moraga. 800.806.FARM. cafarmersmkts.com
CONTRA COSTA CERTIFIED FARMERS’ MARKETS  Supporting small family farms and serving Contra Costa communities since 1982. 925.431.8361. cccfm.org
ECOLOGY CENTER Building a sustainable, healthy, and just future through farmers’ markets, education, curbside recycling, and advocacy. 2530 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley. 510.548.2220. ecologycenter.org
PACIFIC COAST FARMERS’ MARKET ASSOCIATION Creating economic opportunities for California farmers. Serving Bay Area communities since 1988. 800.949.FARM. pcfma.org

Food & Beverage Producers


BOB’S RED MILL
  A stone-ground flour mill creating nutritious and wholesome products, including specialty flours and nut meals.… Read More

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Got A2 Milk?

Vanessa Alexandre communes with her family’s A2/A2 cows as they graze on rich organic pasture in Crescent City, California. Photos courtesy of Alexandre Family Farm, unless noted.

 

A Northern California farm family brings nutrient-dense dairy products to the East Bay

By Colleen Riordan

What’s new in dairy? High-tech apps, perhaps?

Maybe not so much. Trending terms in the lexicon of dairy innovation are more along the lines of “sustainable nutrition” and “holistic landscape ecology.”

These developments actually began a quarter century ago in the Bay Area when family-owned innovators Straus Family Creamery and Clover Stornetta (now Clover Sonoma) racked up firsts in certified organic and certified humane animal treatment. Both rejected GMO-laced feed and recombinant bovine growth hormone in spite of the promises of higher yields and higher profits. Those moves by these exemplary local companies were a way of holding to (or returning to)tradition in order to go forward toward sustainability. That’s also been the path taken at a handful of micro-dairies around the Bay who are experimenting with marketing raw milk, lauding it as more nutritious even as the medical community at large still deems it unsafe.

But here’s a term that’s definitely trending: A2 milk. This nutrient-dense form of the white stuff (which its advocates claim is more digestible than the more common A1 variety) is produced by cows with just the right breeding.… Read More

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What’s in Season?

 

Produce harvested at its peak is your sure bet for flavor and freshness.

By Barbara Kobsar | Illustration by Charmaine Koehler-Lodge

May

It’s caneberry season, and if you love those delicious blackberry hybrids—like Boysenberries, olallieberries, and Loganberries—you’ll want to head out to the farmers’ markets or Brentwood u-pick farms right now to get some. Raspberries are harvested longer into the summer, but to be sure they were picked at peak ripeness, look for that hollow center: If the hull is attached, the raspberry was picked too early. Caneberries are packed in shallow containers to prevent crushing, but it’s a good idea to turn the container over to check for telltale signs of leakage. All berries are great candidates for the freezer: Wash and spread out on a tray to freeze berries unclumped. Place frozen fruit in freezer bags and use as needed, whether baking into cobblers or scones or as toppings for pancakes, ice cream, or yogurt.

June

Dramatic looking in the garden, fig trees typically offer up two crops per year. The early summer harvest is produced on last year’s branches, while the late summer fruits bud out from the new wood. Earliest in the market are the purple-black–skinned, pink-fleshed Mission figs, followed by the brown turkey and yellowish-green Kadota and Calimyrna.… Read More

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