The Great Outdoors

Where to Eat and Drink Alfresco Story and photos by Meredith Pakier It’s hard to imagine a time when parklets and bistro table–dotted sidewalks were not an integral part of East Bay street life. Here are some outdoor spots I hope will stay as restaurants return to full capacity. In September 2020, a devastating fire…

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Meet the Harvest Made Market Cart

No more aching arms and squashed strawberries By Rachel Trachten     Have you seen someone like me at your local farmers’ market—a bedraggled shopper with an overloaded bag on each arm and a bulging backpack bringing up the rear? Even as I’m leaving the market, I can’t help making one last impulse purchase, stuffing…

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Zero-Waste Warriors and Art Activists Do Battle with Plastics

If Wishes Were Fishes Untangling the plastics problem during the pandemic An interview with Martin Bourque, Executive Director of the Ecology Center No amount of wishing has made the pandemic depart our shores, nor will it do away with the plastics polluting our planet. Can the East Bay, a stronghold of environmental action, make headway…

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Getting to Fair Share with Town and City Permaculture

Getting to Fair Share By Troy Horton | Introduction by Joshua Burman Thayer “Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single product…

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School & Community Garden Check-In

What’s been happening around the East Bay? By Rachel Trachten | Photos by Rachel Stanich   Vallejo People’s Garden founder Vilma Aquino harvests grape leaves to use for dolmas. Aquino welcomes volunteers who want to help out with garden chores.   In March when everything shut down, school and community gardens were in full spring…

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CoCo San Sustainable Farm

Jumping Through Hoops How a psychologist/activist built a farm for the community on Contra Costa County Sanitary District land By Rachel Trachten   Research psychologist Carolyn Phinney managed to convince government agencies, local businesses, and garden experts to help her transform barren industrial land into a thriving community farm. Photo by Frank J. Sulloway  …

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Dig Deep Farms

Digging Deeper for Better Food Access and Better Health Alameda County officials hope this food hub and urban farm project becomes a national model Story and photos by Austin Price     On East 14th Street in the East Bay community of Ashland, a garden sits inconspicuously between a clothing store, a liquor store, and…

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Takeout for the cause

Resistance Is a Loaf of Babka Story and photos by Meredith Pakier     It’s not news that, this year, the restaurant and hospitality industries have been caught in the crosshairs of a public health crisis, forced to make difficult decisions—to restructure, lay-off staff, or close completely. In the midst of this mounting uncertainty, our…

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Port Perks Pop-up Market

No Grocery Store? No Problem! Port Costa’s Port Perks pop-up market fills the bill … at least for now   Parker (left) and Kramer Collins get the pop-up market ready for customers.   By any description, the tiny town of Port Costa, California, (pop. 186) is a unique spot in the largely urban East Bay.…

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More Favorite Food Boxes

Pre-packed food boxes for contactless pickup/delivery are trending all over—even with the USDA! Nearly every restaurant with takeout is looking into adding a pantry that includes a box of produce assembled to help support their farmer-vendors as well as to keep their own workers busy. We’re also seeing plenty of ways to add a donation…

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A Few of Our Favorite Food Boxes 

  Jimmy Bear resides on Carlotta near Monterey Market, but now that he’s sheltering at home, he loves getting food boxes delivered to his porch. Follow him on Instagram at #jimmybearberkeley.   As the lockdown began in mid-March, the appeal of signing up with a local farm for a community-supported agriculture (CSA) subscription suddenly soared. Here at…

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How to Grow a Farmer

First-Generation Farmer Erin Eno Finds Community Through Growing Food on Mount Diablo Story and photos by Austin Price Erin Eno uses a hoe to cultivate her half acre of diversified crops growing near Mount Diablo. July 2019: The rising sun is just hitting the eastern face of Mount Diablo as Erin Eno pulls weeds on…

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What’s Cooking in the State Legislature?

  Looking to buy or make and sell home-cooked dishes locally? Good news is on the horizon as the city of Berkeley takes steps toward issuing permits for food sales by home cooks and Alameda County explores ways to develop an equitable home-cooks program. In 2018, the governor signed AB 626, allowing California counties and…

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Last Bite

  Fellow Artists Honor Margo Rivera-Weiss in Words and Imagery   Margo was a friend and supporter of my work, both as a teaching artist and illustrator. Last year I did a project with my first graders based on Margo’s food illustrations in Edible East Bay. They will be sorely and deeply missed. —Dawline-Jane Oni-Eseleh…

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Oakland’s MudLab Tackles Waste

Vanessa Pope’s friend Faris Faraj, who is working on a zero-waste hub with the SF Giants, helped paint MudLab with leftover paint from a local store. The Luxury of ‘For Here’ At MudLab, Oakland’s new zero-waste grocery store, it’s all about slowing down to tackle waste By Cheryl Angelina Koehler   Upcycled scraps from Cotton…

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On Margo Rivera-Weiss

  During one of the last weeks of staff artist Margo Rivera-Weiss’s life, we were comforted to be able to offer some bit of joy by roughing out an idea for what would become the cover of this issue. Margo (who uses nongendered pronouns) made the cover’s illustrations of a set of kitchen tools several…

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Finger Food in Four Cultures

Farmhouse Kitchen’s Lao Table engages the eyes as well as the hands. Eat with the Hands for Practical, Intimate, Sensuous Meals By Anna Mindess | Photos by Cynthia Matzger   Amod Chopra, owner of Vik’s Chaat in Berkeley, washes his hands and sits down with some guests. His divided metal tray, called a thali, holds…

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A Magic Launchpad at Emeryville Public Market

  By Alix Wall | Photos by Rachel Stanich The story of how a Cambodian immigrant took her food business from pop up to food-court kiosk to a brick-and-mortar spot named one of America’s best restaurants within a few years has made food entrepreneurs with big dreams take notice. The journey is that of Nite…

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Editor’s Mixing Bowl

    Never before has Edible East Bay come up with such a basketful of sweets, and since an indulgence is good for the soul on occasion, go ahead and take some slow, sweet time with this magazine. We hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as we did while putting it together. More than…

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Pollinate Farm & Garden teams up with Frailty Myths

Frailty Myths workshop participants collaborate to construct a three-part compost bin. The Power in Our Own Hands Building self-reliance with Pollinate Farm & Garden and Frailty Myths By Rachel Trachten | Photos by Cynthia Matzger Hammers are pounding, saws are buzzing, and sawdust is flying. Suddenly someone yells out, “I f***ed up!” The reaction all…

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Biochar in Berkeley?

Yes, and we can thank Burning Man . . . . . . well, not the man that gets burned each year at the festival, but rather a group of artists and fabricators who in 2001 set up some shipping containers on a lot near Urban Ore in Berkeley to serve as workspaces for building…

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Meet Five Flavors Herbs

  Illustration by Margo Rivera-Weiss   Think about a dish you love to eat. It might express a perfect balance of sweet, bitter, sour, pungent, and salty flavors, and that balance can leave you feeling healthy, full, and satisfied. Those five flavors were identified two millennia ago by Chinese herbal medicine practitioners, and they continue…

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Community Foods Market

Peach Pleasures & Plenty More at Community Foods Market   Come for the fresh, healthy food, but don’t stop there. At the newly opened Community Foods Market, shoppers also find resources to support their budget and improve their health. After nearly a decade of planning and fundraising, the independent, mission-driven grocer opened its doors at…

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Groundbakers

  A Mother-Daughter Cookbook Collaboration By Rachel Trachten When Mackenzie Feldman started at Cal in 2014, she was planning to major in business and play beach volleyball. In need of an afternoon class to fit with her practice schedule, she signed up for Edible Education 101, the course on the future of food and food…

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Meet JP Seafood

A Fishmonger You’ll Want to Hug Fresh fish and a friendly vibe keep locals coming to JP Seafood By Kai Wada Roath Photos by Austin Goldin   Joey Pucci chats with customers outside his Alameda seafood stand. At 5:45 on a rainy winter’s morning, I’m in a truck with Joey Pucci and Samuel Anderson, headed…

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Step into Albany’s Ivy Room

THERE’S NO POISON AT THE IVY Albany’s Ivy Room is a Safe Haven for Fun, Refreshment, and Indie Music By Mary Tilson | Illustrations by Margo Rivera-Weiss You’ve probably driven by it. The Ivy Room has been a fixture on San Pablo Avenue in Albany since 1940. Rust-colored bricks, windows covered with band posters, black…

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Teaming Up Against Toxins

  Cal students and groundskeepers see beyond the spotlessly green fields by Rachel Trachten Monsanto probably didn’t see trouble brewing on a campus beach volleyball court. In the spring of 2017, UC Berkeley junior Mackenzie Feldman heard her coach tell the players not to chase the ball in bare feet if it went off the…

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Indigenous Food at Café Ohlone

First Flavors of the East Bay Café Ohlone Offers Indigenous Foods for All to Share By Anna Mindess | Photos by Cynthia Matzger Vincent Medina’s ancestors have long gathered shellfish, salt, and pickleweed in the salt marsh along this east shore stretch of their homeland on the San Francisco Bay. Louis Trevino (left) holds sprigs…

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Good Food Awards

Kudos to Local Food Crafters   Chicken Liver Mousse by Picnic in Albany   If you’re on the hunt for outstanding new foods and flavors and you value responsible business practices, you’ll want to sample the products honored with a 2019 Good Food Award. This annual national contest rewards producers in 16 categories, ranging from…

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Happy Acre Farm

Recipe for a Happy Acre Two young farmers, one selfie-loving mutt, and a baby in the broccoli crate By Cheryl Angelina Koehler Photos by Helena and Matthew Sylvester Recipe by Chef Anna Buss   Jump to recipe Farming as a vocation often calls to mind dire reports on the demise of the family enterprise and…

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Community Minded

Be In Community at East Bay Community Space and The Well   Visit two adjoining spots on Telegraph Avenue, East Bay Community Space and The Well Café, where you can enjoy affordable workshops and events and an impressive selection of teas, drinking chocolates, and gluten-free foods.   Want to take part in a curated tea…

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Local Delivery by Piikup

MEET PIIKUP the local company that brings our magazines to you It was a very hot day at the O2AA West Oakland Artisans Festival in June 2017, but a stroke of luck landed our Edible East Bay booth next to the Civil Pops cart. Those deliciously healthy, Oakland youth–made, frozen-fruit treats were drawing a steady…

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New Opportunities for Home Cooks

The Future of Food is … Home Cooked? A new California law legalizes sales of home-cooked food, bringing new food experiences and meaningful economic opportunities By Jaspal S. Sandhu | illustrations by Lila Rubenstein Día de los Muertos signals the start of high season for tamales. On a recent Tuesday morning, I’m driving along East…

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Ready Set Reuse!

Nohemi Perez, co-owner of Ed’s Cheesesteak, packed this BLT in a GO Box for Paul Liotsakis, who launched GO Box in the Bay Area. Ed’s Cheesesteak is a GO Box vendor and also serves as Oakland’s wash site for the boxes. GO Box brings reusable take-out containers to Oakland By Rachel Trachten Photos by Cheryl…

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A Sharp Couple

Bernal Cutlery and Clove & Hoof By Kristina Sepetys | Photos by Scott Peterson Bernal Cutlery, the beloved San Francisco culinary knife shop, has opened an outpost in Oakland right next door to Clove & Hoof Butchery and Restaurant. The location isn’t accidental. Josh Donald, owner of Bernal Cutlery and author of Sharp: The Definitive…

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How Marykate McGoldrick Found Her Baking Groove

Baking Up a Sweet Career From Scratch Pastry chef Marykate McGoldrick’s path to Camino and beyond By Samantha Nobles-Block Photos by Cayce Clifford One spring evening in 2010, a 37-year-old public school teacher named Marykate McGoldrick welcomed three San Francisco restaurateurs into her tiny Oakland apartment. The Lee brothers, owners of Namu Gaji and Namu…

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Who’s Hungry for Change?

During trying times, despair can gnaw at you. And yet, in the face of all that is difficult, monstrous, odious, unfair, and unjust in this country, it is also true that there are many citizens doing their level best to make a difference in their communities and beyond in the face of great odds. One…

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Sharing the Bounty at MariLark Farms

A New Take on Giving Away the Farm By Rachel Trachten Charlie Costello wants to give you free tomato plants and teach you to save seeds. Last year, Costello gave 400 tomato plants to East Bay gardeners for their schools, urban farms, and homes. This year, he’s on track to share just as many, or…

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Food Shift

Catering with a Conscience Your next catered meal could have surprising ripple effects. Food Shift has expanded its campaign against food waste by branching out into catering, offering tasty meals that provide local jobs while keeping food out of the landfill. Food Shift collects surplus fruits and veggies from Imperfect Produce and the San Francisco…

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Kitchen Note

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…

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SolidariTEA Partners with Local Nonprofits

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…

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A Community of Peach Pickers

The Peachy Time of Year 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…

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Allison Arevalo’s Pasta Friday

‘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…

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Our Community on Instagram

“Community” can mean so many things. We went wide with our interpretation for this gallery to showcase inspiring efforts toward building healthy ties within our families, neighborhoods, businesses, and ecosystems. Follow us @edibleeastbay!

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A Kitchen at the Heart of a School

Golestan kids learn about the world through food By Anna Mindess | Illustrations by Margo Rivera-Weiss Mounds of fragrant green parsley, cilantro, dill, and chives sit atop ten colorful placemats in front of ten children. The six-to-12 year olds chop the herbs just like professional chefs do—their fingers holding the herbs are carefully tucked back…

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Instagram Picks

Award Winners on Instagram This season, our Instagram picks were inspired by local winners of two coveted prizes: the Good Food Awards and the Edible Communities EDDY Awards. First, our congratulations to the East Bay food and drink crafters who took home Good Food Awards for delicious products made with sustainability and social good in…

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Food for Thought

  A New Exhibit Takes Root at the Oakland Museum Urban agriculture is thriving in Oakland, and a new museum exhibit shows us how and why this is happening. Take Root: Oakland Grows Food, now on display at the Oakland Museum of California, invokes the joy of gardening and inspires visitors of all ages to…

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Illuminoshi

Noshing on the Farm Jewish Food Pros Gather at Urban Adamah By Rachel Trachten | Photos by Lydia Daniller I’m here at Berkeley farm Urban Adamah, watching a cluster of fellow visitors making what appear to be mudballs, patting them into shape, then dropping them onto the ground. Nearby, another group is plunging their hands…

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Biofuel Oasis

BEES: A gift for your yard and your neighborhood Keeping a beehive in your backyard is a sweet gift to the bees and to local gardeners. Unlike commercial bees, which get moved around the country and fed sugar water, bees in a backyard hive get to live in one place and forage a nutritious diet…

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Market Hall at 30

By Cheryl Angelina Koehler | Photos by Robin Jolin Thirty years ago, people didn’t photograph their meals—probably because they didn’t have cell phones. Most menus—except perhaps at Chez Panisse—didn’t list where the food came from. Culinary school training was not required to get a nice job in the business, and tattoos might indicate someone had…

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Playing Climate Oasis

Board Games for Humanity Climate Oasis offers an entertaining spin on coping with global threats Story and Photo By Sam Tillis The mood is tense at the Oasis. Our little community has done well for itself, but a series of crises threatens to destroy all we have built. We have only just dealt with the…

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Meet Mr. Espresso

The Bitter and the Sweet A conversation with Carlo Di Ruocco (aka Mr. Espresso) by Cheryl Angelina Koehler | Illustrations by Margo Rivera-Weiss If Carlo Di Ruocco asks, “Would you like an espresso?” you say, “Yes, of course!” After all, you’re at Mr. Espresso’s roastery and showroom on Third Street in Oakland, and it’s a…

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Plant to Plate

Richmond Students Thrive in the Kitchen and Garden Fifteen Richmond high schoolers learned to plant, cook, and arrive on time during a new after-school apprenticeship program that combines gardening, cooking, and job readiness. “I went outside of my comfort zone to try something new,” says Plant to Plate participant Samuel Solis, now a senior at…

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Deaf Chefs Compete

What’s the Sign for Mozzarella Balloon? Culinary education thrives at the California School for the Deaf By Anna Mindess | photos by Nick Wolf High school students dressed in chef’s whites scurry around the kitchen preparing an ambitious Modernist Caprese Salad composed of mozzarella balloons, tomato sorbet, and colorful sliced tomatoes garnished with fried basil…

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Broth Baby and Preserved

Making Strides Two Oakland entrepreneurs share business savvy and advice as they walk the lake By Rachel Trachten | Photos by Robin Jolin Oakland business owners Cassandra Gates and Elizabeth Vecchiarelli make a habit of circling Lake Merritt together to brainstorm and offer each other morale boosts. “I’ll talk for the first 30 minutes, and…

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Local Harvest as Spotted on Instagram

We traveled around the Bay Area on Instagram for some local harvest inspiration. Here are some of our top picks. Instagram your food moments and use #edibleeastbay. You might see your photo here in next season’s roundup.                  

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A Map of East Bay Food Collectives and Co-ops

Oakland-based artist Margo Rivera-Weiss makes food-related art, draws daily, and teaches sketchbook classes every third Wednesday of the month at Women’s Cancer Resource Center in Oakland. Connect with her at margoriveraweiss.com, or on Facebook at Margo Rivera-Weiss – Art or East Bay Sketchers.

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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…

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Delicious Revolution at Reem’s Bakery

 Baking Without Borders From Farmers’ Markets to Fruitvale, Arab Flatbread Champion Finds Fans By Sarah Henry | Illustration by Margo Rivera-Weiss The first in a series profiling local immigrant food makers with strong ties to cultures around the globe From organizing street protests to serving street foods: Reem Assil made a mid-career switcheroo that’s both…

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On the UC Gill Tract Community Farm

Growing a Neighborhood Food Haven at UC Gill Tract Community Farm By Joshua Burman Thayer For many years I couldn’t help but wonder about the USDA cornfield growing near the southwest corner of San Pablo and Marin Avenues in Albany. This plot of University of California farmland, sitting in its unlikely urban location, abruptly became…

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Better Burgers for School Lunch

School Lunch Gets Fresh The Conscious Kitchen serves up healthier, tastier meals for West Contra Costa students By Rachel Trachten | Photos by Carmen Silva In the cafeteria at Madera Elementary School, a long line of chatty kids winds its way to a surprisingly elegant serving table. The usual microwaved lunches are nowhere in sight.…

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Sharing the Pie

Baking a Co-Op Niles Pie Company rolls out a business plan that lets employees share in the profits By Rachel Trachten “Sharing the pie” has taken on a whole new meaning over at Union City–based Niles Pie Company. As customers line up for summertime pies bursting with strawberries or peaches, the shop’s original owner, Carolyn…

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Op-Ed

Could There Be an Uber for Home-Cooked Food? Yes, but let’s create laws and apps that actually benefit the community By Christina Oatfield | Illustrations by Janelle Orsi I used to run an underground restaurant out of my house with a like-minded friend. We called it the Wild Onion after the green onions that spring…

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Outdoor Dining on Instagram

We traveled around the Bay Area on Instagram for some outdoor dining and summer food inspiration. Here are some of our top picks. Instagram your food moments and use #edibleeastbay. You might see your photo here in next season’s roundup.                

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Open Doors

Opportunity Brewing At 1951 Coffee, refugees gain job skills and employment as their stories are brought into view Story and photo by A.K. Carroll What would it feel like to be separated from your country, culture, and the only home you’ve ever known? Grab a cup of Algorithm cold brew or Verve espresso at 2410…

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Grow the Food Forest

Help create the Mother Orchard, a five-acre food forest in El Sobrante. Planting Justice is hosting volunteer days this winter and spring for individuals and groups to join in. Planting Justice is known in the Bay Area for converting backyards and lawns into edible gardens and providing living-wage jobs for men who were formerly incarcerated.…

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UC Berkeley Food Pantry

The term “starving student” is such a cliché that we regard enduring some hardship while in school as almost a rite of passage. But actually, food insecurity is a severe problem found on many college campuses. Recent studies have noted that one student in five skips meals to save money. As the largest of its…

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Health Beat

Juiced for Food Justice Organic smoothies and community spirit flow at Super Juiced by Rachel Trachten | photos by Carmen Silva Emanne Desouky and her partner Rana Halpern share deep roots in community organizing and a strong commitment to a healthy lifestyle. When they couldn’t find an organic juice bar in Oakland, they started one,…

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Calicraft Brewery

Calicraft Creativity Bubbles up in Walnut Creek By Derrick Peterman Most brewers find their calling in their early 20s after a few years of home brewing. Calicraft’s Blaine Landberg realized he wanted to become a brewer at age 9. “My Uncle Gary and Aunt Lori always brought beer for Christmas, and I thought it was…

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Gleaning for Good in Hayward

Hayward cooks battle food waste with a memorable community meal “You can talk about food waste intellectually or emotionally, but the most important way is viscerally,” says Hayward cook and community volunteer Marcy Timberman. And that’s why Timberman and her cooking partner Armand Harris prepared a mouthwatering four-course meal for 35 guests using foods that…

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On the Menu: Backyard Bounty

  Residents barter garden surplus with top chefs and food producers Continuing our year-long series about relationships between local farms and restaurants BY SARAH HENRY | PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROBIN JOLIN For Christine Hwang and Tim Drew, it started with an abundance of honey. Then they moved on to herbs and root vegetables, which they bike…

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A MATCH MADE IN PLEASANTON

NEW LEAF COMMUNITY MARKET AND SUNOL AG PARK BY PATRICIA HAYSE HALLER PHOTOS BY CHERYL ANGELINA KOEHLER Chain supermarkets are not known for local sourcing, but that’s just what’s happening at New Leaf Community Market in Pleasanton. The May 2013 opening of this new store has brought fresh opportunities to nearby farmers, fostering closer relationships…

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THE CALIFORNIA HOMEMADE FOOD ACT

Super slow food: the pros and cons of AB1616 BY JILLIAN LAUREL STEINBERGER ILLUSTRATIONS BY HELEN KRAYENHOFF Tiny is beautiful. You may have seen those efficient new tiny cars out on the road and read about tiny houses, 100 square feet where owners choose to live simply. Now, welcome to the new-old super-micro slow-food economy,…

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RICHMOND RENAISSANCE

Food and farming efforts offer renewed hope to the community BY SARAH HENRY If only Richmond could overcome its reputation. Long viewed as one of the most violent places in the U.S., the gritty city saw its murder rate plummet in 2012. Still, this beleaguered community of some 103,000 reports unemployment hovering around 13 percent.…

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