CONTENTS SPRING 2010 4 EDITOR’S MIXING BOWL 6 EDIBLE EVENTS 14 LOCAL HERO AWARDS 2009 City Slicker Farms Taco Grill Barlovento Chocolates Blue Bottle Coffee Merritt College Landscape Horticulture and Permaculture Design Programs 24 FOOD FOR THOUGHT Beyond “Museum” Gardens By Jesse Kurtz-Nicholl 26 SUPPLYING LOCAL CHEFS AND SUSTAINING LOCAL RANCHES Biagio Artisan Meats By…

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In Praise of Compost By Thaddeus Barsotti   In my early days of farming I went through a phase of harvesting crops and immediately planting new ones without amending the soil. The results were decreasing yields and declining crop health. It was a good lesson, and helped me understand that the true challenge of organic…

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From Farmers Markets to Supermarkets, Rethinking What We Throw Away by Rachel Trachten   Covered from head to toe in plastic bags, a hideous creature lumbers slowly through the farmers market in Jack London Square. The monster stops to chat with shoppers, complimenting them on their reusable bags or asking why they haven’t brought any.…

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  A Tale of Dim Sum story and photos By Mia Buchignani and Melissa Schilling   “The flavor is incredible. It’s just hard to get past the texture”—Shawna   Dim sum. It’s a recessionista’s Champagne brunch fantasy: The flavors and textures of Chinese cookery pair perfectly with sparkling wines, and most dim sum joints in…

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A Family History in Rice By Elizabeth Linhart Money   In late 2003, Martha Stewart told her viewers what Japanese and Japanese Americans already knew: Koda Farms, situated in the dusty heart of California’s Central Valley, produces the best sushi rice on the market. Far from the Asian river deltas where rice was domesticated 10,000…

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Asian Vegetables BY BARBARA KOBSAR AND CHERYL ANGELINA KOEHLER   At this time of year, when the popular summer crops, such as corn, beans, and tomatoes are nowhere in sight, our East Bay farmers markets are overflowing with leafy greens. If the hand-drawn signs say bok choy, choy sum, gai lan, gai choy, mizuna, or…

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  Biagio Artisan Meats By Rick Mitchell   Chefs like to feed the romantic myth that they personally pluck their eggs fresh from the nest and shake the morning dew from their produce, but in reality busy urban chefs have little opportunity to get out to the market, let alone to the farm. Instead, the…

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Beyond “Museum” Gardens By Jesse Kurtz-Nicholl With so much news coverage of Michelle Obama lately, you would think that gardens are the answer to all of our public health problems. In addition to the “White House” garden, you’ve got the new “People’s Garden” at the USDA building in Washington, DC, and Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack…

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The results are in. Here are the Edible East Bay faves from our 2009 poll. Local Hero: Farmer/FarmCity Slicker Farmsby Max Cadji In 1943, Americans planted more than 20 million Victory Gardens, growing one-third of all the fresh produce consumed in the U.S. The emerging movement to bring home food production back into the mainstream…

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During January, as I was putting together this issue of Edible East Bay, I fell into the habit of taking a daily hike at Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline in San Leandro, a semi-wild peninsula of parkland that was created on landfill right behind the dump at the end of David Street.  The park is a…

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