Envisioning Sustainable Futures for Urban Farms Story and Photos by Jess Watson A huge bramble of blackberry bushes sprawls at the corner of 28th and Peralta in Dogtown, the only hint of the future crops that will be grown on the 1.4-acre triangular lot after its transformation into the West Oakland Park and Urban Farm.…

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Oakland’s Farm Fresh Approach to School Food By Sarah Henry Move over Berkeley, another East Bay school district is gaining ground on the school food revolution front. The Berkeley Unified School District’s School Lunch Initiative frequently and fairly garners kudos as a model for school eats and education around the country (see sidebar near end…

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Getting to the Heart: A review of Heart of the Artichoke and other kitchen journeys by David Tanis, Artisan Books, 2010 Chez Panisse chef David Tanis’s new cookbook, Heart of the Artichoke, begs for a whole evening curled up on the sofa with a glass of vin santo. This is a book to read word…

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Eating Offal: It takes guts By Sage Dilts (Pictured here is the charcuterie plate always on the menu at Café Rouge. Two house-made pâtés flank slices of the smoked tongue, for which owner Marsha McBride and butcher Scott Brennan received a 2011 Good Food Award. For more information about the awards, click here. Photo by…

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Seven Stars of Spring By Jessica Prentice with line drawings are by Sarah Klein (sarahklein.com) colored by Maggie Gosselin Jessica Prentice, Maggie Gosselin, and Sarah Klein created the Local Foods Wheel to help us all enjoy the freshest, tastiest, and most ecologically sound food choices month by month. Here are Jessica’s seven best bets for…

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What’s at the Market By Barbara Kobsar, Illustration by Helen Krayenhoff Each farmers market is “shaped” by size and location but “flavored” by its unique group of farmers and vendors, as well as shoppers. Yes, shoppers! I’m as likely to see a regular shopper as I am to find a favorite grower at the markets.…

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Ode to a Fruit Peel: Poetic renderings from Siew-Chinn Chin’s Kitchen Story and photos by Helen Krayenhoff On a cold winter’s day, we are sitting in the warm kitchen of Siew-Chinn Chin, a pastry chef and Oakland resident who works at Chez Panisse. Slender and energetic, with a sparkle in her eye, Siew-Chinn moves nimbly…

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Annals of an Urban Beekeeper: Khaled Almaghafi of Queen of Sheba Farms Story and photo by Jessica Watson It isn’t easy being an urban bee. In addition to resisting the widespread Colony Collapse Disorder, urban bees must navigate fearful neighbors wielding insecticidal spray and face the daily challenge of locating plants suitable for foraging. For…

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Slow Money: The movement for sustainable financing options for food and farming enterprises in the East Bay By Kristina Sepetys Pictured here: Brahm Ahmadi at the corner of West Grand and Market in West Oakland, site of the new People’s Community Market. Photo by Stacy Ventura, stacyventura.com It’s the end of a perfect fall day…

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Goodbye, green Jell-O Local healthcare professionals are bringing a more nutritious green hue to hospital food   By Helene Kremer About this quilt: Jane Kelly, a Health Promotion Specialist at John Muir Medical Center is an avid food gardener, and passionate health enthusiast. She was inspired to make this quilt by the objectives of the…

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