The Urban Homesteading Movement Comes of Age

Ruby in her backyard with a newborn bunny (photo by Jess Watson).   K. Ruby Blume is in her element. Standing in front of a packed cheesemaking class, she waves her arms, jokes, asks questions, and calls for volunteers. She is all coiled energy and dynamic movement. Within the first 15 minutes, one student is…

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Summer 2011 Contents

Editor’s Mixing Bowl Notable Edibles: Skylite Snowballs Fist of Flour Studebaker Pickles Cranky Boots Pops Five Star Marinade Notable Reads: Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy Field Guide to California Agriculture Why Do You Need So Many Cookbooks?: An interview with Marie Simmons Pick It!: What’s in season at the Brentwood U-picks Recipe: Raw Cherry Pie Seven…

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Local Grain

Local Grain from Field to Plate: Part II (see Edible East Bay Fall/Winter 2010 for Part I) By Elizabeth Linhart Money Photo: Northern-California-grown grain going into the stone mill at Miller’s Bakehouse near Chico. (by Earl Bloor of Edible Shasta-Butte). It’s late autumn 2010, wheat-planting time in the Central Valley. The 600 loamy Yolo County…

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Mien Gardens and Makeshift Fences

Mien gardens and makeshift fences at Peralta Hacienda Historical Park Story and photos by Matthew Green On an early-spring afternoon, Mey Yan Saechao is standing among tall, yellow-flowering mustard in her small garden plot at Oakland’s Peralta Hacienda Historic Park. The six-acre park is in the Fruitvale district, and Mey Yan’s plot is behind its…

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Community Gardening

Evolving Views on Community Gardening By Cheryl Angelina Koehler, with photos by Nicki Rosario (top to bottom): Looking northeast to the hills from the Hayward Community Gardens (HCG), Jorge Nunez planting chile de arbol and some “really spicy” miura peppers at the HCG, Francisco Flores tending his bees at the HGC. There is no website…

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Seven Stars of Summer

Seven Stars of Summer By Jessica Prentice 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 summer favorites. You can learn more about the Local Foods Wheel and the group’s other…

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Pick it!

How to get the most out of your u-pick trip to Brentwood By Barbara Kobsar | Illustrations by Zina Deretsky and Helen Krayenhoff   Every year in May, the passion to pick my own fruits and vegetables resurges faithfully. My backyard garden offers a smattering of baby carrots, potatoes, early tomatoes, and herbs to pick in…

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Why do you need so many cookbooks?

 An interview with cookbook author Marie Simmons By Cheryl Angelina Koehler with photos by Robin Jolin It’s a recurring question posed to those of us with large cookbook collections: “Why do you need so many?” These days, when a few key words typed into a search engine will quickly yield several good recipe options to…

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Shortcut Corn Risotto with Summer “Succotash”

From Why Do You Need So Many Cookbooks?   From Fresh & Fast Vegetarian: Recipes that Make a Meal By Marie Simmons Houghton Mifflin, April 2011 Photograph by Luca Travoto Here’s the recipe you’ll need when fresh sweet corn arrives in abundance. It’s what Marie makes to celebrate fresh corn, sweet juicy tomatoe,s and tender…

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Raw Cherry Pie

From Pick It! How to get the most out of your Brentwood u-pick trip. Plant-based, raw, and perfectly yummy! Makes one 9-inch pie 3 cups macadamia nuts (If you are not making a lattice topping use only 2¼ cups.) ⅛ teaspoon salt 2¼ ounces (dry weight) sea moss, coarsely chopped (If you are new to sea…

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