…what to do?     Radishes are a great first crop to grow with kids—they come up quickly, are brightly colored, and can be eaten fresh out of the garden­. (Just make sure you wipe off the earth that clings to the fine roots.) They can be directly seeded into the ground all year long…

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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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Recipes can spark the imagination, but more often, we look to them when we want assurance of success in reaching some specified goal, such as, say, making a perfect soufflé. Writing teacher Sondra Hall, on the other hand, uses recipes—or the idea of recipes—as a way to lead kids into the wide world of the…

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Welcome to Wine Country It’s right here! By Tom Riley with photos by Stacy Ventura Over the past several years, the New York Times and a host of national glossies have chronicled the East Bay’s emergence as a national tourism hot spot. Much of this reporting has focused on the area’s burgeoning urban food and…

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CCCFM celebrates 30 years of good food and community By Barbara Kobsar The longest-running nonprofit organization to operate a farmers’ market program in Contra Costa County is about to turn 30. Contra Costa Certified Farmers’ Markets (CCCFM) was brought to fruition by a small group of Master Gardeners and horticulture students from Diablo Valley College…

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What’s Cooking with Sustainable Seafood? Getting hooked on best choices through fresh businesses, cookbooks, and practices By Sarah Henry Cathy Phillips wants to eat fish for health reasons—all those heart-healthy and brain-boosting omega-3s for starters—but like many ethical eaters she’s also eager to source seafood that is sustainable, caught close to home, and supports the…

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Opportunity Sprouts at Buttercup Farms By Patricia Hayse Haller Central Contra Costa County residents looking for fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables are in luck. A new community supported agriculture (CSA) project is under way in Clayton. Once the summer harvest starts in June, project managers at Buttercup Farms Garden expect to be offering 25…

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Incantations of a Spice Mistress: A review of  Quick-Fix Indian: Easy Exotic Dishes in 30 Minutes or Less by Ruta Kahate (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2012) Reviewed by Cheryl Angelina Koehler  I recall an especially poignant question Ruta Kahate posed at one of popular Indian cooking classes in Rockridge five years ago, right around the time her cookbook…

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Notable Edibles Charcuterie on the Move: Scott Brennan’s Fifth Quarter By Stephanie Rosenbaum Photos by Nicki Rosario Everything is going mobile these days, so why not charcuterie? Scott Brennan’s Fifth Quarter brings all things fabulously meaty to the farmers’ market. “Fifth quarter” refers to all those nose-to-tail bits left over after the familiar steaks, chops, and roasts…

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GMO LABELING: Do we have a right to know? By Kristina Sepetys Illustrations by Otto Thorsen Genetic engineering promises food crops that can resist drought, insects, and disease; crops that can produce more bountiful yields at lower costs while helping to address hunger across the planet. But as with many new technologies, there are unknowns and…

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