By Slow Food Urban San Diego Board Member, Kathryn Rogers
In sunny San Diego, with our near-perfect year round weather that is the envy of northern dwellers across the country, one of the strongest indicators (besides those 4:30 sunsets) of the long-anticipated holiday season is a whole lot of marketing. We get e-blasts, mailers and point-of-purchase reminders galore that the best way to celebrate this holiday season is by buying as much as possible.
Long gone are the days when retail employees spent the Thanksgiving holiday at home with their loved ones. Now we can jump on those holiday deals while we’re still in the first clutches of a Thanksgiving feast food coma. We’ve traded retail therapy for good, old-fashioned family time.
This Thanksgiving, Slow Food Urban San Diego invites you to reclaim your dining table with gratitude for the bounty of food and the people who produced it, with a heritage turkey and locally sourced, seasonal side dishes. You can enjoy slow living the whole weekend and throughout the season, perhaps by opting for these five local activities in lieu of the mad crowded rush that is Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
- Visit a Farmers’ Market. Whether you intend to purchase produce and homemade goods or just want a great reason to taste seasonal fruits and veggies and chat with local farmers, a day at the farmers’ market is sure to be a hit with the whole family. Many markets also have a wide selection of prepared foods (in case you’re still hungry) and some even have live music.
- Get Outside. The County of San Diego manages more than 120 parks and preserves throughout the region with locations ranging from the beach to the valleys, the mountains to the desert. Not to mention all our local parks and open coastline. These trails, scenic vistas, playgrounds, and lakes are perfect for hiking, cycling, strolling, or horseback riding. Being active is a great way to avoid the crowds and burn off some of those extra calories.
- Make Homemade Gifts. Nothing says “I love you” more than a gift crafted from the heart. Whether its beeswax candles, a hand knitted hat or your famous holiday cookies, you can “wow” your loved ones while saving time and money by making presents in batches. Stock up on your supplies and ingredients in advance so you can spend all of Black Friday cozy at home, crafting away. Any little ones in your house will surely enjoy lending helping hands as well.
- Enjoy Arts and Culture. This Friday, Balboa Park has scheduled more than 20 exhibitions, 15 film screenings, botanical garden tours and family activities including holiday puppet shows, many of which are free and open to the public. Hop on your local bus line or bike path to make it a completely green day while avoiding parking woes. Then enjoy the natural and historical beauty in the company of your dear ones.
- Share your Abundance. As you are feeling extra grateful for all the good in your life, take time to give back to your community. Local organizations offer a number of volunteer opportunities for individuals and families, including preparing and serving meals to people experiencing food insecurity. Wild Willow Farm and Shakti Rising are also hosting a Give 5 Black Friday Challenge where you can volunteer your time or make a donation in support of sustainable farm education programs.
If the buying bug is still tugging on your purse straps or wallet folds, shop local whenever possible. This puts money back in our local economy, and you’re likely to discover more unique gifts compared to online or in big box stores. Check out Edible San Diego’s Holiday Guide for tasty local gift ideas, stroll shops on Adams Avenue during Small Business Saturday (November 28) while enjoying festive libations, or head over to South Park on December 5 for the Holiday Happenings Walkabout.
To find additional small businesses in your area, check out the Urbanist Guide.
Wishing you and yours a slow start to the holiday season!
By Sarah M. Shoffler, SFUSD board of directors
Photos by Eric Buchanan
We had a great time at the 2015 Good Food Community Fair! This year’s event, at the wonderful Quartyard, featured some of the best of San Diego’s thriving slow food scene: coffee, honey, beer, pigs, sea urchins, yellowtail, sushi, oysters, kombucha, mead…plus farmers, fishermen, chefs, brewers, beekeepers, butchers, food researchers, publishers, educators and conservationists. Check out our photos below!
Over 40 partner organizations, our colleagues in the San Diego Slow Food movement, brought their variety of good, clean & fair food for all to our annual event. We owe our success to these partners, plus to our generous donors of food, supplies, raffle items, time and expertise, and to our awesome volunteers. Not to mention the rockstar staff at Quartyard. See you next year!
Like this year’s artwork? You can buy an artist-signed print, of just the art, for $10. Email us at email@example.com.
Our amazing partners and sponsors:
1:1 Movement, Baby Cydesdale, Café Virtuoso, California Sea Grant, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Catalina Offshore Products, Cat Chiu Phillips, Chef Rob Ruiz, City Farmers Nursery, City Farming Academy, Culinary Historians Of San Diego, Community Health Improvement Partners, Cook Pigs Ranch, Duck Foot Brewing, Edible San Diego, Epicurean San Diego, Ernest Miller, Girl Next Door Honey, Golden Coast Mead, Green Flash Brewing, Jeanne’s Garden Program for Children, Kashi, Leah’s Pantry and EatFresh.org, Master Gardeners of San Diego, NOAA Fisheries, Nomad Donuts, Nopalito Hop Farm, Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center, One Bag World, Project New Village, RainThanks, Resource Conservation District of Greater San Diego County, Revolution Landscape, San Diego Weekly Markets, Slow Food San Diego State University, Slow Money SoCal, SoCal Fish, Stone Brewing Co., Surfrider Foundation San Diego, Suzie’s Farm, The Humane League, Tuna Harbor Dockside Market, Via International, Viva Pops, Wild Willow Farm & Education Center, Women of Coffee Microfinance Fund, Specialty Produce, The Meat Men, Eclipse Chocolate, The Lodge at Torrey Pines, Next Door Wine + Craft Beer Bar, Dr. Bronner’s, Blind Lady Alehouse, Leroy’s Kitchen, Suzie’s Farm, NINE-Ten, Curds and Wine, Epicurean San Diego, San Diego Food Systems Alliance.