Good Food Community Fair

Thank You for Joining Us at Good Food Community Fair!

The times challenge us. Slow Food Urban San Diego is grateful for our community - you uplift us in times like these and help to ground us in others. Thank you for your important contributions to our Good Food Community Fair: True Cost of Food and to our local food system. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, skills, knowledge, sense of hope, resiliency, successes, humor and delicious food and drinks.

This year's Fair celebrated how we are addressing the True Cost of Food in our region and acknowledged the work we have yet to do.

We discussed the true cost of food and farm labor, sustainable seafood, wasted food, soil health and land management, preserving cultural traditions and more. Thank you for sharing your stories and local treats, for teaching us about heirloom seeds and gyotaku, how to prepare "three-sisters," and how to connect to our farmers and fishermen and support healthy food systems. Slow Food looks forward to continuing the effort with you, our community. Thank you to all who contributed and volunteered, and all who attended, and to the WorldBeat Cultural Center for being our gracious host.

We're grateful to our generous sponsors who made it possible to charge only a "suggested donation," so that we can truly bring the Slow Food mission of good, clean and fair food to ALL. Creating opportunities to connect that are accessible is important to us.

Thank you to all who attended and partook of this community event. If you missed this year's good, clean and fair food fun, you can catch the next one in 2018. And of course, you can find us planting, eating, learning, teaching, connecting, cooking and expanding community with our partners in the meantime.

From all of us at Slow Food Urban San Diego, eat well, grow well, and be well.

2017 Good Food Community Fair October 1st @ the World Beat Center

Get your tickets today!

Slow Food Urban San Diego brings together the largest collection of food system advocates in San Diego County: The 4th annual Good Food Community Fair. Come to the Worldbeat Center on Sunday, October 1st from 11am - 3pm as we celebrate all things slow and expand the community table to everyone interested in exploring the Good, Clean, and Fair food movement in San Diego.

The fair is part festival, part conference, part food-stravaganza. Enjoy culinary demos and panel discussions while sampling delicious libations and tasty treats from local food purveyors, tour the first sustainable, edible garden in Balboa park, meet local organizations dedicated to food justice, and learn about the true cost and value of food from some of the most prominent thought leaders in the entire San Diego region.

Programming will highlight and celebrate our community's successes in fair food and ways we can work toward a more just and regenerative food system for all people, animals, and the land.

Board Members Sought

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Are you organized, passionate and willing to help with the nitty gritty of accomplishing Good, Clean & Fair? Then we want you! Seeking detail-oriented energetic folks to round out our board. All positions are voluntary. Send a resume or bio and letter of interest to volunteer@slowfoodurbansandiego.org with subject header "Board Application."

Members of the Board serve up to two two-year terms in any one position. To be eligible, you must have or obtain a Slow Food membership. Open positions described below.

The Great American Slow Food Revolution

Good Food Community Fair Chair  Slow Food Urban San Diego is seeking an organized event planner that is passionate about building community around good, clean & fair food for all. The Chair will run committee meetings and organize/manage logistics, fundraising opportunities and special programming for the 4th annual Good Food Community Fair. The Good Food Community fair is a gathering of good, clean & fair organizations and a celebration of local food and craft drinks with cooking demos, art, discussion panels and more. For more information visit: http://goodfoodfair.com/. Also seeking Co-Chair to train up into the position.

 

2015 Good Food Community Fair

By Sarah M. Shoffler, SFUSD board of directorsPhotos 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!

IMG_1024Over 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 info@slowfoodurbansandiego.org. 

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Our amazing partners and sponsors:

1:1 MovementBaby CydesdaleCafé VirtuosoCalifornia Sea Grant, Scripps Institution of OceanographyCatalina Offshore ProductsCat Chiu PhillipsChef Rob RuizCity Farmers NurseryCity Farming AcademyCulinary Historians Of San DiegoCommunity Health Improvement PartnersCook Pigs RanchDuck Foot BrewingEdible San DiegoEpicurean San DiegoErnest MillerGirl Next Door HoneyGolden Coast MeadGreen Flash BrewingJeanne's Garden Program for ChildrenKashiLeah’s Pantry and EatFresh.orgMaster Gardeners of San DiegoNOAA Fisheries, Nomad DonutsNopalito Hop FarmOlivewood Gardens and Learning Center, One Bag World, Project New VillageRainThanksResource Conservation District of Greater San Diego CountyRevolution LandscapeSan Diego Weekly MarketsSlow Food San Diego State UniversitySlow Money SoCalSoCal FishStone Brewing Co.Surfrider Foundation San DiegoSuzie's FarmThe Humane LeagueTuna Harbor Dockside MarketVia International, Viva PopsWild Willow Farm & Education CenterWomen of Coffee Microfinance Fund, Specialty Produce, The Meat Men, Eclipse ChocolateThe 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.

Girl Next Door Honey Pollinates Hearts and Minds

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By Sarah M. Shoffler, SFUSD Board of Directors

Bees are critical to pollinating plants and to growing thousands of fruits and vegetables that we eat. They are the only insect who make food that humans eat. But since the 1990s, beekeepers around the world have noticed bee colonies are disappearing. Added to that, droughts mean less access to their food supply. These things together spell trouble for these amazing five-eyed, honey-producing critters.

DID YOU KNOW? There are three types of bees: worker, drone and queen. All worker bees are females. Their wings beet 200 times per second or 12,000 beats per minute. The average worker bee produces about 1/12th of a tablespoon of honey in her lifetime. Bees communicate through pheromones and dances. Plus watch this.

Hillary Kearney of Girl Next Door Honey

But you don’t have to convince Hilary Kearney, Owner of Girl Next Door Honey, of the importance of bees. Her whole business is grounded in making bees accessible to people on every level.

“First and foremost I am educating people about bees and I find that they are often less afraid of them once they have a better understanding of what they do. I like to think of it as 'pollinating hearts and minds,” says Hilary. She does this by: teaching classes on backyard hives, managing home hives, relocating hives, teaching children about bees and giving Beehive Tours to the public. These efforts, she feels, will broaden bee knowledge among the public and lessen people’s fear of bees, which are critical to “engaging people with bees and on a larger scale their local food and ecosystem.”

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Hilary cares about her bees. Under normal conditions, bees will produce excess honey, enough to supply us humans with the sweet stuff and still feed themselves. But during a drought, there are fewer flowers, which means less nectar, which the bees need in order to make honey. So they may not be able produce enough for themselves and may have to work harder and travel further just to find the nectar. To support her bees, who rely on honey as their only food, Hilary doesn’t harvest honey during a drought. So when people buy honey from her, they can be assured that the bees it was taken from have enough food and are not starving.

Hillary tending her bees.

In addition, the drought has weakened the wild colonies in the area. They are producing smaller and weaker swarms (when a queen leaves a colony with worker bees to form a new colony). “When I do a bee rescue it takes more effort and resources to keep those bees alive and healthy” she says. Wondering what you can do to support bees?

HOW TO HELP BEES:

  • Avoid neonicotinoids in pesticides. These are thought to weaken bees’ immune system and make bees vulnerable to disease, parasites, extreme weather, viruses, poor nutrition, and other stressors.
  • Plant organic bee-friendly flowers, like California poppy, citrus, sage, sunflowers and others listed here.
  • Make a bee drinking fountain: fill a baking dish or pet water bowl with pebbles or marbles and water. The bees will stand on the marbles while they drink, without drowning.

To learn more about bees, honey, beekeeping and how to help bees, you can check out Girl Next Door’s partnership with Suzie's Farm and their new monthly Beehive Tours. You’ll be able to suit up and go into a beehive with Hilary. Or, come check her and our other bee-positive partners out at the Good Food Community Fair, Sunday, October 11th.

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Cook Pigs Ranch Brings Healthy and Happy Heritage Pigs from Farm to Table

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By Kathryn Rogers. SFUSD Board of DirectorsPhotos by Colin Leibold

Cook Pigs Ranch

At the age of seven, I proclaimed to my carnivorous parents that I would no longer be eating meat.  It was a moral decision grounded in my love for pigs; I couldn’t bear the thought of my favorite animal ending up on my dinner plate.

Looking back on my youthful conviction, it’s a wonder that some 20 years later I find myself standing on a pig ranch outside San Diego staring into the eyes of more than 40 porkers destined for slaughter.

My staunch pescetarian days had ended years before during a college semester in the south of Spain. Sipping espresso in my favorite corner cafe, I was enticed by the cured pig leg hanging above the chopping blocks. Shortly thereafter I enjoyed my first piece of toast with Spanish olive oil and the famed Iberian ham. I’ve been eating meat ever since.

Cook Pigs Ranch

As I expanded my diet to include poultry and beef, I faced the classic omnivore’s dilemma. My body responded well to the added protein and fat; I felt healthier than I’d been in years. And my culinary forays blossomed with more diversity in my staple ingredient list. But I still didn’t feel right eating animals, especially those that came from the crowded, dirty and inhumane conditions on factory farms.

I hoped that my journey to Cook Pigs Ranch, located outside the little mountain town of Julian, CA, would help to resolve some of my inner turmoil.

Winding through the oak groves on the way to the 11-acre farm, I admit I was nervous.  But as soon as we pulled through the iron gate, I was put at ease with a greeting first by two friendly “watch” donkeys and a giant white horse, followed by an oinking pen of recently weaned piglets. I grinned seeing their curly tails and crinkly snouts.

Krystina Cook, with her youngest daughter Rosaleigh in tow, came to welcome us.

“Let me introduce you to our pigs,” she said, smiling proudly.

Their more than 500 pigs are crosses of heritage breeds including Red Wattles, GOS, Large Blacks, Berkshires, Durocs, Tamworth, and Mulefoot that spend their days roaming pastures and oak groves to feed on grass, herbs, acorns, and roots, with some supplementation from sprouted barley and pesticide-free seasonal produce. Sows birth their piglets in covered birthing facilities and protected pens, and the youngsters are never given medicine so they can build up their immune systems naturally to thrive in the outdoors. It is a truly beautiful (and surprisingly pleasant smelling) operation.

Cook Pigs Ranch

Krystina Cook never set out to be a commercial pig farmer. But she was always committed to being an excellent mother to her eldest son, who suffered from severe food allergies. Grounded in the belief that food is medicine, Cook set out to raise a few ultra-clean animals for her family to eat. She had no trouble raising healthy chickens and sheep, but the pigs struggled to thrive. She became obsessed with figuring out how to raise them well, for both the health of the animals and the best-tasting meat. Word soon spread of her small family farm, and her endeavors blossomed into the growing ranch that is Cook Pigs today.

“Our entire operation is driven by the psychology and art of the pig,” says Cook. “We take pride in raising the healthiest, happiest pigs possible. And we model our slow-growth approach after the famous Iberico pigs from Spain, which produces very consistent heritage pork of the highest quality.”

Krystina Cook, Cook Pigs Ranch

Contributing to the art is Head Butcher Nick Scafidi. He and his team at Cook Family Butcher Shop process more than 20 heads a day at the only USDA-approved butcher in San Diego County. The pigs arrive after to the Kearny Mesa facility after harvesting at a USDA-approved facility north of Los Angeles and are artfully carved and crafted into everything from sausage and ribs to coppa steaks and pig skins.

“We strive to use as much of each animal as possible,” says Scafidi.

Scafidi spent a number of years working in the kitchen, so he understands what it’s like to want unique cuts of meat and is proud of the shop’s commitment to excellence.

“We are ensuring the highest quality from farm to finish.” gushes Scafidi. “I find this very rewarding because no one else is really doing this in San Diego right now.

Nick Scafidi and his team at Cook Family Butcher Shop

With increased demand for humane and delicious heritage pork, Cook Pigs continues to grow. The farm is moving to a new location near Julian with more acres of pasture. They just expanded their product line to include holiday hams. And they will soon be opening up an online store for broader distribution.

“This is the most beautiful pork I’ve ever seen. It tastes rich and robust - just like you are back on the farm,” says Distribution Manager and “Jill of All Trades,” Dana Hayden.

As I get ready to grill up that beautifully marbled coppa steak, I sure hope she’s right.  I would be glad to return to Cook Pigs Ranch for a visit anytime. My love for happy pigs (and delicious pork) is strong as ever!

Cook Pigs Ranch in Julian, CA

To learn more about Cook Pigs and how to order their heritage pork, visit their website. And be sure to join Slow Food Urban San Diego at the Good Food Community Fair on October 11, where Cook Pigs will be giving a butchering demo at 1:00 p.m.

Three Brewers and a Hop Farmer Walk into a Bar: at the Good Food Community Fair

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By Sarah Shoffler, SFUSD Board of Directors

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Our “Craft Beer and Local Hops: a Community Dialogue” panel discussion at this year’s Good Food Community Fair will feature three San Diego breweries and a local hop farmer. We selected these local producers because of their novel production practices, commitment to sustainability and community, along with their flavorful products.

The youngest brewery on our panel at just four months old, Duck Foot Brewing Company has a unique approach to serving delicious beer to all San Diegans. “With so many great breweries in the county it can be difficult to differentiate yourself, but we have a solid lineup of different styles of beers with a focus on balance,” says Chief Fermentation Officer, Brett Goldstock of Duck Foot Brewing Company. “Plus, we’ve uniquely positioned ourselves to serve a whole sector of the community not served before by brewing gluten-reduced beer. And our gluten-reducing process doesn’t affect the natural flavor, aroma or body of any of our brews.”

Bold and hop-centric Stone Brewing Co. is a San Diego king, both in terms of brewing and in terms of supporting the Good, Clean & Fair Food movement. Longtime supporters of local environmental non-profits, like Surfrider San Diego, sustainability is integral to their business practices: Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens is the largest restaurant purchaser of local, small-farm, organic produce in San Diego County. Their Bistro’s Meatless Monday menu prevents 110,448 lbs. of CO2 from being released annually and they source their vegetables from their organic Stone Farms. Stone also provides their spent grain to local dairy animals for feed. Stone sees operating their own farm as a hands-on demonstration of their commitment to sustainable food production.

Jordan Brownwood tending hops at Nopalito Farm & Hopyard. Photo by M. Brownwood.

Among the pioneers of the local IPA movement, Green Flash continues to experiment to find the next great beer. “Our Genius Lab allows any employee with an idea for an experimental beer to convince a brewer to brew it on our 5 bbl. pilot system,” says Erik Jensen, Head Brewer of Green Flash Brewing Company. “We serve these beers in our tasting room and many are the basis for future production beers. Cellar 3 is a separate facility dedicated to wood-aged sour beer and spirit-aged beer.”

Nopalito Farm & Hopyard is a two-and-a-half acre certified organic hopyard in north San Diego County providing high-quality local hops to local brewers. “While we do dry some of our hops, we prefer to supply brewers with fresh hops, which are typically hard to come by this far south. Plus, we grow damn tasty hops,” says Jordan Brownwood, Farmer and Owner of Nopalito Farm & Hopyard. “Water is the number one issue for farms all over the West Coast, so the drought has heavily affected us,” which is, in part, why they use drip irrigation, heavy mulching and other techniques allowing them to minimize the farm’s water use.

And while our local breweries have not yet faced big water restrictions to their operations, the drought is on all their minds. “The dirty little secret of the brewing industry is the brewing process consumes a large amount of water to make a gallon of beer,” says Brett. Most breweries use 3-7 barrels of water to produce one barrel of beer, depending on their production practices. Duck Foot, Green Flash and Stone evaluate water use at each step in their beer-making processes. And Stone is trendsetting in its water practices having implemented an on-site water reclamation system and water conservation practices years before the drought’s regulations came into effect.

Our panel, moderated by JuliAnna Arnett, a local food systems expert, will explore the ways our local beer and hop industries support good, clean and fair food (and beer!) for all, the impact of the drought, and how they can implement water-wise production. Plus, beer. Really good beer.

Join the discussion and enjoy a quaff with these good folks at 2pm, Oct. 11th at the Quartyard:

     Brett Goldstock, Chief Fermentation Officer, Duck Foot Brewing
     Tom Modifica, Water Reclamation Supervisor, Stone Brewing Co.
     Erik Jensen, Head Brewer, Green Flash Brewing
     Jordan Brownwood, Farmer/Owner, Nopalito Farm & Hopyard

 

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How Recycling Food Waste is Water Wise: An Interview with San Diego Food System Alliance's Elly Brown

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By Kathryn Rogers, SFUSD Board of Directors

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With no end in sight to the California drought, local organizations are seeking sustainable solutions to address all aspects of water use. The San Diego Food System Alliance, coordinated by Elly Brown, is collaborating with other local non-profits to process and minimize food waste  - a surprising issue of importance in the water conservation dialogue.

According to a recent Natural Resources Defense Council report, getting food from the farm to our forks eats up 10 percent of the total U.S. energy budget, uses 50 percent of U.S. land and swallows 80 percent of all freshwater consumed in the United States. Yet, 40 percent of food in the United States today goes uneaten. This means that Americans are throwing out the equivalent of $165 billion each year and wasting a significant amount of water at the same time. What’s more, researchers at the NIH have found that food waste accounts for over 25% of total freshwater consumption. Not to mention the approximately 300 million barrels of oil per year for transporting this wasted food along with the methane and CO2 emissions from decomposing food in our landfills.

water-sprinklers-880970_1280The good news is that the state of California recently passed legislation to begin addressing some of these issues. Governor Jerry Brown signed AB1826 in October 2014, which requires local jurisdictions to have an organic waste recycling program in place by January 1, 2016, and businesses to recycle their organic waste by April 1, 2016.

A forward-thinking policy, no doubt, but how will it be implemented locally?

The Food System Alliance is working in San Diego County to create polices and solutions to address huge gaps in terms of infrastructure for handling food waste. Food System Alliance researchers recently estimated that San Diegans produce 500,000 tons of food waste, but local composting facilities can only process an estimated 10,000 tons of this waste. We still have a long way to go.

Public awareness about how much food waste we are producing and how to store and recycle this waste properly is a critical piece to the story as well. “The National Resource Defense Council and Ad Council are doing a national awareness campaign around food waste launching in early 2016, and we plan to dovetail and build upon that locally,” says Brown.

Ground-level efforts are also helping to educate community members about waste issues and engage them in opportunities to create change. The Food System Alliance has collaborated with the Wild Willow Farm, Hidden Resources, and Sweetwater School District to pilot a Food Recovery Program. The Food System Alliance will also convene groups and individuals for a half-day summit on food waste on October 6: the Food Waste Solution Summit.

“Water conservation should not only be happening in our homes but also in our food system as well by creating less waste and encouraging efficiencies,” says Brown.

To learn more about local efforts to conserve water, join the Food System Alliance and other community partners at Slow Food Urban San Diego’s Annual Good Food Community Fair on October 11.

 

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Café Virtuoso to Address Fair Trade Coffee Roasting and Water Conservation at the Good Food Community Fair

By Tania Alatorre, SFUSD Board Member and Good Food Community Fair Coordinator

Savannah PicWe're pleased to announce that Café Virtuoso will present at this year's Good Food Community Fair. Café Virtuoso, founded and owned by Laurie Britton, is the only 100% certified organic and fair-trade coffee roaster in San Diego. Her unique café and roasting facility is located in Barrio Logan, a few blocks from Quartyard, making them the perfect community partner.

Laurie has owned the cafe since 2007. Her daughter Savannah works alongside her and trains their talented team of baristas, and leads café coffee classes and “cuppings,” the practice of observing tastes and aromas of brewed coffees. Both have a profound passion for coffee and for supporting organic and fair trade coffees in addition to being long-time supporters of Slow Food. They have a wealth of knowledge of the global coffee industry and sell a unique range of organic beans and teas that they share with their staff. It’s not uncommon that you walk into the Café Virtuoso and learn something new about the coffee you’re about to enjoy. Chat with the baristas, they know their stuff.

restaurant-coffee-cup-cappuccinoSavannah will kick-off the Good Food Community Fair special programming at 11AM with an engaging conversation on how Café Virtuoso selects coffee from farms around the world, roast beans in house, how they have paved the way for women in coffee in San Diego, and what they are doing to conserve water at their café and roasting headquarters. Stay for their latest cold brew paired with Nomad Donuts donut holes!

You can also find Café Virtuoso at the Little Italy farmers market on Saturday’s.

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Master Gardeners Educate and Service San Diego Communities

by Nathan Yick, Slow Food SDSU Chapter Leader

master gardener community gardenSan Diego has over 300* Master Gardeners, passionate gardeners who serve and educate San Diegans on pest control and horticulture for free. Part of a rigorous training program founded in 1980, by the University of California Cooperative Extension, they work alongside teachers and parents helping children with their garden projects. They help community gardens overcome challenges with their plots, and with the drought plaguing California, their services and knowledge are much needed in the gardens.

To help San Diego communities combat the drought, the Master Gardeners have developed their Earth Friendly Gardening program. This program trains gardeners in sustainable gardening addressing things like how to adapt to the drought by providing information on creating an earth friendly garden--information on how to conserve water, maintain soil quality, and reduce waste. Thanks to the Master Gardeners, Community Gardens all over San Diego, like the Agape House by San Diego State University, have thrived and continue to provide fresh and local produce for the community.

"One of my favorite things about being a Master Gardener is helping people with their gardening challenges," says Dominick Fiume who became a Master Gardener through working at the Ark of Taste Heritage Garden in Old Town State Park.

As fulfilling and rewarding experience it is being a Master Gardener, becoming one takes a lot of work. To become certified, students go through a training program consisting of 16 weekly classes taught by agricultural experts which educate aspiring volunteers on pest management and horticulture. They must pass an exam and then volunteer regularly as well as continue their education to keep their certification.

Through their commitment, knowledge and passion for public service in gardening and pest control, the Master Gardeners have helped San Diego communities preserve and create more sustainable gardens.

SFUSD is excited that this passionate and knowledgeable San Diego resource is participating in our 2015 Good Food Community Fair. Look for their booth on wise water use.

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*the original story in the Sept newsletter reported there were over 60 Master Gardeners in San Diego. San Diego has over 300.