West Oakland Group Wins Major Grant for New Urban Farm and Park

by Erica Reder

Last year, City Slicker Farms grew and distributed almost 7,000 pounds of pay-what-you-can produce in West Oakland. That number may double in coming years, thanks to a $4 million grant the nonprofit won last week. Awarded through Proposition 84, a 2006 initiative that approved bonds for environmental projects throughout the state, the money will allow City Slicker Farms to purchase and develop 1.4 acres of land into a neighborhood farm and park.

The new project will both increase affordable fresh food in West Oakland and, says Executive Director Barbara Finnin, “help legitimize this kind of work in urban agriculture.” Read more »

Slow Food: Can You Eat Well and Save the World?

By Lisa Abend
Friday, October 29th, 2010

At midday on Oct. 23, some 300 young people sat down to eat in a shopping mall in Turin, Italy. But instead of the usual food-court fare of burgers and Cinnabons, lunch for these mostly 20-somethings consisted of rice-and-broccoli salad, stewed sweet potatoes and hand-chopped beef tartare — all of it served on recyclable paper plates draped with raw kale leaves. If that seems a surprisingly wholesome meal for the setting, that’s kind of the point: the “eat-in,” organized by the Youth Food Movement — an arm of the Slow Food organization — was devised in part as a protest against fast food. “By doing this and by making Slow Food work, we’re saying no to the industrial food that most people are forced to eat,” says Gabriel Vidolin, a 21-year-old Brazilian chef who helped prepare the meal… Read more »

Your Sacramento Guide: Restaurants Get Slow Food Movement’s Honorary Snail Symbol

By Rick Kushman
Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

For some people, this won’t be the most appetizing symbol, but lots of Sacramento restaurants are happy to earn a snail.

Specifically, a Snail of Approval from Slow Food Sacramento – see, snails are very, very slooooow so, uh, you get it – and this week the local group took the program out of its shell and awarded Snails to 13 area restaurants.

Is this a big deal? I’m saying yes. It shows both the growth of the Slow Food movement in this region and the growing sophistication of the local dining scene. Plus, you have to admit, the name is kind of cute… Read more »

Farm-To-School Lunches in Davis

By Elaine Corn
Thursday, September 23th, 2010

Today our “Back to School” series checks in with a special booster club in Davis. But it’s not for the football team. It’s for school lunch. As Capital Public Radio’s Elaine Corn reports the real boost in this club comes from a renowned cook.

Elaine Corn: Georgeanne Brennan’s thick hair is tucked under a net. She roams the Davis school district’s Central Kitchen with a plastic spoon. Several dishes destined for a dozen lunchrooms are ingenious combinations of US commodities and local vegetables… Read more »

Beyond Farmville: Supporting Urban Agriculture Online

By Christian Madera
Thursday, September 16th, 2010

While climate change remains a major societal issue still waiting to be addressed at a national level, more and more Americans are looking to see what they can do to make a difference, however small. Thanks to the popularity of books like The Omnivore’s Dilemma and documentaries like Food, Inc., interest in locally produced food as a way to both be healthier and friendlier to the planet has surged. In addition, there is growing interest in urban agriculture as an economic development and community revitalization strategy – with the potential to provide jobs, greenery, and healthy food to many inner-city neighborhoods that lack all three… Read more »