Slow Food Sacramento

A Chapter of Slow Food USA

Browsing Posts published by Slow Food Sacramento

Hosted by Slow Food Istanbul in the midst of the Taksim Square Gezi Park protests, the June 2013 International Council meeting was exciting, inspiring, and tasty. The International Council includes representatives of countries with at least 500 members. (Slow Food USA is represented by two Board members – Matt Jones and Nazli Parvizi and two Governors — Joel Smith and Charity Kenyon). The Council, together with the Executive Committee, plans and promotes the Slow Food movement’s development worldwide. As a result of action taken at the October 2012 Slow Food International Congress in Italy, the International Council for the first time includes representatives of Terra Madre communities where the convivium structure is not developed, but Slow Food is working with producers and gardeners — largely in the global South. This expansion made for a rich and rewarding exchange that demonstrated the strength and breadth of the organization.

All but one Councilor was able to attend, notwithstanding the close proximity of the meeting to the rapidly developing demonstrations. Our hosts were fully engaged in supporting the protests, even planting a symbolic vegetable garden in Gezi Park. The Council adopted a resolution in support of those demanding: “a new Turkey, able to value simple but important things, like the trees in a park.”

Friday night’s dinner started the meeting – on a boat on the Bosphorus – what more need we say? The pleasure of shared food and conversation helped make and strengthen connections across continents and hemispheres; the weather was calm and mild; the lights on mosques and old palaces was dramatic. The demonstrations were far away.

On Saturday Carlo Petrini welcomed us, pointing out that next year 2014, will be the 10th anniversary of the Terra Madre Network and 25th Anniversary of Slow Food. And there is no going back. The question for the Council was how to manage and lead this complex movement for the common good.

To that end, Slow Food has adopted three areas of emphasis to meet our goals for change: (1) 10,000 products boarded on the Ark of Taste — the FAO recognizes Slow Food as the only movement formally safeguarding the biodiversity and the fight against malnutrition. This gives us the responsibility to follow through. (2) 10,000 Gardens in Africa — a
movement spreading education and training with knowledge of local seeds to fight both land grabbing and malnutrition. We cannot close our eyes to the injustice of 24,000 people dying every day from hunger, mostly in Africa. Our 10,000 gardens in schools, at hospitals, and in communities can set an example for other NGO’s and African governments. (3) 10,000 Convivia and Food Communities — networks have knots and we are currently at 1,600 chapters in 170 countries and 2,200 food communities for a total of 4,000 toward our goal of 10,000.

The growing Youth Food Network is under new leadership of Joris Lohman from Amsterdam who sits on the SFI Executive Committee. Foodstock will take place in Polenza in 2014 – 1,000 students from 67 countries are expected. The SFYFN is developing, including its governance, but it represents our future.

Finally, we need to carry out a census that somehow documents all the different SF projects around the world, so that we can more accurately understand and convey our impact.

We next heard about the re-launch of the Ark of Taste, including review of new documents in draft to explain the relationships among AOT, Presidia, and the Biodiversity Foundation. The point is to make boarding products easier, fun, and rewarding. We may make mistakes, but must not hold back for fear of error. Mistakes can be corrected later. The only mistake is failing to act now to capture and document the wealth of our food communities. There was robust discussion of other knowledge we are losing, including methods of production and processing, as well as of the dangers of bio-­‐ piracy. The exciting Alliance of Chefs and Presidia is developing as a way to bring AOT products to the attention of consumers and to support markets for producers. Menu language has been approved.

In the afternoon we met as regional groups, including a meeting of the Americas — from Canada to the tip of Chile. And each group reported out on action items agreed upon within the groups. We will be hearing more about these plans, including a likely Slow Meat conference (like Slow Cheese and Slow Fish) in Colorado in 2015. The more we talked, the more it became obvious that we had links already and could use them to build our networks across the Americas — from Terra Madre communities to chapters. A current example is Slow Food Philadelphia’s work with blue corn tortilla makers in Mexico, uniting two halves of a small indigenous Puebla minority and promoting their special corn. We look forward to making more of these connections.

Dinner was in a small, intimate restaurant in the Nisantasi neighborhood. Lovely, diverse, conducive to discussion and very close to the demonstrations. Towards the end of the evening the government ruthlessly cleared Taksim Square, demonstrators fled into the neighborhood, a small hospital was erected around the corner from the restaurant. Our hosts and guests were calm; taxi drivers were able to get us back to our various hotels without much trouble.

Our half-­day meeting on Sunday focused on funding, membership: the numbers. We approved the 2013 budget — half way through the year and agreed that future Councils will receive, discuss, and act on the budget at the beginning of the budget year. A lengthy financial report and social report with commendable detail were presented by the external auditor. I, for one, was impressed both by the amount accomplished on a small budget and by the commitment to transparency and accuracy.

Next, we discussed Strategic Goals, which had been presented in draft shortly before the meeting. Another draft will be prepared by October. Councilors are to prepare their responses to the current draft by mid July.

Finally, we were all energized by an upbeat presentation of the Slow Food Youth Food Network, and by a delicious tasting of traditional Turkish foods with a presentation by a well known chef and journalist. Wow! Lots to do and lots of great people to do it with! It was a great honor to represent Slow Food USA in Istanbul.

Charity Kenyon


Slow Food USA Governor, Central Valley Region of California

International Councilor

Slow Food Sacramento is engaged in another international program, the Ark of Taste project of the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity.

To make this work possible, Slow Food USA has regionalized its Ark of Taste Committees. Slow Food California’s new Ark of Taste committee is headed up by Linda Elbert of the Orange County Chapter. Our own Suzanne Ashworth of Del Rio Botanical has agreed to serve on the jury that selects foods to be boarded. And David Baker of GRAS has submitted Slow Food Sacramento’s application to board the Clarksburg Chenin Blanc — a grape variety we are losing to Chardonnay. Chenin Blanc grows best in three places in the world: Clarksburg, the Loire Valley of France, and South Africa.

If you attended our mixer and tasting at Revolution Wine, you know we want to keep the grape in production here! We owe a big debt to Revolution Wine’s Gina Genshlea, David Baker, Darrell Corti, and all the vintners that have helped David and SFS with this project. Want a good Chenin Blanc? Stop by Revolution Wine. Want to help with the work of the Ark of Taste Committee? Contact charity@slowfoodsacramento.com.

Read more about the program to protect threatened food varieties of all kinds here: http://www.slowfoodfoundation.com/pagine/eng/arca/cerca.lasso?-id_pg=36

Slow Food Sacramento has created, through a donation by Kingbird Farms, its first relationship with one of Slow Food International’s 1,000 Gardens in Africa. We have partnered the GEO Program at Grant High School in Sacramento with Victoria School Garden in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

We’re looking forward to some photo sharing between Annmarie Kennedy of GEO and Sifuni Wilson, Head teacher of Victoria Primary School. The school is currently focusing on improving access to water.

Read more about this program of Slow Food International here:  http://www.slowfood.com/terramadreday/pagine/eng/pagina2.lasso?-id_pg=113

Carlo Petrini, the founder of Slow Food, wants to grow this program to 10,000 gardens! Would you like to help support the Victoria School project or help Slow Food Sacramento adopt another garden? Contact charity@slowfoodsacramento.com

Slow Food Sacramento would like to extend the kindest words of gratitude to our greater community of partners, supporters, and amazing members who last year helped support the soft launch of the School Garden Coalition through their participation in Urban Ag Fest IV.

Last year’s beneficiary of funds raised at Urban Ag Fest IV was Rosemont High School Green Academy. And they have put the funding to good use! In addition to adding much needed fencing, Green Academy students completed the ADA beds; graded and plumbed; planted fava beans, asparagus, cilantro, and potatoes; and reserved the clay extracted during excavation to build wood burning ovens!

Culinary Arts teacher Chef Scott Singer, Masonry Program educator Brett Hutchison, and Principal Leise Martinez are excited to demonstrate the practical life and job skills, linked learning, and critical thinking applications possible in a school garden environment. And in the 3rd week of April, almost 70 Rosemont HS Green Academy students walked to neighboring Sequoia Elementary to do a full day of work in that garden alongside their younger friends.

See some photos here:
https://picasaweb.google.com/chefbrendaruiz/RosemontHSGreenAcademySpring2013?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCMDcy_6Qs5OwsgE&feat=directlink
or on twitter at @RHSCulinary.

Please join us for Day on the Farm, May 19, at Soil Born Farms American River Ranch at the School Garden Expo. At this event, you can get connected to a few of the region’s school gardens and edible education programs. Thanks to Assemblyman Roger Dickinson for in-kind support helping to make the expo possible. Help needed on May 18 and 19th! To volunteer, learn more about the Coalition and the exciting work ahead, or to donate resources contact Brenda Ruiz at chefbrendaruiz@gmail.com

chenin_haarmeyer

Photo courtesy of Craig Haarmeyer.

Chenin Blanc from the Clarksburg AVA is described as a light, dry white wine with notes of light honey, nectarine, and peach.

The grapes are native to the Loire Valley in northern France. In addition to the Loire Valley, the world’s finest and most distinctive Chenin Blancs originate from South Africa and right here in our backyard, in Clarksburg in the Sacramento River Delta.

Chenin Blanc thrives in the Sacramento Delta because of the welcoming natural conditions: the Delta soil, which is composed of various alluvial layers including sandy loam and dense clay, paired with the hot summer days and maritime-influenced cool nights.  Gerald Asher of Gourmet magazine once wrote “It’s the right grape in the right place.” And local gastronome Darrell Corti proclaimed “Chenin Blanc loves rich Delta soil.”

Chenin Blanc was once a popular and prolific grape grown throughout California. In the late 1970s, Charles Krug produced 125,000 cases of dry Chenin Blanc. Yet, today, its production is threatened by wine industry trends. Acreage is at an all time low, falling almost 80% since the 1980s, and most is grown in the Central Valley as an anonymous blending grape. While many vineyards have chosen to replace Chenin Blanc with better selling varietals, several wineries have continued to carry on the tradition of Chenin Blanc, creating unique and award-winning wines, and preserving this distinctive expression of our local region. Producers of Chenin Blanc in our region include Wilson Ranch, Bogle Vineyards, Heringer Vineyards, Baranek Vineyards, Six Hands, and Dancing Coyote.

Originally settled just after the 1849 Gold Rush, Clarksburg has been a productive agricultural area for over a century (producing pears, alfalfa, tomatoes, and cattle). The transformation to vineyards began in the early 1960s. Chenin Blanc was first introduced to the area and quickly became a star, putting Clarksburg Chenin Blanc on the national stage through the 1970s. Almost all of the growers have been farming here for five or six generations, since prior to 1900.

Because of Chenin Blanc’s uniqueness and rich history, Slow Food Sacramento and the Green Restaurant Alliance of Sacramento are working on a nomination of Chenin Blanc from Clarksburg AVA for Slow Food’s Ark of Taste, which preserves unique flavors from particular regions. We are proposing it be certified as a heritage product, outstanding in terms of taste—as defined in the context of local traditions and uses, at risk biologically or as culinary traditions, and produced in limited quantities.

To learn more, join us for an upcoming Chenin Blanc tasting and Slow Food mixer on April 23. Details and tickets available here.

The tasting will feature these great wineries:

  • Revolution
  • Bogle
  • Rendez Vous
  • Heringer
  • Clarksburg Wine Company
  • Dancing Coyote
  • Blue Plate
  • Twisted River
  • Dry Creek Vineyards

 

 

All photos courtesy of Charity Kenyon.

On February 12, 2013, the documentary film Couscous Island – produced by Slow Food in the framework of the 4Cities4Dev project and co-funded by the European Union – was presented at the Berlin Film Festival.

This is the last documentary in the Living Food Communities series, which includes three other half-hour movies directed by Francesco Amato (director of Ma che ci faccio qui! and Cosimo e Nicole) and Stefano Scarafia (director of Il corridore andGente di Terra Madre). Each movie tells the story of a Slow Food community, presents a product and describes how it is an important element of the cultural and social identity of the whole community. In addition, it shows how, if properly promoted, these productions can offer a viable opportunity to improve the community’s economic conditions.

Watch the films at this linkhttp://www.4cities4dev.eu/ita/7/video

The movies were shot in Africa, between Kenya, Senegal and Ethiopia:

Pokot Ash Yoghurt – Kenya, 23’20”
The Tarsoi village community has always produced a very peculiar yoghurt with cow’s or goat’s milk mixed with the ash from an indigenous tree. Ash yoghurt had a very important role in the diet of the Pokot people. Today, communities have overwhelmingly lost pride in their food culture and the yoghurt is only produced by a few families for their own consumption. Occasionally the extra production is sold at local markets.

Harenna Forest Wild Coffee – Ethiopia, 23’59”
Ethiopia is the country where coffee originates from and the only in the world where wild coffee plants grow. For thousands of years, families have been roasting their own berries, crushing them in a mortar and offering coffee to guests according to a solemn ritual, a strong symbol of hospitality and respect.

Fadiouth Island Salted Millet Couscous – Senegal, 27′ e 34′ (two versions)
The village of Fadiouth is located on an island made entirely of shells, which can be reached by a long wooden bridge. The Serer – the indigenous people that lives there – have always been the greatest producers of sunnà millet and live off farming and fishing in the sea and lagoon.

These films were produced as part of the 4Cities4Dev project, co-funded by the European Union. Their production stems from the cooperation between Slow Food and four European cities – Turin, Tours, Bilbao and Riga. The project combines the role of cities, as active protagonists of local policies and decentralized cooperation, and the Slow Food approach, based on the involvement of food communities, citizens and consumers.

The board of Slow Food Sacramento provided the following comment letter to the Sacramento City Board of Education this week. We are urging them to consider the value of school garden assets, particularly at Fruit Ridge Elementary, as they evaluate several campuses for closure.

January 29, 2013

Hon. Jonathan Raymond, Superintendent &
Hon. President and Members of the Sacramento City Board of Education
Sacramento City Unified School District
5735 47th Avenue Sacramento, CA  95824

Re: Proposed closure of Fruit Ridge Elementary School / Garden

Dear Superintendent Raymond and Members of the Board of Education,

We, the members of Sacramento Slow Food’s Board of Directors, respectfully request that the Board reconsider its proposal to close the historic Fruit Ridge Elementary School and move the students to schools on Martin Luther King Boulevard.

Slow Food is an international nonprofit that advocates for good, clean, fair food for all. The Sacramento Chapter’s emphasis is on promoting urban agriculture including school gardens. Our fourth annual Urban Ag Fest in 2012 raised funds for our school garden coalition and for the garden projects at Rosemont High School and O.W. Erlewine Elementary School. Our guests, including teachers, students and volunteers from 15 SCUSD schools showcased their school garden projects, toured the Rosemont Garden and its Culinary Arts and Masonry Arts Programs, and enjoyed a sit-down dinner on the senior lawn. Our speaker was former State Superintendent of Schools Delaine Eastin, under whose leadership California’s school gardens grew from some 40 to more than 3,000.

Later in the year we welcomed Alice Waters and the Edible Schoolyard Project to Sacramento and to St. Hope Leadership Academy Charter School. And now Sacramento has declared itself America’s Farm to Fork Capital. Slow Food Sacramento is participating in the development of that project, specifically encouraging emphasis on access: Whose Forks? We think the moniker is meaningless, if Sacramento is not improving the access of school children to good, clean, fair food. In that vein, we applaud efforts by SCUSD to change its approach to food procurement and we have partnered with the Food Literacy Project, which teaches food literacy in elementary schools in Oak Park.

In this context, we ask that you please reconsider whether closing Fruit Ridge Elementary School and shutting down its garden and orchard is the right decision or whether this move would be inconsistent with the district’s and community’s support for the health and learning benefits of school gardens:

• Fruit Ridge Elementary participated in our Urban Ag Fest school garden showcase and, through the generosity of several prominent businesses and individuals we were able to host their delegates at the shared meal. The school is a member of our School Garden Coalition. Its staff have been trained at the Edible Schoolyard Institute in Berkeley.

• This fall our Fresh Food Access Fund, a fund hosted by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, awarded $1,000 grant to Fruit Ridge Elementary School to support their Garden and Living Laboratory.

• Fruit Ridge Elementary’s garden, established in 2002, is a standout. We know of no other garden that can match the oasis of tranquility and activity that it represents. If you have not visited, please do so, before you make your final decision. Name a place at any school that you would rather be, if you were an elementary school child. You won’t find one.

• Fruit Ridge Elementary is the only pesticide free school campus in the district. This represents an investment of hundreds of hours of volunteer time and a huge public health benefit.

• Fruit Ridge’s garden is huge: one-quarter acre including 35 fruit trees.  The orchard is a ten year investment by Common Vision’s Fruit Tree Tour: http://commonvision.org/programs/fruittreetour/ Common Vision’s school orchard program has impacted 80,000 students at over 180 low income schools and community centers. In Sacramento that school is Fruit Ridge Elementary.

• Fruit Ridge Elementary’s garden represents ten years of investment in time, money, and resources by volunteers, nonprofit associations, local businesses, students, teachers, and staff. No such investment has been made at the alternative school sites to which these children would be moved.

• Fruit Ridge is in a residential neighborhood, near the County’s Emergency Housing, and away from the area’s busy thoroughfares. The neighbors are homes, not convenience stores and speeding traffic. The environment represents a place where a garden and students can thrive in safety.

•  The California School Boards Association selected Fruit Ridge’s garden to be profiled in the Summer 2008 newsletter http://www.csba.org/NewsAndMedia/Publications/CASchoolsMagazine/2008/Summer/InThisIssue/Gardens.aspx

The article posits:

“Slowly but surely, despite changes in academic priorities, accountability systems and fiscal uncertainties, school gardens and related agriculture programs are taking root at rural, urban and suburban schools across the country.”

Using Fruit Ridge Elementary School’s garden as its shining example, the article describes these gardens as:

“a crucial component of a broader and expanding national collection of public and private initiatives to improve students’ nutrition, physical fitness, overall health, and of course, their academic success.”

Thank you for your consideration of Slow Food Sacramento’s views, as the Board undertakes its difficult decision-making process. We request that school garden assets, representing substantial investments of public and private funding and volunteer effort be included in the Board’s analysis of any site’s strengths. Thus, for example, Bret Harte Elementary School‘s garden was one of three pilot edible schoolyards for which the school district financed installation of hard- and soft-scape. The District’s Green Fellow and Project Green Program will be aware of additional substantial public and private investments in sustainability including, for example, the substantial June 2012 Project Green Award to Washington Elementary School.

If we can provide additional information or help arrange a tour, please do not hesitate to contact Charity Kenyon charity@slowfoodsacramento.com or Brenda Ruiz brenda@slowfoodsacramento.com

Very truly yours,

Coral Henning, President

Slow Food Sacramento

The Producer category recognizes businesses producing locally unique and sustainable foods. Nominees for this category can include producers such as farms and products such as beverage makers, stores and markets, caterers and food services other than restaurant and drinking establishments.

Bariani Olive Oil
http://www.barianioliveoil.com/
Office: (415) 864-1917
9460 Bar Du Lane
Sacramento, CA 95829

The Barianis make fabulous olive oil and are well-known in the community, attending many farmers markets. “We don’t have any employees and never will. (More Information.)

Del Rio Botanical
http://www.delriobotanical.com/
(916) 991-1843
20030 Old River Road
West Sacramento, CA 95691

Del Rio Botanical, located on old River road between Sacramento and Woodland, is a privately owned 200-acre ranch producing open-pollinated organically grown seed and freshly packed specialty produce. (More information.)

Devine Gelateria & Café
http://devinegelateria.com
(916) 446-0600
1121 19th Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

Devine Gelateria & Café features gelato made with a base prepared onsite under the direction of the owner, a licensed pasteurizer, who studied gelato making in Italy so she could produce authentic Italian gelato. (More information.)

Dragon Gourmet Mushrooms
http://www.dragonmushrooms.com/
1225 North B Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

Their mushrooms are hand grown, hand picked, and hand delivered. They use the untreated hardwood waste from a local moulding shop for their sawdust. (More Information.)

Feeding Crane Farms
http://www.feedingcranefarms.com/
(916) 698-5171
5333 E. Levee Road
Sacramento, CA 95835

An organic farm in Natomas, Feeding Crane sells beautiful produce at the Oak Park Farmers Market, Corti Bros, and many of our Snail of Approval restaurants. (More Information.)

Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates
http://gingerelizabeth.com/
(916) 706-1738
1801 L Street, #60
Sacramento, CA 95811

Ginger Elizabeth was voted one of the “top 10 chocolatiers in North America.” She uses seasonal items in her chocolates, jams, and sundae sauces. (More Information.

Lundberg Family Farms
http://www.lundberg.com/
(530) 538-3500
5311 Midway
Richvale, CA 95974

Lundberg Family Farms founder, Albert Lundberg, had a favorite saying: “Leave the land better than you found it.” (More Information.)

Revolution Wines
http://www.revolution-wines.com/
(916) 444-7711
2831 S Street
Sacramento, CA 95816

Revolution Wines produces wine under their own label using locally grown grapes from Clarksburg and Sacramento and Amador counties, generally from within 50 miles of their facility. (More information.)

Soil Born Farms
www.soilborn.org
(916) 363-9685

American River Ranch
2140 Chase Drive
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670

The Farm on Hurley Way
3000 Hurley Way
Sacramento, CA 95864

Soil Born Farms, located on the American River in Rancho Cordova (40 acres) and in Sacramento on Hurley Way (1.5 acres), organically grows a wide variety of fruits and vegetables linked to the seasons and temperament of the Sacramento region. (More information.)

The Producer category recognizes businesses producing locally unique and sustainable foods. Nominees for this category can include producers such as farms and products such as beverage makers, stores and markets, caterers and food services other than restaurant and drinking establishments.

Bariani Olive Oil
http://www.barianioliveoil.com/
Office: (415) 864-1917
9460 Bar Du Lane
Sacramento, CA 95829

The Barianis make fabulous olive oil and are well-known in the community, attending many farmers markets. “We don’t have any employees and never will. (More Information.)

Del Rio Botanical
http://www.delriobotanical.com/
(916) 991-1843
20030 Old River Road
West Sacramento, CA 95691

Del Rio Botanical, located on old River road between Sacramento and Woodland, is a privately owned 200-acre ranch producing open-pollinated organically grown seed and freshly packed specialty produce. (More information.)

Devine Gelateria & Café
http://devinegelateria.com
(916) 446-0600
1121 19th Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

Devine Gelateria & Café features gelato made with a base prepared onsite under the direction of the owner, a licensed pasteurizer, who studied gelato making in Italy so she could produce authentic Italian gelato. (More information.)

Dragon Gourmet Mushrooms
http://www.dragonmushrooms.com/
1225 North B Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

Their mushrooms are hand grown, hand picked, and hand delivered. They use the untreated hardwood waste from a local moulding shop for their sawdust. (More Information.)

Feeding Crane Farms
http://www.feedingcranefarms.com/
(916) 698-5171
5333 E. Levee Road
Sacramento, CA 95835

An organic farm in Natomas, Feeding Crane sells beautiful produce at the Oak Park Farmers Market, Corti Bros, and many of our Snail of Approval restaurants. (More Information.)

Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates
http://gingerelizabeth.com/
(916) 706-1738
1801 L Street, #60
Sacramento, CA 95811

Ginger Elizabeth was voted one of the “top 10 chocolatiers in North America.” She uses seasonal items in her chocolates, jams, and sundae sauces. (More Information.

Lundberg Family Farms
http://www.lundberg.com/
(530) 538-3500
5311 Midway
Richvale, CA 95974

Lundberg Family Farms founder, Albert Lundberg, had a favorite saying: “Leave the land better than you found it.” (More Information.)

Revolution Wines
http://www.revolution-wines.com/
(916) 444-7711
2831 S Street
Sacramento, CA 95816

Revolution Wines produces wine under their own label using locally grown grapes from Clarksburg and Sacramento and Amador counties, generally from within 50 miles of their facility. (More information.)

Soil Born Farms
www.soilborn.org
(916) 363-9685

American River Ranch
2140 Chase Drive
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670

The Farm on Hurley Way
3000 Hurley Way
Sacramento, CA 95864