Celebrating San Diego’s local foods, season by season • No. 14 • Fall 2011
San Diego & Temecula wines Marguerite Grifka Chino Farms Seed Saving New Roots Community Farm Feeding Preschoolers Right
The Art of Raising Food 30
Farm-to-preschool Program 33
In Season Interview: Marguerite Grifka 10
Food as Sacrament: Seeding the Future 35
Reinventing San Diego’s Wine making 14
Want to Save seed? HERE’S HOW TO DO IT 37
An up-close look at several local wines 17
Resources & Advertisers 38
New Roots Community Farm 21
The Legacy of Chino Farms 25
Farmers’ Markets 41
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Things are looking grim.... but wait! Oh yes, the economic news is downright demoralizing, our legislators are ineffectual with their hard-line positions and blame flinging, our environment is on the fast-track to perdition, and obesity is rising so fast we are faced with a public health challenge we can’t quite get a handle on. But while our elected officials dither us into an economic disaster and the nation’s health and environment suffer from, among other things, a woefully lopsided Farm Bill and dysfunctional government agencies, there seems to be new hope burbling to the surface in the form of the humble farmer, the dedicated community activist and the small entrepreneur. The Farmers Market Coalition recently reported that “the nation’s several thousand farmers markets are growing jobs and strengthening local and regional economies.” Demand has grown for fresh local food and farmers markets have popped up to meet the need—the number of farmers markets has increased 150% in the last 11 years. Research shows that these markets result in increased spending at neighboring businesses. Looks like a win win win to me. More jobs, healthier people, and an increased demand for the kind of food production that benefits the environment. So while the Union of Concerned Scientists noted in a recent report that “our federal food policies are working against (farmers markets)” and holding them back, these markets are thriving anyway. Jeffrey O’Hara, the author of the report, noted that “on the whole, farmers markets have seen exceptional growth, providing local communities with fresh food direct from the farm.” He went on to say that “if the U.S. government diverted just a small amount of the massive subsidies it lavishes on Riley Davenport & John Vawter industrial agriculture to support these markets and small local farmers, it would not only improve American diets, it would generate tens of thousands of new jobs.” That would be nice, but we’re making it happen ourselves. Keep going to the farmers markets and supporting businesses that source from local farms, ranches and oceans. By the way, Career Builder recently projected that “organic food farmer” would be one of the top 10 occupations to emerge in the next 10 to 20 years. Good news for those of us who care about good, healthy food and who like to shop at farmers’ markets! Lots of our local small businesses are creating hopeful changes, too, and you’ll read about them here. Soap makers using goats’ milk, farmers raising turkeys sustainably for the holidays, chefs and restaurant owners who insist on sourcing locally, wine makers who support local growers, local farmers, community garden activists—they all contribute to the growth in hopeful, healthy trends.
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edible Communities 2011 James Beard Foundation Publication of the Year
CONTRIBUTORS Chris Costa Riley Davenport Enrique Gili Caron Golden Brandon Hernández Stacey Klaman Lhasa Landry Lauren Lastowka Lauren Mahan Melissa Mayer Jim Neizmik Mo Raphael Evan Ross Susan Russo Stuart Sobek Matt Steiger Britta Turner
PUBLISHERS Riley Davenport John Vawter
EDITOR Lauren Lastowka
COPY EDITOR Doug Adrianson
Edible San Diego P.O. Box 83549 San Diego, CA 92138 619-222-8267 info@ediblesandiego. com ediblesandiego.com
ADVERTISING For information about rates and deadlines, call 619-222-8267 or email us at info@ ediblesandiego.com No part of this publication may be used without written permission of the publisher. © 2011. All rights reserved. Every effort is made to avoid errors, misspellings and omissions. If an error comes to your attention, please let us know and accept our sincere apologies. Thank you.
DESIGNER Riley Davenport
COVER PHOTO Chris Costa
Edible San Diego, P.O. Box 83549, San Diego, CA 92138
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Notable Edibles Ramona Bath and Body: Dare to Be Hooked! Eighteen happy animals of seven different species reside on the five-acre family farmette where Ramona Bath and Body products are lovingly handcrafted. Indoors live Rex, a resplendent and placid Chinese water dragon, and the vociferous Jack Sparrow. Not yet a fledgling, Jack keeps everybody hopping to meet his feeding demands. His special diet of goat milk and oatmeal gruel is delivered hourly through a straw by very patient hands. Outdoors in his paddock, 3-year-old Romeo—half Friesian and half Tennessee Walker—handsomely presides over the rest of the farm’s menagerie. But it’s the pudgy Oberhasli-Pygmy milk goat, quaintly named Goat, that is the centerpiece of the whole operation. Ramona Bath and Body came into existence thanks to Gratia Tarling and Adam Conard’s two older children. When they roundly protested having to drink goat milk, Gratia was left with two options: make cheese or make soap. Assuming that cheese making would be a more time-consuming process, she dived into the study of soap making. Fortunately, goat milk soap turns out best when the milk has first been frozen. So while Gratia learned about the age-old process of saponification and how to blend fragrances, Goat’s milk filled ice tray after ice tray. Today Gratia concocts a dizzying array of goat milk soaps—along with luscious made-to-order lotions, body washes and body mists—in three broad categories of fragrances she’s named Fruits, Florals and Hey Tough Guy. But Gratia’s products also include an unscented soap named Plain Jane Doe, a delightful Oatmeal and Honey Soap made without goat milk, a beer soap called Sierra Lime that keeps the bikers lined up at her Ramona Farmers’ Market booth, and a coconut-oil-based Fisherman’s Soap that will actually lather in salt water. (Did you know that most soaps can’t do that?) Although Gratia has learned that making soap is a much more time-consuming process than making cheese, she loves everything
about it. While she’s measuring out precise ratios of olive, avocado, coconut, palm and/or hemp oil for any given recipe, she can glance out her workroom window and catch the antics of Goat’s two kids, Ritz and Oreo. As they gambol and leap about the yard in a tumble of perpetual motion, Gratia methodically tackles each step of the process: saponification, blending and tracing, the cold-pour hot processing, cooling, molding and shaping. Finally, she cuts the soaps and sets them out on curing racks to be aged for a minimum of six weeks. This aging process insures a much longer life for the soaps, especially in the shower. Because the goat milk that goes into Ramona Bath and Body’s products is raw and unpasteurized it is high in vitamins, caprylic triglyceride, lactic acid and natural enzymes. The soaps produce a rich, creamy lather that nourishes and moisturizes the skin like nothing else. As Gratia is a stay-at-home mom who appreciates getting real value for her dollar, she is committed to keeping her products truly affordable. Indeed, these are luxury products without the luxury price tag. Soaps run $4.50 for a large bar (or five for $20) and $3.50 for a small bar (or five for $15). Both fivebar specials include a free handmade redwood soap dish crafted by Adam. Because their lotions, mists and body washes are equally well priced, go ahead and indulge yourself. As their slogan says: Dare to be hooked! You can see, sniff and sample Ramona Bath and Body’s products every Saturday at the Ramona Farmers’ Market. But if you don’t plan on heading that way any time soon, you can order directly off the website: ramonabathandbody.com. A few predictions: Café Mocha soap will be a sure path to bliss for all you coffee lovers. Coconut Lime body wash and lotion are so luscious and refreshing that they could well become your summer favorites. And you’re sure to find that every product in their Very Vanilla line smells good enough to eat . . . but please don’t. —Mo Raphael
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Green Truck trucker David Holtze Left: Green Trucker David Holtze Below: Happy trucker meal
A Food Truck Franchise with a Conscience A longtime staple in Los Angeles’ competitive food scene, the Green Truck franchise has moved south, joining the growing fleet of San Diego food trucks offering toothsome roadside fare to local residents. North Park denizen David Holtze brought the LA-based foodie phenomenon to the area, in the hopes of luring food co-op types out of their offices and onto the streets. With ingredients that are sourced from local farmers or certified organic when possible, the Green Truck serves some of the healthiest vegetarian and organic meals on four wheels. Holtze’s new business venture is about more than just making tasty veggie wraps. Armed with a business plan that mixes marketing savvy with a social conscience, the former PR executive envisions running a profitable food truck franchise that offers healthier food choices and, in turn, helps the planet. Eventually, Holtze hopes to expand the number of food trucks and routes he runs in San Diego County, and perhaps move on to other cities. In the meantime, “It’s
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all about logistics,” he says of scouting new locations, building a loyal customer base and catering corporate-sponsored events. As an activist/entrepreneur, Holtze is sending a clear message. He strives to keep the Green Truck’s carbon footprint to a minimum by reducing his menu’s food miles (the distance traveled from farm to plate) and running the truck on biodiesel. He embraces sustainability and supports narrowing the gap between producers and consumers. If you’re feeling peckish and want a quick bite, the signature Mother Trucker veggie burger would be a good start. But first, you’ll have to find the rolling restaurant. The best way to track down the mother ship is to visit the Green Truck’s website, greentruckonthego.com, where locations, dates and times are posted under the “San Diego” tab. Now you just have to hope the food truck is scheduled to trundle somewhere near your office park. —Enrique Gili
616 J Street • San Diego • CA • 92101 619-531-8744 • www.jsixrestaurant.com
We Are the groWers
Thank you, San Diego, for
18 years on a roll!
Fresh, local olive oil. Taste the difference. TASTING ROOMS
Temecula 28653 Old Town Front St. Temecula, CA 92590 951-693-0607
Solana Beach 342 South Cedros Ave. Solana Beach, CA 92075 858-847-9007
San Diego Fiesta de Reyes 2754 Calhoun St. San Diego, CA 92110 619-269-5779
Seal Beach 148-C Main St. Seal Beach, CA 90740 562-296-5421
Sushi on a Roll has been San Diego’s most sought after sushi caterer for 18 years. The first of its kind and the only rentable sushi bar in San Diego, as well as the longest in business, Sushi on a Roll has set the trend for the “live” sushi experience. We’ll continue to give you the freshest, locally and sustainably sourced ingredients we can get our chop sticks on. Thanks, too, to all the local farmers and seafood providers that have kept us supplied with their freshest and best products. Jeffrey Roberto, President, Sushi On A Roll, Inc. Chef de Cuisine Chef of the Year 2009 Chef Rotisseur & TEAM SOAR
619-702-1468 • sushionarollsd.com 1620 National Ave., San Diego, CA 92113
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Notable Edibles Keep Your Holiday Table Local This Season When holiday season rolls around this year, you may need to look no farther than up the road—at least if that road leads to Jack Ford’s family farm in Valley Center. This year, Ford is raising 500 turkeys, which he plans to sell this fall and have available for pickup the weekend before Thanksgiving. The turkey tradition isn’t new to Ford, who has been raising turkeys for seven years, mostly for his family and friends. Each year, word spread about his pastureraised birds, and Ford started raising more and more to meet demand. Last year, Ford was raising turkeys for his entire neighborhood; this year, as he describes it, he’s “gone commercial.” On the farm, chicks are kept indoors when they are young, to protect them from predators. Once they are grown, they live in “large paddocks under oak trees,” where Ford explains, they love foraging for acorns. They also graze on sunflowers (“they go nuts for those—the leaves, stems, everything” says Ford), chard, lettuce, zucchini, pumpkins, and more. “It’s a natural foraging diet,” says Ford, although the foraged finds are supplemented with natural turkey feed. The turkeys are not given antibiotics or hormones. “I try to follow the template for sustainable and ethical farming,” says Jack.
At the time of printing, a price had not yet been set for this year’s turkeys, but Ford expected them to be about $120 to $140 per bird. “It is much more expensive than buying a turkey in the store,” says Ford. He knows his birds are not for everyone. “They’re for people who are looking for an alternative, for people who want their food sources to stay within the radius in which they live.” Plus, he adds, “Once you’ve had a farmraised turkey, you’ll never go back.” Ford’s adventures won’t end after the holiday season. He is in the process of forming a farm co-op in Valley Center, which will offer a CSAmodel for meat. The subscription farming program is planned to include pasture-raised beef, pork, goat, lamb, and broiler chickens, as well as eggs and produce. Animals will be sold on the hoof, and customers will be able to purchase a ¼ or ½ of a whole animal. Currently, the only pickup location planned is at Armstrong Feed Store in Valley Center, but plans are in the works to open a weekly farmers market for the co-op, also in Valley Center. Although not yet live at the time of printing, a website is in the works: for more information on turkeys this holiday season or the upcoming meat CSA, visit tajfarms.net —Lauren Lastowka
Healing with Food At a time when we are experiencing an unprecedented rise in ADD, ADHD and autism spectrum disorders in our children as well as stress, allergies and obesity, we can’t ignore the importance that our dietary choices and the quality of our food play in our lives. This fall a three-class series on using nutrition to deal with these disorders is scheduled to take place on Oct. 5, 19 and Nov. 9, 2011 at the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club kitchen. Based on new research in the autism community (discussed in the recent KPBS special Autism Now), the classes will include cutting-edge nutrition tips, as well as practical tools, recipes and hands-on recipe preparation experience to help you enhance your and your family’s health and well being. Participants will enjoy a delicious meal that they 8
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help prepare. All of the menus will be designed to meet the needs of anyone who is dairy and/or gluten intolerant. Recipes will feature local ingredients from local organic and sustainably run farms. Nancy Princetta, NC, will teach the part-cooking-class partlecture class. Princetta has taught cooking classes for 25 years, is a registered nutritionist, and works with children with autism disorders in her private practice. While the information is designed to help improve ADD, ADHD and autism spectrum disorders, anyone who has an interest in their health and nutrition can benefit. Class size is limited so register early. For more information, call 760-419-4050 or visit nancyprincetta.com. —Riley Davenport
From our Family to Yours
UTC Certified Farmers market thursdays 3pm - 7pm Westfield Utc mall near Macys, on Genesee ave
Dennis Exline Rose Cottage Farms
Celebrating Local Beer
Get thirsty San Diego.. Our own backyard is home to nearly 40 craft breweries producing an array of award-winning brews. In fact, at the 2010 World Beer Cup, San Diego brewers won more awards than Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom or any of the other 43 countries that competed! And on top of that San Diego will be hosting the 2012 WBC competition.
Westfield Mission Valley Mall Near Target on Mission Ctr Rd
The New Golden Hill Certified Farmers market
And now, to help beer lovers explore these great beers, there’s a new book coming out this October — San Diego’s Top Brewers: Inside America’s Craft Beer Capital.
On B Street Between 27th & 28th
Sundays 9:30am -2:30pm Rosecrans & Cañon Near San Diego Yacht Club
Support your local farmers by joining our
Farmers’ Market CSA
- Multi-Farm - $15 small share - $35 set-up* - $25 Large Share More info: www.farmersmarketcsa.com *A portion of set-up cost goes to an emergency fund for farmers.
w w. B r i
San Diego’s Top Brewers is published by San Diego-based Chefs Press, Inc. and will be available this October — just in time for San Diego Beer Week, Nov. 4-Nov. 13. It is $24.95 and can be purchased online at sdtopbrewers.com, amazon.com, and bn.com.
Steven & Terry Hersom Fish Sprout Farms
For foodies, there’s more than two dozen recipes by some of our region’s top chefs that highlight great brews: stout onion soup, herb-and-hops-crusted ahi, smoked porter duck tacos, cup o’hefen cupcakes, and beeramisu just to name a few. Each recipe also includes San Diego craft beer pairings.
Saturdays 8:00am - 12:30pm
Point Loma Certified Farmers mArket
San Diego’s Top Brewers is packed with more than 250 color photographs and profiles of some of San Diego’s unique beerrelated businesses, such as White Labs, which makes and banks yeast for hundreds of breweries locally and worldwide, and Doggie Beer Bones, which is a wonderfully sustainable business that is turning spent beer grain into tasty dog treats.
Sherilin Heise B Street Growers
All Markets accept
Top Brewers takes you on a personal, behind-the-scenes tour of 18 of San Diego’s breweries and some of San Diego’s hottest craft beer bars, plus tasting notes from the brewers and pages of resources for any craft beer fan or homebrewer.
Mission Valley Certified Farmers Market
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In Season Interview
As chef Marguerite Grifka moves on, she reminisces about her favorite Starlite recipes as flavorsome mementos. By Brandon Hernรกndez Photography by Chris Costa 10
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rom the get-go, chef Marguerite Grifka was instrumental in getting Starlite in Midtown San Diego off the ground in 2007, going so far as to help founding
chef Travis Murphy and then-sous-chef Kathleen Wise move in the kitchen equipment. Later that year, she was named head chef and over the course of the next three-plus years, used the restaurant as a platform to deliver comfort classics with her own unique twist. Now her time there is coming to an end. For Grifka, restraint has always been the key to modernizing recipes.
more time for herself and the things she holds dear.
“I try to be true to the origins of the dish “I am looking forward to some increased and not fuse too many styles on one plate,” family and personal time. I want to make she says. “I think my style fits with my that a priority, which is difficult—if not contemporaries in the way that many chefs impossible—to do when you are cheffing and restaurants are trying a restaurant kitchen,” says to do affordable, accessible Grifka. “I’m looking forward cuisine involving local and/ to exploring other aspects The absolute best or sustainable ingredients.” of the food chain, possibly thing about being the cooking in a nonprofit With so many turning setting. I think the time is chef at Starlite has to this virtuous mode of ripe to seize the momentum operation, it can be tough to been that I am able on the school lunch stand out from the pack, but to creatively use the revolution or learn more Grifka has helped Starlite to about the details of food shine. In fact, sustainabilityseasonal offerings production. I am a cook with minded locavores come back a conscience and I’d like to that San Diego has: time and time again to enjoy make even more room for it.” her ever-shifting menu of to tinker with dishes offerings in tandem with the While she’ll be absent or think of something eatery’s signature cocktails. from the kitchen, she’ll be when waking up and anything but forgotten. “The absolute best thing Expect Wise to continue create it for dinner about being the chef at using the same locally Starlite has been that I am that night. sourced, high-quality able to creatively use the ingredients to create dishes seasonal offerings that San that fit into Starlite’s Diego has: to tinker with dishes or think of established theme. Of course, should you something when waking up and create it for need a taste of the food that first led you to dinner that night,” says Grifka. “We try to Starlite, Grifka has generously contributed a offer something for everybody from foodie trio of recipes that should provide a tasty fix. to French fry enthusiast. It’s been fun and challenging to create seasonal vegetarian and vegan entrées that are well-rounded dishes.” Brandon Hernández is a native San Diegan with
Even with as much joy as she extracts from the pleasant rhythm she’s struck at Starlite, nothing lasts forever. Developments in Grifka’s personal life recently drove her to make the tough decision to step aside, paving the way for Wise to take over the head chef position and allowing Grifka
a passion for the culinary arts and the local dining scene. He has been featured numerous times on the Food Network hit program Emeril Live, regularly contributes to over a dozen national and local magazines, newspapers and online outlets and has authored and co-authored several cookbooks. Follow him at twitter.com/offdutyfoodie or drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Carrot Soup Yield: 6 servings 4 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 medium onions, sliced 2 pounds small carrots (preferably organic), cut into 1-inch pieces 1 to 1½ cups Duchess de Bourgogne ale, or dry hard cider to substitute * 6 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade) Salt to taste Fresh-ground pepper to taste Crème fraîche (optional) Parsley (optional)
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent, but not brown. Add the carrots and ale and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook until the ale has reduced by two-thirds, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the stock, season with salt and simmer until the vegetables are cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender and purée until a smooth, homogenous texture is achieved. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Garnish with crème fraîche and parsley and serve. *Edible San Diego used Julian Hard Cider when making this recipe. Yum!
Local Marketplace Behind every great seafood restaurant is a warehouse stocked with fresh fish
Providing the finest quality wholesale seafood for over 30 years.
Locally owned & committed to seafood sustainability and environmental responsibility. 5 0 4 0 C a s s S t r e e t, N o r t h Pac i f i c B e ac h 858-272-9985 Wholesale: 858-272-9940
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Starlite Meatloaf Yield: 6 servings
mushrooms to substitute)
6 ounces red wine
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1½ ounces bread (about 2 slices sandwich bread)
1 teaspoon dried mustard
½ cup onion, chopped 1 rib celery, diced
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper ½ pound sliced bacon (preferably dry-cured, applewood smoked)
1 carrot, diced 1 clove garlic, minced 2 pounds naturally raised ground beef ½ pound ground pork butt (shoulder roast) 2 large eggs 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce ¼ ounce dried porcini mushrooms, reconstituted in warm water and chopped (or 4 ounces sautéed portabella or shiitake
Preheat oven to 350º F. Pour the wine over the bread in a large mixing bowl and let stand until the bread has soaked up all of the liquid. Sauté the onions, celery, carrot and garlic in a pan over medium-high heat until they are just cooked through. Transfer the mixture to the bowl containing the bread. Add all of the remaining ingredients except the bacon into the bowl and mix
until everything is completely incorporated. Form the mixture evenly into a loaf pan. Cut the bacon into strips as long as the loaf pan is wide and lay the slices on top of the meatloaf widthwise so that each slice slightly overlaps the last. Set the loaf pan atop a cookie sheet and bake for 45 to 55 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
FARM TOUR DAY The 2nd annual Farm Tour Day hosted by the San Diego County Farm Bureau is Saturday, October 15. Pick from an array of San Diego farms including a vineyard and winery, a mushroom farm, nurseries, and avocado grove. Participate in as many tours as you choose to fit in your day!
Walk the farm with the farmer and experience the joys and challenges of San Diego farming. Find out more and sign up to visit:
www.sdfarmbureau.org/FarmTour Contact: 760-745-3023
Triple B Ranches
breakfast and lunch every day from 9am to 3pm. Dinner 5pm to close. bottomless mimosas Saturday and Sunday! 619-501-7827 iSAbelScAntinA.com
2706 5th Avenue SAn Diego
Your hometown food and wine resource with a global perspective. REVIEWS EVENTS DEALS RECIPES DISCUSSIONS PRODUCT RATINGS
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s i g n a g e L O C A T I O N corner
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Cultural Fare & Cocktails served nightly Brunch on Weekends
1503 30th Street in South Park 619.255.0616 www.alchemysandiego.com
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Photo: Kip Gerenda
Reinventing San Diego’s Winemaking A Valley Center couple’s local farming roots and unique vision are paving the way for a new generation of winemakers in San Diego. By Lauren Mahan 14
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Chris Broomell and Alysha Stehly grew up just minutes from each other in the small northeast San Diego County agricultural community of Valley Center. Both had a generations-old tradition of local farming in their blood. So it was not surprising that Chris decided to pursue an education in environmental horticulture in Santa Barbara, where he eventually fell in love with the craft and lifestyle of winemaking while employed for three years at Jaffurs Wine Cellars. At the same time, Alysha was pursuing her dream of studying viticulture and enology at UC Davis, where she focused on learning the scientific aspects of grape growing and winemaking. Eventually the couple would meet, marry and join forces in their shared vision of making a name for locally grown San Diego wines. In 2008, forsaking the more trendy venues of Napa, Sonoma and Santa Barbara, Chris and Alysha returned to Valley Center, firmly committed to creating a unique style of winemaking. “There was no set style of winemaking in San Diego,” Chris recalls. “Plus the diversity of microclimates and of varietal grapes that will grow here make for infinite possibilities.”
A winemaking venture and business model
the lead time while helping to promote the local appellation.”
Chris and Alysha solidified a business plan for Vesper Vineyards in 2008, when they moved the company into Chris’s family’s Triple B Ranches farming facility and estate vineyard in Valley Center—where Vesper is still renting winemaking and storage space. It’s a good location: The climate is surprisingly cool, despite Valley Center’s notably high summer temperatures, and a stand of 200-year-old oak trees provide natural air conditioning for the buildings.
“We’re looking for local grapes that are more interesting, to set ourselves apart from Napa and Santa Barbara and create a strong brand,” Chris says of sourcing grapes in San Diego County. According to Chris, there’s a lack of what he considers “amazing” white grapes in the area. “I’ve put out a challenge to local growers, that if you grow these grapes, Vesper will buy them and we’ll make some very good wines.”
Inside the barrel room, oak barrels sporting the barrel maker’s name are stacked along the walls. “We use French oak barrels, in a variety of grains and different levels of toasting, in order to give us different flavors. That way we have more options to be creative,” says Alysha. According to Chris, the estate-grower model for a boutique winery in San Diego County, in which a vineyard grows and bottles its own grapes and produces about 3,000 to 5,000 cases a year, requires an initial investment of $1 to $2 million for acreage and equipment and a waiting period of five years to reach full grape production. Add to that an additional two years before the first wines are released. “In most cases, you’re looking at seven years to get up and running and 10 to 15 years before you can expect to break even,” he says. Instead, he explains, “We are pursuing a ‘locally sourced and bottled’ model that cuts down
The idea of “staying small” is germane to the Vesper Vineyards business model, for issues of quality and local support. Vesper only buys grapes from local growers, currently in Ramona, Pauma Valley and Rancho Santa Fe. The resulting first release of wine from Vesper Vineyards in 2011 included: 2009 Highland Hills Vineyard Alcalá 2009 McCormick Ranch Carignane 2008 El Nido Vineyard Pinot Noir These wines are available to Vesper Vineyards e-mail subscribers (vespervineyards.com), at local restaurants and at the new Triple B Ranches’ onsite wine tasting facility (15030 Vesper Rd., Valley Center 92082) planned for fall of 2011.
Fact: Valley Center and the Vineyard Ranch (near Rancho Guejito) were a recognized winegrowing area as early as the 1850s, although wine production died out almost completely in the early 1900s following Prohibition.
Hands-on, consumer-driven The advantages of smaller wineries are considerable in terms of maintaining the quality of the grapes. Alysha explains: “When you’re this small, it’s all very handson and local-relationship-based.” McCormick Ranch manager Don Armstrong, who grows grapes in Pauma Valley for Vesper, agrees. “That’s the thing with Chris and myself. It’s farmer to farmer, not investor to farmer. And I don’t agree with Chris that the hardest part of winemaking is growing the grapes. There are ups and downs in farming the grapes, but only the winemaker can alter things and make it better.” Lauren Mahan (email@example.com) is a freelance writer with over 30 years’ experience, based in Valley Center.
“I’ve put out a challenge to local growers, that if you grow these grapes, Vesper will buy them and we’ll make some very good wines.”
Photo: Chris Broomell
Photo: Chris Broomell fall 2011
“We are pursuing a ‘locally sourced and bottled’ model that cuts down the lead time while helping to promote the local appellation.”
Photo: Kip Gerenda
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What’s in a wine label? Alcalá—Name for the blend
On the back label: “Produced and bottled by XYZ Winery” means that the grapes were crushed here. The wine was not produced elsewhere and shipped, either in bulk or in bottles that were simply relabeled.
Ramona Valley—Grapes are from the Ramona Valley AVA, minimum 85% of grapes from the Ramona Valley
2009—Year the grapes were harvested Highland Hills Vineyard—Vineyard designation of the grape source, meaning 95% of the grapes used to make that wine were grown in that vineyard
San Diego County—Minimum 75% of grapes are from San Diego County growers NOTE: Vesper produces wines using grapes exclusively from San Diego County vineyards, so all its wine labels carry the San Diego County designation.
Photo: Mike Mahan
On the front label: “San Diego County” means that at least 75% of the grapes used to make that wine came from vineyards within San Diego County. Wines using grapes from Ramona or San Pasqual Valley AVA (American Viticultural Area) will carry that additional designation; this means at least 85% of the grapes used to
make the wine were grown there.
Photo: Chris Broomell
Not all wines produced and/or sold by San Diego County wineries are necessarily “local” wines that support local grape growers. When in doubt, look for the following:
Chris Broomell and McCormick Ranch manager Don Armstrong
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Vesper’s new dry farmed Accipiter Ridge vineyard that replaced avocados.
An up-close look at several
Story and Photo by Stuart Sobek
Less than 25 miles from downtown San Diego, some very good wines are being produced. For a sampling of locally produced wine, let’s go north and then work our way back home. Robert Renzoni Vineyards Robert Renzoni was born and raised in Temecula. “There are not a lot of vineyards in Temecula,” he says, “so it’s tough to find the fruit you need. There is just not enough of it, so I had to source from upstate.” Even so, Renzoni produces 85% estate wines, and is the largest producer of Sangiovese in Temecula. Overall, his 13 acres of combined vineyard allows him to produce about 2,000 cases annually. Robert is a winemaker with his heart as well as his feet in the soil. “One of the important features that make our winery and vineyard special is that the vines we raised are the original vines planted in our soil,” he says. The estate is comprised of mostly Bordeaux varietals, although we tasted and enjoyed the justreleased 2010 Julia’s Vineyard Pinot Grigio, made with grapes grown just three acres from the tasting room. The wine shows fragrant and mildly floral with subtle notes of pear, green apple and lemon. This is a refreshing wine with a pleasant finish, perfect for warm weather. Retail price is $20. We also tasted a range of their red wines and they are well crafted and outstanding, in my opinion, both in quality and value. Prices range from $20
to $58 and the wines are available at the winery, or through their website. Robert Renzoni Vineyards 37350 De Portola Rd. Temecula, CA 92592 951-302-8466 robertrenzonivineyards.com
Oak Mountain Winery Oak Mountain Winery, just down the road, has a bit of a different approach. The winery produces 100% estate wines, which they are able to do by growing on two vineyards. Oak Mountain Vineyard, where the tasting room is located, occupies 10 acres producing Bordeaux-style grapes such as Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petite Verdot, Winery & Vineyard Malbec and 2009 Cabernet Morera Vineyard Estate Sauvignon. Then there is Tempranillo SOUTH COAST the Temecula Hills Vineyard, which is 10 miles away and 1,000 feet higher in altitude, where Rhone varietals are planted.
ALCOHOL 13.9% BY VOLUME
Oak Mountain Winery produces 26 different wines using both the Temecula Hills and Oak Mountain labels. It is the only winery in Temecula that houses two wineries under one roof. Wines from both labels are poured and sold at the Oak Mountain tasting room. “We are most proud of our Tempranillo, Cabernet
and Viognier,” says co-owner Valerie Andrews. Prices run from $14 to $60, and bottles are available at the winery or through the Oak Mountain website. Oak Mountain Winery 36522 Via Verde Temecula, CA 92592 951-699-9102 oakmountainwinery.com
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Bella Vista Winery Bella Vista Winery is the site of Temecula’s first vineyard and is currently one of the largest. Bella Vista uses 80% estate-grown grapes and 20% other Temecula grapes to produce 15,000 cases of wine annually. Some of the estate-grown grapes are certified organic. In the tasting room we met with Sheri Renalde, who was a wealth of information: “We were the first vines planted in 1968 and the first Petite Sirah grapes in Temecula,” says Renalde. “And we are currently producing nine different wines using certified organic grapes from our 69-acre vineyard.” Organic certification is a difficult and tedious process, and the winery’s hope is that the wines will be what the people want. We liked that Bella Vista tends to age its wines a bit more than most wineries, having red wines available for sale from the 2002 vintage. We tasted and enjoyed the 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon organic wine ($30) and thought it to be both well-made and well-priced. Prices for Bella Vista wines range from $14 to $39 and the organics range from $17 to $32. They are available at the winery or online. Bella Vista Winery 41220 Calle Contento Temecula, CA 92592 951-676-5250 bellavistawinery.com
Gershon Bachus Vintners Gershon Bachus Vintners gets our vote for best boutique winery in Temecula. Their first vintage was 2005, making them relative newbies to the wine world. We were lucky enough to meet the owners, Ken and Christina Falik, who were pleased to offer us a taste of their first entirely estate-grown wine, the soon-to-be-released 2008 ERATO Cabernet Franc ($45). Cab Franc grown in the heart of Temecula along De Portola trail 18
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tasted exactly as it should, having young tannins, bold fruit and good balance, in addition to the typical deep red color. It was fantastic. The winemaker’s philosophy here is to produce what is available and to sell when it is ready. They will not produce more than 300 cases of any wine, and every bottle is numbered for quality control. They practice good, solid winemaking paired with philosophy of artistry and quality. We especially liked the tasting experience, void of the normal tourist buses. “Our tasting experience is by appointment only,” said Christina, “to sit, relax and ensure that our guests have ample time to savor our five limited-production varietals Gershon Bachus wines range in price from $32 to $75, and are available for purchase at the winery or through their website. Gershon Bachus Vintners 37750 De Portola Dr. Temecula, CA 92592 877-458-8428 gershonbachus.com
Orfila Vineyards and Winery Driving south, to re-enter San Diego County, we stopped in at Orfila Vineyards and Winery in Escondido. Even though it has a big corporate winery look and feel, and 70 acres of vineyard to work with, it is trying its best to make wines with primarily local grapes. The winery produces 16 wines priced from $14 to $32. We tasted the 2007 Estate Ambassador’s Reserve Syrah ($32), which is made entirely from fruit grown on the estate. It had the butterscotch note, cooked fruit and smooth mouthfeel. This is Orfila’s best seller, and I can see why. It drinks well right out of the bottle and should age well for many years to come. This is a pleasant and
well-crafted wine. Orfila wines are available at the winery or through their website. Orfila Vineyards & Winery 13455 San Pasqual Rd. Escondido, CA 92025 800-868-9463 orfila.com
Cordiano Winery An adventurous drive up the hill in Escondido leads you to the Cordiano Winery. Gerardo Cordiano purchased the property, which at the time was an avocado farm, in 1991. By 2002, he had released his first red wines made entirely from grapes grown on the property and continued to do so until 2007. Unfortunately, in 2007, the San Diego Fire burned past the property and damaged all of the vines. With the vines now replanted, Gerardo and family are making small batches using purchased fruit until their replanted vineyard is mature enough to produce the fruit they need. His 20 acres of grapes will yield him about 1,500 cases of wine. His goal is to never exceed 5,000 cases. “It’s like cooking a meal,” said Gerardo. “If you cook for two, you can perfect each plate. If you are making the same dish for 50 people, then you can’t give it as much love and attention.” We tasted his pre-fire wines, which are still available for sale, and found them to be delicious. The estate reds are priced from $24 to $38, and are available at the winery or through their website. Cordiano Winery 15732 Highland Valley Rd. Escondido, CA 92025 760-469- 9463 firstname.lastname@example.org Stuart Sobek is a classically trained chef and wine collector who has traveled to most every wine region in the world. He is Editor of the online resource SanDiegoFoodandWine.com and can be reached at email@example.com.
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Tour 8 gardens of Master Gardeners
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New Roots Community Farm
ew Roots Community Farm in City Heights is a green grocery of flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables. But crops aren’t all that’s sprouting in this 2.2-acre neighborhood garden. Friendships that bridge cultural and linguistic differences have also taken hold. “I like it here because I have a lot of friends of different races,” says Hermelinda, a Mexican-born farmer whose 10-year-old granddaughter, Aurora, translated as they sat under a bamboo shade hut at the farm one afternoon.
Friendships blossom amid cornucopia of cultures By Stacey Klaman Photos by Jim Neizmik
The farm, which opened in 2009, is located on a triangular lot at 54th Street, just south of University Avenue. It is a vital hub for over 80 immigrant and refugee families who now call San Diego home. The rich diversity of City Heights is reflected in the wide variety of plants grown in what has become an urban Eden—Asian lettuce, amaranth, bananas, sugar cane, maize, pea eggplant, squash, sweet potatoes and watercress, to name a few. New Roots Farm is a project of the International Rescue Committee, San Diego (IRC), a local office of a national nongovernmental agency that was founded at the suggestion of Albert Einstein nearly 80 years ago, to assist refugees worldwide. Of the 22 offices across the U.S., San Diego’s is the largest, resettling more than 1,000 refugees each year.
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A Farming First Adjusting to a new life in San Diego presents countless challenges for newcomers who have left their homelands because of civil war and violence. Without jobs or access to transportation, it’s a constant struggle for families to find ways in which to meet even the most basic needs. Many come from countries where they led an agrarian lifestyle, growing crops to feed their families. But in City Heights, convenient access to food is difficult to come by. So it wasn’t surprising when the IRC approached the Somali Bantu community, a minority group from Somalia, to find out how the IRC could better support them in regards to health and nutrition. The Somali Bantu wanted to find a way to grow their own food— food that would be fresh and affordable. The IRC staff reached out to other groups in City Heights, including Cambodian, Vietnamese and Guatemalan communities, with the vision of developing an unused parcel of land into a small-scale community farm. “Farming in San Diego would connect people of diverse cultural backgrounds to the benefits of nutrition, community and sustainability,” says Amy Lint, IRC farm coordinator.
At first, ethnic groups were skeptical of one another. However, with each passing day, they discovered they had much in common—from stories of civil strife in their homelands to how they were adapting to life in the U.S. and raising families in San Diego.
In 2006, the IRC’s staff identified the ideal location for the farm—a sun-soaked lot in City Heights. Unlike other cities across the U.S., which have decades-old urban farms or community gardens in place on city-owned land, San Diego didn’t have even one. New Roots Community Farm would be the first. However, securing a permit and lease from the City Council’s Land Use & Housing Committee turned into a two-year challenge that ended up costing $46,000.
From Seeds to Success In the spring of 2009, the IRC gained access to the land. Complete strangers from Somalia, Cambodia, Burma, Uganda and Guatemala worked side-by-side planting crop seeds along with seeds of friendship. At first, ethnic groups were skeptical of one another. However, with each passing day, they discovered they had much in common—from stories of civil strife in their homelands to how they were adapting to life in the U.S. and raising families in San Diego. Within months the patch of parched earth was transformed into an edible landscape, changing the face of the City Heights neighborhood. Fast forward to today. New Roots is a proud community of farmers from a dozen nations. Families tend 600-square-foot plots and grow culturally appropriate foods that are linked to their homelands. For families who come from war-torn countries, the ability to grow and cook familiar foods is a way to preserve fading cultures and keep alive memories of families and friends left behind.
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Top, Hermalinda and Aurora: middle, Bob Ou tends his garden: bottom, Lu Lu waters.
New Roots is a bridge to the past, but it is also a cross-cultural experience with a future. Looking around at the garden, everyone seems like old friends. Families share farming techniques, look after one another’s plots, and take part in quarterly potluck dinners. Even the children find this place to be an oasis. “I love coming to the garden on Saturday and Sunday. It’s freedom and I have friends here,” Aurora says, smiling broadly. The farm has become a central point of the neighborhood and there are 30 families on the waiting list for plots. The success of New Roots is due in large part to the leadership and commitment of the IRC. The management of the nonprofit envisioned a localized food system for the City Heights neighborhood and stood by the project when it seemed unobtainable and extremely expensive. The farm’s success is also due to the strong leadership within each community group. These leaders bridge cultural differences at the garden and assist new members of their communities as they adjust to life in City Heights. Bob Ou, a refugee from Cambodia, is one of the community leaders. Ou escaped the Khmer Rouge in 1979 and fled with his parents to Thailand. There they lived in a refugee camp without enough food. Eventually they made their way to the U.S. Ou is growing Cambodian “My kids used to cucumber, Vietnamese morning glory, want to eat fast food and Asian pea eggplant. When asked if his children enjoy coming to the all the time. Now garden he proudly says they do. “My they want to know kids used to want to eat fast food all the time. Now they want to know what I’m what I’m bringing bringing home from the garden each home from the night,” he laughs. “They are motivated garden each night.” to come to the garden to learn about our heritage and our food.” Lu Lu, a refugee from Burma, is a Karen community leader. The Karen are an ethnic minority from Burma. Lu came to the U.S. with John Rey in 2006 after fleeing Burma and spending 10 years in a refugee camp in Thailand. Together they are growing amaranth, sour leaf, and pumpkins.
Leading the Way There is no question that urban farms and community gardens improve the quality of life for individuals and neighborhoods across the country. And, oftentimes, the courage and perseverance of those who effect change go unrecognized. So it was especially meaningful when, in March of this year, New Roots Community Farm became the recipient of a National Conflict Resolution Center’s Peacemaker Award. At an awards dinner, the NCRC honored New Roots for being a model farming community dedicated to building peaceful collaboration among immigrant, refugee and resident populations.
Farming by the Numbers 6,838: pounds of fresh food harvested in 2010 (during a 7-week period) 1,000: pounds harvested each week 85.5: pounds of food per family 86: families farming 75: percentage of food taken home 23: percentage of food sold through urban agribusinesses 12+: languages spoken at the farm
The pioneering efforts of efforts of the IRC staff, the New Roots community, and the growing collaboration of organizations committed to the right to grow food opened the way for some major changes in San Diego. In June, the City Council voted to remove some of the largest hurdles to creating community gardens. Now it is easier for San Diegans to turn vacant spaces into fields of green. Stacey Klaman is a science writer and editor who has written for Sally Ride Science, National Geographic School Publishing, and Edible San Diego. In her spare time she enjoys yoga and hiking.
A Taste of the IRC What: Annual fundraising event for the International Rescue Committee Where: Fairbanks Ranch Clubhouse When: Thursday, September 22, 2011
Each week a selection of specialty ethnic vegetables and herbs are sold at the New Roots booths at the People’s Produce Project Market and the City Heights Farmers’ Market. Produce is also sold to local restaurants that specialize in farm-to-fork menus. New Roots is dedicated to an organic approach, so gardeners do not use chemical fertilizers or pesticides. More than 85% of the gardeners do not have jobs because they do not have the skills or speak English. Selling a share of their crops is way to earn a little income. It’s also a way for the farmers to promote and celebrate an international cornucopia of crops.
Tickets: $50 (purchase in advance at www.rescue.org/taste) • S pecial dishes created with produce from the IRC New Roots Community Farm • E thnic dishes prepared by refugee-owned restaurants, including Somali, Iraqi and Vietnamese •C raft beer from the Coronado Brewing Company, wine
Some of the food grown at New Roots is even in demand more than 3,000 miles away. “At $7 to $8 per pound, pea eggplant is highly coveted by South Asian communities across the U.S. “It only grows here in San Diego and I’ve shipped some of my crop to states as far away as Maine and Massachusetts,” Ou says.
Where to Find New Roots Produce
New Roots Farm Work Day
People’s Produce Project Market (Southeast) Friday, 3–6pm
On the fourth Saturday of each month, volunteers are invited to help take care of farm common areas. rescue.org/us-program/ us-san-diego-ca.
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The Good Earth
The Legacy of
On any given morning, just before 10am, you’ll find a line of people standing quietly on a shady brick patio, waiting. Patiently. In front of them is a light yellow wooden produce stand, one of several yellow buildings scattered just a short distance from one another. On its wide counter sit trays of fruit, vegetables and herbs so stunningly perfect that they are still lifes in waiting: baby artichokes, celery, celery root, Persian cucumbers, Shishito and Padron peppers, small purple and cream bell peppers, heirloom tomatoes, squash blossoms, Romanesco and yellow and white cauliflower, baby Brussels sprouts, radishes, gold beets, nasturtiums, bay leaves, tarragon, orange mint and rosemary geranium.
By Caron Golden
The list goes on and on, but on this day, this early summer Friday morning just before the Fourth of July, it’s mostly about the corn—yellow, white, and yellow and white—and the strawberries, especially the petite Mara des Bois, so deeply red and sweet and juicy that they need to be eaten all at once. Both—all, in fact—picked earlier that morning.
Photos by Chris Costa
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This is, officially, the Vegetable Stand. But most of the people familiar with this spot refer to it affectionately as Chino Farms. Located just off Via de la Valle in Rancho Santa Fe, the stand opens daily at 10am and customers—many of whom have shopped here for decades—get to the parking lot just before, watching the staff fill the trays and set them out, touching and sniffing the melons on the tall rack of shelving alongside them to the right—on this day mostly watermelons, cavaillons and tiny Snow Leopards—and quietly chatting among themselves or the staff, anticipating what they’re going to select, all to a background of classical music. The chefs—from George’s at the Cove, Mille Fleur, Market, Nine-Ten and Blanca—have already picked up their day’s bounty. The stand is part of a 50-plus-acre property owned by the Chino family since 1952, although the Junzo
and Hazuyo Chino, who founded the farm, actually arrived there in 1947 from Los Angeles following a three-year stay with their young children in an Arizona internment camp for Japanese-Americans during World War II. The Chinos sharecropped the land before buying the property, farming it to raise produce to consume at home and sell to the Los Angeles wholesale market before giving that up to sell directly to customers at the stand. The couple had nine children and the youngest, Tom, is the one most customers assume is “the boss.” But Tom Chino, standing at a long wood table in well-worn jeans; a red, white and blue plaid shirt and beige baseball cap intently trimming Brussels sprouts and periodically checking in with people in the fields via walkie-talkie, shies away from that description. Yes, he said, in the mid- to late ’80s he took on the management and planting schedule because his father
was having heart problems. But he works with three of his siblings and is insistent that their roles are no less important. Frank, he noted, is in charge of setting up the stand. Fred handles the farm’s and house’s maintenance (some family members also live on the property) and Kazumi—also known as Kay—handles the books and runs the greenhouse. Tom’s wife, Nina McConnel, also works on the farm. You can see her behind the counter at the stand but she’s also working with Kazumi on the books. Junzo and Hazuyo passed away in the 1990s, leaving their children to continue running the farm. According to Tom Chino, the family raises 100 types and varieties of produce at any given time, selling to the public at the stand and to several local—and not so local—restaurants. With Tom now 62, the question customers and chefs like NineTen’s Jason Knibb wonder about is what will be the future of Chino Farms. Not that Tom Chino or his siblings are going anywhere anytime soon. But still…
“There is this great newfound desire to buy local and support local farmers. But they were doing it when it wasn’t so popular and wasn’t the thing to do.” Eric Larson
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“We’re all in the same boat, wondering what is going to happen,” said Knibb. “It’s a legacy that been passed on for generations.”
“I want to be a farmer. But you can’t do this and not love it with all your heart. You can’t have a social life here. I want to be mature enough to want to be a farmer. I want to be old enough to have an awesome career and still want to be a farmer.” Makoto Chino
James MacDonald, chief of the Agricultural Structure and Productivity Branch at the USDA’s Economic Research Service, said that in the 1930s there were six million farms in the United States. Today there are about two million and, of those, only 676,000 are small commercial farms (as of 2007). “The numbers we have indicate that most farms don’t pass down to the next generation,” he said. Eric Larson, who is executive director of the San Diego Farm Bureau and attended San Dieguito High School with Tom Chino, noted that the farm is a flagship for locally grown in San Diego County.
there until 8pm, but sometimes until 11. Like Makoto, he attended college—at UC Berkeley, where, he said, he was part of the burgeoning food movement of the 1970s and was one of the first people to eat at Chez Panisse (later Alice Waters became an avid customer, as did Wolfgang Puck and Spago). Chino studied anatomy and physiology, planning to go to medical school, but instead returned home, where he worked on the farm and as a researcher first at the Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation in La Jolla and then at the Salk Institute until he finally joined the farm full time. He pointed out, though, that there’s a big difference between his situation and his son’s.
“It’s hard to have a discussion on taking advantage of local food in the local marketplace without discussing them,” he said. “There is this great newfound desire to buy local and support local farmers. But they were doing it when it wasn’t so popular and wasn’t the thing to do.” Larson conceded that most family farms don’t make the generational transfer. “A lot of kids these days are not following in their parents’ footsteps to be farmers. So the average age of farmers is growing and the average number of farms is shrinking. It’s happening nationwide. Kids have a lot more choices today. A couple of generations ago it was ‘Which of the kids gets the farm?’ Now it’s ‘Will any of them get the farm?’”
“In our era, the farm was quite isolated and self contained. Our whole social life was around the farm. The traditions I have are from a foreign country,” he explained. “They’re important to me but maybe not to Makoto. Makoto and his cousins were completely raised in an American milieu. Farming is lonely and isolated. Also, my science training helped me to do research. It gave me technical expertise in the science of growing crops.”
At Chino Farms, the logical successor would be 21-year-old Makoto Chino, Tom and Nina’s only child. He recently graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, where he studied philosophy, psychology and neuroscience and is hoping to attend law school at Northwestern University. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to take on the responsibilities of the farm.
An expertise so profound that, he said, “I don’t believe in terroir. You should be able to grow anything anywhere.”
“I want to be a farmer,” he said. “But you can’t do this and not love it with all your heart. You can’t have a social life here. I want to be mature enough to want to be a farmer. I want to be old enough to have an awesome career and still want to be a farmer.”
Tom Chino teasingly refers to his son as “the little emperor,” noting that he still has a lot of growing up to do and also insisting that “while I’d like the farm to continue, I don’t want anyone to feel burdened by tradition. Makoto has the option to do anything he wants.”
Tom Chino explained that he’s on the farm every morning at 4:30 and usually works
Makoto admittedly doesn’t have as rigorous Makoto Chino
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a scientific background as his father. He also knows full well the dedication and expertise it takes to produce the exquisite produce the farm is renowned for. And right now, he doesn’t believe he measures up to his dad.
my dad and go out to the fields at 5:30 in the morning to pick eggplant and peppers with my aunt,” he recalled. “Then I’d go off to swimming lessons.” Makoto has also worked for a summer for chef Carl Schroeder at his restaurant Market.
“I’m arrogant, but compared to him, I suck!,” he says melodramatically, sitting on a platform behind the farm stand, surrounded by plastic bags bursting with unshucked corn. “Even if I become the greatest lawyer in the world, I’ll be a failure because my kids didn’t grow up on the farm. If I become a farmer, I’ll never be as good as my dad. He’s the greatest farmer.” But, Makoto is deeply rooted to the farm and to farming. He remembers having a red wagon, filling it with corn and pulling it in front of the stand to sell. His mom, Nina, laughed at the memory and said he was only 2 years old at the time. He spent a month at age 13 on a lettuce farm in Nagano, Japan, working from 5am to 7pm most days, learning from the owner, who had actually learned his farming techniques from Junzo Chino and whose son will, in turn, spend time at Chino Farms. But, of course, Makoto’s experience growing up on the farm was very different from his father’s. “When I was really young, like 11, I’d get up with
“When you’re a kid and grow up in that environment, I could see the kid completely wanting to run away screaming or moving away and then appreciating what he has and the history of it and coming back,” said Trey Foshee, executive chef and partner at George’s at the Cove, and a long-time Chino customer who has watched Makoto grow up. “Tom doesn’t leave the farm. He rarely takes time off. It’s all about hard work and high standards. But Makoto takes a role there and I think it’s based on his desire to be part of the farm.” Knibb, with the perspective of a father with a young son, noted that Makoto “has to be his own person. It’s a totally different generation and he’ll have to make it fit his lifestyle and his way. Tom gravitated back to the farm. It will likely pan out with Makoto but now he wants to go to law school and then figure it out. I would hope Makoto would want to take
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it over and pass it on to his kids, if that’s what he chooses.” Makoto has two younger cousins, Matsuo and Mayumi, who could also be part of the farm’s future. He insists that, should his generation take over the farm, it will still be a family farm based on the culture handed down to him from his parents and grandparents. “I might change the farming, but not the culture. We won’t sell at farmers’ markets; we won’t take credit cards. It dilutes that family feeling. I wouldn’t change the insularity; it wouldn’t be Chino’s. And, it’ll be a family farm because our extended family includes our customers. As long as they’re still there, it’ll be family.” Knibb, for one, hopes that’s the case. “It would be really weird to work here and not have Chino Farms,” he said. “A lot of restaurants have build their reputations on the dishes they make that come from Tom’s product. It’s a tribute to them.” Caron Golden is an award-winning freelance writer and the author of the blog San Diego Foodstuff. She writes the Local Bounty column for San Diego Magazine, and has contributed to Saveur, Culinate, Sunset, the Los Angeles Times, and many others.
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The Art of Raising Food By Evan Ross Art imitates life. Food sustains life. Perhaps you accept these independent ideas as truth. Give them credence based on their individual merit. Maybe flip them around a bit so you have food imitating life and art sustaining it—some might argue this is more accurate. But if you consider what they imply about the human condition, at some point you are likely to seek the point of their connection. And oddly (or maybe serendipitously, depending on your inclination) you will find it on a weedy patch of land just off of National Avenue, in the middle of Barrio Logan. It is here that a group of like-minded artists, designers and community activists has started pushing the local, sustainable food movement into the realm of the artistic—using shopping carts, naturally, as their vehicle. Out of these 30
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Creative collective puts down roots to grow veggies and community Photos by Chris Costa dilapidated, discarded, scavenged totems of western society’s abandonment of the farmers’ market for the supermarket grows a poignant and creative statement.
The Farm Proper “The idea of the Farm Proper is to create a transformative space from available, throwaway materials that fosters creative exchange in an urban environment,” says Stacey Kelley, who has taken me to the back lot to see “the farm.”
Transformative it is. From this dirt lot there is a 360-degree view of concrete, a real city scene. But in this “reclaimed pasture” from which I’m viewing Barrio Logan—a rural allusion in the middle of an urban jungle—a community has come together to create a space that is the antithesis of developmental progress. It is one devoted to the most fundamental element of human survival: food, and the communal gathering around it that this source of convention has dictated for centuries. The Farm Proper evolved out of the design collaborative that fronts it: the Bakery. A shared creative environment, the Bakery houses Set & Drift, the art collective founded by Stacey Kelley and her husband, Sean, as well as mi-workshop, the design business of architect and designer Miki Iwasaki. The project was born from the combined imaginations of these individuals as a way to bring together the community they have embraced, and to integrate
Using a few locally salvaged materials and a wealth of imagination, local innovators have strengthened the connection of their community to its environment and to its food.
their creative vision with the idea that locally grown food can provide a means of sustenance, as well as artistic expression. The result is an unapologetically urban, completely natural space. And it is one that is most consciously named a farm and not garden. The intention of the moniker suggests a particular seriousness about the project and a commitment by its creators to further the concept of community involvement and neighborhood ownership. As a working source of food and inspiration, the Farm Proper is a place for the community to meet, to share artistic ideas and to witness their labors in the dirt blossom into the fruit of their toil and their creativity.
The Farm Proper has forged partnerships with local farms such as Suzie’s Farm, which is supporting the project through the donation of seedlings and time, and Café Moto, which has supplied the recycled burlap bags used to line the carts. These associations lend the project a sense of legitimacy and help spread the word about its value and progress to more than just the art set. “One of the coolest things about the farm is that people from inside and outside the community have found the project, and want to get involved,” says Kelley. “People
An evolution The farm, which is actually about 20 forlorn-looking shopping carts as well as a number of recycled wooden pallets that have been transformed into similar planting devices, has been sequestered into a far corner of the dirt lot while renovations take place. Though a youth group was out some months before to participate in a planting, the earth currently lies fallow and the entire operation seems to be in a state of limbo.
“People seem inspired by the possibilities of what can be accomplished with a creative point of view, even with limited resources, and want to be a part of it.”
“We have moved all of the planting over here while we waited for the owner to decide what he wanted to do with the space,” says Kelley. “Fortunately, he is going to let us stay and make some upgrades, so we are planning to move the farm back into its original configuration, with some positive changes.” The transition period between what the farm was and what it will become will further the group’s effort to promote the concept of sustainability and deepen the palpable feeling of connection between its participants and the earth. Designed by miworkshop, the new space will incorporate a patio area for gathering and offer more structured area for growing.
brought a dozen teenagers on a field trip to the farm last fall,” says Kelley. “They did a planting and had a potluck. It got us thinking about other ways we could use the farm as a teaching tool.”
The Story of a Farm ... to be Continued The Set & Drift website (setanddrift.org) notes this about its creators: “We are modern storytellers. We create scenarios to showcase the ideas and work of creatives through nontraditional formats and venues. Blurring established boundaries, we use the many curious expressions of art and design to introduce something unexpected into the everyday experience. We believe this sparks conversations that inspire cultural innovation.” If this story of Set & Drift describes the motivation behind their art, it also provides an almost perfect explanation of the work they are doing on the farm. While the Kelleys seek to create stunning imagery or spatial transformation that confounds the senses, they are likewise transforming a transitional space in urban San Diego into an enduring, living one. By turn, they are also altering or enhancing the argument for local, sustainable food supply by targeting a different human receptor: emotional response. As it often goes with art, not all of the response is positive. Some detractors on websites and blogs have criticized the project for the use of “stolen carts,” and Iwasaki even had to cooperate with the “shopping cart police” who showed up for an inspection, only to find that the carts were indeed unusable. Except of course, as a farm.
The last planting yielded bok choy, lettuce, broccoli, kale, chilies, amaranth, quinoa and Magenta Spreen lambsquarter, among other delectables. The new and improved space will surely yield an even more impressive crop, particularly if the community continues to lend a hand.
seem inspired by the possibilities of what can be accomplished with a creative point of view, even with limited resources, and want to be a part of it.” Of course, the farm also has its own ilk to promote its intention. “Wes Bruce, a local artist who is involved with the Museum of Contemporary Art Teen Art Council,
But whatever the banter, at least people are talking. And as the story grows, the Farm Proper becomes more poised to project a unique model of urban farming into every like environment, from a wholly different perspective than that of farmer or foodie: from that of artist. Any propagation of the concept is imbued with an artistic quality, a
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platform to view the importance of locally grown, sustainable food in a creative and unusual way. As such, the Bakery crew is seeking curious ways to get the Farm Proper in front of people.
A San Diego native.
Take for instance the idea of participating in local “parking days.” As part of these events, citizens take over parking spaces normally reserved for cars and present an extraordinary or simply uncommon scene in an all too common environment. Planted carts are set up in these spaces to present the possible scope of urban farming, by highlighting the mobile gardens in an outof-the-ordinary context; one that surprises, shocks or at least inspires conversation that may not otherwise take place.
“One of the most awesome experiences we’ve had on the farm was the live free wall project that Mike Maxwell set up here,” Kelley says, pointing to a mural by the artist on a back wall of the Bakery building. “He built a big wall out of plywood and assembled it here in the back lot and had 26 street artists painting it one or two at
a time. For 10 days it was so cool because the artists hung out in the garden and we were watching this street art project come together. They filmed the whole thing and showed it at the opening. It really brought a creative energy to the space.” This is the nexus of art and food and change that the Farm Proper was created to promote. Using a few locally salvaged materials and a wealth of imagination, local innovators have strengthened the connection of their community to its environment and to its food. And whatever its ultimate reach may be, the Farm Proper will continue to provide a unique and artistic lens with which to view the possibilities for urban agriculture, and the importance of reclaiming food as a catalyst for community. Evan Ross is a frustrated chef, brewer, sommelier and organic farmer trapped in the body of a foodie, craft beer and wine lover and great appreciator of those inherently connected to the land. Writing is his expressive connection to these passions.
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Farm-to-Preschool Program Helps Give Kids an Early Taste for Eating Locally
By Susan Russo
hy don’t kids eat more fruits and vegetables? The easy answer is, “they don’t like them.” The truth is, it’s our fault. We give up too easily. Fortunately for many San Diego children, Kristine Smith refuses to give up.
playful,” she says, because “children this young start forming their preferences for food, [so] the sooner [they] adopt fresh fruit and vegetables into their diet, the easier it will be to maintain throughout their development.” The children had fun, but did they eat the peas? “Oh, yes!” says Smith. A teacher led them through a taste test: They talked about the color and shape of the pea pods, popped the peas from the shells, counted how many were inside and then ate them.
Smith, director of nutrition services at San Diego’s Neighborhood House Association (NHA), says, “Children will eat all types of fruits and vegetables. You just have to get them to try it. And I don’t give up easily if they don’t like something.” Getting kids to try new, healthy foods is what Smith has been doing for the past four years. A registered dietitian, she arrived at the NHA four years ago and overhauled the central prep kitchen that serves over 7,000 meals to over 3,500 low-income, preschool-aged children in San Diego. Processed frozen fish sticks were out; salmon tacos were in. High-carbohydrate snacks such as animal crackers were swapped out for whole-grain options. “I faced some resistance at first,” says Smith, “but after four years, pretty much everyone— children, parents and staff—is on board.” Which is why, last February, Smith volunteered to oversee the Farm to Preschool program, a 2-year pilot currently managed by the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College in Los Angeles. The pilot program, currently underway, is based at the Barbara Young Fielding (BYF) Early Learning Academy, an early Head Start (HS) center for 2- and 3-year-old children in San Diego. Its goal is to connect children and families to their food and to local farmers so they can begin to understand the basics of eating healthy, locally grown food. Smith and HS teachers use an experiential curriculum that engages children in handson learning activities. They take field trips 33
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“By the end of the experience, every single one of the kids tasted the peas and were begging for more,” says Smith. “It’s so important to get kids to handle foods and expose them to new flavors and new forms of food. Now they know that peas come from the ground, not a can.” to farms, help tend an on-site garden and participate in Harvest of the Month activities, such as taste tests and cooking demonstrations. Last spring, when Smith wanted to introduce the children to seasonal fresh peas, she didn’t plop a bowl of peas in front of them. She took them on a field trip to Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center in National City. The children scampered around the gardens, wiggled their fingers in the earth, played with worms, watered crops and picked vegetables. “Many of these children aren’t afforded these opportunities at home, so it was great to see them having so much fun,” says Smith. Amy Carstensen, executive director of Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center, agrees. “We work to engage all five senses and make it
“By the end of the experience, every single one of the kids tasted the peas and were begging for more,” says Smith. “It’s so important to get kids to handle foods and expose them to new flavors and new forms of food. Now they know that peas come from the ground, not a can.” Once Smith completes the pilot Farm to Preschool program, hopefully by the end of the next school year, she intends to expand it to all 25 NHA HS sites in San Diego. “It’s the perfect age to teach kids about healthy eating,” says Smith. “They’re like little sponges, and they’re building habits that will last a lifetime. If we don’t teach them proper nutrition at that time, they may never learn healthy eating habits. And we can’t do that to our children.” For more information, please visit neighborhoodhouse.org. To contact Kristine Smith or to inquire about volunteer opportunities, call 619-683-7453 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Susan Russo is a San Diego–based food writer and cookbook author. She has a nationally recognized food blog, foodblogga.blogspot.com. She is a regular contributor to NPR’s Kitchen Window and has been selected “Best of the Web” by Saveur. Reach her at email@example.com. Photo courtesy Neighborhood House Association
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Food as Sacrament:
Photo: Misha Johnson
Seeding the Future By Britta Turner
umans have an age-old partnership with plants that reveals itself in our inhalation and their exhalation. We cultivate, grow, and consume them for nourishment, and in turn help fulfill their desire to reproduce by saving, selecting, and planting their seeds.
able to enjoy the spicy kick of an heirloom chili pepper. Thankfully, several nonprofit organizations have stepped up to the plate, taking on the role of preserving this genetic diversity. There are around 1,400 seed banks dispersed across the globe that store roughly 1% of the entire world’s plant population.
The practice of seed saving dates back to the beginning of human agriculture. Since the day we realized our capacity to grow food, we have depended on saving seeds and replanting Globally, we are on the them year after year for our survival. However, this verge of losing in one tradition has slowed significantly in recent decades, as the generation much of the growth of commercial seed companies has lessened the need for individuals to save their own seeds.
The Millennium Seed Bank Project aims to house at least 20% of world’s plant species by the year 2020. Diligent efforts are being made to research and collect seed varieties from all different climates and counties. The international project boasts incredibly accurate agricultural diversity and detailed seed catalogs, packaging techniques In relying on commercial companies to propagate seeds, that has flourished over and conservation of seeds in an airtight ice chamber we lose out on Mother Nature’s diversity. Numerous new thousands of feet below the surface of the earth. This the last 10,000 years. varieties of hybrid plants have been created, yet many is a huge undertaking and extremely important for the old heirloom varieties have vanished. These lost strains preservation of global food sources; yet there is just contained a wealth of potentially valuable genetic information, as well as as much weight and opportunity for seed saving to be done in the some of the most savored flavors and qualities of fruits and vegetables. backyards and shared spaces of all people in all local habitats. Globally, we are on the verge of losing in one generation much of the agricultural diversity that has flourished over the last 10,000 years. Imagine never again biting into an heirloom tomato, or having only one species of apple to taste during the winter months, or never being
Seed Savers Exchange is another national nonprofit organization committed to “collecting, conserving and sharing heirloom seeds and plants, while educating people about the value of genetic and cultural diversity.”
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Seed banks are an essential way to protect seeds; another is through participatory preservation, where gardeners grow and save their own seeds. With increasing threats to food security, and the surge of community gardens and their caretakers, the art of saving seed has the potential to quickly recuperate. It’s time to plant for fall!
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Misha Johnson, farm manager at Wild Willow Farm in southern San Diego, slowly sifts through a colorful pile of dried shelling beans on his desk. “The earth is a seed bank in itself, alive and healthy ... always evolving. Seeds then, will too remain alive and healthy, evolving at an equal pace to the earth if kept in their natural rhythm,” he says. Misha, like many other farmers in San Diego, has begun to save seeds from the many crops he grows every season. Many for-profit growers and home gardeners in San Diego County grow plants mainly for horticultural use (fruit, flowers, perennials) rather than agricultural use (row crops, annuals, etc.) but there is a growing need for more agriculture seed varieties that fit our climate zone. The more native, successful varieties become available in a region and the more varied their traits, the less likely that large-scale epidemics would wipe all of them out and the more likely the surrounding ecosystem is to flourish. Due to its incredible year-round growing capacity and natural diversity in flora and fauna, San Diego has the potential to establish a generous, culturally rich supply of seeds that could serve the entire region as a basis for agricultural production. However, there is currently no formal organization to merge the efforts of commercial growers and/or backyard gardeners who save seeds. Yet, there are endless opportunities to do so in such a budding community. With all these crops being grown, shared and enjoyed, it is time to address the needs of a local solution for reliable and native food sources. Part one of that solution includes organizing and developing a public bank to store and preserve varieties of seeds adapted to our local region. San Diego Roots Sustainable Food Project has many different branches and volunteers who advocate seed saving and who actively collect and share seeds among friends and neighbors. As time progresses, their educational farm center, Wild Willow Farm, could become a communal hot spot for saving precious local varieties. Part two of that local solution includes gathering the support to save larger quantities of viable seeds, and coordinating the efforts of these various groups within San Diego to work mutually and to educate people about this timeless tradition. Seed saving begins in the garden and on the farm. It begins in the eyes of children who gaze in wonder at the color and complexity of food. It begins in the hearts of those who have inherited traditions, who wish to impart them to others and pass on the beauty and flavor of life nourishing food. In San Diego, it’s time to plant the seeds for a formal seed saving program that will allow us to securely preserve our agricultural diversity for generations to come. Britta Turner is a San Diego–based writer. She has served as a projects manager for San Diego Roots sustainable Food Project and worked as an assistant farm manager for Suzie’s Farm.
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Want to Save Seeds? Here’s How to Do It Story and photo by Matt Steiger
f you’ve got an edible garden, chances are you’ve contemplated saving your own seeds. Socio-political reasons aside, there are many practical reasons to do it: You can maintain your stock of favorite and rare varietals, without having to re-buy every year, and you can also create some really outstanding fruits and veggies. Seed saving is a rewarding practice. Each year you harvest the seeds from your very best specimens, process and store them, then plant them again the following year. Over time your plants evolve to thrive in your exact microclimate, and your garden becomes ever more delicious and fruitful.
Remove the moldy layer with a spoon and top-up the water. Repeat this process until you have a layer of clean seeds sitting in a glass of clean water. Then dump the water and place the seeds on a porcelain plate to dry. Make sure they aren’t touching or they’ll stick together permanently. Good record keeping is an essential component of seed saving. Keep your dried seeds in a sealed paper envelope (coin envelopes are perfect). Label with the plant, date, and any notes you want to keep on the specimen. Store the envelope in a cool dry place until next year.
For saving purposes, seeds are separated into two general categories: dry and wet. Dry seeds come in a pod or husk, as in lettuce, herbs or beans. Wet seeds are hidden inside tasty fruit, such as tomatoes and peppers.
Not all seeds can or should be saved. The issue is cross-pollination. An Armenian cucumber can pollinate a cantaloupe. The result will still be a cantaloupe, but its seeds will be hybrid; the second generation will be unpredictable and the third generation will most likely be infertile.
Seeds must be allowed to fully develop. This sometimes means allowing things to mature well beyond the normal (or even edible) harvest point. Tomatoes and peppers are usually harvested ripe, but you’ll have to let your basil and lettuce go to seed. If you’re collecting squash seeds you need to leave the fruit on the vine until it is woody and hard.
Before going to too much effort, it is worth checking for the specifics of the seeds you want to save; seedsavers.org is a good resource. Fortunately, some of the best stuff is self-pollinating: tomatoes, lettuce, beans, peas, peppers and most herbs. All these make purebred seeds that will produce reliably the following year.
To harvest husk seeds, first let them fully dry out on the plant. Then ever so carefully cut the stem below the husks, insert the cutting into a paper bag, and shake vigorously. If the seeds don’t appear fully dry you can place them on a porcelain plate for a few days to finish. Podded seeds can be removed by hand once fully dried and hardened.
There are two proven ways to prevent cross-pollination: separation and isolation. To separate, put cross-pollinating plants as far from each other as possible. This can be difficult to achieve, however, because some pollen travels for miles and you can’t control what your neighbors grow. Isolation is achieved with a bee barrier (like fine netting) over the plant. This keeps intruding pollens out, but also means you’ll have to pollinate by hand.
Wet seeds have a protective moisture barrier. Ever wondered why tomatoes don’t start sprouting in the fruit? These seeds should be processed by fermentation, which dissolves the protective coating and kills seed-borne diseases. To ferment, scrape the seeds out of the fruit. Don’t fret about removing all the plant matter, a bit of fruit is perfect to get fermentation going. Put the seeds in a glass and fill with water. After a few days you’ll notice lots of mold on top, probably with some seeds stuck inside. Clean floating seeds are bad, and should be removed. Seeds buoyed by plant matter can be stirred back in.
Though cross-pollinators are more effort, some of the rare/expensive specimens might be worth it. You may even get lucky, with none of your neighbors growing similar varietals. Just keep experimenting, maintain good records and don’t be afraid to fail! There’s also the possibility (albeit slim) that one of your cross-pollinated plants will turn out to be really great. Happy gardening! Matt Steiger is a physicist and published science writer who spends his free time gardening, fishing, brewing, cooking and obsessing over food. Matt is always on the lookout for the best produce, fresh fish, great drinks and the perfect cup of coffee. Follow him at thefoodlunatic.com, or contact him firstname.lastname@example.org
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You can find a complimentary copy of Edible San Diego at any of our advertisers and at local farmers’ markets. Other distribution spots are listed on ediblesandiego.com.
EDUCATION ART ACADEMY OF SAN DIEGO Features fine and digital arts classes and workshops taught by professional artists throughout the year. (619) 231-3900 artacademyofsandiego.com
FARMS AND FARMERS’ MARKETS BRIAN’S FARMERS’ MARKETS Brian’s Farmer’s Markets and CSA serving the Point Loma, Mission Valley, UTC, and Golden Hill areas. sdmarketmanager.com DEL MAR FARMERS’ MARKET Located in the Del Mar City Hall parking lot, this market is open from 1-4 p.m. on Saturdays year round. Vendors bring a wide variety of foods, including fine crafted cheese, fresh fish, honey, fruits, vegetables, and flowers. 1050 Camino Del Mar • (760) 521-0643 HILLCREST FARMERS’ MARKET Open every Sunday from 9-2 p.m. this market provides a wide array of vendors including locally grown, inseason produce, gifts, arts, crafts, and flowers. Included are a large variety of prepared food and hot food items with an emphasis on international cuisine. 3960 Normal Street • (619) 299-3330 hillcrestfarmersmarket.com MORNING SONG FARM CCOF Certified Organic Farm and CSA program produces a wide variety of subtropical fruits. (760) 874-8000 • morningsongfarm.com NORTH SAN DIEGO FARMERS’ MARKET Located at the Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead this market is open every Sunday from 10-4 p.m. Beautiful environment supporting local artisans and farmers. 12655 Sunset Drive, Escondido northsdfarmersmarket.com RANCHO SANTA FE FARMERS’ MARKET Our goals are to promote local and sustainable agriculture, contribute to the success of local growers and artisan food producers, and serve as a community gathering place every Sunday. ranchosantafefarmersmarket.com 38
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RON LA CHANCE FARMERS’ MARKETS Serving Mira Mesa, Mission Hills, Kearny Mesa and Leucadia farmer’s markets. Local farm fresh produce, flowers and specialty foods. (858) 272-7054 SANTEE MARKETS Santee’s Farmers Market takes place every Wednesday from 3-7 p.m. in an abandoned school parking lot. Fresh, sustainable produce, cheeses, breads, and more. 10445 Mission Gorge Road (619)-449-8427 SD WEEKLY MARKETS Farmers and foodies meet here. We bring farms to the city and people to the table serving Little Italy, North Park, Pacific Beach. sdweeklymarkets.com SUZIE’S FARM & SUNGROWN San Diego based organic farm and CSA delivering USDA certified organic product to chefs five days a week. (619) 662-1780 • suziesfarm.com (619) 921-8135 • sungrownorganics.com TAJ FARMS A C.S.A./subscription farm, nestled in the rural foothills of Valley Center, with a dynamic team that is dedicated to sustainable and responsible agriculture practices, and creating safe and healthy food. TAJfarms.net • (760) 670-7012
FOOD REVIEWS AND DISCUSSIONS LET THERE BE BITE LTBB helps you make the best food choices at your local store and online from trusted vendors, and provides tips on becoming your own 4-star chef. lettherebebite.com SAN DIEGO FOOD & WINE This fun online resource provides food and wine information about San Diego. You’ll find reviews and ratings on restaurants, food and wine, food oriented schools and classes, kitchen devices, farmers markets and books. Great recipes too. sandiegofoodandwine.com
FOODIE DESTINATIONS ALCHEMY Alchemy serves cultural fare, craft beer, and cocktails. We prepare interesting food from high quality ingredients and local produce. 1503 30th Street, San Diego • (619) 255-0616 • alchemysandiego.com BARRIO STAR Fresh, creative takes on traditional Mexican food. Wholesome ingredients, whimsical decor, unique south of the border cuisine. 2706 5th Avenue, San Diego (619) 501-7827 • isabelscantina.com BLIND LADY ALE HOUSE Blind Lady Ale House (BLAH) in Normal Heights offers a spectacular and “finely curated” lineup of local and craft brews, and is a Certified Purveyor of Honest Pints. BLAH serves Neopolitan-style pizza topped with fresh made mozzarella, local veggies (mostly organic) and charcuterie house-made from sustainably produced meats. 3416 Adams Avenue, San Diego (619) 255-2491 • blindlady.blogspot.com BLUE RIBBON ARTISAN PIZZA We support local farmers’ markets, local businesses, and sustainable practices. House made dough, fennel sausage from sustainable Berkshire pork, handstretched fresh mozzarella. Our pizzas are fired in a true wood burning oven. Our produce is local and organic and we feature local beer. 897 South Coast, Encinitas (760) 634-7671 • blueribbonpizzaria.com EL TAKE IT EASY Craft cocktails and locally sourced kitchen incorporating flavors of San Diego, Ensenada, and Mexican wine country. 3926 30th Street, San Diego (619) 291-1859 • eltakeiteasy.com FARMHOUSE CAFÉ Rustic, country, French cuisine, this exciting new restaurant is affordable, and serves market fresh and seasonally appropriate produce, meats, and cheeses. 2121 Adams Avenue, San Diego (619) 269-9662 • farmhousecafesd.com JSIX Downtown San Diego’s culinary escape into the season’s best. Sourcing locally and using made-from-scratch methods,
this sustainable restaurant embraces the slow-food approach and sets the standard for thoughtful and inspiring cuisine. 616 J Street, San Diego • jsixrestaurant.com MISTRAL Mistral redefines modern French cuisine with an innovative dining experience. Blending influences from Europe’s Mediterranean coast, Chef Patrick Ponsaty marries responsibly grown ingredients with brilliant technique to create robust, intense flavors in every dish. 4000 Coronado Bay Road, Coronado • dineatmistral.com THE RED DOOR RESTAURANT AND WINE BAR Serving up home-grown comfort, our casually elegant eatery is a favorite neighbourhood hangout. Using organic produce from our own ½ acre garden, local seafood and humanely raised meats, Chef Daniel Manrique produces reimagined versions of familiar dishes. 741 W. Washington St. (619) 295-6000 • theredoorsd.com RITUAL TAVERN Affordable neighborhood eatery, warm and pretty but unpretentious, serving humanely raised natural Niman meats, Jidori chicken, locally grown organic vegetables in delicious simple dishes. Taste the worldly flavors of Britain, Germany, New Orleans. 4095 30th Street, San Diego (619) 283-1720 • ritualtavern.com SEA ROCKET BISTRO Serving sustainable local seafood, small farm organic produce, rancher direct pastured meats, San Diego craft beers, and California wines in a comfortable, casual environment. Check our website for special events and promotions! 3382 30th Street, San Diego • (619) 255-7049 • searocketbistro.com STARLITE Dinner. Cocktails. Late night dining. Offering some of the finest ingredients found in Southern California. We emphasize hand made cuisine that uses the year round abundant produce available locally. Our menu changes frequently to accommodate seasonal products available in San Diego. 3175 India Street, San Diego • (619) 358-9766 • starlitesandiego.com
aids in our mission to support sustainable agriculture and local food systems. Join us and watch your business
SUSHI ON A ROLL Sushi on a Roll has been San Diego’s most sought after sushi caterer for 18 years. The first of its kind and the only rentable sushi bar in San Diego, as well as the longest in the business, Sushi on a Roll has set the trend for the “live” sushi experience. 1620 National Avenue, San Diego • (619) 702-1468 sushionarollsd.com THE FISHERY The Fishery showcases a premier seafood market at the center of the restaurant. The menu is market driven and changes seasonally. Using ingredients at their peak of freshness, Chef Arias demonstrates that the best tasting food is fresh, local, and in season. Enjoy the excitement of fish straight out of the sea and local organically grown fruit and vegetables at our weekly “Tuesday Tastings”. 5040 Cass Street, San Diego • (858) 272-9985 • thefishery.com THE LINKERY Handmade sausages, ten taps of local craft beer, local wine, pastured meats and local produce, open every day and late every night. 3794 30th Street, San Diego • (619) 255-8778 • thelinkery.com
GARDEN RESOURCES SAN DIEGO BOTANIC GARDEN Explore four miles of garden trails, enjoy restful vistas, flowering trees, majestic palms, and the nation’s largest bamboo collection. Plants from all over the world thrive here and our diverse topography provides a variety of microclimates giving you a sensation of going from a desert to a tropical rainforest, all within 37 acres. 230 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas • (760) 436-3036 • SDBGarden.org SAN DIEGO MASTER GARDENERS Volunteers trained and supervised to provide research-based information on home gardening, pest control, vegetables gardening and more. Free to the public. 5555 Overland Avenue, San Diego • (858) 694-2860 • mastergardenerssandiego.org URBAN PLANTATIONS Urban farms to patio gardens. We’ll help you grow the foods that you like to eat. Our staff has over 25 years experience in farming and urban horticulture. We provide home orchard care, garden
coaching, and permaculture solutions. We can teach you how to care for your garden organically, keeping your soil and plants healthy • (619) 563-5771 UrbanPlantations.com
HEALTH & BEAUTY THRIVE WELLNESS Located in Hillcrest Thrive Wellness is geared towards education, fitness training, lifestyle programs. We are stocked with products to help you meet your needs and have acupuncturists, massage therapists, and other specialty doctors to help you reach your highest goals in health and nutrition. 4080 Centre Street, Suite 202, San Diego (619) 795-4422 • Thrivewellness.com
SD COUNTY FARM BUREAU A non-profit association of farmers and ranchers. Advocates for local farmers since 1913. Membership helps your local farmers and has many benefits. (760) 745-3023 • sdfarmbureau.org
NORTH VALLEY FARMS Producer of award-winning, handcrafted farmstead goat cheese. NV Farms is a small family owned and operated farm, uses sustainable farming methods, and ships from the farm to your front door. (530) 347-7151 • northvalleyfarms.com
SLOW FOOD Slow Food has been supporting good food in San Diego and Riverside counties since 2001. Be a part of the growing national movement to reclaim and preserve good food and food traditions by participating on a local level. temeculaslowfood.org slowfoodsandiego.org slowfoodurbansandiego.org
HOME AND GARDEN LIVING
FIXTURES LIVING Create an incredible kitchen, build a perfect bath, or discover new tips and techniques for better living. We are your ultimate source for kitchen, bath, and outdoor living. 9340 Dowdy Drive Suite 102, San Diego • (858) 966-3600 • fixturesliving.com
SPECIALTY PRODUCE Local, organic and sustainably sourced produce from over a dozen farms each week We promote freshly picked, orgainc produce that hasn’t travelled thousands of miles, nor has it been sitting on grocery shelves. 1929 Hancock Street #150,, San Diego. (619)295-3172 • specialtyproduce.com
FRENCH GARDEN SHOPPE European home furnishing store in Little Italy abundant with elegantly crafted accessories, pottery, candles, bathroom goods, cookware, tableware, stationary, cards, imported gourmet food, and a gift registry. 2307 India Street, San Diego • (619) 238-4700 • frenchgardenshoppe.com
SUNGROWN Sun Grown cultivates six categories of quality produce: microgreens, microherbs, sprouts, micromiixes, specialty greens and shoots, and edible blossoms. Also available through Suzie’s Farms. Call to order (800) 995-7776 • fax (619) 662-177 email@example.com
PROGRESS A home and garden store that stocks conscientious products, sourced from small design studios, and is passionate about quality and accessible pricing. 2225 30th Street, San Diego • (619) 280-5501 • progresssouthpark.com
MEAT GREEN BEEF San Diego’s premier grass fed beef CSA. The Kubitschek family has been raising grass fed beef since 1968, and we now have our Green Beef CSA to provide healthy, fresh and delicious beef to the local community. If you have never tasted grass fed Green Beef, you are missing out! Give our beef a try to find out for yourself. (888) 524-1484 • eatgreenbeef.com
For more information, please contact Riley Davenport, publisher. 619-222-8267 • firstname.lastname@example.org
CATALINA OFFSHORE Products Wholesale seafood market open to the public offering fresh sushi grade fish, fresh local fish and shellfish. Featuring cooking samples on Saturdays. 5202 Lovelock Street, San Diego (619) 297-9797 • catalinaop.com PACIFIC SHELLFISH Locally owned and operated for over 30 years. Fish, shrimp and lobster are wild caught unless specified otherwise. Seasonal and subject to availablity. (858) 272-9940 thefishery.com/wholesale
SOLAR RAIN Solar Rain believes you have a right to know what you’re drinking. Our water is harvested from the ocean off San Diego’s coast, vaporized and purified locally, then sold throughout San Diego County. (760) 751-8867 • solarrainwatery.com TEMECULA OLIVE OIL A family-owned and operated business, Temecula Olive Oil Company produces pure Extra Virgin Olive Oils, Balsamic Vinegars, Mustards, Sea Salts, Sauces and Spreads from the highest quality ingredients. 28652 Old Town Front Street, Temecula • 1-866-olive-you temeculaoliveoil.com
WINE & BEER CARRUTH CELLARS Carruth Cellars is a boutique urban winery in the heart of Cedros Design District with a tasting room open to the public five days a week. 320 Cedros Avenue, 400, Solana Beach • (858) 847-9463 carruthcellars.com TRIPLE B RANCHES Triple B Ranches is a family business dedicated to producing San Diego’s finest wine grapes and premier estate wines made from those grapes. Grown, aged, and bottled entirely within San Diego County, the wines truly demonstrate the unique qualities of our region. (760) 749-1200 • tripleranches.com VESPER VINEYARDS The goal of Vesper Vineyards is to expose wine drinkers to the diverse microclimates San Diego has to offer in one winery. We not only support local grapes and wine, but all local agricultural and cuisine. (760) 749-1300 • vespervineyards.com
edible San Diego
“Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do.” — Wendell Berry
SUSTAIN MELISSA MAYER 2008-2009 24”24” MIXED MEDIA ON CANVAS 40
edible San Diego
“S ustain began as a play on WWII era propaganda posters extolling
the virtues of donating scrap metal for the war, making sacrifices, buying bonds, joining the US Crop Corp. I used the military art motif to express our modern day fight against industrial agriculture. Sustain, at its simplest, is a metaphor. It encourages us to think about living within our means, remember tradition, and support agrarian ways.
Farmers’ Markets MONDAY Chula Vista—Swiss Park 2001 Main St. 3 – 7 pm 619-424-8131 Escondido—Welk Resort 8860 Lawrence Welk Dr. off Old Hwy 395 1 – sunset fall/winter 3 – 7 pm spring/summer 760-751-4193
TUESDAY Coronado 1st St. & B Ave. , Ferry Landing 2:30 – 6 pm 760-741-3763 Escondido * Grand Ave. btw Juniper & Kalmia 3:30 – 7 pm May to Sept 2:30 – 6 pm Oct to Apr 760-745-8877 Mira Mesa * Mira Mesa High School 10510 Reagan Rd. 3 – 7 pm (3 – 6 pm winter) 858-272-7054 Otay Ranch—Chula Vista 2015 Birch Rd. and Eastlake Blvd. 4 – 8 pm (4 – 7 pm winter) 619-279-0032 Pacific Beach Bayard & Garnet 2 – 6:30 pm 619-233-3901 Spring Valley * 3845 Spring Drive (Hwy 94 to Bancroft exit) 3 –7 pm March to Sept 3 –6 pm Oct to March 619-449-8427 UCSD/La Jolla UCSD Campus, Town Square at Gilman/Meyers 10 am–2 pm (Sept. 30 to June) 858-534-4248
WEDNESDAY Carlsbad * Roosevelt St. btw Grand Ave. & Carlsbad Village Dr. 1 – 5 pm 760-687-6453 Ocean Beach 4900 block of Newport Ave. 4–7 pm (summer 4–8 pm) 619-279-0032
Poway * Old Poway Park 14134 Midland Rd. at Temple 3 – 7 pm 619-440-5027 San Marcos *# Cal State San Marcos 333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Rd. 1 – 6 pm (1 – sunset, fall-winter) 760-751-4193 Santee * 10445 Mission Gorge Rd. 3 – 7 pm 619-449-8427 Temecula* 40820 Winchester Rd. btw Macy’s & JC Penney 9 am – 1 pm 760-728-7343
University Town Center Genesee Ave. at UTC Westfield Shopping Plaza 3 – 7 pm 619-795-3363
FRIDAY Borrego Springs Christmas Circle Comm. Park 7 am – noon, November 5–June 760-767-5555 Fallbrook 102 S. Main, at Alvarado 10 am – 2 pm 760-390-9726 Imperial Beach * Seacoast Dr. at Pier Plaza 2 – 7:30 pm (Oct-Mar, 2 – 6 pm) 619-397-1917
Tu Mercado University of San Diego Campus 5998 Alcalá Park, btw Marian Way & Morris Dr. 11 am – 2 pm
Kearny Mesa North Island Credit Union pkg lot 5898 Copley 10:30 am – 1:30 pm 858-272-7054
La Mesa Village * Corner of Spring St. & University 2 – 6 pm NEW Hours! 619-440-5027
Chula Vista Center St. off Third Ave. 3 – 7 pm (3 – 6 pm fall/winter) 619-422-1982 Horton Square San Diego 225 Broadway & Broadway Circle 11 am – 3 pm, March to November 760-741-3763 Linda Vista * # 6900 Linda Vista Rd. Btw Comstock & Ulric 2 – 7 pm year round 760-751-4193 North Park CVS Pharmacy 3151 University & 32nd St. 3 – 7 pm year round 619-233-3901 Oceanside Market & Faire * Pier View Way & Coast Hwy. 101 9 am –1 pm 619-440-5027 Oceanside Sunset Tremont & Pier View Way 5 – 9 pm (winter 4 – 8 pm) 760-754-4512 SDSU Campanile Walkway btw Hepner Hall& Love Library 10 am – 3 pm www.clube3.org
Mission Hills Falcon St. btw West Washington & Ft. Stockton 3 – 7 pm (3 – 6 pm winter) 858-272-7054 Mission Valley # Mission Cntr. Rd. at Camino Del Rio N., In front of Target 3 – 7 pm 619-795-3363 Rancho Bernardo Bernardo Winery parking lot 13330 Paseo del Verano Norte 9 am – noon 760-500-1709 Southeast San Diego 600 Euclid Ave. at Market St. 2 – 6 pm 619-262-2022
SATURDAY Carlsbad * Roosevelt St. btw Grand Ave. & Carlsbad Village Dr. 1 – 5 pm 760-687-6453 City Heights *!# On Wightman St. btw Fairmount & 43rd St. 9 am – 1 pm 760-751-4193
Del Mar 1050 Camino Del Mar 1 – 4 pm 760-586-0373 Flower Hill 2720 Villa de la Valle Flower Hill Promenade 9 am – 1 pm 909-436-9834 Golden Hill B St. btw 27th & 28th Sts. 8 am – 12 pm 619-795-3363 Little Italy Mercato Date St. (Kettner to Union) 9 am – 1:30 pm 619-233-3769 Pacific Beach 4150 Mission Blvd. 8 am – noon 760-741-3763 Poway * Old Poway Park 14134 Midland Rd. at Temple 8 – 11:30 am 619-440-5027 Ramona * 1855 Main St. (K-Mart pkg lot) 9 am–1 pm 760-788-1924 Scripps Ranch 10380 Spring Canyon Rd. & Scripps Poway Parkway 9 am – 1 pm 858-586-7933 Temecula * Old Town Temecula Sixth & Front St. 8 am – 12:30 pm 760-728-7343 Vista * County Courthouse 325 Melrose Dr. South of Hwy 78 8 am – noon 760-945-7425
SUNDAY Gaslamp San Diego 400 block of Third Ave. 9 am – 1 pm 619-279-0032 Hillcrest DMV parking lot 3960 Normal & Lincoln Sts. 9 am – 2 pm 619-237-1632
Julian Wynola Farms Marketplace 4470 Hwy 78, 3 miles west of Julian 11 am – 4 pm 760-885-8364 La Jolla Open Aire Girard Ave. & Genter, La Jolla Elem. School 9 am – 1 pm 858-454-1699 Leucadia * 185 Union St. & Vulcan St. 10 am – 2 pm 858-272-7054 Mt. Carmel NEW! 9550 Carmel Mountain Road 11 am – 3 pm 619-449-8427 Murrieta * Village Walk Plaza I-15, exit west on Calif. Oaks/ Kalmia 9 am – 1 pm 760-728-7343 North San Diego Sikes Adobe Farmstead 12655 Sunset Dr. Escondido 10 – 4 pm 619-339-1970; 858-735-5311 Point Loma # Corner of Cañon & Rosecrans 9:30 am – 2:30 pm 619-795-3363 Rancho Santa Fe Del Rayo Village 16079 San Dieguito Rd. 9 am – 1:30 pm ; 10 am – 2 pm fall/winter 858-922-5135 Solana Beach 410 to 444 South Cedros Ave. 1 – 5 pm 858-755-0444 * Market vendors accept WIC (Women, Infants, Children Farmers’ Market checks) # Market vendors accept EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) ! Currently only City Heights accepts WIC Farmers’ Market Checks and the WIC Fruit and Vegetable Checks. All San Diego County markets listed except SDSU are certified by the County Agricultural Commissioner. Please visit ediblesandiego.com and click on “Resources” for more complete information and links to farmers’ market websites.
Photo: Dhanraj Emanuel fall 2011
edible San Diego
And they shall call me:
Michael, Grand Master of the Grill Michael Walsh was not always the grinning grill man you see before you. His “Perfect Patio Moment” — with good friends, cold beer, perfect brats, and everyone’s favorite, more perfect brats — had yet to materialize. But then Michael spoke with us. And we listened (a lost art, we’re told). And together, we arrived at what Mike likes to call his “Flame-Grilled Fantasy” (hey, he’s a grill master, not a poet). And that’s enough to put a smile on anyone’s face.
Kitchen. Bath. Outdoor. Joy. Picture your Perfect Moment at
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Published on Jun 2, 2014
Published on Jun 2, 2014
San Diego & Temecula Wines, Marguerite Grifka, Chino Farms, Seed Saving, New Roots Community Farm, Feeding Preschoolers Right