Dear Slow Food South Bay community,
Coronavirus has sent all of us into uncharted waters. It is important to maintain creative, compassionate communication within our SFSB community. I asked the SFSB leaders group for ideas about how to respond while maintaining their SLOW values. Below are some of their contributions.
Because conditions are changing rapidly, we’ll send another newsletter soon. If you have an idea to share, please send it to my email address below.
The time is now to support our local farmers and to adapt some of their skills to our own back yards. The time is now to revive home cooking skills and share them with our families. This might be the Spring for the home garden that never made it to the top of your “to do” list.
Let’s not forget to eat with SLOW principles in mind. We want to keep our immune system in healthy shape by eating nutrient dense, organically grown foods. Meals need to be tempered with exercise.
The shelter in place restrictions force us into a SLOWER pace of life. The silver lining is that we have time to cook at home, time for conversation around the table and time to plan our own home harvests.
Scott is the current chair of the Slow Food South Bay chapter and can be reached at:
Crisis Confirms the Value of Local Food
By Ann Duwe, secretary SFSB
Never before have I been so grateful for wonderful, wholesome food close to home. For me, Hidden Villa is within walking distance. Vegetables, chickens, eggs, lamb, pork, even flowers can be ordered year-round.
If I want fish, there’s Ocean2Table, fishing on Monterey Bay or Todd Korth at (408) 963-9711, fishing out of Pillar Point Harbor. You can always call the Fish Phone (650) 726-8724 or check the Fish Line at http://fishlineapp.com. A trip to the coast may be safer than one to the supermarket. Consider the supply chain for most fish sold in the United States. Generally, fish is sent to Asia for processing, then returned to the U.S. for sale. Before you stock up on canned tuna, consider where the contents may have been.
If I want beef, beans or prize-winning goat cheese, Pescadero is a good food hot spot. There’s Blue House Farm, Root Down Farm, Markegard Grass Fed, Left Coast Grass Fed, Fifth Crow and more. Dee Harley, founder of Harley Farms Goat Dairy, not only put Pescadero on California’s food map, she inspired the Velveeta generation to try something that has been a staple in Europe for hundreds of years.
If you’re on the San Mateo County coast and have never shopped at Pie Ranch, by all means do it soon, even if it has to be a virtual visit. Though primarily a teaching farm, Pie Ranch sells seasonal fruit and vegetables as well as wheat flour, grown and milled on the premises. If, instead of Highway 1, you travel Highway 101, then consider what Andy’s Fruit Orchard or Frantoio Grove have to offer.
It is imperative that we support local farmers and fishermen. They are the source of good, clean, fair food. That means food with flavor, food grown without pesticides, herbicides or artificial fertilizer and food that gives a fair return for labor. In a global pandemic, the last thing any of us needs is food that has been touched by multiple hands in multiple countries before it reaches our plates.
Never before has the Slow approach to our food system seemed so valuable. Let’s cut the distance between ourselves and our food supply and keep our local providers in business.
Recommendations from Britt:
FARMERS MARKETS are mostly staying open with precautions! Support our local farmers.
Similarly, here’s a list of open farmers markets run by PCFMA. Not all, but many. https://pcfma.org/
It is time to plant the Corona Virus Victory garden. We live in uncertain times. A garden can prepare us for an uncertain future.
Consider joining the community grow along with One Seed One Community. Seeds are available for the locally Santa Clara Valley grown Gvnagei Tuya aka Cherokee Trail of Tears Pole Bean and the Jacob’s Cattle Bush Bean.
For seeds and sign up contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Save a Row of Seeds to Share
Together we can build a local diverse and adapted seed stock of nutritional and healthy heritage foods.
They say in Russia, regimes come and go, but the Russian people are always able to feed themselves…
Russian Dacha Gardening – Homescale Agriculture Feeds Everyone
Dacha gardening grows half of Russia’s total food production in home gardens in a difficult and short-season climate, with no machine or animal inputs.
Dacha gardening accounts for about 3% of the arable land used in agriculture, but grows an astounding 50% by value of the food eaten by Russians. According to official government statistics in 2000, over 35 million families (approximately 105 million people or 71% of the population) were engaged in dacha gardening. These gardens provide 92% of Russia’s potatoes, 77% of its vegetables, 87% of the berries and fruit, 59% of its meat and 49% of the milk produced nationally.
Jessica is our nutrition expert, and here are her tips for supporting your immune system during a pandemic.
This isn’t a time for fear because the virus will be manageable for most immune systems. It’s a time to isolate yourself from others so that we SLOW down the number of new cases that are clogging up our ill equipped medical system.
Individually, it’s time to take advantage of the space to SLOW down, cook for yourself, and restore your immune system.
Eventually you’ll be exposed to this virus, and new mutations of new viruses every year because they are a natural part of our ecosystem. When you are exposed, let’s make sure your immune system is in tip top shape.
3 Main Immune System Builders
1. SLOW FOOD
Eating real food matters! From a physiological perspective these foods provide your immune system with Vitamin C, minerals like zinc, magnesium, and calcium, and meats with collagen, essential fats, and amino acids to build a healthy immune system. If you can’t grow your own food, head to one of the area’s farmers markets, where the food is healthier and less contaminated than that in the grocery stores. An apple remains in the store for months, so apples bought fresh at the farmers market can live in your fridge for months.
2. Reduce stress
Meditation is key to reducing stress, and it doesn’t need to be sitting in silence. Anything that helps you get out of the ‘fight or flight’ response and into the ‘rest and digest’ response works. There are so many apps these days to help you find your meditation. It can be as simple as a walk, sitting in the garden, singing songs with family, or even making soup. I’m offering free yoga videos to help families with slow meditative movements and a chance to SLOW down and breathe for all levels.
3. Herbal Medicine
Fresh herbs from the garden have natural antiviral and antibacterial properties that do not compromise your immune system like over the counter pharmaceuticals. Garlic and elderberry are the top herbs to denature viruses, but adding thyme, rosemary, oregano, caraway seeds, turmeric, parsley, ginger, echinacea and all of the potent plants with natural oils will improve your immune system and improve the taste of your food too.
Jessica Campbell, MS, FNTP shares nutrition tips for families that want to fall in love with their food, their bodies, and their lives at FoodFoundation.guru.
Support Local Family Farms
Local small family farmers may not get the same support packages as larger corporate farms to help weather these challenging times. Below is some information on getting informed and helping to support small scale farmers as CAFF has always help advocate for.
Support Family Farms During COVID-19 Crisis!
The global COVID-19 pandemic is touching every part of our lives, including food and agriculture. Necessary measures to contain the spread of the virus have resulted in the immediate loss of key markets for growers, as ongoing uncertainty threatens farmers’ ability to plan for the growing season. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of people nationwide have been laid off, and the need for emergency support–including food–for the most vulnerable in our society is now.
Early drafts of legislation and stimulus packages sorely lacked mention of small and mid-scale family farmers, including historically underserved farmers.
We need your help TODAY! Congress is making decisions right now on aid for people and businesses impacted by the pandemic.
Now is the time to make sure that farmers, ranchers, and the innovative businesses building resilient local food systems get the support they need to continue feeding our communities, paying their employees, and responding rapidly to emergency needs. In California, the closure of many businesses, such as corporate offices and restaurants, has eliminated markets that local farms were serving. CAFF has been working to keep farmers’ markets open, but we need to find other ways for farmers to sell their healthy food to the public and sustain our rural economy. And in whatever ways possible, we need to focus as well as on historically marginalized and undocumented farmers, who face unique challenges.
Please contact your members of Congress today! A vote is expected soon. Easily send an email letter here and/or call your representative now.
Dave Runsten, Policy Director, on behalf of the CAFF Team (Holly, Megan, Paul, Sara, Emily, Evan, Frank, Kali, Yousef, Ben, Michelle, Josefina, and Samir)