Are extra garden tools languishing in your shed? Are you downsizing and need to empty your garage of rakes and shovels? Bring them to Slow Food South Bay (SFSB) on January 22, 23 or 24. We’ll give the tools a second life.
SFSB is collecting the tools for Valley Verde, a San Jose nonprofit that teaches local families how to grow vegetables in backyard boxes. Seedlings for retail sale and for the boxes are propagated in Valley Verde greenhouses. Whether gardening in boxes or in a greenhouse, participants in Valley Verde programs benefit from working with proper tools.
What: Drop off gently-used garden tools
When: January 22, 23 & 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
25900 Elena Road, Los Altos Hills
322 North Murphy Avenue, Sunnyvale
If you clean, oil and sharpen your tools before dropping them off, so much the better. Please attach a label to the tools, listing your name, address and email address, so SFSB can send a proper thank you. Questions? Send email to SFSB Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Sincerely, Dave Runsten, Policy Director, on behalf of the CAFF Team (Holly, Megan, Paul, Sara, Emily, Evan, Frank, Kali, Yousef, Ben, Michelle, Josefina, and Samir)
Looking to help promote Slow Food South Bay activities and mission?
We are an official 501c3 organization and does not received any funding from Slow Food USA where your annual dues go so we rely upon donations and our fundraiser events!
Joining Slow Food USA does not contribute any funds to our local SFSB chapter but does promote the Slow Food advocacy nationally and internationally.
You can directly donate to our SFSB chapter with the link provided below. If you wish to contribute in other ways via check or other donations, please contact our treasurer at Treasurer@SlowFoodSouthBay.org
Support your local chapter of Slow Food.
Donations will help us in hosting and keeping costs low for future events.
This event is cancelled but an option to have a virtual coop tour is happening.
The “Silicon Valley Tour de Coop” is really much more than just a few chicken coops – It’s a celebration of the pleasures and rewards of living in a sustainable and nature connected environment by everything from coops, bees to solar panels, grey water systems, urban farming and healthy live styles and everything in between.
A preview event for this year’s EcoFarm Conference was a tour of four thriving organic farms. Three large busses filled with 150 enthusiastic observers took part, with “Amigo Bob”Cantisano as Master of Ceremonies for the day.
We began at Coke Farms in San Juan Bautista, a hub for cooling, packaging, distributing and marketing for 50 organic farms on the Central Coast. Dale Coke and his wife Christine began as farmers themselves, with just a quarter acre of organic strawberries. Their facility evolved along with the needs of local organic growers of fruit and vegetables. Among other distinctions, Dale came up with the idea of selling bagged salad mix. (Theirs was not the facility to which the E. coli outbreak some years ago was traced.)
Next we drove to rolling grasslands just outside the Hollister Hills Recreation Area, where Morris Grass Fed Beef leases land. Joe and Julie Morris do very sophisticated rotational grazing to improve the grasslands on all the ranchland they lease. Their pitch about the health benefits of grass-fed would convince a vegetarian to eat beef! As we stood at the top of a knoll, a herd of cows began moving toward us. Joe called two Australian shepherds into action, and in no time the dogs had gently moved the herd out of our way. It was an amazing display of dog smarts and cow cooperation.
Lunch was served outdoors in San Benito County Historical Park amid preserved buildings and antique farm equipment. Next we visited Evergreen Acres Dairy, which produces goat milk and goat products like cheese and kefir from special Guernsey goats. Newborn goats stole the show. Evergreen also raises ducks. Founders Mike and Jane Hulme are passionate about the health benefits of goats’ milk and duck eggs. While their ideas may seem new to many visitors, the farm, with its red barn and spreading oaks, seemed of another century.
Our last stop was on the valley floor at Pinnacle Organically Grown, a farm that grows 60 different vegetables as well as apples and pears. Owner Phil Foster talked about the value of cover crops, composting and hedgerows as well as the need to experiment with every aspect of farming. In multiple ways Phil strives to produce high quality crops while treating his employees, his land, his community and our shared planet with respect.
All the farms had re-purposed or specially invented equipment for helping with the work. Seeing these wonderful places inspires me to do more with Slow Food, with advocating for a food system that nourishes the land as well as the people who grow and eat the food.
On December 7, 2017, the annual Slow Food South Bay Holiday dinner happened at Joni’s house in Cupertino. It started with a cooking share, followed by pot luck and dinner and even holiday caroling. Thanks to all that attended and participated in this year’s festive event!