Currently Browsing: SF Bay Area

San Francisco sustainable restaurants have a blind spot for seafood

In an ideal world, when a restaurant tells you that it serves “sustainable seafood,” you could have some faith that the claim is true, that the chefs and buyers know exactly what they are getting and the issues around how it was caught. The seafood situation in the famously eco-friendly San Francisco Bay...

Bean there, done that: A tour of Hodo Soy

Farmers markets are far more than a source of good food from small farmers and a place to build connections among the community. They can also serve as incubators for food businesses, places where new entrepreneurs can try selling prepared foods on a small scale or where experienced market participants can...

Grow vacancies: Gene Fredericks is thinking inside the city’s big box

They're the bane of urban and suburban areas alike: the vacant, boarded-up K-Marts and Home Depot Expos, squatting like concrete cowpies amidst a landscape of weedy parking lots. But where most people see blight and a waste of space, San Francisco Bay Area entrepreneur Gene Fredericks sees opportunity: to...

Cooking outside the zone: Agretti, paired with fregola

At last week's farmers market, one of my outside the zone choices (made in honor of National Farmers Market Week) was agretti (Salsola soda) from La Tercera Farm. Agretti is a deep-green, spindly vegetable that goes by many names, including barba di frate ("friar's beard" in Italian), roscana, marsh...

San Francisco set to approve zoning changes for backyard farming for cash

Summer of urban-ag love: The Bay Area is known as a bastion of urban farming and the local food movement, but "laws governing land use are still stuck in another era, one that frowned on farming in the city, especially in residential areas," reports Zusha Elinson. When Little City Gardens ran into trouble...

Cooking outside my comfort zone, Part 2: Fresh chickpeas

Last week, I vowed to escape my farmers market rut and cook outside my comfort zone in honor of National Farmers Market Week Aug 1-7. Farmers markets are spreading like (edible) weeds around the country. There were 5,279 as of 2009 by the USDA's count, up 13 percent from the previous year. The new figures...

Cooking outside my comfort zone, pt. 1: A remembrance of squash blossoms past

In honor of Farmers Market Week next week, I vowed here to get out of my market rut and cook outside my comfort zone. That's how I came to be picking up these beautiful squash blossoms on impulse at the Berkeley, Calif. Farmers market on Saturday. Squash blossoms, or fiori di zucca as they are called in...

Cook outside your comfort zone in honor of National Farmers Market Week

It's the height of summer, and the tables of farmers markets around the country are overflowing with firm-fleshed, scarlet tomatoes; bunches of fragrant basil; and -- depending on where you live -- juicy stone fruits, avocados, and more. Such bounty makes it easy to celebrate National Farmers Market Week...

Want to grow food on City of Oakland land? Here’s how

By Stephanie Paige Ogburn We’ve all seen it: the vacant lot down the street that gets full sun, or the underused city park choked over with weeds. And many of us have thought: I bet that would be a great community garden space, if some enterprising growers could take it over. For most of us, the thought...

Q&A with John Scharffenberger: First wine, then chocolate, and now … tofu?

Before founding the chocolate company for which he became famous, John Scharffenberger made California sparkling wine. In both cases, he was one of the first Americans to find success in what had been a European-dominated market niche. (Fun fact: Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev used his bubbly to toast...

The Edible Schoolyard brings learning to life

The cover story of this week's East Bay Express has a provocative teaser: "Berkeley's Edible Schoolyard teaches students how their food is produced and prepared. Is this overdue innovation or a distraction for kids who should be learning math?" So part of me was expecting a thrashing like the one delivered...

Monkeying around: Berkeley woman hires out fruit-picking primate

I was eating breakfast at North Berkeley's Guerrilla Cafe the other day when I spotted a sign on the other side of the room with this intriguing headline: "MONKEY FOR HIRE." After ordering their waffle of the day (buckwheat!), I went over to take a closer look at the sign. It read, "Are you tired of looking...

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