Beneath the Surface (Land) Recap

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Beneath the Surface (Land) Recap

Farm-to-Fork SF’s Beneath the Surface brunch and lecture series continued on Sunday, March 5th, in San Francisco at The Village. 50 attendees enjoyed thoughtful conversation, a delicious, well-rounded meal crafted by Andy Shaffer, and a unique chance to mingle with like-minded, food-focused individuals from all over the Bay Area.

Building on the momentum of Farm-to-Fork SF’s previous Beneath the Surface (Sea) brunch and lecture held on February 25th, this event shifted our focus to farming and the land, exploring the rich interplay between agriculture, tradition, human migration and discovery, nourishment, continuity and, perhaps most importantly, community.

 

Stephen Satterfield, Director of Farm-to-Fork SF, hosted the brunch and moderated a intimate panel discussion that featured Pei-Ru Ko of Real Food Real Stories (RFRS), Kristyn Leach, owner of Namu Farm, an Alameda County-based farm dedicated to growing Korean vegetables, and Jim Ryugo, co-owner of Kitazawa Seed Company, America’s oldest purveyor of Asian seeds. They are celebrating 100 years in 2017!

 

Ecological stewardship is central to the work carried out by Pei-Ru, Kristyn and Jim. Some of the more germane themes explored during the discussion and meal were: heritage, identity, historical precedents, food accessibility, preservation -- not only in a food sense but also in a cultural sense, and ways to best support local food producers.

 

Jamie Stark and Kevin Madrigal were also an integral part of this installment of Beneath the Surface. Their non-profit, Farming Hope, empowers homeless communities through employment; urban farming is the cornerstone of this exciting, timely venture. Jamie and Kevin are currently hosting pop-up dinners to introduce their concept to new audiences.

 

Please keep an eye out on our website for upcoming Farm-to-Fork SF events!

The event can be viewed here in its entirety.  

 

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Podcast: Kristyn Leach of Namu Farm

The Sunol Ag Park Partnership, is an 18-acre project between Alameda County Resource Conservation District and San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. That’s a mouthful.  More importantly, the offspring of the partnership is dozens of flourishing small farming enterprises. One of those parcels belongs to Namu Farm, a partnership between farmer, Kristyn Leach and Namu Gaji Restaurant in San Francisco.

Six years ago Kristyn, who is of Korean ancestry, was introduced to, “The Lee Brothers” - Dennis, David and Daniel Lee, a trio of Korean American restaurateurs and well-established and regarded members of the Bay Area restaurant community.  It was Russell Moore and Allison Hopelain, the pair behind Oakland’s Camino Restaurant who suggested they meet. Kristyn, who at that time had already been farming at the Ag Park for two years,  dropped off a sample of perilla. A mutual affinity for peppers, plus the fortuitous timing in which the brothers were also looking to start their own farm to supply their restaurant, made them fast partners.

Dennis, the eldest of the three, provided seeds from his family for Kristyn to grow. Things went well and group’s partnership formalized after the first harvest. For Kristyn, seeds have come to represent an important part of connecting her past and future. Her Korean cultural heritage is preserved in the preservation of Gochu-jang, a fermented Korean chili paste from the Sunchang is region in the southwest of Korea. After a series of seed trials, she's partnered with Kitazawa Seed Company - a one-hundred year-old seed company specializing in Asian varieties. Preserving these seeds keeps Kristyn connected to her land near in Sunol, and perhaps, her heritage.

We hope you enjoy our interview with Kristyn, recorded in February from the farm in Sunol. And, if you get this in time, we hope you’ll join us on Sunday March 6th for Farm-to-Fork SF, Beneath the Surface brunch series. Tickets can be found here.

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El Niño Plagues S. Africa and Beyond

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El Niño Plagues S. Africa and Beyond

In global news, El Niño, a complex series of climatic changes commonly occurring in the winter,  has caused droughts and floods, leading to a substantial food crisis in parts of Asia, Latin America, and southern Africa, which was the area hardest hit.  Now, in the second year in a row without rain, the people of southern Africa are facing one of the most severe food shortages the region has ever faced.  Up to 50 million people in the region will need food by the end of the year.  The countries of Malawi, Mozambique, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Madagascar, Angola, and Swaziland have already declared national emergencies due to the crisis. While plans are in place to reach those targeted, funding for food assistance during the first quarter of 2017 is urgently required. 

Livestock drink from a drying river outside Utrecht, a small town in the northwest of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, Nov. 8, 2015. Kenya and Uganda are bracing for floods, while South Africa and Malawi are already grappling with drought as a result of this year’s strengthening El Niño weather phenomenon.

Photo: Rueters

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       On Tuesday November 29th, minimum wage workers took to San Francisco International Airport to protest the low minimum wage in an area with a skyrocketing, yet already sky high cost of living.  Compromised mostly of the foodservice industry, but also workers in retail, childcare, and airport employees, say that the current minimum wage ($13 an hour in San Francisco) isn’t enough to afford the basic necessities, even for those working full-time.  The protests at SFO were peaceful.  Along with the protests at SFO, there were also protests held in other major cities including Oakland, New York, Chicago, Detroit, and Los Angeles.

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On Tuesday November 29th, minimum wage workers took to San Francisco International Airport to protest the low minimum wage in an area with a skyrocketing, yet already sky high cost of living.  Compromised mostly of the foodservice industry, but also workers in retail, childcare, and airport employees, say that the current minimum wage ($13 an hour in San Francisco) isn’t enough to afford the basic necessities, even for those working full-time.  The protests at SFO were peaceful.  Along with the protests at SFO, there were also protests held in other major cities including Oakland, New York, Chicago, Detroit, and Los Angeles.

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Tunde Wey Presents: Blackness in America

Last night, Nigerian-born writer and chef, Tunde Wey convened a group of Bay Area diners, residents and journalists for his, Blackness in America Dinner Series. The San Francisco-event, his 15th of the year, was both timely and discomforting. Food has never been immune to sociopolitical unrest, and in most cases, tends to reflect the conditions. According to Wey, "the era of dining as protest is now." 

Led in conversation by Chef Wey, and hosted by SF-based nonprofit, La Cocina. Here’s a look at some of what was served.

Sautéed Dandelion Greens, Fried Plantains, Mac n’ Cheese

Fatoush w/ Black-eyed pea pepper stew

Fatoush w/ Black-eyed pea pepper stew

 

 

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Mac n' Cheese and Plantains 

Trio of Meat: Stewed Lamb, BBQ Turkey, Oven-fried quail

Trio of Meat: Stewed Lamb, BBQ Turkey, Oven-fried quail

 

 

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Announcing Our Full Chef Lineup - Farm-To-Fork-SF, Oct. 30, 2016

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Announcing Our Full Chef Lineup - Farm-To-Fork-SF, Oct. 30, 2016

We're excited to announce our full lineup of chefs for our upcoming celebration on October 30! Each chef will be cooking up dishes using grass fed beef from Stemple Creek RanchTrue Grass Farms, and TomKat Ranch, as we explore the complex relationships between these ranches, the chefs, the environment, and you, the consumer. 

All the chefs in our lineup bring a unique set of skills and talents to the event, so whether you're a fan of high-end fare or just looking for an old fashioned burger, we promise you'll walk out the door full and satisfied.

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