Tag Archives: encinitas

As seen on Fox 5.

We did this interview on Sunday, and it ran later that evening, and will probably run again today. Click here to watch it!

Have a wonderful Monday!

– Christopher

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As seen in the North County Times / Book Signing!

Photo courtesy of The North County Times.

Today’s article about “On a Dollar a Day” in the North County Times can be read here. Additionally, we will be doing our first official book signing and discussion this evening at Borders in Carlsbad. Come to listen, ask questions, buy a book, and have it signed! The details are below.

What: “On a Dollar a Day” Discussion, Q & A, and Signing

Where: Borders in Carlsbad (in The Forum) – 1905 Calle Barcelona, Carlsbad, CA 92009 – 760.479.0242

When: 7 p.m.

We hope to see you there!

– Christopher & Kerri

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Thinking Outside the Pod.

This Asian-infused lima bean appetizer prepared by the Scripps Memorial Hospital Executive Chef was one many innovative entries in this weekend's cook-off challenge at the Lima Bean Faire in Encinitas, Califorina. Photo by Christopher.

This Asian-infused lima bean appetizer prepared by the Scripps Memorial Hospital Executive Chef was one many innovative entries in this weekend's cook-off challenge at the Lima Bean Faire in Encinitas, Califorina. Photo by Christopher.

There’s nothing like lima beans to bring the community together in celebration of local heritage. Pulling into the dirt parking lot just north of the San Diego Botanical Gardens, we could see the large red and white striped tent, and a huge homemade sign listing the happenings of this weekend’s 2009 Lima Bean Faire. Seated at about two dozen round tables, local residents tasted a variety of lima bean based dishes, deciding which one would get their vote in each category of the weekend cook-off challenge.

“You want people to eat healthy, but you can’t force it down their throats,” said Scripps Hospital Executive Chef E. Dennis van Rummond. His entry into the “ethnic” category of the cook-off was an Asain infused lima bean appetizer. He marinated his beans in a blend of soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar and crystallized ginger, and sat them next to a bite-sized salad of red bell pepper, green onion and water chesnuts, all elegantly laid across the top of a baked wonton wrapper.

While his eye-catching presentation stood out from the “savory soup” and “classic” entries, competition from local restauranteurs and community members was fierce.

On one side of Rummond was a representative of When In Rome, a well known Italian restaurant with 23 years of experience satisfying patrons. When In Rome, an affiliate of Slow Food San Diego, and winner of a local Reader’s Choice award, served their Italian marinated beans as a bruschetta imbued with a pecorino cheese.

However, the most palate satisfying, and practical lima bean innovation, was a simple and delicious hummus created at the last minute by local resident Christopher Quicker at the request of Inn of Moonlight Beach owner Ann Dunman.

“I used red, orange and yellow bell peppers and roasted them over an open flame and added them for the color,” Quicker said. The bell peppers however only made up 10 percent of the ingredients. While he used roasted garlic, olive oil, sea salt and pepper, 80 percent of his creation were pure lima beans provided by the California Lima Beans Growers Council, a legume that used to grow abundantly is this coastal area as they require no irrigation, and are a great source of protein.

Each contestant was given a 10 pound bag of dried lima beans in mid-September, allowing them ten days to perfect their entry. While the hundred-dollar grand prize, and the People’s Choice Lima Bean Trophy were enticing, participation in the event for local businesses meant free advertising and connection to the community in a family-friendly setting. A few folks played lima bean bingo, and lima bean poker while awaiting the announcement of the cook-off winner, and the children’s fashion show.

Hildegarde, a volunteer with the San Dieguito Heritage Museum, selling dried lima beans to attendees of the faire. Photo by Christopher.

Hildegarde, a volunteer with the San Dieguito Heritage Museum, selling dried lima beans to attendees of the faire. Photo by Christopher.

Outside of the tasting tent there were several vendors of local crafts, a caricaturist, and displays of local artifacts, and old photos of Encinitas from the late 1800s and early 1900s provided by the San Dieguito Heritage Museum. Today’s festivities however were just part of the weekend long event that included a talent show the night before, and a “follies” program on Sunday including magicians, singers, jugglers and Mr. Balloon Man.

On our way out of the Lima Bean Faire, we stopped by a small booth and spoke with a woman named Hildegarde, who convinced us to buy a bag of dried lima beans for a dollar. Her enthusiasm for the event, attended mostly by people closer to her age than ours, left us feeling thankful for our community, and inspired us to try creating a lima bean dish of our own.

– Christopher

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Urban Homesteaders Plant Ideas at Film Fest.

Jules Dervaes seeks his kid's input before answering a question from the audience after the film screening of "Homegrown Revolution", a short documentary of their urban homestead in Pasadena where they grow 6,000 pounds of produce on one tenth of an acre each year. Photo by Christopher.

Jules Dervaes seeks his kid's input before answering a question from the audience after the film screening of "Homegrown Revolution", a short documentary of their urban homestead in Pasadena where they grow 6,000 pounds of produce on one tenth of an acre each year. Photo by Christopher.

Watching Kerri gently raise her garden over the last few weeks has been quite a treat. The look she gets when something new has sprouted, and the sheer excitement that radiates from her as she checks in on the food landscape that is taking over our patio is inspiring. While I have borne witness to several new crops grown from seeds recently, what we saw today takes urban gardening to a whole new level.

Jules Dervaes and his three adult children have been growing their own food, and working to live off the grid for nearly a decade. Their urban homestead located in Pasadena is both a revolution in living and a model for self-sufficency. Their short film “Homegrown Revolution” was shown today as part of the Cottonwood Environmental Film Festival here in Encinitas, and the Dervaes family was present to answer questions and distribute information from a booth in the back of the room.

The short film documents how the Dervaes have transformed 1/10 of an acre, which used to include a driveway, into a 6,000 pound urban garden that offers up 350 types of useful and edible plants each year. They use every inch of space, which includes vertical gardening, and during the summer are able to provide up to 80 percent of their food needs. During the winter it’s about 50 percent. In contrast, their lawn growing neighbors have little to show for their own patches of earth just 130 feet from the freeway.

Overall, the Dervaes eat about 60 percent of what they grow, sell 30 percent to local chefs, and use the remaining 10 percent to feed to the small number of chickens, ducks and goats that help produce compost.

“The animals help complete the cycle,” Dervaes said as he answered a question from an audience member after the screening.

The few animals they have aren’t for eating, as the family maintains a near-vegetarian diet, but they do eat some of the eggs and milk produced by their furry and feathered friends. The youngest daughter, Jordanne, says they’re more like pets really and that each one has a name. She even takes the goats hiking.

Beyond the growing of food, the family also uses solar energy, human powered appliances (including a bike blender), a graywater system (including an outdoor shower) and would not dare using chemicals to keep away pests. Their nine different compost systems have put their land 18 inches above the plot next door.

This short film however was only a prologue to the feature length film “Fresh” that screened directly afterward.

For those of you who have read Michael Pollan’s “Omnivore’s Dilemma”, this film could have very well been a companion to the section where Pollan is on the Salatin farm. While Pollan himself is interveiwed throughout, seeing Joel Salatin and the farm that Pollan works hard to describe in his book, is the best part of this film.

Filmmaker Ana Sofia Joanes has done a good job of weaving together a few different stories of where our food comes from, and in doing so allows viewers to see that another type of food system is possible, if we’re willing to get our hands dirty, or commit to supporting closed cycle farms that are looking to feed people instead of mono cropping corn and soy to process into other products.

Both films were inspiring, but I’m not convinced that the solutions proposed by either film are going to gain much traction with the majority of Americans who prize convenience above all else. My dad is not going to start a garden, and I’m pretty sure he’s not alone. However, a move in this direction is absolutely essential if we are going to survive as a species.

Unfortunately the one in nine Americans now receiving food stamps is less equipped to make such a radical transition, as many people are just trying to make it to the next paycheck (if they’re lucky enough to have a job – unemployment is now 9.4 percent). If you are paying attention, you know that the United States has reached a record level of federal assistance this week. More Americans than ever before are struggling to feed their families.

Over the last few days there were also several thought-provoking food tidbits to consider. Author Tom Standage was interviewed on National Public Radio about his book “An Edible History of Humanity”, and Jim Motavalli wrote a well reasoned opinion piece in Foreign Policy magazine predicting the oncoming vegetarian revolution; he writes that it will come by force rather than choice, and the comments are also worth sifting through.

Until next week,

Christopher

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It Starts Today.

Today we start our 30 day challenge of a one dollar diet. This means that for the month of September we will each have one dollar to spend on our daily allotment of food.

When we first started talking about doing this, we didn’t really have an agenda, or any developed sense of why we wanted to do it. It  just seemed like an interesting challenge; one that would force us to see things differently.

We are interested in many of the strands related to this experiment; food choices, consumerism, waste, poverty, social psychology, etc., and this experience may provide insights that could help us better understand and teach about a variety of concerns (we both teach Social Justice in a public high school).

Here are the rules:

1. All food consumed each day must total $1 for each of us. 

2. We cannot accept free food or “donated” food unless it is available for everyone in our area. (i.e. foraging, samples in stores, dumpster diving)

3. Any food we plant, we pay for.

4. We will do our best to cook a variety of meals; ramen noodles can only be prepared if there is no other way to stay under one dollar. (We have six packages and will buy no more)

5. Should we decide to have guests over for dinner they must eat from our share; meaning they don’t get to eat their own dollar’s worth of food. 

Each day one of us will post an entry here with a photo that details how things are going. So if you want some daily entertainment, look no further than: OneDollarDietProject.com

If you think what we’re doing is interesting, inspiring, or just plain nutty, consider SPONSORING our efforts. Simply enter in an amount, click “update total” and follow the prompting. If you don’t have PayPal, it will let you use a credit card. At the end of the of the month all proceeds will go to the Community Resource Center (here in Encinitas, CA) and/or the ONE campaign. We will post evidence of donations at the end.

So stick with us, and feel encouraged to get in touch or comment as we move forward. 

Our first post will come later tonight!

Feeling hungry already,

Christopher & Kerri

 

P.S. PLEASE Subscribe, and tell everyone you know to take a look.

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