is it edible??

is it edible??

 

 

I know I am getting a slow start to this whole blogging thing, but hey at least I’m back.

This semester I am finally getting involved in activities that I am passionate about: namely activities dealing with food.

Last night was my first night volunteering with Culinary Kids, a non profit that asks local chefs to teach kids how to cook.  Susan Waters, younger sister of Alice, taught the kids how to make homemade pasta sauce with all organic ingredients.  A few interesting ingredients she added to the standard recipe: a dash of cinnamon and a little squidge of agave syrup.  She also taught the kids how to make a raw banana chocolate dessert that consisted of: a banana cut in half then split lengthwise , chopped walnuts, agave syrup and a raw cacao paste on top  to add chocolaty goodness.  Next time I will keep my camera in my back pocket to take pics of the kids stirring the sauce so vigorously that my black pumas came out looking like ladybug sneakers.

Today I went to my first Organic Gardening class.  It is taught by students in the student garden on the corner of Virginia and Walnut.  Monika, one of the instructors, brought a balsamic vinagrette and a wood bowl so we could make a garden salad.  She showed us all of the interesting plants we could eat: flowering broccoli tops, mustard flowers, mustard greens, dino kale, cilantro, etc.  Then she added mini tangerine segments, also grown in the garden, carrots and cucumber.  We all passed around the salad bowl while she taught us about the importance of creating good soil in your garden.

Main gardening points that I learned today:

  • add organic material, such as compost, to create good soil structure and to add nutrients
  • plant nitrogen fixing plants, such as legumes, instead of using synthetic fertilizer
  • double till your plant beds so plants can grow deeper and so you can grow plants closer together
  • don’t compact the plant beds a.k.a don’t walk on them
  • protect the soil from rain and heat by mulching with grass, hay, plants or wood chips
  • don’t eat mushrooms unless you are sure they are a non-poisonous variety

I will try to keep you updated with new gardening tips.

My last activity is called the Oral History of Food and Wine in the Bay Area.  I am working as an undergraduate research assistant for Vic Geraci, director of UC Berkeley’s Oral History Office.  Here is the link for the project:  ROHO Food and Wine Project        
 Right now I am learning the science of oral history, then later I can create my own research project.  I’ll keep you updated on interesting interviews.

fresh from the cal student garden

fresh from the cal student garden

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