BY MIKE MADISON / PHOTOGRAPHY BY BENJAMIN DELLA ROSA

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The value of "farm to fork" (meaning a local, seasonal food economy with few intermediaries between farmer and diner) is supported by three main arguments:

1 The culinary argument is that local produce, harvested at the peak of ripeness when it is fragrant, delicious and fragile, will always be superior to produce shipped from a distance, which has to be harvested at an immature stage in order to survive the rigors of long-distance travel.

2 The argument of community solidarity emphasizes the social and economic connections between farmer and diner, which build a strong community and contribute to food security and political independence.

3 And the topographic argument describes the increased rootedness and sense of place, as well as the heightened awareness of seasonality, that come from a local food economy.

Read more: Farm-to-Fork and the Real Cost of Food

BY GEORGEANNE BRENNAN / PHOTOGRAPHY BY GEORGEANNE BRENNAN

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Denpasar, Capital of Bali


My trip to Bali began with missing my flight. Once on the plane, even if two days late, I set about soaking in every bit of food culture I could, beginning with the food on the Singapore Airlines flight originating in San Francisco.

 

I perused the dinner menu. It had Indian vegetarian, Korean or Western options. I was sorely tempted by the Korean Style Grilled Eel but instead chose Braised Beef Short Ribs with Mashed Potatoes. It sounded bland enough to ensure no queasiness during the 20-plus hour flight.

Read more: A Taste of Denpasar, Bali

BY SUSAN BROWN CSW / PHOTOGRAPHY BY PENNY SYLVIA

clarksburg chenin blanc 1

The Farm to Fork movement in the greater Sacramento area has focused attention on local food production and consumption. This emphasis on products that end up in a kitchen and on a plate is important, but it would be remiss to overlook that which ends up in a wineglass. With over 200 wineries, vineyards and tasting rooms within an hour's drive of the city, no discussion of Farm to Fork would be truly complete without consideration of the region's wine grape crops.

The spirit of the movement supports the cultivation of agricultural crops that are appropriate for, and are successfully grown within our area, and this is certainly applicable to many grape varieties.

Read more: Clarksburg Chenin Blanc: Journey from Grape to Glass

BY AMBER K. STOTT

PART I

A THREE PART SERIES ON DEFINING FARM-T-FORK IN OUR REGION

farm to fork many voices

The City of Sacramento declared itself the Farm-to-Fork Capital of America in 2012. Since then, food has taken over the city. Streets and bridges that once held cars have been temporarily transformed to hold cows and dinner parties. Everything from bowling alleys to coffee shops has embraced the "local food" mantra.

Sacramentans have embraced their inner farm-to-fork. The way they choose to express it varies widely depending on who's cooking the food and who's eating.

Read more: Farm-to-Fork In Many Voices

BY GEORGEANNE BRENNAN

market talk interview 1

DAN BEST, COORDINATOR, CERTIFIED FARMERS' MARKETS OF SACRAMENTO, 11 LOCATIONS


Edible Sacramento Meets Our Region's Farmers Market Leaders
EDIBLE SACRAMENTO: How many farmer/vendors do you work with at peak season and off season?

DAN BEST: With the exception of a couple of bakeries and fishermen, we work exclusively with Certified California Agricultural Producers. Since we have five year-around markets there is no "off season" for us. Throughout the year we usually work with more than 200 different farmers.

Read more: Market Talk: Interview with Dan Best and Randii Macnear

BY MIKE MADISON / PHOTOGRAPHY BY BENJAMIN DELLA ROSA

the rise and fall 1

The knife, and later the spoon, were the first utensils. Forks didn't come to the table until much later.

The ancient Greeks had a large, two-pronged fork that they used to pin down a chunk of meat while they were carving it, but this was only for carving, not eating. Forks of the modern sort for getting food to your mouth showed up in the Renaissance, first in Italy and later in France.

When forks were first brought to England in the 16th century, they were disparaged as absurd affectations. But the nobles were attracted to them as a way to show continental sophistication, and as one more item to swell the ranks of polished cutlery on the table as a conspicuous display of wealth. And whatever the nobles did, the rest of the populace soon imitated.

Read more: The Rise (and Fall) of the Fork

Yisreal garden

It wasn't about celebrity chefs, it was about home cooking. It wasn't about sustainable caviar, it was about sun-ripened tomatoes. It wasn't about "foodie," it was about food. When the Yisraels learned this past summer that the Sacramento Farm-to-Fork week's Tower Bridge dinner would be selling tickets with triple-digit price tags, they took action to show that a celebration of good food did not require city permits or gilded pomp and ceremony. Instead, they hosted a farm to fork dinner at their own Yisrael Family Farm, pre-empting the Tower Bridge dinner by a week. For only $20 a seat, they helped to serve a five-course vegetarian dinner with their own produce to a garden-full of farmers, musicians, activists and neighbors seeking to share the bounty of a grassroots movement right where it was planted.

Read more: Yisrael's Urban Garden

BY JULIANNA BOGGS / PHOTOGRAPHY BY DEBBIE CUNNINGHAM

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In the midst of our current foodie culture, the word "harvest" is a romanticized idea that glosses over the hardships and realities of long hours in the winter shade. In September or October, a few days beneath the full silver canopy of the Oleaceae wouldn't be so trying, but come late November when the olives are just turning from bright green to a darkening mottled red, numb hands and tired backs are the sacrifices required for the liquid green gold of fresh-pressed olive oil.

Read more: The Olive Orchard

BY AMBER K. STOTT / PHOTOGRAPHY BY DEBBIE CUNNINGHAM

endive farming

If you visit the largest endive farm in the nation, you won't be standing in a field below a blue sky. There will be no sun on your face, or dirt on your boots. But you will hear the soft trickle of water through the deep darkness as you're surrounded by warmth and blanketed in shadows.

Endive (pronounced very French and fancy-like, "on-DEEV") is a peculiar little crop that can only be grown in the dark.

Read more: Endive: Farming in the Dark

BY BECKY GRUNEWALD / PHOTOGRAPHY BY SCOTT DUNCAN

back house press bistro

The Press Bistro describes itself on its website as a "neighborhood bistro" and "a place for friends and neighbors to meet for a drink, some bites or a full meal." The mental image conjured up by those words perfectly captures its cozy, clubby feel.

This ethos also gives you a clue to the menu, which is centered around rich pasta dishes and hearty cuts of protein. There are nods to seasonality on the menu, and the ingredients are well-sourced, but a meal at the Press Bistro is more about ordering that dish you already know you love than trying some foraged ramps that are in season for a handful of days.

Read more: Back of the House: The Press Bistro

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