Tag Archives: Transition Berkeley

Top food stories from Berkeley in 2011

Andre Green from the Berkeley Food & Housing Project cooks for the neediest in the community. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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As the year draws to a close, it’s time to look back to see what food stories created a buzz around town and on Berkeleyside in 2011.

Granted, there’s an arbitrary nature to such end-of-year lists. But it’s an opportunity to take stock of the city’s culinary culture.

For the purposes of this post we’ve focused on food news stories, which doesn’t take into account the dozens of interviews with foragers, farmers, artisans, advocates, chefs, cooking teachers, preservers, pasta makers, cheese purveyors, pop-up restaurateurs, and farmers’ market vendors we’ve published during 2011.

This year also saw controversial coverage of corner stores, reporting on detractors of school food, an insider’s take on speed dating with a veg-friendly focus, and a widely criticized first-person piece on disappointing camp chow.

Readers may differ on what food stories caught their attention. Feel free to add your own highlights (or low points) in the comments section.

In alphabetical order: … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Clothing and books added to Crop Swap
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LOCAL BREWS Peet’s Coffee & Tea has introduced two very Berkeley-centric blends: Café Solano and Café Domingo, in honor of two of their Berkeley stores on Domingo Avenue and Solano Avenue. Café Domingo is described as a smooth, balanced and medium-bodied Latin American blend “with hints of toffee sweetness and a clean, crisp finish”. While Café Solano is “a lively and aromatic medium roast coffee. Perfectly rounded with floral notes and a subtle fruit essence”. Peet’s was, of course, founded in Berkeley in 1966, and is about to open its 9th store in the city on the corner of College Avenue and Alcatraz.

MIX IT UP Amanda West, owner of the shuttered Amanda’s Feel Good Fresh Food, is making a low-key comeback with the launch of a new collection of drinks, known as Amanda’s Freshly Made Sodas. As one would expect from someone who espouses the concept of healthy food, the mixes contain fresh fruit and no sugar. They are currently stocked  in the refrigerator case of Almare Gelato at 2170 Shattuck Avenue. More distribution channels are on the cards.  [Hat-tip: Elizabeth Jordan]

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New crop swap comes to Berkeley’s Lorin District

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The sun blessed Berkeley gardeners with heaps of homegrown produce this summer. To address burgeoning baskets, Councilmember Max Anderson announced the addition of the the Lorin Station Crop Swap this Sunday, August 21 at 1 p.m.

The one-hour, edible-garden swap hosted by Transition Berkeley and The Victory Garden Foundation at the corner of Alcatraz and Adeline is free to the public. Attendees lacking in produce are encouraged to bring something else (aside from money) in the spirit … Continue reading »

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Lemons, loquats and greens: Berkeley crop swap kicks off

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As predicted by Berkeleyside readers, lemons were, indeed, in abundant supply at the first Berkeley Crop Swap organized by Transition Berkeley Monday night at Ohlone Park.

Under a fog-filled sky there wasn’t a ripe tomato in sight, though you could pick up tomato starts. Nonetheless, a couple of dozen local residents happily exchanged home-grown goodies that thrive in this micro-climate in July.

People perused two folding tables and a couple of blankets with freshly harvested produce and then filled their baskets and bags with plums and purple potatoes and gave away basil and beet greens. True to their roots, along with kitchen staples such as carrots, strawberries, and rosemary, Berkeley growers showed up with some less well-known produce including loquats, grape leaves, and angelica.

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Heads up homesteaders: Crop swap launches in Berkeley

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It’s that time of year when the abundance from a backyard vegetable garden can be a tad prolific. How many zucchini squash can one family eat? Or perhaps your produce problem comes from human error: you simply planted way too many onions and not enough greens.

Help is on the way. Beginning next Monday night the people behind the newly formed grassroots group Transition Berkeley invite residents to share their harvest at a Crop Swap in the public park next to the Ohlone Greenway on Sacramento Street.

It couldn’t be simpler: you show up with your freshly harvested lettuces or lemons and share or swap them for some plums or potatoes. That’s it. No money changes hands.

Berkeley is just one of a grassroots network of more than 300 transition towns around the globe organizing their communities to become more resilient, self-reliant and sustainable. In keeping with that philosophy, the Berkeley coalition, which numbers 80 members and counting, encourages locals to lower their carbon footprint, grow food close to home, pool resources, reduce their use of fossil fuels and foster community. Such behaviors are critical, transition advocates say, to facing challenges such as climate change, oil dependency and depletion, and a persistent economic downturn. … Continue reading »

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