in this issue
Events This Week
Delicious Dishes
Season Update
Brain Food
Need Your Help!

featured links
What's New Online
Take Action
Om Organics


Tasty Bites 10.5.04
Event updates each week; more extensive edibles every other

Events This Week
Tomato and Basil U-pick Day/Farm Open House
Thu, 10/7/04, 10:00am - 3:00pm
Mariquita Farm in Hollister; Free
Get out of the city, tour the farm, and pick some tomatoes and basil for your own caprese salad...or pizza...or other tasty delectable...

Meet the Farmer: Joseph Minocchi of White Crane Springs Ranch
Sat, 10/9/04, 10:00am-10:30am
Ferry Building, Embarcardero/Market in SF; Free
Get the lowdown from one of our local, family-owned farms.

Shop with the Chef: Joyce Goldstein ~ Cookbook Author and Culinary Consultant
Sat, 10/9/04, 10:30am-11:30am
Ferry Building, Embarcardero/Market in SF; Free
See and taste what seasonal produce local chefs are buying and cooking!

OceanFest 2004: One World, One Ocean
Sat, 10/9/04, 11:00am-4:00pm
Gulf of the Farallones Center, Crissy Field in SF; Free
A free gourmet festival of sustainable seafood, beer and wine tasting, kids art and education activities, live music, and the Marine Discovery Fair.

FallFest 2004 at Embarcadero Center
Sat, 10/9/04, 11:00am-4:00pm
Embarcardero Center, Justin Herman Plaza in SF;
$75/ea, or enter promotional code "OPEN TABLE" for 2 for 1.
An annual European-style marketplace festival celebrating leading chefs, sommeliers and winemakers via over 30 wine/food pairings, chef demonstrations, panel discussions and live music.

Taking Charge of the Future
Sat, 10/9/04, 7:30am-6:00pm
Walker Creek Ranch in Marshall, Marin County; Free
A day of national and local speakers, practical workshops and a social dinner/mixer for our next generation farmers, ranchers and agricultural leaders.

Laguna Farms Harvest Festival
Sat, 10/9/04, 12:00pm-6:00pm
Laguna Farms, 1764 Cooper Rd., Sebastopol; $5 - $8
Workshops on biofuel, soil science, and cooking. Also a Magic Pumpkin childrens' area with hay rides, pie walks and other activities. Sponsored by Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) and Sun Ridge School.

Designing Sustainable Ventures
Tue, 10/12/04, 6:00pm-10:00pm
Herbst Int'l Exhibition Hall, The Presidio in SF; $15/20 presale, $25 at the door
A mixer to learn more about embracing sustainable practices in a business or a project - from a financial and ethical perspective. Offers a unique opportunity to network and collaborate with seasoned professionals, and strengthen ties across the local sustainable business sector.


In the same thistle family as cardoon (a stalk vegetable somewhat like celery), artichokes’ peak season is in the early summer and autumn (i.e., now!). According to Bill at Swanton Berry Farm, there are two main types: perennials, which can be 40-year-old plants that bloom year after year, and fresh, new plants that are only harvested for a single season.

Perennials have thicker, waxier leaves, but their flavor is better and their hearts are bigger. Fresh, new artichokes are small and beautiful with thin leaves, but their flavor is milder and their hearts are smaller. (They’re also more susceptible to gophers in the field. Bad news for farmers!)

In the U.S. there’s sadly only one prominent variety of artichoke: the Green Globe, and it’s actually illegal to import fresh artichokes into our country!

Look for: Tightly packed, healthy leaves. Chris at Farmer's Garden said they're good as long as they squeek when you squeeze them! For larger hearts, go for those with larger, waxier leaves. Avoid ones with all-opened or woody-textured leaves as well as those with a black colored cut stem (stored too long).

Storage: Refrigerate fresh artichokes for up to a week.

Read more about What's in Season.

Delicious Dishes

What can you do with artichokes? Well, there's the classic preparation: Steam whole for about 25 minutes and serve hot with a dipping sauce, aioli, or vinaigrette.

Or, as Ross Browne at Absinthe does, braise artichoke hearts with leeks, and serve them with roasted whole branzini (Mediterranean sea bass). mmm.

Or, make your own version of one of Michael Tusk's artichoke dishes at Quince: artichoke sformato (a savory flan), fresh paparadelle with artichoke, hot peppers & pecorino, or pickled artichoke with golden acorn squash, parmigiano reggiano & Umbrian olive oil. mmmm.

Send us your dishes, and we'll post them on our next newsletter!

Season Update

The weather this year has been a little crazy, warming up early on and then cooling off so soon!

Tomatoes started earlier this year, and so they're also ending early for most farms as well. Get them now while you can! (And don't buy the mushy blobs they sell at many local stores. Check the Tomatoes section to read more about picking out heirlooms.)

Several farms are also in the midst of switching gears to their winter crops - a lot of root vegetables, leeks, fennel, kale, chards and heartier produce that tastes sweeter growing in the cold.

Apples are also abundant! Pick out a new variety at your local store, or better yet, ask the farmers at our local farmers' markets which they like best!

What else... Heirloom eggplants, sweet peppers, cardoon stalks, and all sorts of autumn squash and pumpkins... Not just for Halloween or pumpkin pies! Cook em up for savory dishes. Mmm.

Read more about cooking with What's in Season.

Brain Food

Most people know intuitively that organics are good for you, but there are many critical environmental and economic aspects to the movement that are not widely known! THUS, every other week, we'll feed your brain a little snack of knowledge about sustainability and why we all should be choosing organic and our local food suppliers!

Are you a knowledge binger? Read ahead about What's Organic?
Why Local?

Need Your Help!

Om Organics is a project of the San Francisco Foundation-Community Initiative Funds, and can only continue with the help of foundation grants and individual contributions. If you support sustainability in the Bay Area, please help us with your tax-deductible donation.

Any amount is appreciated!
You can make a donation:

  • via to
  • by credit card: 415-733-8583 (SFF CIF Office)
  • by check: "Om Organics: Project of SFF CIF", 225 Bush St. #500, SF, CA 94104


© 2004 Om Organics